Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yankees and CC Firing on all Cylinders

CC Keeps Yankees Streaking

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
0 2 0 5 0 1 0 0 2
10 13 0
0 0 0 0 2 1 0 0 2
5 7 2

WP - Sabathia (5-3) LP - Carmona (2-5)

The Yankees are all about streaks these days. Winning streaks, hitting streaks, errorless streaks. CC Sabathia won his fourth straight decision last night and the Yankees pounded the Cleveland Indians 10-5. It was the Yankees third straight win and 14th in the last 17 games. It also pushed their lead over the Boston Red Sox to 1.5 games in the AL East and kept the Toronto Blue Jays at the same distance.

Sabathia was pitching for the first time back in the city and on the mound where he cut his teeth. He’d had a no-decision in the Yankees opening day loss to the Indians back on April 6, but this was his first time facing his old team. He loosened up prior to the game by playing a video baseball game with reliever Brian Bruney and then went out and through seven effective innings for his fifth win of the season.

The Yankees got on the board in the 2nd with solo home runs by Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher for a 2-0 lead and knocked Indians starter Fausto Carmona from the game with a 5-run 4th inning. The Yankees loaded the bases on a Hideki Matsui double, a walk to Swisher, and a Ryan Garko throwing error that allowed Brett Gardner to reach base safely.

Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a bouncer through the middle for a 2-run single and a 4-0 Yankees’ advantage. Johnny Damon followed Jeter’s lead by ripping an RBI single to right to score Gardner and three batters later, Robinson Cano finished off the inning with a 2-run single for a 7-0 Yankees lead.

Sabathia was dominant for the first four innings, allowing just a lone base runner on a walk. But a harmless grounder back through the box by Shin-Soo Choo in the 5th led to a pair of Indians runs. Sabathia suddenly lost the sharp command he had exhibited early, and singles by Mark DeRosa, Garko, and Jamey Carroll, cut the Yankees lead to 7-2.

An inning later, Sabathia surrendered a solo home run to Grady Sizemore, but got Choo to bounce into an inning ending double play after he walked Jhonny Peralta. Sabathia also escaped trouble in the 7th inning, after he hit Garko with a pitch and walked Carroll, ending his night by striking out Asdrubel Cabrera swinging. All in all, it was a good homecoming for the big man who called Cleveland home for 8 1/2 big league seasons.

Game Notes

The Yankees did not commit an error for a franchise record 16th straight game. It’s also gives them a share of the second longest streak in MLB history with the St. Louis Cardinals. The Yankees have a chance to tie the longest streak, held by the 2006 Boston Red Sox, this afternoon.

Mark Teixeira
was 2-5 to extend his hitting streak to 12 games. Robinson Cano has a 7-game hitting streak (12-32, .375) and has 3 HR and 13 RBI in his last 10 games.

After the game, the Indians placed Grady Sizemore on the 15-Day DL with inflammation in his left elbow. The injury had limited Sizemore to only appearing as the DH.

Indians catcher/1st Baseman Victor Martinez fouled a ball of his left knee and had to leave the game after finishing his at-bat. X-Rays were negative, but it’s unlikely he will play today.

Phil Hughes
goes for his third straight win this afternoon (12:40 p.m. ET) against ex-Yankee Carl Pavano, who pitched effectively in a no-decision against the Yankees on April 19.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Yankees Grab 1st Place

Yankees Have Got Sole

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 0
3 10 0
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0
1 8 0

WP - Pettitte (5-1) SV - Rivera (10) LP - Lee (2-6)

It’s a statistic that is hard to imagine for a team that has had its’ share of success since the mid-90’s. With the Yankees‘ 3-1 win over the Cleveland Indians last night, the Bombers moved into sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time since the final game of the 2006 season. They won for the 13th time in 16 games despite a shaky outing from Andy Pettitte, who walked five batters in 5+ innings and had to leave the game in the 6th with a sore back.

The offense wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the 1st inning, but scored a pair of runs off reigning AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee in the 2nd and never trailed. A one-out walk to Nick Swisher and a single by Brett Gardner put runners on the corners for the red hot Derek Jeter (11-24 over the last four games, and a 2-game hitting streak). The Captain came through with an RBI single to left field for a 1-0 lead. Johnny Damon’s single loaded the bases and set up Mark Teixeira’s RBI ground out.

The Yankees added their final run in the 3rd on singles by Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada, and a sac fly by Swisher. Then it was up to Pettitte and the bullpen to make the lead stand up. The Yankees’ left-hander escaped a 2-on no-out situation in the 2nd with three ground ball outs. In the 3rd, he walked Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta to load the bases with two outs, but retired Mark DeRosa on a ground out to Cano.

Pettitte doubled over in the 4th after delivering a pitch, prompting a visit from manager Joe Girardi and assistant trainer Steve Donahue. Pettitte insisted he was all right, but when he walked DeRosa and Ben Francisco to start the 6th, and fell behind Jamey Carroll, 2-0, Girardi decided enough was enough. Pettitte, who strained his back in Texas, didn’t want to come out, but later admitted it was the right decision.

Al Aceves, the Yankees’ new version of Ramiro Mendoza, came on and completed the walk to Carroll to loaded the bases with no one out, but escaped with just one run scoring on a Shin-Soo Choo sacrifice fly. Aceves followed with two scoreless innings before Mariano Rivera came in to pitch for the first time since last Sunday. Choo led off the 9th with a flare single, but the Yankees’ closer struck out Asdrubel Cabrera and Grady Sizemore, and retired the dangerous Martinez on a ground out to Teixeira for his 492nd career save.

Game Notes

Mariano Rivera’s 10th save of the season was his 58th career save of an Andy Pettitte win. That breaks the major league record shared by Dennis Eckersley and Bob Welch.

To activate Jorge Posada, the Yankees sent fellow catcher Kevin Cash down to Scranton. The Indians recalled reliever Rafael Perez before the game and designated former Yankee David Dellucci for assignment.

Xavier Nady (elbow) and Jose Molina (quad) both played in an extended spring training game on Friday. Nady, who DH’ed, is expected to resume throwing on Monday.

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Daily Yankeeland - 5/29

Views from the Facade - 5/29

The Yankees begin a four game series tonight in Cleveland. Jorge Posada is expected to be activated before this evening’s game. The question now is, who will be removed from the 25-man roster? The best move would be to designate Angel Berroa for assignment and carry three catchers for a few days or at least until the Yankees are satisfied that Posada is really good to go. Then the Yankees could either send Francisco Cervelli to Scranton to play ever day or keep him as Posada’s back up and send Kevin Cash back down.

Once the Yankees go with two catchers they can recall another bat, perhaps Juan Miranda or John Rodriguez. A lot will also depend on how quickly Melky Cabrera rebounds from his banged up shoulder. Right now, the Melkman is available for pinch-hitting duties.

Former Yankee David Dellucci was DFA’ed by the Indians earlier today.

Probable Pitchers for the Series

Friday: Andy Pettitte (4-1, 4.30) vs. Cliff Lee (2-5, 3.04)
Saturday: CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.42) vs. Fausto Carmona (2-4, 6.42)
Sunday: Phil Hughes (3-2, 5.16) vs. Carl Pavano (5-4, 5.50)
Monday: Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.97) vs. Jeremy Sowers (1-2, 7.71)

CC Sabathia, Alex Rodriguez
and Mariano Rivera were among those in attendance at last night’s Cleveland Cavaliers-Orlando Magic NBA playoff game.

Tino Martinez and Lee Mazzilli will represent the Yankees at this year’s amateur draft. When did Mazzilli stop working for SNY?

Jesus Montero slugged a pair of home runs for Tampa yesterday and could be headed to Double-A ball in Trenton very soon.

Hurdle Out, Tracy In

There's been much speculation this week about the job safety of Colorado Rockies manager Clint Hurdle. According to FOXSports' Ken Rosenthal, Hurdle has indeed been fired and replaced for the remainder of the season by Jim Tracy.

Hurdle took the team to the World Series in 2007, but the Rockies struggled last year and not much has changed this season. Tracy previously managed the Dodgers and Pirates.

The Broken Record

Any who listens to Mike Francesa on WFAN-AM knows you get a mix of entertainment, information, absurdity, arrogance, knowledge, etc. all rolled into one (no, that's not a weight joke). You also get repetitiveness and repetitiveness and get the idea.

Yesterday afternoon I saw a blog post by the Journal News' Peter Abraham about Francesa discussing Joba to the bullpen...again. This was early in the afternoon. I got into the car close to 5:30 and guess what? He was still talking about harping on it.

And as is his usual style, he shot down differing view points or twisted them so that they really didn't fit the argument.

Case in point- a caller who mentioned that the Yankees should show some patience and let Joba establish himself as a starter. Francesa quickly went into a whole diatribe, something to the effect of, "Haven't you learned by now that the Yankees don't develop young pitchers? This is New York, not some last place team where you can pitch for 5 years and stink".

What does that have to do with leaving Joba in as a starter? Another caller mentioned that despite his struggles this season (we are in total agreement with that), Joba still has a sub-4.00 ERA.

Francesa deflected it by saying (again paraphrasing), "You just agreed that Joba will not have much of an impact as the #5 starter".

So what you are saying Mike, is that if Joba won't have an impact a starter in the playoffs, he shouldn't be a starter in the regular season? Sheer nonsense.

It is much easier to replace bullpen components than it is to get a good young starter. In addition to his ERA, Joba's 9.13 strikeouts per 9 innings is outstanding. Sure, you can use him in the pen come playoff time, if indeed the Yankees get there, but for now he should be taking the ball every 5th game.

And Mike Francesa should stop beating a dead horse already.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Window Shopping

Today we take a look at the NY Mets in our continuing series, "The Trade Winds are Starting to Blow". The Mets are the first BUYER that we'll be delving into. They sit atop the NL East today, a half-game in front of the World Champion/division rival Philadelphia Phillies.

A rash of injuries and ineffective performances have put the Mets into a shopping position. How quickly they pull the trigger, is a completely different story.
Nick Johnson - Mets fans are in love with the former Yankee right now. It's one of the rare times in his career that Johnson isn't on the disabled list. With Carlos Delgado out indefinitely with hip surgery, Johnson would be a great fit. He's hitting .337 with 4 HR and 26 RBI. Imagine how many RBI he could have with a real team around him rather than the 20-games-under-.500 Nationals. He's also a top notch fielder, who could help take away some of David Wright's throwing errors.

Mark DeRosa - Just about on everyone's wish list, DeRosa would be play 1st Base and outfield for the Mets, and occasionally fill in for Wright or 2nd Baseman Luis Castillo.

Bobby Abreu - Abreu's on a one year, $5 million deal with the Angels. At some point, the Angels are going to have to start playing better or fold up the tents. He would be an ideal fit in the Mets outfield.

Jason Marquis, John Garland - The Mets, like everyone else, would like to get Cliff Lee, but don't have the chips to do it. They do need to strengthen their starting rotation, however, and could swing a deal for Marquis, or possibly Garland.

Pedro Martinez - You just get the feeling that this could still be a possibility. The Mets let him walk this past off-season and laughed at the notion of giving Pedro a guaranteed $5 million. He hasn't thrown in a game since this past Winter's WBC, but some team will snatch him up if the price is right., Though we deem this a long shot, we could see Pedro back in Flushing under the right circumstances.

Trenton Thunder Blood Drive

Received this press release from the Thunder earlier today. Great idea.

Team Partners With Community Blood Council of NJ To Offer Prize Pack Worth $1,200 To A Pair Of Lucky Donors

(Trenton, NJ) The Trenton Thunder, Double A affiliate of the New York Yankees, and the Community Blood Council of New Jersey have announced a partnership that features a pair of blood drives at Waterfront Park this summer where lucky donors will win prize packs valued at $1,200 each.
The Community Blood Council "Blood Mobile" will be stationed at Waterfront Park on June 13 and August 8 from 2:00 PM until 7:00 PM. One lucky donor from each drive will win a "Summer Entertainment Prize Pack" that includes Thunder tickets, passes to area amusement parks and restaurant gift cards totaling $1,200 in value.
Prize Pack for June 13: · 2 Half Season Tickets for 2009 (20 games)
· 4 Six Flags Passes
· 4 Sesame Place Passes
· $20 in On the Border Gift Certificates
· $20 in Bird Bucks to Red Robin
· Thunder T-Shirt

Prize Pack for August 8:
· 2 Half Season Tickets for 2010
· 4 Six Flags Passes (good for 2009 only)
· 4 Sesame Place Passes (good for 2009 only)
· $20 in On the Border Gift Certificates
· $20 in Bird Bucks to Red Robin
· Thunder T-Shirt

While the exact odds of winning the prize pack are impossible to determine, the goal of each blood drive is 30 submissions. In addition, all donors will receive a Trenton Thunder coupon good for $5 off a club level seat. Thunder staff, interns and the staff of Food Service America are encouraged to participate in the blood drive, but are not eligible for the prize raffle. The prizes are courtesy of the Trenton Thunder and are non-transferable.
The Thunder take on the Binghamton Mets in a separate admission Double-Header on June 13. The first game begins at 1:05 PM and will feature a Joba Chamberlain Replica Jersey giveaway for the first 1,500 fans ages 5 to 15 thanks to TD Bank. The second game starts at 7:05 PM and will feature post-game fireworks. Fans should note, that the blood drive begins at 2:00 PM that day.
On August 8, the Thunder will take on the Harrisburg Senators (Washington Nationals). There will be post-game fireworks thanks to UTZ Quality Snacks.
Fans are encouraged to contact the Community Blood Council, 609.883.9750, in advance to schedule a time for their donation.
The Community Blood Council of New Jersey, Inc. has been providing blood support in this region for 40 years. They are a non-profit, governed by an all-volunteer Board of Trustees. CBCNJ is licensed as a community blood bank by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services (#0137) and the Food & Drug Administration (#1247).
The Thunder have announced that all kids will eat for free at Waterfront Park all season long. All children with a ticket, ages 12 and under, will receive a voucher upon entering the ballpark good for a free hot dog, bag of potato chips, and a 12 oz. fountain soda at all 71 Thunder home games this season.
The Thunder are the only team in Minor League Baseball history at the Double A Level or below to draw over 400,000 fans for 14 consecutive seasons and have drawn over 6 million in attendance in its 15-year history.

Yankees Grab Share of 1st Place

Burnett Tosses Yankees into 1st Place

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
2 1 0 0 0 3 2 0 1
9 15 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 0
2 5 1

WP - Burnett (3-2) LP - Holland (1-2)

A.J. Burnett wasn’t happy with his performance last night - he lasted only six innings - but Joe Girardi was ecstatic that his second highest paid starter did more than deliver a whipped cream facial. Burnett threw shutout ball and the Yankees moved into a tie for first place with Boston in the AL East after a 9-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

Burnett wasn’t efficient - he threw 118 pitches - but he was effective enough to limit the Rangers to three hits and struck out seven. The four walks he issued got him into trouble, but he always made the big pitch to get out of a jam. He struck out Chris Davis with two aboard in the 4th and repeated the feat in the 6th.

The Yankees rolled out the home run machine early, taking a 2-0 lead in the 1st inning on Mark Teixeira’s 15th home run of the season, and 11th this month. Up 3-0 in the 6th, the Yankees broke the game open. Hideki Matsui belted a solo home run off of rookie Derek Holland, and Kevin Cash drove home a pair of runs with a double for a 6-0 Yankees’ advantage. An inning later, Godzilla struck again, hitting a 2-run shot off of Warner Madrigal that barely cleared the right field fence.

Joe Veras
lost the shutout in the 7th when he gave up a double - one has to wonder if Veras has something on the organization in order to stay in the majors - to Jarrod Saltalamacchia and a 2-run home run to Ian Kinsler. On a more positive note, Chien-Ming Wang finally got back into another game and threw two very effective, scoreless innings. In two appearances, Wang has cut his ERA From 40.50 to 20.45.

Game Notes

Robinson Cano added a solo home run in the 9th inning, his 9th of the year.

Melky Cabrera is expected to be out 5-7 days with a sprained shoulder, but will be re-evaluated by the Yankees team doctor to determine if he might be out longer.

Jorge Posada has caught in back to back extended spring training games and could be activated for Friday’s game in Cleveland.

Dr. James Andrews examined Brian Bruney’s right elbow and found no structural damage. Bruney will work on strengthening the muscles around the elbow.

The Elias Sports Bureau reports that Brett Gardner became only the second major leaguer in the last 50 years, joining Rich Amaral of the ‘98 Seattle Mariners, to get a least 3 hits and 3 stolen bases after coming off the bench in Tuesday night’s game.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Texas Sized Stinker

Rusty Joba and Yankees Falter

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0
3 13 0
2 0 0 1 0 1 2 1 X
7 9 0

WP - Jennings (2-1) LP - Aceves (3-1)

The Texas Rangers may want to send a “thank You” note to the Baltimore OriolesAdam Jones. It was Jones’ line drive that knocked Joba Chamberlain out of his last start after facing only four batters. The rust was apparent last night as Chamberlain threw an ineffective four innings and the Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers 7-3.

Though the Yankees rallied from the 3-0 deficit Chamberlain put them in, Joe Girardi had to go to the bullpen early. Al Aceves had his worst outing of the season; he allowed three runs in two innings and was handed his first loss of the year. But the story of last night’s game was Chamberlain’s inability to throw strikes and the Yankees failure to take advantage of the situations handed to them later in the game.

After waiting out a 2-hour, 24 minute rain delay, Ian Kinsler led off the ball game with a drive to center that hurt the Yankees two-fold. Melky Cabrera couldn’t come up with the catch and crashed into the center field wall. Kinsler ended up with a triple and Cabrera had to leave the game with what was later determined to be a sprained shoulder.

Trouble was temporarily avoided when Alex Rodriguez made a spectacular play to nail Kinsler, who was trying to get back to third base. A-Rod moved to his left to field Michael Young’s grounder. He double pumped, and seeing Kinsler start to move down the line towards home, held on to the ball and raced Kinsler back to third. A-Rod dove and tagged Kinsler out before he could get back to the base safely.

But Chamberlain’s lack of a good fastball put him in 2-2 and 3-2 counts all night. A Nelson Cruz double and a walk to David Murphy loaded the bases. Marlon Byrd chased a pitch out of the strike zone and flicked it into right for a 2-run single. Chamberlain struck out Chris Davis to end the inning and struck out the first two hitters in the 2nd, but the handwriting was on the wall. Chamberlain walked one batter in the 2nd and two more in the third, but escaped the latter jam with a double play ball.

Davis took Chamberlain deep, for the first of his two home runs on the night, in the 4th for a 3-0 Rangers lead. The Yankees left runners in scoring position against Rangers starter Kevin Millwood in each of the first four innings. Mark Teixeira finally broke through with a solo home run in the top of the 5th and the Yankees tied things up with a pair of runs in the 6th.

Brett Gardner
, who replaced Cabrera in the first, singled, stole second base and came home on Hideki Matsui’s double. One batter later, Francisco Cervelli tied the game with a single back through the middle. But the Rangers answered immediately with a run in their half of the sixth against Aceves, who had entered the game in the 5th. The right-hander hadn’t been scored upon in six straight appearances before allowing a run in the series opener on Monday, and he couldn’t work out of trouble last night.

Phil Coke didn’t help Aceves either. He came on to pitch after Kinsler and Young reached on a single and a double, respectively, in the 7th. Josh Hamilton and Murphy brought them home with productive outs for a 6-3 Texas lead. Davis put the icing on the cake when he went deep on Coke for his second long ball of the night.

The Yankees had an opportunity to break the 3-3 tie in the top of the 7th when they loaded the bases with one out. Robinson Cano and Gardner singled, and left-hander C.J. Wilson hit Matsui with a pitch. But Wilson made up for it by getting Nick Swisher to bounce into an innning ending double play.

Game Notes

Mark Teixeira’s home run was his 11th this month and the RBI was his 27th in May.

David Robertson pitched a scoreless inning after being recalled to replace Brian Bruney.

The finale of the series is tonight at 8:05 p.m. ET with A.J. Burnett (2-2, 5.28) facing rookie left-hander Derek Holland (1-1, 4.82), who is making his second major league start. Burnett is 0-2 with five no decisions since winning his first two starts of the year.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Yankees Wallop Rangers

Hughes Fires Blanks at Rangers

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
2 0 4 0 1 3 0 1 0
11 19 0
0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1
1 4 0

WP - Hughes (3-2) LP - Harrison (4-4)

Phil Hughes was on the brink of stardom on May 1, 2007. He had pitched 6.1 innings of no-hit ball, in just his second major league start, against a potent Texas Rangers lineup. The Arlington, TX crowd sat in anticipation, not knowing whether to boo or applaud the effort. Then Hughes tried to get a little extra bend on his curveball as he faced the Rangers’ Mark Teixeira. But, no one cared about the pitch after Hughes grabbed his leg. A pulled hamstring began a two-year run of ineffective performances and injuries.

Yesterday, Hughes returned to the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington and finished the job he started a little over two years ago. Hughes threw eight superb innings against the current Rangers potent lineup, and the Yankees rolled to an 11-1 victory.

It was Hughes’ second consecutive win and his third of the season. His performance was so good that it overshadowed a 5-hit, 4 RBI day by Alex Rodriguez, and garnered him the clubhouse championship wrestling belt handed out to the team’s top performer. He appealed to Joe Girardi to finish the game, but having thrown 101 pitches, Hughes lost the debate. Of those 101 pitches, 65 were for strikes as Hughes’ curveball and fastball dominated the day.

The Yankees gave Hughes immediate offensive support, scoring a pair of runs before a single out was recorded. They busted the game open in the third against Rangers starter Matt Harrison with four more runs. A-Rod, who had singled in a run in the 1st, doubled in another and came home, along with Teixeira on Robinson Cano’s triple. Nick Swisher added an RBI groundout to complete the scoring in the inning, and later drove in another two runs with a single and a sacrifice fly.

Hughes’ only real trouble came in the 2nd inning, when Nelson Cruz led off with a double and Hughes hit Hank Blalock with a pitch. But the promising right-hander struck out Marlon Byrd looking and threw strike-three pitches past Chris Davis and Taylor Teagarden to end the inning. Hughes went on to retire 20 of 23 hitters and lowered his ERA a little over two points to 5.16.

Game Notes

Nelson Cruz homered off of Al Aceves in the 9th inning to break up the shutout.

Alex Rodriguez’ 5-hit game tied a career high. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he joined Ruben Sierra as the only former Texas Ranger to have a 5-hit game as a member of the team and as an opponent.

Mark Teixeira’s big May continued yesterday with a 2 RBI, 3-run scored day. For the month, he’s hitting .330/.404/.736 with 10 HR and 26 RBI in 23 games.

To commemorate Memorial Day, all Major League teams wore red caps with the red, white, and blue insignias. The word blasphemy could be heard throughout the Yankees Universe.

The series continues tonight at 8:05 ET with Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.70) vs. Kevin Millwood (4-4, 3.12). It’s Chamberlain’s first start since he was hit by a line drive on the side of the knee against Baltimore last Thursday.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Phillies Take Series in 11

Phillies Overcome Yankees Rally, 5-4

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 R H E
0 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1
4 11 1
NY Yankees
0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 0
3 13 0

WP - Condrey (4-0) LP - Tomko (0-1)

The Yankees had another dramatic 9th inning rally, but the Philadelphia Phillies got the last laugh and beat the Yankees 5-4 in 11 innings. It looked like the Yankees would pull off another dramatic win when Melky Cabrera singled home the tying run off closer Brad Lidge in the 9th and then put the first two men aboard in the 10th.

But after singles by Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira bounced into a rally killing double play. Chris Condrey intentionally walked Alex Rodriguez and retired Ramiro Pena, who had entered the game in the 9th as a pinch-runner for Robinson Cano, on a fly out to keep the game tied.

Brett Tomko retired the first two Phillies in the 11th, but walked Chase Utley. The second baseman stole second base and came home on catcher Carlos Ruiz’ double to give the Phillies the lead back. Condrey retired the Yankees in order in the 11th to improve to 4-0.

The game had been a pitcher’s duel between aces Cole Hamels and CC Sabathia. The Phillies struck first in the 3rd inning on 2-out RBI hits by Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino. Damon got a run back in the bottom half of the 3rd with an RBI double, but was thrown at home plate, for the second straight game, trying to score on aTeixeira single.

Raul Ibanez
doubled home Victorino for a 3-1 lead in the 6th, but Sabathia stranded him on the base paths. Teixeira answered with a broken bat home run to left in the bottom of the inning to set up the late inning drama.

Cano led off the 9th with a single up the middle and was replaced by Pena, who stole second base and came home on Cabrera’s single. The Melkman stole second base as well, but was stranded when pinch-hitter Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner both grounded out.

Game Notes

After his awful start in Baltimore (4.1 IP 6 ER) on opening day, CC Sabathia is 4-2 with a 3.00 ERA.

Derek Jeter continued his interleague dominance, going 6-15 in the series.

The Yankees had a chance to move into first place in the AL East after Toronto lost their 6th straight. Instead Boston moved into sole possession of first after salvaging the finale of their 3-game series with the Mets.

The Yankees begin a 3-game series with the AL West leading Texas Rangers this afternoon at 2 p.m. ET. Phil Hughes (2-2, 7.06) faces left-hander Matt Harrison (4-3, 4.71). The Rangers have the best record in the AL and the second best in all of baseball.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Melky Delivers Another Walk Off Victory

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 1 0 0 3 0 0 0 0
4 6 0
NY Yankees
0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 3
5 8 0

WP - Veras (3-1) LP - Lidge (0-2)

Joe Girardi Homestand Checklist:

1. Plan 9th inning rally
2. Select player to get a walk off RBI(s)
3. Make sure A.J. Burnett has a fresh supply of whipped cream

Okay, so maybe Joe Girardi doesn’t have a prepared list, but it certainly would seem that way. For the fourth time in eight games of the current nine game homestand, the Yankees won in walk-off fashion on Saturday. The Yankees trailed 4-2 in the 9th and had to face All-Star closer Brad Lidge. But Lidge walked lead off hitter Johnny Damon, who then moved to second base on fielder’s indifference. Lidge struck out Mark Teixeira, but after throwing a number of off-speed pitches to Alex Rodriguez, Lidge left a 3-2 fastball up in the zone. A-Rod jumped all over it it, sending it to right for a game-tying home run.

The Yankees weren’t done either. Robinson Cano singled and quickly stole second base. That left it up to Melky Cabrera, who had two walk-off hits in last weekend’s series against the Minnesota Twins. Lidge again left a pitch up in the zone and Cabrera looped it into right-center field to score Cano and give the Yankees a 5-4 win and another victory celebration. Burnett finished it off with a double whipped cream delivery to the faces of both Cano and Cabrera.

Jose Veras
pitched to one batter in the top of the 9th to pick up his third win of the season. Andy Pettitte threw a solid seven innings, but gave up a pair of home runs, to Raul Ibanez and John Mayberry Jr., to put the Yankees in a 4-1 hole.

Derek Jeter got the Yankees back to within a run in the 6th with a solo home run off of Phillies starter J.A. Happ and the Yankees put the tying run at the plate in the eighth. Brett Gardner reached on a one-out pinch-hit double off Ryan Madson, but Madson, who had already struck out Nick Swisher to start the inning, K’ed pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui and Jeter to end the inning.

But it didn’t matter, because the Yankees had a checklist to handle the 9th inning.

Game Notes

John Mayberry Jr.’s
home run was the first of his major league career and it only took him two at-bats to do it. His father, former Royals’ All-Star and one time Yankee, John Mayberry Sr. was in attendance. FOX Sports made a major snafu, however, when for several innings they showed an African-American man in a Phillies cap with a graphic stating that it was the senior Mayberry. It turned out not to be him at all, causing Joe Buck to apologize for the embarrassment. FOX’s Ken Rosenthal later located the real Mayberry Sr. and conducted a brief interview.

Alex Rodriguez‘ home run was career #560, putting him three behind Reggie Jackson for 11th place. He’s just seven home runs behind Don Mattingly for 9th place on the Yankees career home run list.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the win was the 5th walk-off in May, the first time the Yankees had achieved the feat in a single month since September, 1988. The last time the Yankees had four walks-offs in one homestand was 1963. And finally, Yankee Stadium is the first major league park to have a home run hit in 22 consecutive games.

Nick Swisher’s play in May has reinforced the need for the healthy return of Xavier Nady. Swisher is hitting just .117 this month and has struck out 24 times in 60 at-bats.

Brad Lidge has three blown saves after having none last year.

Pitching duels don’t always work out in the actual games, but today’s pairing is fantastic on paper. The Phillies will send their ace, Cole Hamels (2-2, 4.95), against the Yankees ace, CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.43).

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Phillies End Yankees Streak

Phillies Phinish Yankees Streak

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
1 2 0 0 2 0 1 1 0
7 14 1
NY Yankees
0 0 0 0 0 1 0 2 0
3 8 0

WP - Myers (4-2) LP - Burnett (2-2)

Home Run Derby has begun in the Bronx. The Philadelphia Phillies slugged four home runs last night and beat the Yankees 7-3 in the first of a three game interleague series. The Yankees hit three home runs of their own, but the Phillies jumped on starter and loser A.J. Burnett early and often and then abused Chien-Ming Wang as well. The loss snapped the Yankees’ season-high nine game winning streak.

Jimmy Rollins
set the tone literally from the very first pitch, hitting a solo home run to right for a 1-0 lead. Burnett had command issues all night and it manifested itself immediately when he hit Chase Utley following Rollins’ home run. Raul Ibanez followed with a single, but Burnett struck out Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth before Mark Teixeira robbed Shane Victorino of an RBI single to end the inning.

The Yankees had a chance to tie things right up against Brett Myers in their half of the first. With Johnny Damon on first base, Alex Rodriguez roped a 2-out double into the left field corner. Third base coach Rob Thomson waved Damon home, but the Phillies made a perfect relay throw, and Damon was dead at the plate on Rollins’ strike to home.

Carlos Ruiz
hit his first home run of the year, with a man aboard, to give the Phillies a 3-0 lead in the 2nd inning and Werth blasted a long 2-run shot of his own in the 5th to break the game open.

A-Rod finally got the Yankees on the board in the 6th inning with his sixth home run of the year, but Ibanez greeted Wang with his 16th home run of the season in the 7th. Ibanez didn’t hit his 16th last year until August.

Derek Jeter and Teixeira added solo home runs for the Yankees in the 8th (Teixeira’s was one of the highest and deepest in the new park), but it was way too little too late.

Game Notes

Brett Myers
retaliated for Chase Utley by throwing behind Derek Jeter in the bottom of the 1st. Both teams were warned and there were no further incidents.

Chien-Ming Wang wasn’t consistent with his sinker last night, according to pitching coach Dave Eiland. But Eiland was happy with the improvement Wang showed. You could tell, however, that the Yankees would have preferred it if Wang had kept pitching in Scranton until he was fully ready to return to the majors.

Derek Jeter
has reached base safely in 45 consecutive interleague games, tying the major league record jointly held by Craig Biggio and Barry Bonds.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, last night’s game marked the third time this season that seven or more home runs were hit in a single game at the new Stadium. It happened only one time (2005) in the old Stadium when it occurred on four separate occasions.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Bruney Could be Headed Back to DL

Peter Abraham reported that Brian Bruney came to Joe Girardi yesterday evening with pain in his right elbow. An MRI was done and came back clean, but Bruney will be out tonight and probably tomorrow.

PeteAbe also further clarified why Wang was brought up instead of a reliever. No Scranton reliever was available to give the Yankees any length if needed, so it fell to Wang.

Wang Headed to the Bronx

Mark Feinsand of the NY Daily News reported earlier that Chien-Ming Wang will be at Yankee Stadium tonight and available to Joe Girardi out of the bullpen. With Joba Chamberlain knocked out by injury in the first inning last night, the bullpen was used in all nine innings. Al Aceves and Jonathan Albaladejo are likely not available this evening.

Wang was scheduled to start for Scranton on Sunday before Chamberlain's injury. Our guess is that Albaladejo is sent to Triple-A to make room for Wang.

Glove Potion #9

Nine is Fine

A collective groan was heard from the Yankee Stadium crowd in the first inning last night when Baltimore’s Adam Jones lined a ball off of the side of Joba Chamberlain’s knee, forcing the Yankees starter from the game after just four batters. But Al Aceves restored order, and the Yankees offense pounded Orioles pitching for the third straight day in a 7-4 victory. The win extended the Yankees’ winning streak to 9 games, their longest streak since June 5-14, 2007.

Chamberlain retired lead-off hitter Brian Roberts before taking Jones’ line drive to the side of his right knee. He was able to chase down the baseball and throw out Jones before doubling over in pain. After several minutes of being checked out by trainer Gene Monahan and Joe Girardi, Chamberlain threw some warm ups and stayed in the game. But after he allowed back-to-back singles to Nick Markakis and Aubrey Huff, Girardi removed Chamberlain from the game. X-Rays of the knee were negative and Chamberlain said afterward that he expected to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.

Just as they did in the previous two games of the series, the Yankees went right to work in the first inning. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano, and Mark Teixeira opened the at-bat with consecutive doubles off O’s starter Adam Eaton for a quick 2-0 lead. Eaton retired Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui, but walked Nick Swisher to put two runners aboard. Melky Cabrera brought them both home with the Yankees’ fourth double of the inning, a gapper to left-center field. Cabrera did Eaton a favor by getting thrown out on the base paths to end the inning.

Cano gave Aceves more room to work with in the 2nd, when he hit a laser line drive home run to right for a 6-0 Yankees advantage. Aceves gave the Yankees 3.1 scoreless innings to pick up his third win in the last five days. There would be no late, put-away inning this time, however, as the Yankees had done the last two nights. Instead, reliever Jonathan Albaladejo made a game of it. Roberts greeted him in the 5th with a solo home run. Then Ty Wigginton drove home a pair of runs with a 6th inning double, and Markakis took him deep for a solo shot in the 7th. In between, Matsui added a solo home run in the 5th inning to give the Yankees a franchise-record eight multiple home run games in a row.

The “good” Jose Veras showed up for a change and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings. He ran into a two-on, two-out jam in the 8th, but retired Roberts on a fly-out to end the inning. Then it was Mariano Rivera time, and the Orioles went down in order for Rivera’s 9th save of the season, and #491 all time.

Game Notes

All of the blather before the game about the possibility of Joba Chamberlain throwing at Aubrey Huff quickly went out the window when Chamberlain was hit by Adam Jones’ line drive. Huff was the last batter Chamberlain faced and singled to right. Ironically, Mariano Rivera struck out Huff to end the game. Maybe Joba gave a fist pump from wherever he was at the time.

Johnny Damon’s back was sore after attempting to make a catch on Wednesday, so Girardi gave him the night off. Brett Gardner was back in center field after missing two games with a sore shoulder.

The World Champion Philadelphia Phillies come to town tonight for the start of a three game series. A barrage of home runs from the two teams is expected. A.J. Burnett (2-1, 5.02) will look for his first win in a month when he faces Brett Myers (3-2, 4.50) this evening at 7:05 ET.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Huff, Baez on Team's Radars

Today we take a look at the Baltimore Orioles in our continuing series, "The Trade Winds are Starting to Blow". The O's are another team with "SELLER" stamped all over them. The O's got off to a pretty good start this season, but everyone knew ahead of time they would have no chance in a division as competitive as the AL East.
Aubrey Huff - The Orioles first baseman is off to a good start (7 HR 34 RBI .266/.339/.474) in the final year of his current contract. This is on the heels of his 32 HR, 108 RBI, .912 OPS season in 2008.

With Carlos Delgado felled by hip surgery, the Mets would currently be the prime candidate to go after Huff.

Danys Baez - Forget his bad outing against the Yankees last night, Baez may be pitching better than he ever has. Everyone always need relief help.

Melvin Mora - The Orioles hold an option for 2010 with a $1 million buyout. It's possible the O's will want to move in a new direction with Mora having recently turned 37. He matched his career high in RBI last season and had his second best home run total. Mora's driven in 15 runs in 25 games this season, but has posted a meek .689 OPS.

The Angels are said to be looking for a third baseman and the Mariners could be too if they decide to move Adrian Beltre.

Thunder Lose in Perfect Game

Akron 3 8 0
Trenton 0 0 2

WP- Jeanmar Gomez (4-0)
LP- Zach McAllister (2-2)
Time- 2:12
Att- 6,344

(Trenton, NJ)- Akron RHP Jeanmar Gomez pitched the first-ever nine-inning perfect game in the history of Waterfront Park to lead the Aeros past Trenton 3-0 on Thursday afternoon at Waterfront Park. No Thunder pitcher, or an opposing pitcher, had ever pitched a nine-inning perfect game in Trenton's franchise history.

Gomez (4-0) struck out eight, including five of the final eight batters that he faced. Trenton Catcher Jose Gil was robbed of a base hit by Akron Third baseman Jared Geodert on a line drive down the third base line in the third inning. Akron Left fielder Matt McBride made a diving catch on a sinking line drive off the bat of Trenton First baseman Kevin Smith to lead off the ninth inning. The final out was recorded on a fly out by Second baseman Justin Snyder. Gomez has now allowed just one run in 29 innings for Akron over four starts. The last no-hitter at Waterfront Park was tossed by former Thunder RHP Brett Smith on July 4th, 2007. Smith tossed a rain-shortened five-inning no-hitter in a 10-0 Trenton win over Altoona.

Akron (29-9) scored two runs in the third inning to take a 2-0 lead. Shortstop Carlos Rivero led off the inning with a single against Trenton Starting Pitcher Zach McAllister (2-2). Rivero advanced to third base on a double by First baseman Beau Mills. Designated Hitter Carlos Santana followed with a sacrifice fly RBI to make it 1-0. With two outs in the frame, Left fielder Matt McBride reached on an error by Trenton Third baseman Marcos Vechionacci allowing Mills to score from third base. The Aeros tacked on a run in the seventh inning on an RBI single by Rivero to increase the lead to 3-0.

McAllister (2-2) scattered six hits and two runs (one earned) over six innings. He struck out five and walked one. Thunder Reliever Michael Dunn came on for McAllister and allowed one run over three innings.

Trenton starts a seven-game road trip on Friday night at New Hampshire. The Thunder play the first of four games on the road trip against the Fisher Cats (Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays). RHP Ivan Nova (2-2, 4.13) will start for the Thunder against New Hampshire RHP Rey Gonzalez (2-1, 1.84) Game time is slated for 7:05 p.m on Friday night from Stadium.


Breaking News: White Sox-Pads Agree to Peavy Deal

The Chicago White Sox and San Diego Padres have agreed on the terms to a deal that would send Jake Peavy from the west coast to the city of big shoulders. Now it's up to Peavy to decide if he'll go along with it.

The deal is said to center around top White Sox prospects Clayton Richard and Aaron Poreda, both left-handed pitchers.

Good Times Have Returned to the Bronx

Good Time Yankees Win 8th Straight

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
0 0 0 2 1 0 0 0 1
4 10 1
NY Yankees
1 3 1 0 0 0 0 6 X
11 9 0

WP - Hughes (2-2) SV - Rivera (8) LP - Guthrie (3-4)

Winning and fun have returned to the Bronx. After April’s doom and gloom, weather included, good baseball, and a warmer climate have become the norm at Yankee Stadium. You can almost hear Joe Girardi singing, “Happy Days are Here Again“. Last night the good times kept rolling as the Yankees, for the second straight night, blew open a close game late and beat the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3. The win was the Yankees eighth in a row and moved them to within 2.5 games of first place Toronto Blue Jays.

Prior to the game, the Yankees held their first kangaroo court in 14 years. Mariano Rivera served as judge, with Derek Jeter, A.J. Burnett, and Johnny Damon serving as the jury. CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte were among those hit hardest with fines by their teammates. Once on the field, the Yankees honored Polly Tompkins, a breast cancer victim/fighter, who threw out the first ball. She joked with Jeter, even asking for his phone number, and mingled in the stands with Nick Swisher and Alex Rodriguez.

Then it was game time and the Yankees were all business. Mark Teixeira had given the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the first with an RBI double, but it was the second inning fireworks that will be remembered. Swisher, Robinson Cano, and Melky Cabrera went back-to-back-to-back with solo home runs off Jeremy Guthrie for a 4-0 Yankees lead. It was the first time three Yankees had accomplished the feat in 25 years, when Oscar Gamble, Steve Kemp, and Toby Harrah (those last two names bring back memories, and they’re not good ones) turned the trick. Cano added to the lead with an RBI single an inning later to give starter Phil Hughes some room to work with.

Hughes’ performance was his best since beating the Detroit Tigers in his first start of the year. Though 3 earned runs in 5 innings (5.40 ERA) is nothing to write home about, Hughes was better than those numbers indicate. His fastball was lively and his breaking pitches danced as he rang up a career high 9 strikeouts.

Hughes’ best moment came in the 3rd inning, when the Orioles put runners on the corners with no one out. He struck out Adam Jones for the first out, then K’ed Nick Markakis. On the play, catcher Kevin Cash threw out Brian Roberts trying to steal second base to end the inning.

The O’s chipped away at the lead on a 2-run home run by Ty Wiggington in the 4th and a solo shot by Jones in the 5th, and Guthrie kept his team in the game by facing the minimum number of batters from the 4th through the 7th innings. But manager Dave Trembley had to go to the bullpen in the 8th and the Yankees offense put the game away.

Danys Baez has been one of the hottest relievers in baseball, but he walked A-Rod and Swisher, sandwiched around a single by Hideki Matsui, to load the bases with one out. Cano’s third RBI hit of the night sent Baez packing, but the Yankees jumped all over Jamie Walker. Cabrera, Cash, Jeter, and Damon combined for 5 RBI before Teixeira earned the dubious distinction of making the first and third outs in the inning.

When the game ended, Tompkins and a friend returned to the field and got hugs from Swisher and Girardi, who presented the lineup card to her. It was a great day and night in the Bronx.

Game Notes

Mariano Rivera got the final out in the 8th inning with the game still on the line. Since he was already warmed up and only threw a few pitches in the 8th, Girardi let him pitch the 9th as well. The save was the 490th of Mo’s career.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, by hitting four home runs in four games, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez became the first Yankees teammates to do so since Reggie Jackson and Bucky Dent in 1977. You certainly would have thought it would have been Graig Nettles or Chris Chambliss in that situation rather than Dent.

There’s already been much chatter about tonight’s series finale between the Yankees and O’s. It’s the first time Joba Chamberlain has faced Baltimore since Aubrey Huff mocked his fist pump after homering off the Yankees’ young right-hander on May 10. There’s been speculation that Chamberlain will throw at Huff tonight in retaliation. The fact that both A-Rod and Mark Teixeira were hit by pitches last night, added more fuel to the fire.

Adam Eaton, who beat the Yankees on May 9, goes tonight for Baltimore.

Shot to the Heart and You're to Blame give dunking a bad name... Apologies to Bon Jovi. Though our beloved Celtics have been eliminated from the NBA Playoffs, we're still keeping an eye on things. We are pulling for the Nuggets to beat the hated Lakers in the west. Meanwhile, based on the first game, it looks like it will be a very entertaining series between the Cavs and Magic.

Dwight Howard set the tone with the Magics' first points of the night. It knocked out the 24-second clock. In case you missed it, here it is.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Trade Winds are Staring to Blow

With Memorial Day Weekend fast approaching, teams are going to start deciding whether to be buyers and/or sellers this year. It's still early, but teams that are off to rocky starts could look to bail, while teams out in front will look to seal up any leaks.

Cleveland Indians - SELLER

We never claimed to be excellent prognosticators, but we right on the money this year concerning the Cleveland Indians. After 39 games, the Indians sit in the cellar of the AL Central, 11 games under .500 and 7.5 games behind first place Detroit. Here are three players we think the Indians will or might move.
Cliff Lee - Last year's AL Cy Young winner got hammered in his first two starts, but has posted a 1.43 ERA in his six starts since. Lee's in the last year of a 3-yr deal, though the club holds an $8 million option (what a bargain) for next season. At just 27 years old, Lee could bring back a number of valuable players should the Indians decide to deal him.

Mark DeRosa - Though 33 and in the last year of a deal, teams will be lining up to try to acquire DeRosa's services. He can play three of the four infield positions, as well as the corner outfield spots in a pinch. DeRosa had 21 home runs, 30 doubles, and 87 RBI for the Cubs last season. He's not hitting much this year, but he's still second on the team in RBI.

SI's Jon Heyman reported today that the Indians are fielding offers for DeRosa.

Kerry Wood - The Indians gave their new free agent closer a 3-yr deal this past off-season, but that doesn't mean they wouldn't be willing to move him in later in the season. Teams are constantly in need of bullpen help and teams could either use him to close (Texas) or set up (Yankees).