Saturday, May 25, 2013
The Yankees have excelled at playing with a short-handed roster this season, but there was a belief they were about to get most of their big stars back in the picture. Instead, there’s a new problem to handle.
Curtis Granderson suffered a left hand fracture and will miss a minimum of four weeks, a loss that soured the celebratory mood of the Yankees’ 9-4 victory over the Rays on Friday night at Tropicana Field.
“I think our team has had a lot of practice at it this year, so they’re prepared for this, unfortunately,” manager Joe Girardi said. “These guys know how to deal with it. They know you have to come out and play every day.”
The Yankees have had 13 players on the disabled list this season, and Granderson will be back on the shelf by the time the club takes the field on Saturday afternoon. Robinson Cano said that even though the Yankees are in first place, they’d still like to feel whole again at some point.
“This is something that I don’t think that you’re ever going to be used to,” Cano said. “The last thing you want is to see your teammates go down, especially a guy like Grandy. He worked back here, missed Spring Training, and then to get hurt like that—you just feel bad.”
The Yankees survived another late injury scare as starter David Phelps, pitching a career-high 7 2/3 innings, hung a curveball and was smoked by a Ben Zobrist line drive on his 98th and final pitch of the game.
It really isn’t even funny anymore (okay, I’ll admit, it is still a little funny in the sort of “Seriously? SERIOUSLY?” way). Thank goodness that David Phelps was just bruised. He’ll likely make his next start. Granderson, meanwhile, will be out for at least four weeks. The local community must have built a Granderson voodoo doll to keep Ben Francisco on the team. Can anyone believe that Ben Francisco is seriously going to make it into June (and possibly July) as a Yankee? I would imagine that there would at least be some consideration now with giving Mustelier a chance at some point with Francisco’s roster spot, now that the Yankees know that they’ll need another outfielder for another month. Or perhaps a more fungible player like Thomas Neal? Neal, by the way, is donating $20 for every hit to Oklahoma relief (until the All-Star Break). That’s a big gesture for a guy not making a ton of money.
As for tonight, the offense was on fire and Phelps picked a typical Phelpsian start (not great but good enough).
Tomorrow is Vidal Nuno against Matt Moore. Well, that’s not good.
Update(SG): I had to add this tidbit because it’s absolutely amazing. Courtesy of Chad Jennings at Lohud:
Discussing a possible call-up postgame, Girardi actually forgot that Ben Francisco is on the roster (hard to blame him). Girardi mentioned having only three outfielders and being willing to use Jayson Nix in the outfield if necessary. Reminded of Francisco, Girardi reversed course. “Oh yeah, Francisco,” he said. “Four (outfielders). So disregard what I said. I don’t know what we’ll do. We have so many roster issues, I’m not sure what we’re going to do.”
Anyway, get well soon Grandy.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
BALTIMORE—Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda was hit hard and forced to leave early with a bruised right calf and the Yankees never recovered, suffering a 6-3 defeat to the Orioles on Wednesday at Camden Yards.
Kuroda was charged with five runs in two-plus innings after being struck by a Manny Machado liner in the second. He recovered to finish the frame and began the third, but manager Joe Girardi lifted him after he surrendered two hits.
Rookie reliever Preston Claiborne then gave up a three-run homer to Matt Wieters, the first runs Claiborne has allowed in his brief Major League career.
Kuroda, who had been the Yankees’ most effective starter going into the evening, also served up homers to Nick Markakis and Chris Davis—Davis’ American League-leading 14th—among the eight hits he allowed.
The offense did not assemble much of an attack against Orioles starter Jason Hammel, who held the Yankees to two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Annoying way to end an annoying series, but it sounds like Kuroda’s injury is not serious so that’s good.
Monday, May 20, 2013
BALTIMORE—Travis Hafner’s ninth-inning homer tied the game and Vernon Wells’ ground-rule double provided the lead an inning later, powering the Yankees to a 6-4 victory over the Orioles on Monday at Camden Yards.
Hafner’s opposite-field homer, his eighth, came as Jim Johnson blew his third consecutive save opportunity for Baltimore. Ichiro Suzuki opened the 10th with a double off Pedro Strop and scored as Wells delivered the go-ahead blow to left-field. Hafner added an RBI single to give the Yanks a two-run cushion.
David Robertson picked up the win and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless home half of the 10th for his 17th save in as many chances. That put an end to a night of lead changes that saw the Yankees place a late advantage in CC Sabathia’s back pocket before the lefty stumbled in the seventh inning.
Lyle Overbay’s solo home run in the top of the seventh off left-hander Troy Patton boosted New York to a one-run advantage, but Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy answered with run-scoring doubles to chase Sabathia in the home half of the inning.
Thanks to the late rallies, the Yankees remained 19-0 in games in which they have scored first. Sabathia allowed four runs and 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings and is winless in his last four starts.
CC didn’t look great again, but the bullpen was nails, like they’ve been just about all season. The Yankees’ offense hasn’t hit that well overall, but they’ve managed to get their hits in more meaningful situations and they did that again tonight.
This is either:
a) The worst good team in baseball
b) The best bad team in baseball
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
NEW YORK—Raul Ibanez definitely hasn’t forgotten how friendly Yankee Stadium’s dimensions can be.
Last year’s postseason hero belted a grand slam into the right-field bullpen and then served an opposite-field two-run homer over the left-field wall, leading the Mariners to a 12-2 trouncing of the Yankees in the Bronx on Wednesday.
The early portion of the display came at the expense of former teammate Phil Hughes, who was battered for a season-high seven runs and could not make it out of the first inning.
Seattle sent 11 men to the plate in the first inning, 10 of them against Hughes, who allowed six hits and two walks in a 17-minute appearance before being removed from the shortest start of his big league career.
There have been just seven other starters in Yankees history to complete two-thirds of an inning or less while allowing seven or more runs; Orlando Hernandez was the most recent, permitting nine runs in two-thirds of an inning on June 18, 2000, against the White Sox.
So, about that Hughes extension…
It normally takes Seattle a week to score 12 runs.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
NEW YORK—The Yankees are deeper than they were on Monday, and they haven’t lost any of their trademark resilience. New York welcomed Curtis Granderson back to the fold against Seattle on Tuesday, and then it employed a patient wait-and-see approach against Felix Hernandez.
The Yankees couldn’t solve Seattle’s ace—a common cause celebre among American League teams—but they took advantage of his early exit. Hernandez left with a two-run lead after six innings, and the Yankees used a key seventh-inning rally to earn a 4-3 victory over the Mariners.
Remember how annoying it was last year when the Orioles were winning all those one run games?
Monday, May 13, 2013
CLEVELAND—The Yankees’ pantheon of starting pitchers is chock full of legends such as Whitey Ford, Roger Clemens and Ron Guidry.
At this juncture, David Phelps and Vidal Nuno aren’t legends. For the time being, though, their Yankees teammates should treat them as such.
The fill-in starters provided New York with quality efforts to help the battered, bruised and worn—yet surging—Yankees to a split of Monday’s doubleheader in Cleveland. Nuno delivered five stellar innings to guide the Yankees to a 7-0 win in the second tilt after New York dropped the opener, 1-0, despite 6 2/3 effective frames from Phelps.
I’m very happy with a split of the doubleheader, especially coming off an already successful road trip. And really, the Yankees swept this doubleheader Pythagoreanally which is the more important consideration.
David Phelps deserved better in the first game, but he continues to make his case for a permanent spot in the rotation. Vidal Nuno was effective for five scoreless innings, which I’m sure wasn’t easy given the fact that he hasn’t seem game action in weeks.
Adam Warren was also outstanding to close out the second game, and he’s been a revelation so far in the pen.
It was also cool to see Corban Joseph get his first MLB hit. Joseph looked pretty good defensively at 1B in the first game. Not quite so good at 2B in the second.
A 6-2 road trip with the roster this team has right now is amazing. I keep waiting for the bubble to burst, but I hope I keep waiting.
Sunday, May 12, 2013
KANSAS CITY—Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells hit back-to-back homers, and Hiroki Kuroda pitched into the eighth inning as the Yankees won their fifth straight contest on Sunday, defeating the Royals, 4-2, at Kauffman Stadium.
Kuroda picked up his third victory in his last four outings, and Cano and Wells teamed for the damage against Royals starter Ervin Santana, who permitted four runs in 6 1/3 innings.
Cano blasted a two-run shot over the right-field bullpen—using a pink Mother’s Day bat—in the third inning, his team-leading 10th of the season, and Wells followed with his ninth home run.
Wells tacked on a fifth-inning RBI single to support Kuroda, who limited Kansas City to two runs in his effort as the Yankees completed the three-game sweep.
I didn’t get to see any of the games in this series but yay sweep.
Saturday, May 11, 2013
KANSAS CITY—Andy Pettitte recaptured the control of his cutter and Vernon Wells gave his team the lead with a two-run homer as the Yankees defeated the Royals, 3-2, on Saturday night at Kauffman Stadium.
Pettitte had struggled in his previous two outings as he searched to command a pitch that is usually in his back pocket, and as he struck out seven Royals in a strong performance, the veteran left-hander seemed to have figured out what he had been missing.
David Robertson pitched a scoreless eighth inning to set up Mariano Rivera for his 14th save in as many opportunities this season. It marked the 70th victory that Rivera has saved for Pettitte, further extending the all-time Major League record for win-save combinations between any two pitchers.
New York won its fourth straight game as it scratched just enough against Kansas City’s James Shields, who allowed three runs (two earned) and six hits in eight innings of work.
Wells gave the Yankees the lead in the fifth inning with his eighth home run of the season, a shot into the left-field bullpen with Chris Stewart aboard.
i’ll admit that Pettitte was starting to concern me so it was nice to see him pitch well tonight.
I am still not sure how this team is in first place all by their lonesome, but there they are for at least one night.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
DENVER—With so many frontline players on the disabled list, run production has become very iffy for the Yankees. Their pitching has not just sustained them but has enabled them to thrive.
That scenario unfolded again Thursday afternoon as the Yankees beat the Rockies, 3-1, in a game where a rain delay of one hour, 59 minutes caused starters CC Sabathia and Jeff Francis to depart after the fourth inning.
Victory in the rubber game of this low-scoring series—the Yankees lost, 2-0, on Tuesday and won, 3-2, on Wednesday—resulted from the efforts of Sabathia and five relievers along with just enough offense.
Mariano Rivera capped the bullpen’s five scoreless innings by retiring the side in the ninth for his 13th save in as many chances. That is his second longest streak of consecutive saves to begin a season. He converted his first 28 save opportunities in 2008.
The Yankees’ pitching was outstanding in this series, in a ballpark that’s tough to pitch in against a team that’s hit very well this year. And that combined with just enough offense made for a nice series win, particularly when you factor in the fact that Colorado threw two lefties against them .
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
DENVER—It was a long leap, and it was just enough for Brennan Boesch and the Yankees. They scored a run in the ninth to beat the Rockies, 3-2, on Wednesday night, their bases-loaded, no-out situation netting the winning run.
The Yankees, who broke a two-game losing streak and have yet to lose three games in a row, have scored just 13 runs in their past five games. Left fielder Vernon Wells hit a two-run homer in the first and, playing third base in the bottom of the ninth, he speared a grounder for the second out. Wells led off the ninth with an infield single, grounding a ball deep in the hole that shortstop Jonathan Herrera caught and made a jump-throw that was off the mark and Wells easily beat.
Wells broke for second on a 2-1 pitch and appeared to be out, but Herrera was unable to hold catcher Wilin Rosario’s throw as he tried to tag the sliding Wells. After Ichiro Suzuki’s sacrifice, the Rockies drew their infield in. Rafael Betancourt pitched out with a 2-0 count, but there was no squeeze play on. Betancourt then intentionally threw ball four to load the bases for pinch-hitter Travis Hafner and struck him out.
Pinch-hitter Boesch hit a grounder that third baseman Nolan Arenado grabbed with a sprawling stop to his left, but could not throw him out as the go-ahead run scored.
Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth for his 12th save in his first appearance at Coors Field.
Two-run homers by Wells in the first and the Rockies’ Todd Helton in the second were all the scoring until the ninth.
This had weird game written all over it when the lineup showed David Phelps batting eighth but it got even weirder later when Vernon Wells was playing 3B in the ninth inning of a one run game. Wells has never played an inning anywhere other than the outfield in his professional career, but he handled his one chance flawlessly and that was good enough to help the Yankees pull off a much-needed win.
Of course the Yankees don’t win if Wells doesn’t drive in the first two runs of the game with a homer and then score the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth. They also don’t win if David Phelps and the bullpen don’t pitch as well as they did. You have to figure Phelps has earned at least one more start, right?
The last few innings were tense, but this was a really nice win. The Yankee lineup is terrible right now, but the pitching is keeping them in games and hopefully that can last for a bit longer.
Incidentally, tonight was the first time Rivera ever pitched at Coors.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
DENVER—Yankees manager Joe Girardi played for the Rockies in 1995, the year Coors Field opened. Before Tuesday night’s 2-0 loss, he recalled an abundance of 11-10 games that have become far less frequent since a humidor was installed in 2002.
Girardi cited the Rockies’ 3.86 ERA at home entering Tuesday—virtually identical to their 3.88 road ERA—as proof that Coors Field now plays differently. Hours later, Girardi had hard proof as the Rockies took the series opener.
The humidor notwithstanding, a taut pitchers’ duel is still a rarity here. But Hiroki Kuroda and Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa matched zeros in a steady rain that was hard at times until Carlos Gonzalez hit a two-run homer in the sixth.
Kuroda, who worked seven innings, had allowed two homers in 36 innings through his first six starts of the season. He yielded two hits and had retired nine straight batters before Josh Rutledge singled with two outs in the sixth. Gonzalez followed with his seventh home run, driving Kuroda’s 3-2 fastball into the Rockies’ bullpen in right-center. Michael Cuddyer and Todd Helton followed with singles, but Nolan Arenado lined out to right to end the inning.
This game could have gone 18 innings and the Yankees would not have scored. The lineup’s weakness is really exposed without Travis Hafner in there, but luckily there are only 5 more stupid National League games left on this trip.
Sunday, May 5, 2013
NEW YORK—Lyle Overbay’s two-out two-run single in the sixth got a struggling Andy Pettitte off the hook Sunday, but Josh Donaldson’s one-out solo homer to left field off reliever Boone Logan in the eighth sent the Yankees to a 5-4 defeat which gave Oakland the rubber match of the three-game series.
Pettitte, who had given up seven runs to Houston in his previous start, surrendered home runs Sunday to Luke Montz and Yoenis Cespedes. He was relieved successfully by Preston Claiborne, who pitched two spotless innings in his Major League debut before Donaldson connected into the second deck off Logan.
The Yankees threatened in the bottom of the eighth when Travis Hafner’s bloop fell just fair in left and Ichiro Suzuki’s grounder barely found the hole on the right side for a single. But reliever Ryan Cook blew a fastball by Jayson Nix and retired Overbay on a fly ball just short of the right-center-field warning track to end the threat.
It would have been nice to take this one and finish off an 8-2 home stand but the Yankees couldn’t quite pull it off. If David Robertson was available today I think the Yankees probably end up winning, but I guess it’s silly to think that the Yankees would have an uninjured player.
It would also have been nice if Jayson Nix wasn’t batting sixth today
The A’s are a good team, so I’m less annoyed about them losing this series than I am that they didn’t sweep the Astros. Day off tomorrow and then on to Colorado for the foolishness known as interleague play. Colorado has been loads better than I expected them to be and that park presents a unique challenge so it should be an interesting set of exhibition games.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
NEW YORK—Lyle Overbay’s smart baserunning on a double-play ball gave the Yankees the lead, and they held on to make it stand up as the difference in a 5-4 victory over the Astros on Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium.
Leading from first base with one out in the sixth inning, Overbay hesitated as second baseman Jose Altuve fielded Ichiro Suzuki’s ground ball, running at Overbay briefly before throwing to first base for the out.
Overbay was tagged out at second base on the unconventional twin killing, but he stayed alive on the basepaths long enough for Eduardo Nunez to touch home plate with the deciding run as the Yanks were victorious for the seventh time in nine games.
Boone Logan picked up the victory in relief of Yankees starter David Phelps, while Robinson Cano and Ben Francisco hit solo homers to lead the charge against Astros starter Erik Bedard, who allowed four runs in four innings.
Cano’s third-inning blast was his team-leading eighth and the 185th of his career, tying Paul O’Neill for 17th place on the Yankees’ all-time list.
Ben Francisco finally became a True Yankee™ tonight.
Phelps looked great aside from the fourth, but he was really bad in that frame. The Yankees stranded something like 25* runners tonight but managed to score the five runs they needed to salvage the series.
Two out of three against probably the worst team in baseball at home isn’t all that impressive to me. It’s even less impressive when you realize that the Astros actually won the Pythagenpat version of this series 1.9-1.1.
But ugly real wins still count as wins, fortunately. So yay for that.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
NEW YORK—The box score doesn’t tell the whole story for Hiroki Kuroda, who seemed to be in danger in each of the first three innings, then figured out a way to cruise for the rest of his night.
The veteran right-hander may have flailed early as he searched for the command of his stuff, but he finished with seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball to help the Yankees defeat the Astros, 7-4, on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Astros had their chances early but stranded seven men against Kuroda through the first three innings, which required 67 pitches. Kuroda righted himself with a six-pitch fourth inning and finished with a season-high eight strikeouts in a 108-pitch effort, walking four.
Travis Hafner drove in two of the Yankees’ four runs against Astros starter Phil Humber, who permitted nine hits in a 94-pitch outing that featured four wild pitches as well as two walks and two strikeouts.
Hafner drove home Brett Gardner with a first-inning RBI single, a sinking liner to left field that Brandon Barnes trapped on a dive, then knocked in Ichiro Suzuki with a run-scoring hit up the middle in the third inning. Hafner’s third and final RBI single came in the bottom of the eighth.
Kuroda looked awful over the first three innings but settled down nicely and it was nice to see Ichiro and Nun-E showing some signs of life. With Curtis Granderson working his way back, Ichiro may be playing for his job.
Monday, April 29, 2013
NEW YORK—Andy Pettitte was roughed up for seven runs and knocked out in the fifth inning as the Astros snapped the Yankees’ four-game winning streak, posting a 9-1 victory on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
Houston’s first game facing the Yankees as an American League opponent went into the books, as Pettitte allowed seven or more runs in a start for the first time since 2008, finding few answers as he surrendered 10 hits to his former club.
The Astros’ attack was paced by catcher Carlos Corporan’s career-high four hits. Brandon Barnes also drove in three runs, and Houston batted around in a four-run fifth inning, sending Pettitte to the showers.
It was clear that Pettitte didn’t have his good stuff from the beginning. The veteran lefty allowed three runs in the first, with Carlos Pena and Corporan collecting RBIs, and Barnes added a two-run double in the fourth inning.
After Ronny Cedeno roped Pettitte’s 91st and final pitch off the third-base bag for a fluke double, Corporan greeted reliever Adam Warren with a two-run homer into the right-field seats. Warren allowed two runs and three hits in 1 2/3 innings of relief.
When you lose 9-1 to the worst team in your league, perhaps they aren’t the worst team in your league after all. Perhaps you are.
I guess it’s good that Pettitte picked a night when his team would only score one run to give up eleventy billion runs at least.
Thursday, April 25, 2013
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano belted a three-run homer, Vernon Wells and Francisco Cervelli also cleared the fences, and the Yankees outslugged the Blue Jays, 5-3, on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
The trio of blasts came off Toronto starter Mark Buehrle in support of right-hander Hiroki Kuroda, who settled in after a shaky beginning to complete six innings and log his third victory of the season.
Edwin Encarnacion opened the scoring with a two-run homer off Kuroda in the first inning, and Brett Lawrie slugged a solo shot in the second to put the Jays up by three runs. Kuroda adjusted and held the Blue Jays to a total of six hits, walking one and striking out three.
Wells hit the first homer off Buehrle, going deep to center field in the second inning, and Cano gave New York the lead when he homered to right field with Jayson Nix and Brett Gardner onboard in the third.
Cervelli completed the power display by homering to left field in the fourth off Buehrle, who permitted seven hits in 5 1/3 innings. The lefty walked none and struck out three, taking his first loss in a Toronto uniform.
Kuroda was due for a clunker but he recovered nicely from the first two innings to keep the game close enough for Cano to do his thing and the bullpen was stellar to get through the last three. I thought Mo looked the best he’s looked so far this year. His command was great and his velocity seems to be improving.
Wells continues to defy expectations, and while I thought Francisco Cervelli had a chance to hit well enough for a catcher, he’s been much better than that. We shouldn’t expect either to last, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it while it’s happening.
I know this team still stinks, but they’re kind of fun to watch.
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG—The Yankees were handcuffed by Alex Cobb’s masterful pitching performance on Wednesday, managing just four singles as the Rays posted a 3-0 victory at Tropicana Field.
Cobb permitted just two hits that left the infield over his 8 1/3 innings, striking out seven and walking one as the Yankees lost for the 13th time in their last 16 games in St. Petersburg.
The Yankees chased Cobb with Brett Gardner’s single through the right side with one out in the ninth and brought Robinson Cano to the plate as the tying run after Ichiro Suzuki singled, but Fernando Rodney recorded the final two outs to slam the door.
Cobb was great, but the Yankee lineup tonight left a lot to be desired. The Yankees have been better than I thought they’d be so far this year, but I don’t think that can continue with the lineups they’ve been running out there this week. They should get healthier and better, hopefully.
A 3-3 road trip in the division is okay I guess, but neither Toronto or Tampa Bay has been playing all that well this year and it would have been nice to take better advantage of that.
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
ST. PETERSBURG—Ichiro Suzuki lined a two-run single to center field in the top of the ninth inning, and the Yankees toppled Fernando Rodney and posted a 4-3 victory on Tuesday at Tropicana Field.
The Yankees won for just the third time in their last 15 games at the Trop, taking advantage after Rodney couldn’t keep the score tied for David Price, who started the ninth and was saddled with the loss after permitting a leadoff single to Robinson Cano.
Cano stole second base on Rodney, moving up on a strikeout, and the Rays intentionally walked Travis Hafner. Rodney lost Lyle Overbay to a full-count walk and, after jamming Chris Stewart on a foulout, allowed the deciding hit to the slumping Ichiro.
Mariano Rivera allowed a leadoff homer to Evan Longoria in the ninth but recovered to log his sixth save.
David Robertson was credited with the victory in relief of Phil Hughes, who recovered from a shaky first inning to complete seven innings, picking up a no-decision after turning in his second straight solid outing.
Ichiro’s hit saved Joe Girardi from having to explain why he didn’t pinch-hit for Chris Stewart with the winning run on base and one out. No, Brennan Boesch isn’t Ted Williams, but he’s a better hitter than Stewart and would have the platoon advantage. Even if you apply the standard pinch-hitting penalty I’m fairly certain the right move there is sending up Boesch.
OK. Complaints are done, and it was a good win. This team still can’t hit lefties, although they were facing one of the best in baseball tonight. But Hughes salvaged a very good start from an ugly first inning and kept them in it until they were able to pull it out. That makes two strong starts in a row for Hughes, who probably shouldn’t have been making spring training starts in real games that count. Maybe that will make him cheaper to re-sign…
Andy Pettitte goes for the series win tomorrow. Alex Cobb’s a pretty good pitcher, but at least he’s not a lefty.
Sunday, April 21, 2013
TORONTO—The Yankees couldn’t complete a three-game sweep of the Blue Jays, relinquishing the lead in Toronto’s four-run sixth inning in an 8-4 loss in front of 45,575 at Rogers Centre on Sunday.
With the Yankees ahead, 4-2, in the sixth, manager Joe Girardi elected to play the matchups after starter Ivan Nova allowed the first two runners to reach. Girardi brought in Boone Logan for the lefty-lefty matchup against Colby Rasmus.
The skipper did the same thing in Saturday’s game and it worked—Logan punched out Rasmus on eight pitches in the ninth—but on Sunday, Rasmus delivered. He hit an RBI single that cut New York’s lead to one run before Brett Lawrie followed with a two-run double off David Phelps to give the Blue Jays a 5-4 advantage.
Phelps allowed another run on an RBI single by Melky Cabrera and the Yankees left the inning down two after starting the frame up a pair of runs.
It was not a strong relief performance by Phelps, who also allowed a two-run homer to J.P. Arencibia, his seventh of the year, in the seventh that pushed Toronto’s lead to 8-4.
Nope, it was not a strong relief performance by Phelps, who’s been pretty bad for most of his appearances this year.
Nova continues to show flashes of great stuff but he was not good today either. He allowed the lead off man to reach in all but one of his innings and again put the team in the position of needing four innings from their bullpen. There doesn’t appear to be a ton of alternative to replacing him in the rotation at this moment so I don’t think his spot is in jeopardy, but a few more bad starts and the Yankees may decide to try Phelps or Adam Warren in his spot.
I suppose if you told me before the series the Yankees would take two of three I’d have been happy with that, but any time you have a chance at a sweep and blow it it feels like a letdown. Now it’s on to Tampa Bay in a series where the Yankees will face two left-handed starters, something that’s been a serious problem for them so far this year.
Saturday, April 20, 2013
TORONTO—The Yankees withstood what manager Joe Girardi described as a hiccup in the eighth inning to win a game that should have never been as close as it was.
But a win is a win, and despite needing extra innings to finish the job, the Yankees have won five of six games and have a series sweep of Toronto on their minds.
Vernon Wells scored the go-ahead run as New York put a pair across the plate in the 11th inning on a throwing error by Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup to drop Toronto, 5-3, in front of a sellout crowd of 46,095 at Rogers Centre on Saturday.
After Wells and Francisco Cervelli started off the frame with back-to-back singles, Ichiro Suzuki laid down a sacrifice bunt that Loup fielded before throwing it away when trying to get the lead runner at third. The ball sailed into left field, allowing the Yankees to break open the tie game and take a two-run lead.
It would have been a shame to waste a brilliant outing by Kuroda, but fortunately the bullpen was able to recover from a rare David Robertson meltdown and the Jays messed up while Joe Girardi was trying to give them free outs and the Yankees pulled this one out.
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
NEW YORK—Brett Gardner delivered a key hit to tie the game in the seventh and Travis Hafner came off the bench to mash a go-ahead, pinch-hit homer as the Yankees rallied late to defeat the D-backs, 4-3, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Gardner greeted reliever Tony Sipp with a seventh-inning, two-run single after Arizona starter Wade Miley lost his command of the strike zone. Hafner’s fourth career pinch-hit homer came off David Hernandez in the eighth, lifting New York to its seventh win in eight games.
The late surge made a winner of starter CC Sabathia, who held the D-backs to three runs and six hits over eight innings. Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his fourth save of the season and No. 612 of his career.
For about seven innings this game felt like a loss, but an unlikely 7th inning rally spearheaded by Ben Francisco, Brennan Boesch, Nun-E, Jayson Nix and Gardner set the stage for Hafner’s True Yankee™ moment.
The Yankee lineup vs. LHP is not a good one right now, so stealing this one on a night where Miley handcuffed them almost all game was nice.
I’m still waiting for Sabathia to start showing us more fastball, but he recovered from a crappy first to give the team eight innings and a quality start and turned the ball over to the greatest closer of all time to seal a win. Probably a win the Yankees were lucky to get, but a win regardless.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda sailed through nine scoreless innings in a masterful performance, leading the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Orioles on Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium.
Brett Gardner clanged a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole to provide the biggest blast of the night and help the Yankees take the rubber game of the three-game set with the Orioles and secure their fifth victory in six games.
Kuroda erased any lingering concerns about the right finger he bruised in his first start of the season, as he was in command all night, scattering five hits and not permitting an Oriole to touch second base until the ninth.
Outstanding game by Kuroda tonight. And kudos to Joe Girardi for letting him finish it off despite having the greatest closer of all time waiting in the wings in what was a save situation.
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
CLEVELAND—Robinson Cano headlined a five-homer barrage by the Yankees’ lineup, driving in five runs to support another strong Andy Pettitte effort as New York trounced the Indians, 14-1, on Tuesday at Progressive Field.
New York posted its third straight victory, battering Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco for seven runs before the right-hander was ejected in the fourth inning for hitting Kevin Youkilis in the back following Cano’s two-run homer.
Powered by the long-ball display from Cano, Ichiro Suzuki, Youkilis, Lyle Overbay and Brennan Boesch, Pettitte had more than enough support to log his second victory of the young season.
Pettitte held the Tribe to just Asdrubal Cabrera’s sixth-inning homer over seven innings of effective work, scattering five hits while walking three and striking out four in a 97-pitch outing.
Well, that was fun. More games like that plz.
Monday, April 8, 2013
CLEVELAND—Robinson Cano homered twice and Travis Hafner celebrated his return to Progressive Field by homering and driving in four runs as the Yankees spoiled the Indians’ home opener with an 11-6 victory on Monday.
Cano blasted out of a 3-for-23 slump with his first extra-base hits of the year, doubling and homering off Ubaldo Jimenez and going deep again off Matt Albers in the sixth in his 11th career multihomer game.
The Yankees took a quick lead in the top of the first on Hafner’s welcome-back blast, a three-run homer that cleared the center-field fence and marked the slugger’s 100th career homer at Progressive Field.
Yankees right-hander Hiroki Kuroda overcame a shaky opening inning to complete 5 1/3 frames, holding Cleveland to just the three runs it scored against him in the first, when Jason Kipnis, Michael Brantley and Mark Reynolds drove in runs to tie the game.
In walking four, Kuroda never seemed particularly sharp, and he appeared to be affected by the bruised right middle finger that knocked him out of his first start of the season. Still, he held the Tribe to five hits and struck out six in a 111-pitch outing, retiring seven of the last eight batters he faced.
It was ugly, but it’s a win. I do have to say that so far the middle of the bullpen has not distinguished itself and that’s something that will bear watching going forward.
Sunday, April 7, 2013
DETROIT—CC Sabathia allowed just four hits over seven scoreless innings in a strong performance, leading the Yankees to a 7-0 victory over the Tigers on Sunday at Comerica Park.
Jayson Nix slugged a two-run homer and Francisco Cervelli drove in two runs to support the ace’s effort as the Yankees salvaged the final game of a three-game series in Detroit with the victory, their second in six contests to open the season.
Sabathia is known for a history of slow starts in April and did not appear dominant on Opening Day, sparking concerns about his velocity. But he rebounded with a good showing to best Justin Verlander in an appealing matchup of former Cy Young Award winners.
The Tigers only moved one baserunner as far as second base against Sabathia, who threw 114 pitches while walking three and striking out four.
I feel this team will only go as far as CC and Nix take them. CC didn’t look great, but he looked better than he did in the opener and that’s good enough for me. Also of note was Francisco Cervelli getting two more hits, his ninth and tenth of the season. That gives him exactly 10 more hits than Russell Martin.
The Yankees should have gone around 3-3 over their first six games so 2-4 doesn’t put them too far behind where they ought to be at this moment. But it would be cool if they started winning more than 1/3 of their games.
Saturday, April 6, 2013
NEW YORK—The Tigers batted around in a four-run fifth inning and continued piling on with a 17-hit showing against the Yankees’ troubled pitching staff, sending New York to an 8-4 loss on Saturday at Comerica Park.
The Yanks’ fourth loss in five games to open the season saw Phil Hughes knocked out after four-plus innings, having been activated from the disabled list before the game with hopes of helping out the club’s taxed pitching staff.
Hughes held the Tigers to an unearned run until the fifth, when he allowed hits to the first three batters he faced, including Torii Hunter’s RBI double and Miguel Cabrera’s RBI single. He wrapped up scattering eight hits in his 87-pitch outing.
Boone Logan turned in an ineffective relief appearance, allowing two hits and a sacrifice fly. Jhonny Peralta greeted David Phelps—who had been New York’s scheduled starter for Saturday before Hughes was activated—with a run-scoring single.
“All I can continue to tell everyone is our commitment to the fans is never going to change,” Steinbrenner said. “We will always field a championship-caliber team. Is our goal 189 next year? Yes. But only if I’m convinced if the team I see, that we’ve put together, is a championship-caliber team.”
I’m just happy I can clear 4 hours off my DVR by not bothering to watch this one.
Friday, April 5, 2013
DETROIT—The first road game of the season provided both insult and injury for the Yankees, who fell, 8-3, to the Tigers on Friday.
In the fourth inning, shortstop Eduardo Nunez was hit by a pitch in the right arm. He was diagnosed with a bruised right bicep, but precautionary X-Rays were negative.
Ivan Nova got off to a rough start for New York, allowing singles to the first two batters he faced. One run came in on a fielder’s choice, but a strikeout and lineout got Nova out of the frame.
In the second, a leadoff walk came around to score on a two-out single. Nova struck out the side, but he had reached six three-ball counts his first time through the order.
This team stinks home and away.
I was not able to watch this game due to work, but it seems to me this loss can be pinned more on the players not executing than anything else.
I was hoping for a big year from Ivan Nova, but every crappy start is forcing me to admit that maybe it’s just not happening with him. Should David Phelps pitch well tomorrow, it seems the fair thing to do if Phil Hughes is ready to return to the rotation and everyone else is healthy (HAHAHA) is to send Nova down to work on his new mechanics and see if he can either fix his crappy command or start getting more ground balls again.
Win tomorrow or hope you can beat Justin Verlander with a diminished CC Sabathia. Yeah…
The news on Nunez makes his injury seem relatively minor and that’s good, because the Yankees essentially don’t have a third string shortstop on their 40 man roster right now.
I’d say fast forward to 2014, but that team is going to be worse than this one.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
NEW YORK—Andy Pettitte provided the vintage performance the Yankees were looking for, hurling eight strong innings to lead his club to its first win of the year, a 4-2 victory over the Red Sox on Thursday night at Yankee Stadium.
Lyle Overbay contributed a two-run single while Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli homered in support of Pettitte, who limited Boston to a run on eight hits on a brisk evening in the Bronx, making the left-hander’s first April start in the big leagues since 2010.
Mariano Rivera allowed one run in the ninth inning for his first save of what the all-time saves leader promises will be his final season. It was the 69th victory that Rivera has saved for Pettitte, extending the teammates’ Major League record.
I have a confession. I did not think the Yankees would go 0-162 this year. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t nice to get that first win out of the way after dropping the first two games of the year. Since they went 0-3 to start last year and won 95 games, I think we can pencil them in for 96 wins now.
If you would have told me in 1995 that we’d still be watching Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera pitching in key roles for the 2013 Yankees I’d have thought you were insane, but here we are 18 years later and there they are. And I’m really happy about that.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
NEW YORK—The last thing the injury-plagued Yankees need right now is another scare, but that was what they received when starter Hiroki Kuroda was forced to exit in the second inning after taking a line drive off his pitching hand.
The team announced that Kuroda suffered a bruised right middle finger, with further examinations to come. The Yankees never recovered from the early blow, suffering a 7-4 loss to the Red Sox on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
With Kuroda heading for X-rays, reliever Cody Eppley was charged with four runs in 1 1/3 innings of work before Adam Warren restored order, limiting Boston to a run over 5 1/3 innings of long relief.
This game was basically lost when Joe Girardi allowed Eppley to face three lefty hitters, each of whom singled. I don’t know that the Yankees would have won if Warren started the third, but they sure weren’t going to win after that top of the third. I suppose if you’re looking at getting six innings from your bullpen trying to get through one with Eppley made some sense. He probably should have been pulled after Victorino’s single, but he wasn’t.
Let’s hope Andy Pettitte can throw a shutout tomorrow.
Monday, April 1, 2013
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia has established a solid track record as a durable ace and a proven winner at the front of the Yankees’ rotation over his four-plus seasons in pinstripes.
What the left-hander has not proven, however, is to be a very good bet on Opening Day.
Sabathia struggled with his command and was able to complete just five innings as the Yankees opened their new campaign with an 8-2 loss to the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
Boston scored four runs off Sabathia, who now owns an 0-2 record and a 7.42 ERA over his five Opening Day starts for New York (22 earned runs in 26 2/3 innings). All of the Red Sox’s damage came in the second inning.
It was ugly, but thankfully it only counts as one loss. The most distressing thing I saw today was CC’s velocity. If he’s throwing 88-90 mph with his fastball I don’t think he’s an ace any more and he gets moved into the $20M+ dead weight pile that is way too large on this team already. But like I said, it was one game.
Other things I observed:
- Vernon Wells doesn’t seem to be one who expends much effort defensively
- Shawn Kelley is probably a better reliever than Joba Chamberlain right now
- This team isn’t going to score a lot of runs
Update: If you want some evidence of the fans not feeling this team, here’s some.
Thursday, October 18, 2012
DETROIT—The Yankees’ ice cold autumn will now give way to an uncertain winter, as their season concluded on Thursday with an 8-1 loss to the Tigers in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series at Comerica Park.
CC Sabathia was rocked for six runs in 3 2/3 innings and the Yankees were held hitless into the sixth inning by Max Scherzer, as Detroit locked up the AL pennant and will advance to the World Series against either the Cardinals or Giants.
New York was swept for the first time in 36 consecutive postseason appearances; the last one came in 1980, when the Royals wiped out the Yankees in a best-of-five ALCS that led to the dismissal of manager Dick Howser.
The positions of manager Joe Girardi and general manager Brian Cashman appear to be secure, but hitting coach Kevin Long will be asked to answer for an anemic offense that hung zeros on the scoreboard in 36 of 39 innings during the ALCS.
It’s hard to win a series when you don’t lead in a single inning in any of the games. Detroit was probably the better team heading into this series, and they sure looked like it.
It was a frustrating end to a frustrating series. It shouldn’t feel like a frustrating season because of that, although I’m sure we’ll be treated to some crap from Randy Levine about how the season was a failure.
We’ll have months to think about where they go from here. The Yankees have some decisions to make on some players, and some players have decisions to make on whether or not they want to return. I’m sure we won’t see Nick Swisher in pinstripes again. I was certain we’d see Curtis Granderson back with his option picked up next year but I’m now thinking there’s a chance we won’t. The whole Alex Rodriguez situation will dictate a lot of what the team decides to do. I’m guessing Rafael Soriano will opt out, but that’s less of a concern than getting the offense shored up and stabilizing the rotation based on what happens with Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettitte.
Anyway, we have months to think about that.
Tuesday, October 16, 2012
DETROIT—Five days after Justin Verlander diverted the destiny of the upstart Oakland A’s, he all but sealed the fate of the top-seeded New York Yankees, one game away from an American League Championship Series sweep. In both cases, he didn’t give the hitters much of a chance.
With Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALCS, Verlander tossed eight shutout innings before finally giving the Yankees a breath with Eduardo Nunez’s homer leading off the ninth. The Tigers’ rotation had 37 2/3 innings without an earned run since Seth Smith’s home run off Anibal Sanchez in Game 3 of the AL Division Series in Oakland a week ago.
This series may not end tomorrow night, but for all intents and purposes it’s over. This team couldn’t win four straight games against Houston.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda came back on short rest for the first time in his career and found the energy to provide an 11-strikeout effort, but it was the Yankees’ hitters who once again appeared fatigued in Game 2 of the American League Championship Series.
Anibal Sanchez limited New York to just three hits over seven scoreless innings, taking advantage of widespread brownouts through the Yankees’ batting order as the Tigers posted a 3-0 victory on Sunday, claiming a 2-0 lead in the series.
With the ALCS moving on to Detroit, the Yankees are now challenged to win at least twice at Comerica Park to ensure that Sunday’s nine innings did not comprise the final game played this year at Yankee Stadium.
You couldn’t have asked for more from Kuroda than the Yankees got. He was perfect through five innings and pitched into the eighth despite being on short rest, but as soon as the Tigers scored you got the sense the game was over. The Yankee offense was abysmal today, not even going through the charade of threatening but not scoring.
And now they head to Detroit to face the best pitcher in baseball and hope for a miracle if they don’t want to be down 3-0 in this series by Tuesday night.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Yankees ace CC Saathia pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning and finished off the Orioles in the ninth to win Game 5 and set up an ALCS matchup against the Tigers.
You couldn’t have asked for more from Sabathia than what he did today. The offense still didn’t look great but they did show signs of life. Will that be enough against a team that has arguably four starters better than any of Baltimore’s? Probably not. But we can worry about that tomorrow.
It was a tough series, with just about every inning of every game featuring neither team having a lead of greater than one run. The only exception was the ninth inning of Game 1 and the last three innings of today’s game. I kept waiting for Baltimore’s luck to run out, but damn if they didn’t keep playing well right down to the end. Kudos to them for a great season, no matter how they got there.
My ALCS preview will go up tomorrow, but until then figure it will be along the lines of Tigers in four.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
NEW YORK—J.J. Hardy rocketed a 13th-inning double off the left-field wall to drive in the go-ahead run as the Orioles forced the Yankees to a decisive final contest in the American League Division Series, posting a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Hardy’s deep drive off Yankees right-hander David Phelps scored Manny Machado easily from third base and, on a night that combined sharp pitching and numerous missed opportunities for both teams, produced the contest’s first run since the sixth inning.
Game 5 of the AL Division Series will be played on Friday at 5:07 p.m. ET on TBS, with New York’s CC Sabathia and Baltimore’s Jason Hammel taking the ball with hopes of extending their respective teams’ season into the AL Championship Series.
The Yankee pitching has been great for this entire series. Unfortunately, the offense hasn’t been far too often and that was really hammered home tonight. The Yankees got their only run on a ground out and collectively left 23 runners on base on a night where getting just one of them in would have won them the game.
Hopefully they can score enough runs for CC Sabathia to carry them to victory tomorrow, but I’m not optimistic.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
NEW YORK—Raul Ibanez stepped in for Alex Rodriguez and delivered a game-tying ninth-inning home run, then slammed the game-winner in the 12th inning as the Yankees stunned the Orioles with a 3-2 victory in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday night.
Manager Joe Girardi’s bold call to lift Rodriguez, his slumping $29 million slugger, in favor of Ibanez against O’s closer Jim Johnson will prove to be the main talking point as the Yankees batted away a sluggish evening to claim a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five ALDS.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
BALTIMORE — They should have scored more than one run in the first. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, they didn’t score. Two hits and an intentional walk didn’t produce a run in the seventh.
Does this sound like the soundtrack of the Yankees when they don’t win?
Of course it does, and the lack of clutch hitting cost the AL East champs last night in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles at Camden Yards, where the Orioles evened the best-of-five series with a 3-2 victory that was witnessed by 48,187 chilled and stirred customers.
They should have scored more. The story of the 2012 Yankees.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
BALTIMORE—Russell Martin slammed a go-ahead home run and the Yankees knocked around Jim Johnson in a five-run ninth inning to earn a 7-2 victory in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Sunday night.
Martin quieted a raucous, towel-waving crowd witnessing the first postseason game held at Camden Yards since 1997 with his blast into the left-field seats, marking the Yankees catcher’s second career Division Series homer.
The timely shot made a winner of CC Sabathia, who fell one strike shy of a complete game, keeping a steady arm on the hill until the Yankees could break through against Baltimore’s tough pitching staff.
CC was great, proving me wrong when I thought he should have been pulled after the 7th. Obviously winning one game does not win the ALDS. We can just look back at a few recent ALDS’s where the Yankees won the first game and lost the series for evidence of that. But the Yankees are now in the driver’s seat in this series and that’s cool.
Wednesday, October 3, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees exchanged hugs and shook hands as they celebrated reaching their season’s first major goal on Wednesday, securing their reign as American League East champions on the final day of the regular season.
New York stands alone with the top spot in the division for the 13th time since 1996, taking advantage of the control of its destiny to wrap its 162-game campaign with a 14-2 victory over the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium.
As the Yankees, who own the best record in the AL at 95-67, plan to host a fourth straight year of postseason baseball at their newest home, they will wait to travel and face the winner of Friday’s one-game AL Wild Card playoff between the Orioles and Rangers.
The Yankees heard a standing ovation to acknowledge the clinching of a division title as Alex Rodriguez was batting in the seventh inning, with the Rays’ 4-1 victory over the Orioles at Tropicana Field posted as a final, but that outcome seemed a formality with a rout well under way in the Bronx.
Robinson Cano homered twice and tied a career high with six RBIs, while Curtis Granderson also blasted a pair of homers, including a three-run blast that helped the Yankees spoil what could have been Daisuke Matsuzaka’s final start in a Red Sox uniform.
I’ve had a love/hate relationship with this team all year. The injuries to Mariano Rivera, Brett Gardner and everyone else were tough to deal with. The post All Star break struggles were tough to deal with. Seeing them fail with runners in scoring position every single time was tough to deal with. Seeing a ten game lead dwindle away to nothing was tough to deal with.
But a night like tonight makes it all worth it. We’ll have to see how the story unfolds from here, but I think given the number of wins they lost to the DL this team has accomplished quite a bit already. If you would have told me they’d end up as the #1 seed in the AL on September 4 when they were in a dead heat with Baltimore and four games behind Texas I’d have said you were insane.
We should try and appreciate that tonight.
It’s also easy to forget how well this team played for a large chunk of the season. That gave them the cushion they needed to stave off a furious Baltimore run. I thought the season was over when Mo went down, but the Rafael Soriano signing that I deplored ended up working out far better than I could have ever imagined, even if it hurt the hell out of my knees.
It was kind of fitting that Hiroki Kuroda pitched the clincher, because he’s been the best Yankee starter all year and really exceeded all my expectations as well. He’s scuffled a bit in September but was solid tonight and should slot in nicely behind CC Sabathia in the postseason rotation.
So, Sunday huh?
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
After hitting a game-tying two-run homer in the ninth, Raul Ibanez hit a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning.
This has to be the most important win of the season, no? It felt like so many of this year’s losses, with wasted opportunities piling up, but in the end the Yankees pulled it off thanks to Ibanez. If you look at Ibanez’s overall numbers this year, you’re left underwhelmed, but he’s had some mighty big moments. And it took until Game 161, but the Yankees finally won a game they were trailing after 8 innings.
Now the Yankees remain firmly in control of their own destiny. If they win tomorrow, they’re the #1 seed in the AL. Even if they don’t, they can still take the East if Baltimore loses.
Monday, October 1, 2012
NEW YORK—Thanks to a nine-run second inning, the Yankees cruised to a 10-2 victory over the last place Red Sox and regained sole possession of first place in the American League East thanks to the Orioles’ loss to the Rays in St. Petersburg.
With a one-game lead in the AL East, New York can clinch the division on Tuesday with a win vs. Boston and a Baltimore loss to Tampa Bay.
Any drama was long gone by the time New York’s fourth homer of the second inning cleared the fences, with Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz already out of the game after 1 2/3 innings and any notion of a rivalry relegated against a weakened Boston lineup that swung freely against CC Sabathia.
Big deal. If you take away that nine run inning the Yankees lost this game 2-1.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
TORONTO—Down late in seemingly another must-win game, the Yankees completed one of their most stirring comebacks of the season, defeating the Blue Jays 9-6, in a crucial contest on Sunday at Rogers Centre.
New York trailed by four runs through five innings but fought all the way back, tying the game with three runs in the seventh before Eduardo Nunez’s sacrifice fly gave the Yankees the lead in the eighth.
Derek Jeter followed by punching a run-scoring single off Toronto reliever Brandon Lyon, driving home Brett Gardner with an important insurance run as the Yankees retained their share of first place with the Orioles, who defeated the Red Sox, 6-3, in Baltimore. A comeback win by the Angels in Arlington kept New York from clinching a postseason berth, but the Yankees may not need to wait long to celebrate that occasion, with Texas and Anaheim set to complete their day-night doubleheader on Sunday night.
It really looked like the Yankees were going to drop out of the first place in the AL East for six innings. Phil Hughes wasn’t good, but the bullpen was mostly great and the offense finally did what we’ve been imploring them to do. Get hits with runners in scoring position that score runs.
They can’t win the East outright now without help from Tampa Bay, and it’s moot if they don’t take care of Boston. Mark Teixeira is is expected to be back, so they should be able to run their best possible lineup out there for the rest of the season. We’ll see if that’s good enough.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
TORONTO—Russell Martin has tried to take pride in not bringing his at-bats behind the plate during what has been a mostly disappointing season, but the Yankees have no complaints about how he’s swinging now.
Martin continued his September surge by launching a big three-run homer to break open Friday’s 11-4 victory over the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre, helping inch the Yankees closer to their goal of securing the American League East title.
New York’s victory dropped its magic number for clinching a postseason berth to two and a division title to five, but the Yankees and second-place Orioles remain separated by just one game in the AL East, as Baltimore posted a 9-1 win over the Red Sox that the Yankees couldn’t help but notice on the scoreboard.
Martin’s picked the right time to start getting hits. Now let’s hope that Robinson Cano isn’t hurt too badly.
Is there some reason Rafael Soriano had to pitch with a seven run lead last night? Just curious, I didn’t get to see the game.
And I’d like to thank the Red Sox for putting forth such a strong effort against the Orioles. Getting a leadoff single and then not getting another hit the rest of the game? That’s almost Yankee-like. Let’s hope they can keep applying the pressure to the Orioles over the next two days.
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS—Never mind that Alex Rodriguez wasn’t in New York’s lineup on Wednesday. Never mind that Mark Teixeira has been out for most of the last month. And forget that Robinson Cano has struggled for most of September, because the Yankees’ lineup—no matter whom Joe Girardi seems to insert in it—continues to produce.
New York erupted for six runs in the third inning, backing up eight strong innings from CC Sabathia to secure an 8-2 series-clinching victory over Minnesota in front of 33,251 at Target Field.
The win pushes New York’s advantage over Baltimore in the American League East to two games, with the Orioles and Blue Jays playing tonight in Toronto.
The Yankees really should have swept this series. I guess we should be happy that they did the bare minimum of what they were supposed to do though.
MINNEAPOLIS – A night’s worth of Phil Hughes’ good work had disintegrated in just a handful of poorly executed pitches by Boone Logan.
And the Yankees saw a valuable chance to extend their AL East lead slip away.
Entering Tuesday night’s seventh inning with two out and the bases loaded, Logan allowed all three of Hughes’ inherited runners to score – and one of his own.
That wiped out a two-run lead and lifted the Twins to a 5-4 victory before 33,346 fans at Target Field.
Despite the Orioles’ third loss in four games Tuesday, they remained just 1½ games behind the Yankees (89-65) in the AL East, and two back in the loss column with eight to play.
It was a frustrating way to lose a very important game against a team that frankly stinks. That being said, I thought going to Logan there was the right move. Hughes had thrown 28 pitches in the bottom of the seventh and the Twins lineup was about to get their fourth look at Hughes. They also had four straight lefties stacked at the top of the lineup.
Joe Girardi made the right move. Logan just didn’t do his job.
Monday, September 24, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS—Andy Pettitte looks like he’ll be a difference maker in the Yankees’ rotation as they make their push for the postseason.
Working six shutout innings in his second start since coming off the disabled list, Pettitte looked strong again in leading the Yankees to a 6-3 win over the Twins in front of 33,720 at Target Field. The win extended first-place New York’s lead over the Orioles in the American League East to 1 1/2 games, thanks to Baltimore’s 9-5 loss to Toronto in the second game of a doubleheader.
I wouldn’t say he breezed, but Pettitte did what he does best. Let lots of guys on and then battle his way out of it.
It was also encouraging to see the offense score in more than one inning and do what they should have done against a pitcher of questionable caliber.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
NEW YORK—The mood in the Yankees’ clubhouse after this 5-4 loss on Sunday was light-hearted and jovial, with laughter drowning out the clicking of camera phones. Music blasted through the sound system, a rarity even after wins, as rookies dressed in “Star Wars” costumes and left Yankee Stadium to the movie’s theme song, departing for a seven-game road trip with 10 games to play and a one-game lead in the American League East on the Orioles, even after dropping their series finale against Oakland.
There was no finger pointing, either, although there were plenty of complaints from the home dugout during the three-hour, 45-minute game.
Twice Yankees lingered at home plate, letting home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook know they were upset with his strike zone. And manager Joe Girardi bounded up the dugout stairs in the second inning to speak to first-base umpire Larry Vanover, who called Josh Donaldson safe on a play at first base that many of the 43,867 at Yankee Stadium disagreed with.
The Yankees blew a shot at increasing their AL East lead, but at least they remained in sole possession of first place. Now they head to Minnesota for a three game series they probably need to sweep since Baltimore will be hosting the injury-ravaged Blue Jays for four games.
Kuroda’s now had six straight starts where he’s given up at least three runs or more and has an ERA of 4.91 and FIP of 4.40 over that stretch. Hopefully it’s just a bump in the road and he’ll get better over his last two starts of the year.
The A’s are a good team, so taking two out of three should be viewed as mostly positive. Yesterday’s comeback win takes some of the sting off losing today’s eminently winnable game.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Friday, September 21, 2012
NEW YORK—As Russell Martin galloped down the third-base line, taking a moment to see how far he could possibly fling his batting helmet, the Yankees clustered at home plate to celebrate what most agreed was their biggest hit of the season.
The schedule is growing thin, the games are becoming more crucial, and the Yankees went home with exactly what they needed on this night. Martin’s 10th-inning blast was the game-winner, lifting New York to a 2-1 victory over the Athletics on Friday at Yankee Stadium.
“There’s pressure, but it’s fun; it’s a fun atmosphere,” Martin said. “There’s a lot of energy in the crowd, you can feel the weather change a little bit. Playoff weather is coming. I like it. I enjoy it. I’m ready for it.”
No kneeling tonight.
I didn’t see much of CC’s performance but it looks like he had a heck of a night. Apparently, it’s too much to ask the Red Sox to play the Orioles hard this weekend. I guess they’re saving themselves for the last series of the season in the Bronx.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
NEW YORK—Ichiro Suzuki continued his campaign for more playing time with another three RBIs and Nick Swisher slugged his seventh career grand slam, leading the Yankees to a 10-7 victory of the Blue Jays on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Phil Hughes completed five innings of four-run ball, tying a franchise mark with four strikeouts in the fourth inning, to log the win as the Yankees completed a series sweep of Toronto coming off of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader.
Toronto added three runs in the eighth off Cory Wade to create a save situation for David Robertson, who picked up his second save. With the win, the Yankees moved a full game ahead of the idle Orioles atop the American League East with 13 games remaining on the schedule.
It’s been a while since the offense looked this good, huh?
I’m not sure how you can justify not playing Ichiro against every one now.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
NEW YORK—The “Ich-i-ro” chants started at Yankee Stadium before Ichiro Suzuki recorded his seventh hit of the day, but they reached a crescendo after the veteran outfielder drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning of the Yankees’ 2-1 nightcap win over the Blue Jays, giving New York victories on both ends of Wednesday’s day-night doubleheader.
Ichiro went 4-for-4 with four stolen bases in the nightcap, singling in Curtis Granderson against Aaron Loup to help the Yankees earn a win that ensured they would wake up on Thursday with at least a half-game lead in the American League East, regardless of the Orioles’ result against the Mariners at Seattle later Wednesday night.
Seven hits in one day for Ichiro. As Michael Kay pointed out during the broadcast, Andruw Jones has nine hits in two months. It was smart to start Ichiro in this game because Romero’s best pitch is a changeup, which means lefties have hit him better than righties in his career. Girardi has been loading his lineups vs. Romero with righties and Romero’s pitched better against them than he has against any other team in the league. So thankfully he tried something different tonight. In his press conference Girardi just mentioned the fact that lefties have hit better than righties against Romero, which is encouraging.
David Phelps set his MLB career high in pitches and pitched pretty well, albeit against a team that looked more like the 2012 Red Sox than the 2011 Red Sox. Still, with the doubleheader limiting the availability of the better relievers, getting into the seventh while holding the Jays to one run was really big. He probably won’t make another start this year, but he’s got a chance to be a very important part of the late inning mix and he’s surely put himself into contention for a rotation spot in 2013.
We can fret about the offense, but at this point they just need to win. The how is less important.
NEW YORK—Yankees manager Joe Girardi said in advance of Andy Pettitte’s return from nearly three months on the disabled list that he was hopeful he would receive five innings and 70 pitches from the left-hander.
In the first leg of a day-night doubleheader against the Blue Jays on Wednesday, Girardi got five scoreless frames, 75 pitches and a 4-2 win that snapped the Yankees’ tie atop the American League East with the Orioles, who will wrap up their three-game series at Seattle at 10:10 p.m. ET. The second game of New York’s doubleheader will begin at 7:05 p.m. and pit David Phelps against Ricky Romero.
Making his first appearance since a comebacker on June 27 fractured his left fibula, Pettitte appeared to be finished after four innings, with the 40-year-old at 68 pitches and Derek Lowe warming in the Yankees’ bullpen. But Pettitte returned for one more frame, retiring the side in order for the first time all day, needing only seven pitches to do so and leaving to applause from a sparse crowd a day after inclement weather forced the postponement of the lefty’s anticipated return.
Pettitte’s return went about as well as I could have hoped for. The offense in the first inning was great. The rest of the game, not so much. The pen was strong too aside from David Robertson, and the Yankees have moved back into sole possession of first place for at least the next six hours or so.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees followed their shortstop’s lead on Sunday at Yankee Stadium, but it was 25-year-old Eduardo Nunez, not veteran captain Derek Jeter. Tampa Bay starter Matt Moore attempted to pick Nunez off first base four times in the third inning before Nunez swiped second to jump start a five-run inning that carried the Yankees past the Rays, 6-4.
The victory moved New York 1 1/2 games ahead of the Orioles, whose game began in Oakland at 4:05 p.m. ET.
Nun-E! Nun-E! Nun-E!
It got a little tight near the end, but the bullpen was nails to close it out, and the Yankees had their first series win since I believe May although I may have forgotten one or two.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
NEW YORK—Manager Joe Girardi’s lineup shuffling worked to perfection on Saturday, with Ichiro Suzuki setting the table and stealing a base, and Derek Jeter driving him in for the decisive run in the Yankees’ 5-3 win over the Rays. It evened the three-game set entering Sunday’s finale and gave the Yankees a half-game lead atop the American League East ahead of the Orioles, who will play in Oakland on Saturday at 9:05 p.m. ET.
The win pushed New York back to four games ahead of Tampa Bay for the second AL Wild Card spot.
It was only insurance when the Yankees’ Nos. 1 and 2 hitters manufactured a run with two out in the fifth, until the Rays got to Ivan Nova and Boone Logan for three runs across the sixth and seventh innings.
Nova left to an ovation from the crowd of 46,856 at Yankee Stadium after a strong return to the rotation following a stint on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation. Girardi said Nova would throw only 80-90 pitches, and the right-hander left after 85 when Jeff Keppinger led off the seventh with a single.
Encouraging stuff from Nova in a very important game. Depending on how Andy Pettitte looks Tuesday CC Sabathia may be the Yankees’ sixth starter.
Thursday, September 13, 2012
BOSTON—Phil Hughes fired 7 1/3 dominant innings and Derek Jeter tied Willie Mays on baseball’s all-time hits list as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 2-0, on Thursday at Fenway Park.
With the victory, the Yankees maintained their tie with the Orioles for first place in the American League East. Baltimore defeated the Rays, 3-2, in 14 innings earlier in the afternoon.
Hughes marked his 100th career start by turning in one of his best outings of the season, getting ahead of hitters and challenging the Red Sox with excellent stuff.
After retiring the first 10 batters he faced, Hughes only permitted five hits, shutting Boston down through a superb 95-pitch effort. He pitched out of a first-and-third jam in the fourth inning and stranded two men aboard in the sixth.
Hughes was good, although let’s be honest, the team that Boston’s running out there right now is a AAA team with maybe a couple of guys on rehab assignments.
The offense wasn’t good, again, but thanks to Hughes and the bullpen the two runs they scored were enough to take the series. The Yankees went something like 2 for 33 with RISP in this series, which is putrid.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
BOSTON—Curtis Granderson homered twice to get the Yankees back on track in their chase for the American League East title, leading New York to a 5-4 victory over the Red Sox on Wednesday at Fenway Park.
But the win, just the Yankees’ ninth in their last 21 contests, may have come with a high price. Derek Jeter was limping after running out an eighth-inning double play ball and had to leave the game.
We wait with bated breath to find out the severity of Jeter’s injury.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
BALTIMORE—It has been more than a decade since the Yankees had much reason to feel uncomfortable when visiting Camden Yards, often treating their trips here almost as if they were bonus home games in road gray uniforms.
It sure doesn’t feel that way anymore. Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis blasted eighth-inning homers into a frenzied ocean of orange shirts on Thursday, lifting Baltimore past New York, 10-6, to reclaim a share of the lead in the American League East.
Jones’ blast off right-hander David Robertson put the Orioles back on top, and Reynolds slugged a two-run shot—his second of the night—to expand the lead after New York rallied for five runs in the eighth, taking advantage of reliever Pedro Strop’s implosion to tie the game.
Well, that stinks.
Wednesday, September 5, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG—The Yankees marched out of a rare team meeting and reclaimed sole possession of first place in the American League East, posting a 6-4 victory over the Rays on Wednesday at Tropicana Field.
Derek Jeter had three hits for New York, but his most important swing of the night came on a seventh-inning grounder that second baseman Elliot Johnson threw away for a decisive two-run error.
Russell Martin homered and drove in three runs, helping to lift the Yankees back into the division lead after the Blue Jays defeated the Orioles, 6-4, setting up a big four-game showdown for New York in Baltimore beginning on Thursday.
For least one night, order has been restored.
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG—The Rays crushed three homers to power their way to a 5-2 win over the Yankees at Tropicana Field on Tuesday, clinching a series win and in the process pulling within 1 1/2 games of the American League East-leading Yankees.
New York now shares the division’s top spot with the Baltimore Orioles, who routed Toronto, 12-0, earlier in the evening.
The playoffs effectively started tonight. The Yankees pissed away their 10 game division lead and have lost sole possession of first place in the AL East for the first time in 84 games. So now they have to outplay Baltimore and Tampa Bay over the rest of the season if they want to take the division, something they haven’t been able to do since the All Star Break.
Monday, September 3, 2012
“It’s not a good feeling,” the Yankees’ Robinson Cano said. “You lose some games, and you just want to win games. You don’t want to put your head down. We’ve just got to turn the page; just be ready for tomorrow.”
That may be more difficult for Cano than others; the second baseman felt discomfort in his left hip trying to flag down the go-ahead hit, Chris Gimenez’s soft eighth-inning dribbler off losing pitcher David Robertson, as it scooted through the right side of the infield.
The Yankees do not expect Cano’s injury to force him to miss more than a day, but now that they’ve seen what was once a 10-game lead in the AL East trimmed to a single contest by virtue of the Orioles’ win over the Blue Jays, off-days are a luxury the Yankees can’t afford.
“I would love to keep the lead,” manager Joe Girardi said. “When you win the division, you don’t really care what you win by. You’d just love to keep the lead. That’s important.”
Scoring runs is also important. Staying healthy too. The Yankees seem to suck at both lately.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
NEW YORK—As late-August losses piled up in New York and an American League East lead dwindled from as many as 10 games down to only two entering September, nearly everyone in the organization had to reaffirm that no, the veteran clubhouse was not panicking, and yes, it still intended to win the division.
The reasons were simple for Nick Swisher, even after a series-opening loss to Baltimore: experience, and Derek Jeter.
The Yankees’ captain showed just how calm the Yankees remain Saturday, drawing a bases-loaded walk with two outs to score the tying run in the seventh inning of New York’s 4-3 win against the Orioles. It came after he fell behind Baltimore reliever Pedro Strop, 0-2, and an inning after he voiced displeasure with home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook as he returned to the dugout after a called third strike.
The 2012 Yankees have specialized in losing games they should have won. Today they managed to win a game they should have lost. Great job by the bullpen to shut down Baltimore after 4.2 mediocre innings by David Phelps, and I suppose the offense deserves credit for letting Baltimore hand them the game as well. At the very least, we know the Yankees will still be in first place after this series ends.
Curtis Granderson left the game with a hamstring issue but an MRI supposedly revealed little of concern, and he’s probably day to day. A few days off may do him some good anyway.
A few starts ago, Hiroki Kuroda threw a seven-inning shutout in a rain-shortened victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The win, on July 18, increased the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to a whopping 10 games. The margin has been slashed to two, in part, by a rash of injuries and inconsistent performances.
If the Orioles had not caught the Yankees’ distracted attention, they surely did after a 6-1 win at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. It was the Orioles who acted like a first-place team with years of playoff experience.
OK, this isn’t funny anymore.
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Ever wonder how Red Sox fans felt last year?
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
NEW YORK—Phil Hughes turned in another encouraging outing for the Yankees, spinning seven strong innings and leading his club to a 2-1 victory over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday night.
The right-hander has been excellent at home of late, going undefeated in his last seven starts in the Bronx since June 26, a trend he continued in limiting Toronto’s lineup to just four hits to pick up his 13th victory of the season.
New York scratched out two runs against Blue Jays left-hander Ricky Romero, manufacturing enough to support Hughes and send Romero to his 11th consecutive losing decision.
Hughes was solid, as were David Robertson and Rafael Soriano. Soriano looked the best he has all year. Maybe he should blow saves more often.
The Yankees won the game by scoring on a two-out single and by driving in a runner from third with one out on a sac fly. How often have we witnessed either of those events this year?
Monday, August 27, 2012
One strike away from victory, and Rafael Soriano gives up a three-run homer that turned a 6-4 lead into a 7-6 deficit. Derek Jeter ties it in the bottom of the ninth but Derek Lowe throws it away in the top of the 11th.
On a night when Tampa Bay is playing Texas and Baltimore was playing the White Sox and against a team that’s crippled by injuries, the Yankees lost a game they should have won. This is a tough one to deal with. If it’s not the worst loss of the year, it’s on the short list.
Sunday, August 26, 2012
CLEVELAND—Rafael Soriano had only a fraction of a second to preserve his health, relying on his instincts to get a glove and bare hand in the way of a hot line drive in the ninth inning on Sunday.
The Yankees were understandably concerned about any possible injury to their fill-in closer, but Soriano quickly waved them off and finished the job, sealing New York’s 4-2 victory over the Indians at Progressive Field.
“I knew it’d be sore a little bit,” Soriano said. “I said, ‘Let me try to finish, and we’ll see the trainer after the game.’”
Soriano flagged down the threatening Jason Kipnis shot and threw a strike to first base for the second out of the ninth inning, then retired Asdrubal Cabrera and furiously untucked his jersey for his 33rd save in 35 chances this season.
The Yankees really should have swept this series given the number of chances they blew yesterday. Hopefully that doesn’t come back to haunt them.
This game had some interesting bullpen management by Joe Girardi, using Boone Logan, David Robertson and Alfonso Soriano for more than an inning. With some of the other relievers in the pen crashing back down to earth it was understandable. It’ll be interesting to see how Girardi handles the pen over the rest of the season if he no longer feels comfortable using the other relievers.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
CHICAGO—Ivan Nova has continually said that he expected his results to be much better than they have been this season, and that continued to be the case after his latest outing.
Nova was hit for six runs, including a Kevin Youkilis grand slam, as the Yankees dropped a 7-3 decision to the White Sox on Tuesday at U.S. Cellular Field.
“I left a pitch right over the plate,” Nova said. “I feel so bad that I got the lead one more time and I screwed up. I’m really mad at myself right now. I’m not happy. I’m just mad. I’m not doing my job, and I don’t feel good about that.”
At least the Rays lost too.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda turned in yet another stellar outing and Ichiro Suzuki homered twice as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 4-1, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Running his scoreless-innings streak to 16 2/3 before Adrian Gonzalez’s homer ended the run, Kuroda continued his stretch as arguably the Yankees’ most effective starter in recent months, piling up zeros into the seventh.
Undaunted, Kuroda finished with eight innings of one-run ball, logging his second victory in as many starts while limiting Boston to just four hits—three of them singles. The right-hander walked none and struck out four.
Kuroda was once again excellent, and is now sporting an ERA of 2.96. He’s pitching like a number one starter.
Ichiro’s now hitting .322/.344/.506 in 92 PA as a Yankee. I was doubtful he had much left but hopefully he can keep getting on base at a similar clip, even if the power is a fluke.
I’m pretty happy with how this series went. The starters all pitched well and the offense did well in two of the three games.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Rookie right-hander David Phelps went unrewarded for a quality start as the Yankees continue to patch their rotation without the services of ace CC Sabathia, who expects to return from the disabled list on Friday against the Indians in Cleveland.
Phelps limited the Red Sox to three runs over 6 2/3 innings, marking the deepest he has pitched in his five big league starts to date.
DFA everyone. Except Phelps.
Thursday, August 16, 2012
NEW YORK—David Murphy laced a game-tying double and Craig Gentry put the Rangers on top with a two-run single as the Yankees’ bullpen wobbled in the seventh inning of a 10-6 loss on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Texas avoided accepting a four-game sweep in the Bronx by getting to left-hander Boone Logan, who allowed Murphy’s run-scoring hit to right field, and right-hander Joba Chamberlain, who inherited the runners and surrendered Gentry’s single to center.
The late rally followed New York’s five-run sixth inning against Rangers starter Derek Holland, as Andruw Jones tied the game with a long two-run homer to left and Russell Martin briefly gave the Yankees the lead with a run-scoring single to center.
Just one of those days.
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
NEW YORK—Josh Hamilton did everything he could to spoil Freddy Garcia’s night, but the right-hander once again turned in a solid performance, keeping the rest of the Rangers’ lineup in check in the Yankees’ 3-2 win on Wednesday.
After a rain delay of one hour and 45 minutes, Garcia made his first start against Texas since his Yankees debut last season. The result was another performance consistent with his last eight starts, during which he’d posted a 4-4 record and a 3.83 ERA since replacing injured lefty Andy Pettitte in the starting rotation.
While New York’s offense didn’t light up the scoreboard, Garcia made a three-run third inning stand up, holding Texas to just Hamilton’s two home runs, hit in the fourth and sixth. That would be enough for the right-hander, who was lifted after 6 2/3 innings upon allowing just five Rangers baserunners on four hits and one walk. Garcia struck out six, throwing 64 of his 100 pitches for strikes.
Garcia’s been about as effective as he was last year since returning to the rotation at the start of July, and I’m enjoying that.
Safe to say that we’ll be seeing a serious house money lineup in today’s series finale matinee.
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda had turned in solid work in his previous three starts, but a lack of run support left him without a winning decision.
On Tuesday, Kuroda again did all he could to get back in the win column, and this time, his Yankees teammates would support him. Nick Swisher and Mark Teixiera hit back-to-back home runs in the seventh inning, sending the Yankees to a 3-0 win over the Rangers and giving Kuroda his first win since July 29.
For six innings, it looked like Kuroda might have a date with history. The right-hander went the distance, surrendering just two hits, ad he carried a no-hitter into the seventh. Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus broke up Kuroda’s no-hit bid with an infield single to lead off the seventh.
Andrus advanced to third base on a sacrifice fly and a wild pitch, but Kuroda shut the door on the Rangers’ lone threat of the night.
Kuroda was brilliant tonight. I think this was the best game a Yankee starter has thrown all year, particularly when you consider the opponent(Texas) and the venue (DNYS, where infield flies become homers).
All is not well in Yankee-land though. Once again they struggled to score runs for Kuroda. In fact, if you take away the two homers they hit in the 7th this game is probably still going on, so I’m not sure it should even be counted as a win. This may work in the regular season, but forget abut winning in the postseason using that strategy.
But hey, it worked tonight.
Monday, August 13, 2012
Swisher sent a third-inning rocket into the second deck in right field off Texas starter Ryan Dempster, notching his 200th career home run and highlighting a matchup of the clubs owning the best records in the American League.
Filling in for ace CC Sabathia, David Phelps offered the Yankees five solid innings of work for the victory, settling in after permitting runs in his first two frames as the rookie picked up his third Major League win in his fourth start of the year.
Phelps was solid, and should probably be able to go 90 or so pitches in his next start. He should probably get at least two more starts, and has a chance to solidify his case for being a starter, either this year or next year.
Derek Lowe also pitched pretty well, better than I thought he could. His sinker was really dropping and his slider had pretty good bite. I’m still not expecting much from him long-term, but he was nails tonight and helped the key relievers on the team get a needed night off.
It was a pretty good way to start the series.
Saturday, August 11, 2012
Nova began the outing by retiring the first nine batters he faced and was perfect heading into the fourth before Rajai Davis broke it up with a single to center. The Blue Jays went on to score that inning, but Nova was already given a lead in the top half of the frame and did not relinquish it.
The 25-year-old dominated the Blue Jays over 7 1/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on five hits, while walking one and striking out 10 to improve to 11-6 on the year. It was the third time this season that Nova has recorded double-digit strikeouts.
After a month of wretchedness, it was good to see Nova pitching better, although the Jays as currently construed are nearly as bad as the Spiders.
Friday, August 10, 2012
TORONTO—Freddy Garcia turned in another strong performance and was backed by a collective effort by his offense—including five RBIs from Ichiro Suzuki—that helped guide the Yankees to a 10-4 win over the Blue Jays in the first of a three-game set at Rogers Centre on Friday.
When the worst team in baseball history regresses back towards their mean it’s going to be ugly.
Thursday, August 9, 2012
DETROIT—Mark Teixeira and Eric Chavez hit back-to-back home runs on consecutive eighth-inning pitches from Joaquin Benoit, lifting the Yankees to a 4-3 victory over the Tigers on Thursday at Comerica Park.
Teixeira tied the game with his 21st home run, a blast to right field, and the red-hot Chavez instantly gave the Yankees the lead with an opposite-field shot into the Detroit bullpen, his 12th.
I really thought Eric Chavez’s days of being useful were pretty much over. I’m happy to have been so wrong about him.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Nobody would accuse the Yankees of not playing all 27 outs, but this outburst was just a tease. The Yankees ended one hit short; Valverde induced Curtis Granderson to pop up for the final out, securing a 6-5 Tigers victory on Tuesday at Comerica Park.
The losses are becoming tougher to swallow for the American League East-leading Yankees, who have now dropped 12 of their last 18 games, whittling what was once a double-digit division lead down to 4 1/2 games—New York’s thinnest margin since June 29.
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Justin Verlander, the reigning Cy Young Award winner and most valuable player in the American League, outshined Nova in every way at Comerica Park, even on a night when he was not necessarily at his best. But he was awfully good.
Verlander matched his career high by striking out 14 in eight impressive innings, and he allowed only two unearned runs and eight hits as the Detroit Tigers beat the Yankees, 7-2. Verlander threw a season-high 132 pitches, and he looked in command right down to the final out, a nasty curveball that made Ichiro Suzuki look abnormally awkward.
Are the Yankees on the verge of collapse?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano hit a grand slam and Derek Jeter drove in three runs as the Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak in convincing fashion, defeating the Orioles, 12-3, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees erupted for seven runs in the third inning, highlighted by Cano’s ninth career grand slam—and second of the season—a moonshot to right off Baltimore reliever Kevin Gregg. Jeter also ripped a two-run double in the inning, part of a three-hit performance for The Captain.
Behind six strong innings from starter Phil Hughes (11-8), New York peppered Orioles starter Zach Britton (1-1) for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings, powering just its fourth victory in the last 13 games.
Even if you are skeptical about Baltimore maintaining their current pace, the Yankees losing three games off their lead against them in three days would have been brutal. By salvaging today the Yankees managed to avoid that.
“I had a bad day, but I don’t feel that way,” Nova said. “I felt really good in that inning, too. I just got hit. I left a hanging curveball, and he hit a homer. I think overall, it was a tough night for me. I feel like I had command of my pitches; I just got hit.”
Girardi didn’t mince words in analyzing the performance, in which the Yankees wasted their five-run first inning against Chris Tillman and lost for the ninth time in 12 games. It looked like the Bombers might cruise to a victory, but Nova’s second inning quickly flushed those hopes.
“He had no fastball command, inconsistent slider, inconsistent curveball,” Girardi said. “He worked his tail end off after he gave up two singles in a row in the second inning to get two outs and two strikes, then threw a slider [to Mark Reynolds] that didn’t break. It just kind of snowballed after that.”
Nova’s second inning was like a train wreck unfolding in slow motion. After allowing the first two runners to reach he got two outs and got to two strikes on Mark Reynolds and it seemed like he’d get out of the mess. Then came seven runs.
You figure when your team scores five runs in the first inning they’ll cruise to victory. I guess not.
Remember how I said yesterday that I was not concerned about the Yankees collapsing? My position on that has officially changed.
Monday, July 30, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees hit three home runs off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, but that power display wasn’t enough to avert a 5-4 defeat on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, marking the Bronx Bombers’ third consecutive loss.
Yankees starter Freddy Garcia permitted three runs over six innings, but the Orioles added two key runs in the seventh charged to reliever Boone Logan, winning for the third time in their four games played in the Bronx this season.
Back-to-back seventh-inning homers by Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki off Gonzalez—Ichiro’s first home run in pinstripes, and the 100th of his career—closed the deficit, but the Yankees couldn’t push a final run across.
Homers aren’t enough should be the theme song of the 2012 Yankees. I suppose it would help if it was a song and not a headline.
Mark Teixeira left the game with a hand injury after a fielding play and obviously that’s the bigger concern than yet another one run loss. There’s no official word on the extent of the injury, with tests planned for tomorrow.
The nice thing about losing a bunch of one run games is it generally means you’ve been a bit unlucky and aren’t really as bad as you’ve looked. While the logical part of me can use that to somewhat mollify the annoyance of the Yankees dropping eight of their last 11 games, the fan in me is pretty freaking annoyed these days.
Girardi said that the Yankees continue to expect Pettitte to return to their rotation in September, and that this recent update doesn’t constitute a change in that thinking. Doctors have been encouraged by Pettitte’s healing thus far.
“I feel like Usain Bolt right now, just not quite that fast,” said Chamberlain when asked if he sees a finish line. “Just to know it’s there and the hard work’s paid off, and to know there is an end in sight, is awesome.”
Chad Qualls is probably a bit less enthusiastic about said return.
And if you’re hoping for a magic deal coming down to save the day, according to Brian Cashman, stop hoping.
Cashman said that the trade landscape has “gotten quiet all of a sudden,” and though he wouldn’t completely rule out the chances of the Yankees making a trade before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, Cashman said he is “not at all” optimistic because prices have been too high.
“There are some very motivated buyers that you’ve seen, and some very reluctant sellers,” Cashman said. “It’s always difficult to agree on price regardless. I’m very comfortable that I know we’re getting our guys back from the DL. It’s just trying to maintain health, stay healthy and get healthy, and keep going with what you’ve got.”
Translation, I’m about to trade Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez for Brandon Beachy.
Friday, July 27, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees blasted three homers to dispatch a struggling Red Sox club further into the rearview mirror, yet to hear them tell the story, the game’s most important play might have come on a first-inning ground ball.
Mark Teixeira’s dash to first base on a run-scoring fielder’s choice was lauded as a turning point in New York’s 10-3 victory over Boston on Friday, preceding Curtis Granderson’s eighth-inning grand slam and earlier two-run homers from Raul Ibanez and Russell Martin.
“Nobody overlooked that hustle play right there,” said winning pitcher Phil Hughes, who limited the Red Sox to three solo homers in seven innings. “Just to beat out that double play was huge by Tex. I think that really set the tone for the whole game, really.”
If Hughes is going to keep giving up two or three homers a game, at least he’s making them solo shots. Now if the Yankees can take at least one of the next two games I’ll be a happy camper.
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
SEATTLE—Jayson Nix cleared the bases with a pinch-hit three-run double off Shawn Kelley, helping the Yankees salvage the final game of a difficult West Coast road trip with a 5-2 victory over the Mariners on Wednesday at Safeco Field.
Nix’s clutch delivery from New York’s bench supplemented Derek Jeter’s first-inning home run as the Yankees headed for home with two victories to show for their Seattle stay, which came after the club lost four straight to the Athletics in Oakland.
Good for Nix, and good for Girardi for pinch-hitting for Raul Ibanez against a lefty after refusing to do it yesterday.
And thankfully this nightmare road trip is over. To soon be replaced by a nightmare home stand, but whatever.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
You don’t expect to win a Freddy Garcia/Felix Hernandez matchup, but the Yankees could have won this game. They blew a few chances to put some runs on the board against Hernandez, but I think the key moment in the game came in the top of the eighth. With two outs and the tying run on second base, Joe Girardi chose to stay with Raul Ibanez against the lefty Lucas Luetge despite having Andruw Jones available on the bench. That’s the Ibanez who’s hit .182/.206/.273 against LHP this season against the Luetge who’s held lefties to a line of .143/.271/.143. While it’s likely that pinch-hitting Jones would have brought a righty into the game, it’s tough to think of a worse matchup than the one Girardi willingly chose.
Girardi obviously understands the importance of platooning, or he wouldn’t have proceeded to use five different pitchers to get through the bottom of the eighth inning. So why would he ignore it on offense?
This isn’t the first time this season that Girardi has allowed Ibanez to stay in a game vs. a LHP with the predictable result of him failing to come through. Maybe it’ll finally be the last time.
As if this wasn’t enough, Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch and had to leave the game. No word on what the extent of the injury to his left hand was, but it did not look good.
Monday, July 23, 2012
SEATTLE—Ichiro Suzuki doffed his batting helmet and bowed before entering the batter’s box for the first time as a New York Yankee, having switched clubhouses at Safeco Field hours before first pitch.
Ichiro singled and quickly stole a base, but the former Mariners icon played just a supplementary role on Monday, helping his new club defeat his old one, 4-1, in the opener of a three-game series.
Hiroki Kuroda (10-7) hurled seven strong innings of one-run ball as the Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak, having made headlines earlier in the day by acquiring the 38-year-old Ichiro from Seattle for two pitchers and cash considerations.
Even before tonight, Kuroda has almost certainly been the most valuable pitcher on the Yankees and he added to that value tonight. I really underestimated how well he’d make the transition to the superior league. I really like watching him pitch.
“It’s tough. It’s tough to lose four games regardless of how it looks,” said shortstop Derek Jeter, who couldn’t handle the single that put the winning run on base with one out in the 12th. “You know, we were playing pretty good coming in here. Those guys have been playing good. They beat us four games, that’s all you can say. They’ve been playing well, they continue to play well, and they’re playing with a lot of confidence.”
Right-hander Cody Eppley was again on the mound for the Yankees when the A’s notched their 11th walk-off of the season, just like Friday night when the A’s rattled off No. 10. The Yanks on Sunday also had a rare blown save from Rafael Soriano to blame. He let up a solo home run to Seth Smith that tied the game at 4 in the ninth.
I saw maybe three innings of these four games, which is probably why this sweep doesn’t bother me as much as it should. Even the best closers blow saves, so I’m not going to crap on Rafael Soriano for last night. I guess if I was going to quibble about anything, it’d be why Cody Eppley is pitching with the game on the line. Joe Girardi used his “long” reliever (David Phelps) for 1.2 innings and 19 pitches in an extra inning game where his team had shown no interest in scoring. When you leave yourself with Eppley , Clay Rapada and Chad Qualls as your only options in a game where the first run you allow likely loses it, you’re really just waving the white flag.
I wonder how often a team loses all four games of a four game series by one run?
The luxury of building a big lead is you can handle something like this. The Yankees have lost four games to Baltimore in four days, but luckily for them the rest of the AL East contenders weren’t much better than them so the impact hasn’t been as bad as it could have been. They really need to sweep Seattle to make up for this though.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The Yankees’ third straight loss to the A’s came 2-1 Saturday night, decided by a tie-breaking home run from Brandon Inge in the eighth inning at the Oakland Coliseum. Phil Hughes was impressive in 7 2/3 innings, allowing just four hits and striking out six, but two of those hits were solo bombs. Even with the Yanks’ mighty lineup, a strong starting pitching performance doesn’t guarantee a win.
“Here we have the luxury,” Hughes said, “When you do pitch like that, we normally win.”
So much for my theory that Oakland would help Hughes’s gopheritis. I suppose a cynic would say something like, yeah, but he’d have given up six homers in DNYS, but there are no cynics here, are there?
This is the least bothersome three game losing streak (soon to be a four-game sweep) that I can remember in quite some time. All the games have been decided by one run and I’m kind of pulling for Oakland to sneak into one of the wild card slots and the Yankees are helping further that goal.
I may feel differently if they get swept though.
Wednesday, July 18, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees flashed their brand of impressive thunder before Mother Nature decided to take the stage for her own show on Wednesday. That seems to be just about the only thing capable of cooling off their red-hot bats.
Mark Teixeira’s two-run homer highlighted a four-run first inning and Hiroki Kuroda hurled seven superb innings as the Yankees notched contributions up and down the lineup, posting a rain-shortened 6-0 victory over the Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium.
That was a nice way to head into the upcoming West Coast swing. Teixeira’s season line (now at .255/.341/.506) is starting to look pretty good.
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia seemed like he’d never been away from the Yankees’ rotation, hurling six scoreless innings to lead his club to a 6-1 victory over the Blue Jays on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
Andruw Jones crushed a three-run homer off Brett Cecil in the second inning, supporting the big lefty’s return from the disabled list and powering New York’s eighth victory in its last 10 games.
Sabathia’s probably the most important player on the Yankees now, so it was nice to see him looking like vintage CC. He probably could have gone nine if he wasn’t coming off a long layoff, but there was no sense pushing it tonight. I’ll have to check the velocity numbers, but he seemed to have his best fastball of the year in this game.
Jones and Raul Ibanez appear to be making their case that the Yankees don’t need to get a LF. I am onboard with that.
Monday, July 16, 2012
NEW YORK—Raul Ibanez crushed an eighth-inning grand slam off Jason Frasor, powering the Yankees to a 6-3 victory over the Blue Jays on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
Ibanez unloaded on a 3-1 pitch from Frasor for his 10th career slam and first as a Yankee, sending a high arcing drive into the right-field seats to mark the sixth grand slam hit by the Bombers this season.
The blast made a winner of reliever David Robertson, who pitched a scoreless top half of the eighth for New York.
Sunday, July 15, 2012
NEW YORK—Ivan Nova was hit for six runs, including three homers, in a six-plus-inning outing as the Angels defeated the Yankees, 10-8, on Sunday at Yankee Stadium.
Curtis Granderson had a terrific afternoon, homering and making two catches in center field to take away likely extra-base hits, but his showing wasn’t enough for the Yankees to complete a series sweep of the Halos.
You can’t help but wonder why Nova started the seventh on a day where he didn’t have his best stuff. He allowed the first two runners to reach before being pulled which got the Angels a run. Then you have to wonder why Chad Qualls was left in the game to start the eighth after getting out of the seventh. Then you wonder why it took four hits and two runs allowed by Qualls before Girardi decided to replace him. Qualls has pitched in 577 games in his career, and in only 41 of them was he asked to face 8 or more hitters. #41 was today, and as we can see it was a bad idea.
You also have to wonder why this team did such a piss poor job of running the bases on a day where they hit Jered Weaver pretty well but didn’t capitalize on it.
They should have won this game, but I guess taking two out of three from the Angels is good enough.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
BOSTON—The Yankees know how to finish strong.
In their final game before the All-Star break, the Yankees beat the Red Sox, 7-3, on Sunday night at Fenway Park. It was New York’s eighth straight victory in a series finale on the road and it completed a 4-3 road trip.
The Yankees took three out of four games from their rivals and enter the break with the Major League’s best record at 52-33. New York also has the Major’s largest division lead, a seven-game advantage over the Orioles in the American League East.
It’s been a one-sided rivalry so far in 2012. The Yankees improved to 5-1 against the Red Sox and 9-5 in their last 14 games against clubs currently .500 or better.
Andruw Jones left his mark at Fenway Park with his fourth home run in three games. Jones crushed a two-run homer over the Green Monster in the seventh inning. He also totaled three solo shots during Saturday’s doubleheader.
It was a breakout performance for Jones, who entered the series with just three homers in 91 career at-bats at Fenway Park.
Ivan Nova also finished his successful first half with a solid outing. The right-hander struck out 10 over six innings, scattering six hits and allowing two runs (one earned) to pick up his 10th victory.
Jones went from having a disappointing season to a great one in the span of two days. Nova was great tonight, and if he had a better defense behind him he may have pitched seven shutout innings. Granted, the Red Sox lineup isn’t as imposing as it normally is, but anytime you can pitch well in the pinball machine they call home you have to be happy with it. Nova’s games are starting to become my favorite games to watch because of the way he’s developing.
The Yankees haven’t felt like a great team for much of the first half of the year, but they’ve played at a 99 win clip through tonight. It’s tough to ask for more than that.
BOSTON—Andruw Jones hit two of his club’s four home runs off Franklin Morales, helping power the Yankees to a 6-1 victory over the Red Sox in the first game of a day-night doubleheader on Saturday at Fenway Park.
Jones slugged solo shots in the first and fourth innings as the Yankees twice hit back-to-back home runs in support of Freddy Garcia, who limited the Red Sox to one run over 6 2/3 innings of work as New York moved to a season-high 19 games over .500.
It’s nice to see Garcia pitching well in the rotation. It should make the loss of Andy Pettitte a bit less dire.
BOSTON—The Yankees turned in their best work earlier in the afternoon at Fenway Park, which softened the blow somewhat after the door was left open for the Red Sox to secure a split of Saturday’s day-night doubleheader.
New York committed a season-high four errors that helped stack seven Boston runs on the Green Monster scoreboard after the fifth inning, leading to a 9-4 defeat on Yawkey Way.
If the Red Sox were closer in the race, this is the type of game that would have really pissed me off. Since they aren’t, I can shrug it off pretty easily.
Friday, July 6, 2012
BOSTON—Mark Teixeira ripped a go-ahead two-run triple off Vicente Padilla in the seventh inning, lifting the Yankees to a wild 10-8 slugfest victory over the Red Sox on Friday at Fenway Park.
Teixeira clapped his hands and pumped his fists with emotion after sliding into third base, marking a satisfying blow for the slugger, who has spoken publicly several times about his disdain of Padilla’s reputation for throwing at opponents.
Raul Ibanez followed with a run-scoring double off Padilla, and Eric Chavez greeted Scott Atchison with an RBI single in the four-run frame, helping the Yankees pull away in a contest that saw both clubs bat around for five runs in the first inning.
The Yankees scored ten runs on fourteen hits, but they didn’t hit one home run all night. They stink.
If tonight’s game was any indication of how the rest of the weekend will go, tomorrow’s day-night doubleheader should be a doozy.
Thursday, July 5, 2012
It looked like the Rays were well on their way to making it 10 straight losses for the Yankees at The Trop when Carlos Pena launched a two-run homer off Boone Logan into the right-field stands, putting Tampa Bay ahead, 3-1, in the seventh—especially after New York missed a prime scoring opportunity in the top half of the inning.
But David Robertson pitched a clean eighth inning—a welcome experience for him after admittedly blowing Monday’s game, a 4-3 loss—and Tampa Bay relieved Price with Farnsworth, a righty.
Farnsworth walked leadoff batter Eric Chavez and struck out Derek Jeter, then issued free passes to Curtis Granderson and Teixeira to load the bases. Alex Rodriguez then walked on six pitches, bringing in Chavez and trimming the Rays’ lead to one run.
“I wasn’t getting ahead of them, first off, on strike one, which obviously was huge,” Farnsworth said. “They’re going to sit on their one pitch, and they’re not going to swing. ... It’s all on me for not throwing strikes.”
Girardi added that it’s not always easy for hitters to leave the bat on their shoulder when a pitcher is throwing so many balls, especially when they could just as easily hit their way back into the game.
“We’ve got guys who can change the complexion of the game with one swing,” Girardi said. “But they remained patient, and I give them a lot of credit.”
Robinson Cano took care of things from there, knocking a two-run single to center field off left-hander Jake McGee—who relieved Farnsworth—to give the Yankees the lead. The hit also gave Cano eight straight games with at least one RBI.
“Every win’s a big win, but it’s good to get that monkey off your back,” Cano said. “You want to be able to win one and get over it. You don’t want to go to Boston losing three games.”
No, you certainly don’t want that, Robinson.
In other somewhat odd news, the Yankees claimed Darnell McDonald off waivers. This likely means we won’t be seeing Brett Gardner before Labor Day. Of 2013.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
ST. PETERSBURG—Mark Teixeira watched Elliot Johnson’s two-out grounder roll past his glove and into the right-field corner of Tropicana Field, remaining bent over as he watched it go down the line and shaking his head when he finally turned back around.
Even after watching the replay, Teixeira had no idea why he didn’t make the play. Nor did he understand how he couldn’t at least knock the ball down. It should have been the final out of the seventh inning.
Has any team ever gotten less for their money than the Yankees are getting out of Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez this year? Luckily they’re only signed for the next dozen years or so as the Yankees embark on their new austerity budget.
Anyway, despite the frustrating way that the Yankees basically handed this game to Tampa Bay, I was encouraged to see a solid outing by Freddy Garcia. I had no problem with Girardi starting him in the sixth since he’d been pitching well and since he needs to be stretched out if he’s going to be starting again. If Boone Logan, David Robertson and Teixeira had done their jobs last night we could have been talking about Garcia more than the loss.
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
NEW YORK—On a day when the Yankees lost ace CC Sabathia to the 15-day disabled list before their matinee with the Indians and starter Andy Pettitte for at least the next six weeks to a fractured ankle suffered during it, the offense proved willing to carry the load.
Mostly, it was Robinson Cano.
The second baseman continued his torrid June, starting with a single—the first hit off Cleveland starter Ubaldo Jimenez on Wednesday—and scoring New York’s first run, then belting a two-run homer to left field to give the Yankees the decisive runs in a 5-4 win at Yankee Stadium.
It was Cano’s second homer of the three-game sweep at Yankee Stadium, seventh in the past 10 games and 10th of the month. He is hitting .345 (30-for-87) in June, with 20 runs scored and 18 driven in over 24 games.
The most amazing part of Cano’s homer today is that it came with a runner in scoring position.
With Freddy Garcia pitching today in relief it looks like Adam Warren will get CC’s spot on Friday. I’d assume they’ll slot Garcia into what would have been Pettitte’s spot now. Let’s hope the hitters have their hitting shoes on for the next few weeks.
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
NEW YORK—Phil Hughes pitched eight shutout innings, Curtis Granderson drove in two runs and Alex Rodriguex homered as the Yankees defeated the Indians, 6-4, on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees (45-28) maintained the best record in the Majors, winning their fourth straight game behind the sharp effort from Hughes, who blanked Cleveland on six hits to post his fourth victory in his last five starts.
After his last start I was anxious to see how Hughes would recover. I can’t help but think that we’re going to see a string of bad starts like we’ve seen so often in his career. That he rebounded tonight was very encouraging, just as it was when he recovered from his bad start in Anaheim.
Monday, June 25, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees slugged three home runs, including back-to-back blasts by Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, winning their third straight game with a 7-1 drubbing of the Indians on Monday.
Cano drilled a two-run double and homered for the sixth time in his last eight games, just hours after learning he had moved into position for a starting nod at second base on the American League All-Star team for the July 10 Midsummer Classic in Kansas City.
The offensive eruption from the Yankees, who own the Majors’ most homers with 115 through 71 games, produced a breezy night for Hiroki Kuroda, who worked seven-plus innings and picked up his seventh victory.
Kuroda entered the eighth with a shutout and held the Indians to just five hits—including a double by former Yankee Johnny Damon—in the right-hander’s first career start against the Tribe.
That’s a nice way to start off a series.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano connected for an eighth-inning homer off Miguel Batista, lifting the Yankees to a 6-5 victory over the Mets on Sunday in the conclusion of this year’s Subway Series.
The Yankees secured their fifth win in six contests against their crosstown rivals, taking the lead as Cano atoned for an earlier error by crushing his 16th homer, nearly depositing it into the Home Run Apple in center field.
The Bombers’ victory came on a night in which they were able to rough up R.A. Dickey for five runs in six innings, but CC Sabathia accepted just a no-decision as wildness and defense let him down in his shortest start of the year.
Another shaky start for CC, but luckily the Yankees’ offense was able to overcome it, as well as some pretty piss-poor defense. Dickey seems like a really nice guy, but I’m not going to lie and say I wasn’t smiling when the Yankees broke his scoreless streak in the top of the third with a Teixeira sac fly, and then piled on with a Swisher 3-run HR in the very next AB. Cano was able to break the 5-5 tie in the 8th with a deep shot over the center field wall off Miguel Batista.
And finally, this interleague nonsense is over. Rejoice.