Saturday, October 17, 2009
The New York Yankees will take on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim tonight weather permitting in Game 2 of the ALCS. The Yankees took Game 1 last night 4-1 behind a dominant pitching performance from CC Sabathia. A.J. Burnett will take the mount tonight against Joe Saunders. A.J. had a good game in the ALDS but recieved a no decision and Saunders didn't pitch in the ALDS for the Angels. Joe Saunders will be on long rest. Here are some notes and the lineup via the Yankees media notes and the Lohud Yankees Blog. The Yankees are 52-1 this season when holding their opponents to 2 runs or less, including 3-0 in the postseason. The Yankees were 66-20 this season when scoring first. The Yankees were 71-2 this season when leading after 6 innings showing just how good their bullpen has been. The Yankees are 15-0 this season when the score is tied after the 7th inning. According to Elias this is the second longest streak in ML history under those circumstances. The 1906 Giants won 16 straight that were tied at the end of the 7th inning. The Yankees scored 8 runs with 4 homeruns and 6 walks in the 7th inning or later during their 3 game sweep in the ALDS. The Yankees never give up and never say die and this is the mark of a great team. During the regular season the Yankees posted a ML best 293 avg under the same circumstances. A-rod is batting 462 with 4 runs, 2 homeruns and 7 rbi's in the postseason. He has hit safely and driven in at least one run in all four of the Yankees postseason games. His 2 homeruns and 5 of his 7 rbi's have tied the game or put the Yankees ahead. He has gone 3 for 4 with 4 rbi's with RISP. Half of his homeruns and rbi's during the regular season either tied the game or gave the Yankees lead. The Yankees have gone 34 and 8 at home since the all star break including 3-0 in the postseason. Phil Hughes became the primary setup man on 7/3 and since then the Yankees went 58-26. The Yankees were 31-5 in games which he appeared in. The Yankees were 36-18 vs LH starters in 2009 the second best winning percentage in the majors against lefties. They led the majors with a 286 batting avg against lefties. Yankees starters have a 1.33 era in the postseason. They are holding their opponents to a 186 batting avg and have 28 strikeouts with only 7 walks. They have held their opponent to 3 runs or less in 15 of their last 16 dating back to the reg season. They say pitching wins and the Yankees pitching has been great. Yankees Lineup: Jeter(SS) Damon(LF) Tex(1B) A-rod(3B) Matsui(DH) Swisher(RF) Cano(2B) Cabrera(CF) Molina(C)
Friday, October 16, 2009
The New York Yankees won Game 1 of the ALCS 4-1 tonight. CC Sabathia is the story of the game as he went 8 innings giving up 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk and 7 strikeouts. He was just dominant all night, never in trouble. The Yankees scored two early runs with some help from the Angels defense. A-rod had a sac fly, single and a couple of walks. Johnny Damon had a couple of hits after having a terrible ALDS. Robinson Cano continues to struggle as well as Hideki Matsui. The story of the game though was the pitching and if CC continues to pitch like this then the Yankees will be hard to beat. A.J. Burnett will try to go out tomorrow and pitch just like this and really put the Angels in a hole heading back to Anaheim. The weather doesn't look good for tommorrow so they may not play until Sunday but hopefully they can play tomorrow and keep it going. I thought the Yankees offense was better but still not great but in the postseason these are the type of games that are played. It was about 30 degrees and that doesn't help the hitters, so you have to pitch and play defense and you will win games. The Yankees are scoring enough runs to win and that is all that matters. It looked like Joe Girardi listens to talk radio and the papers as he let CC go where as he had a quick hook in the ALDS and got criticized for it.
It has been a long wait, 5 days to be exact but it is finally time to play some baseball. The weather is looking ok for tonight and they should be able to get the game in uninterrupted. It doesn't look great for tomorrow unless they change the time and Sunday doesn't look great either but we will wait and see what happens. It will be really cold like in the 30's tonight with the wind being 15-20mph. The Yankees and Angels both swept their first round series and are now starting over again. This is the first time these two teams will meet in a best of 7 series. The Angels eliminated the Yankees in the best of 5 in 2002 and 2005. Here are the pregame notes and lineups via Sam Borden of the Journal News and the Yankees media guide. CC will pitch 3 times in this series if the weather permits. He has pitched well on 3 days rest in the past but the Angels do well against him. He was 0-2 with a 6.08 era in 2 starts against them this season and is 5-7 with a 4.72 era in 14 career starts. A-rod had a monster division series and he has done well against the Angels this season. He was 8 for 24 with 5 homeruns and 9 rbi's against the Angels this year. Johnny Damon was the only regular that took part in a simulated game on Tuesday at the Stadium. He was 1 for 12 in the ALDS and is hitless in his last 10 at bats. Him and Kevin Long worked on things and they think they found a mechanical flaw that they fixed. MO is still the best, he appeared in all 3 games of the ALDS and didn't allow a run while striking out 7. Joe Girardi will go to him early if he has too and won't be worried about it. If you look around all the other closers had trouble in the first round but not MO. The Yankees have been great against the other teams bullpens this season and the Angels weakness is their bullpen. Brian Fuentes the closer led the league in saves but he also blew 7 of them and had a 1.40 whip. He has untested or aging guys behind him and if they have to go to the pen early and often they could be in trouble against the Yankees. Yankees Lineup: Jeter(SS) Damon(LF) Tex(1B) A-rod(3B) Matsui(DH) Posada(C) Cano(2B) Swisher(RF) Cabrera(CF)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
The Yankees today decided to add Freddy Guzman and drop Eric Hinske from the roster. I don't think this is that big of a deal but clearly the Yankees are going to play this series different, run more and play small ball the Angels way. I think this is also saying that Gardner may start and Guzman would become the main pinch runner. A.J. Burnett will pitch game 2 and Andy Pettitte game 3 which was expected but Joe Girardi won't go beyond that for now. Dave Eiland talked about Phil Hughes and said they made a slight adjustment and thinks he will be better now. Johnny Damon worked with Kevin Long and also thinks he made a mechanical adjustment and will be better. This has been a long wait and it could be even longer but hopefully not. The weather was terrible in the NY area today and tomorrow it doesn't look good either, Saturday may be a little better. I hope this game gets started and on time but it is possible we may not get to see a game tomorrow either. There is only so much analyzing and talking about certain things you can do, these teams are pretty closely matched and it is time to prove who the better team is on the field. It will be interesting to see if Joe Girardi uses Jorge Posada for a DH in game 2 with a lefty pitching and Molina catching Burnett.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
I was able to find some more facts about the season series between the Dodgers and Phillies. The Dodgers won the series 4 games to 3. The thing to remember is that Manny Ramirez did not participate in any of these games as he was suspended. The Phillies had 3 players who hit very well against the Dodgers and they were Carlos Ruiz who was 8 for 14 with a homerun and 5 rbi's. Raul Ibanez was 8 for 26 with 1 homerun and 5 rbi's. Jayson Worth was 8 for 26 with a rbi. The Dodgers had James Loney who was 11 for 28 with 2 homeruns and 6 rbi's. Matt Kemp was 9 for 27 with 3 rbi's. Casey Blake was 8 for 24 with a homerun and 4 rbi's. The guys who were cold for the Phillies against the Dodgers were Ryan Howard who was 3 for 28 with 1 homerun and 3 rbi's. Shane Victorino was 3 for 24 with 1 homerun and 3 rbi's, Chase Utley was 4 for 26 with 2 rbi's. Jimmy Rollins was 5 for 28 with a homerun and 2 rbi's. The Dodgers had some cold bats against the Phillies. Rafael Furcal was 6 for 27 with a homerun and rbi, Russel Martin was 5 for 22 with 1 rbi. Pitching wise Clayton Kershaw struggled against the Phillies going 0-2 in 10 1/3 innings giving up 6 earned runs on 8 hits with 10 strikeouts. Brad Lidge struggled for the Phillies against the Dodgers going 0-1 in 3 2/3 innings he allowed 3 runs on 8 hits with 3 strikeouts. Randy Wolf did well against the Phillies going 1-1 in 12 innings he allowed 7 runs on 11 hits with 12 strikeouts. Jonathan Broxton was 2-0 in 3 innings he allowed 2 earned runs on 3 hits with 8 strikeouts. Cole Hamels did well for the Phillies going 1-0 in 16 innings he gave up 1 run on 12 hits with 14 strikeouts. Ryan Madson went 4 innings allowing 0 runs on 4 hits with 4 strikeouts. I hope this gives a good look at the NLCS and what we may see but of course in baseball you just never know. I got these stats off of philly.com but you can also find at baseballreference.com and other sites like these.
The NLCS will begin tomorrow in Los Angeles. The Phillies beat the Dodgers in the NLCS last year in 5 games but this year the Dodgers have the homefield. Clayton Kershaw will start game 1, the Phillies have not announced their rotation yet but it will probably be Cole Hammels. The Phillies may choose to break up the lefties and that would open up a shot for Joe Blanton to pitch game 2 with the Cliff Lee in game 3 and maybe Pedro Martinez in game 4 otherwise they would throw J.A. Happ. I think the Dodgers have more depth in their rotation and a better bullpen, the Phillies weakness is their bullpen at least in the backend although they think they may have straightened Brad Lidge out. It remains to be seen as the stakes are even higher now. The Phillies have the clear advantage in the lineup and with their power but the Dodgers lineup isn't terrible especially if Manny Ramirez continues to hit like he did in Game 3. I think the Dodgers will win this series in 6 and set up a Yankees/Dodgers World Series which would be one for the ages. I do think the Phillies would be a better team if they had a closer so it is possible that Brad Lidge steps up and then I could see the Phillies winning this series but right now I wouldn't trust him or anyone else who may close for them. It looks like Joe Torre will be retiring after this year so this may be the best chance for him to return to NY and face his former employer and the team that made him what he is. The Dodgers will be starting Kershaw in GAme 1 who is the 2nd youngest starter for them in postseason history and they have a long history. Cole Hammels doesn't seem to be the same pitcher as he was last year but he is looking to rebound in the NLCS.
The New York Yankees worked out today at the Stadium and Joe Girardi met with the press. There wasn't much that came out of it other then him saying the weather could change things and he is considering a change in the OF, I would think the only change he could make would be to start Brett Gardner instead of Melky Cabrera and then carry Freddy Guzman as the pinchrunner and leave Marte or Hinske off of the roster. We know CC, A.J. and Andy will start the first three games in that order but we don't know after that. It is assumed and I think rightfully so in this case that CC will go in game 4 if there are no rainouts and it is a close series. I am sure if the Yankees were somehow up 3 games to none then they would let Gaudin or Chamberlain start. It is going to be cold and rainy this weekend but I don't know if it will be enough to cancel the games or a game. This could actually help the Yankees because it would slow down the Angels but we have to wait and see how the weather plays out. The Angels were more forthcoming after their workout and it was announced that their rotation will be John Lackey, Joe Saunders, Jered Weaver and Scott Kazmir in that order. Mike Scioscia had a good quote about the weather and CC according to Sam Borden of the Journal News. "I'm hearing a lot of rain, we may face Sabathia 7 times. We may play one game a week, I don't know." This is what the Angels manager said which is pretty funny, meaning he can't worry about it because there could be other things that affect it. That is it for today I am sure with news, both teams will workout at the Stadium tomorrow and I am sure there will be some news then and maybe some quotes.
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The New York Yankees and Anaheim Angels played 10 games in 2009 and went 5-5. 6 of those games were played in Anaheim where the Yankees went 2-4 getting swept there right before the all star break but then winning 2 out of 3 in the middle of September. The Yankees won 2 out of 3 at home early in the season and then a makeup game in September. The Yankees historically have had their problems with the Angels as is well documented. They lost to them in the playoffs twice in 2002 and 2005 but that was a long time ago. The Yankees only have played them in the ALDS, never in the ALCS. This will be the Yankees first appearance in the ALCS since 2004. Pitching- The Angels ace is John Lackey who was hurt earlier in the year but pitched very well in Game 1 against the Red Sox in the ALDS. CC Sabathia pitched very well also in Game 1 of the ALDS against the Twins. This should be a good matchup but I think the Yankees have a slight advantage here. John Lackey has made 10 postseason starts and has a 3.02 era while Sabathia has struggled before Game 1 of the ALDS. Lackey has had less strikeouts and more walks since his arm injuries the last two seasons. Lackey has made 3 appearances in the playoffs against the Yankees, two as a starter. He has surrendered 3 earned runs and 10 hits in 14 1/3 innings which is a 1.88 era. Lackey won his only start against the Yankees this season on July 12th against CC Sabathia. He gave up 2 earned runs in 7 innings. He is 5-7 with a 4.66 era in 16 career starts against the Yankees. CC Sabathia was 0-2 with a 6.08 era against the Angels this season in 2 starts. A.J. Burnett will be pitching at home once again in game 2 where he really flourishes and has good feelings now that he got his first postseason start out of the way and pitched well. The Angels rotation won't be announced until tomorrow but it looks like they may go with Joe Saunders in game 2, the manager said he wants a lefty going in Yankee stadium so it could also be Scott Kazmir but it looks like they are leaning towards Saunders with Weaver going in game 3 and Kazmir in game 4. I think the Yankees have the slight edge in pitching but the Angels starters aren't so bad themselves. The main difference with the pitching is the bullpens where the Yankees have a much better and deeper bullpen. Brian Fuentes is a good closer but the Angels don't have much other then that. Jepson has been pretty good but overall the weakness of their team is the bullpen. Hitting- The Yankees have arguably the best lineup in baseball and A-rod is hot and carried the Yankees in the first round but other then him and Derek Jeter they didn't hit much against the Twins. Johnny Damon had a really rough series with 1 hit and 4 strikeouts. Robinson Cano, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher none of these guys really did anything or not much at all and the Yankees will look for the offense to really get going now in the ALCS. The Angels were carried by Bobby Abreu who batted close to 600 in the ALDS. Vlady Guerrero is a big bat still and Torii Hunter is a solid player. The key for the Angels is to get chone figgins and Maiztur Izturis on base and then start the running game. If the Yankees pitchers keep them off of base then they will have success. The Yankees want to grind out at bats and get to the bullpen early and go to work on the Angels weakness. I would give the Yankees the edge in hitting but the Angels are pretty good. I would think this series is going 6 or 7 games and I am going to pick the Yankees in 6. The Yankees will have confidence that they finally won a couple of games in Anaheim and they played well at home against them and they have the homefield advantage. I think everything so far has gone the Yankees way and they are capable of playing even better and will to get back to the World Series.
Here are some number to look at and ponder before we start looking ahead to the ALCS which will begin on Friday at 7:57PM on Fox. I will also start looking at the NLCS which is a rematch from last year between the LA Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies. Here are some of the numbers from the Yankees/Twins series. 1.42 era for the Yankees starters 2 runs given up by the Yankees bullpen in 10 innings. 5 runs scored by the Yankees in the final innings of the three games. 6 homeruns hit by the Yankees. 15 total runs scored by the Yankees. The Yankees finished 10-0 against the Twins including the postseason. The Yankees had 10 pitchers appear in the ALDS. A-rod had a 455 batting avg which is tops on the team. A-rod also had 2 homeruns and 6 rbi's. His 2 homeruns were 2 more then he had in his last 16 postseason games. 99,470 was the combined attendance of Games 1 and 2 at Yankee Stadium. Those are numbers to ponder and think about but I will have a post up later looking ahead to the ALCS and NLCS. This is going to be a great series between the Angels and Yankees.
Monday, October 12, 2009
The New York Giants had a very easy 44-7 win over the Oakland Raiders who are a complete mess. Eli Manning was able to get in and out without much of a problem. He threw 2 TD passes and had around 170 yards passing and then got out of the game and watched David Carr handle the offense just fine. Ahmad Bradshaw had 110 rushing yards and Brandon Jacobs had 67 rushing yards. He doesn't seem to be the same player this year but I don't know what to make out of it. If they are getting yards with Bradshaw then they will use him more. The Giants don't have much to complain about as their defense was great again but they have played 3 easy games in a row and are 5-0 but now comes the hard part. They will travel to New Orleans to play the 4-0 Saints who have the best offense and will present a huge challenge to the Giants. The Giants just keep winning and are now in good position because if you just go 500 the rest of the way you will still be in good shape, they were very business like in winning these games they had to win and that is a good thing.
The New York Yankees swept the series and had strong starting pitching to set it up. The Yankees offense the last 2 games was shutdown at least for a good portion of the game but as we have known all year with this team they just keep fighting and keep coming at you and until the game is over they are never out of it, especially at home. A-rod was the MVP of the series even though there isn't one for the ALDS. I think Andy Pettitte actually pitched the best out of the 3 starters. CC and A.J. were good but can be even better. A.J. was a little too wild with 5 walks and 2 hit batters. Phil Hughes didn't have a great series out of the pen but we can see the formula is starter for 6 and then Joba-Phil-MO. I do think Joe Girardi was a little too quick to get the starter out and put the pen in but it worked and you can't complain too much. I hope he is going to let CC go a little further in game 1 on friday especially since he will be on 9 days rest. A.J. you do want to get out before the game gets out of hand and Andy probably could of stayed in a little longer but it wasn't a terrible move. The Yankees now have to think about using only 3 starters again as they can have CC go games 1, 4 and 7. He would only be on three days rest for game 4 but he is on 9 days rest for game 1 and normal rest for game seven if it went that far. I think this is the way they will go and use Chad Gaudin as long relief if they have too. I don't think you will see Damaso Marte in the second round but we will see. Joba does look better out of the pen and he can be trusted in a big spot and Dave Robertson has a lot of confidence now. The Twins just made too many mistakes and they were overmatched even though the games were pretty close except for game 1. The Twins made a lot of baserunning mistakes which is unusual but it could of been the pressure getting to them. The Yankees now can start preparing for the Angels and I am sure by Wed we will hear about the roster and any news on the rotation.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
The New York Yankees defeated the Minnesota Twins 4-1 to move on to the ALCS and a date with the Anaheim Angels. The Angels always play the Yankees tough and this will be a great series but the Yankees proved towards the end of the year they can beat those guys. I don't want to talk about that just yet as we will have all week to look ahead. I do want to review this series also which I will do tomorrow. The bottom line is the Yankees starting pitching stepped up and I think they can be even better at least CC and AJ. Andy Pettitte pitched great tonight and Joba, Hughes and Mo did the job although it wasn't so easy. A-rod continued to hit getting a solo homerun and a walk. He ended up hitting just under 500 in the series with 2 homeruns and 6 rbi's. Derek Jeter proved once again why people love him and you don't realize how good he is unless you watch him all the time. He makes plays all the time that won't show up in the boxscore. Johnny Damon had a rough series offensively but can rest now and get rejuvenated. Jorge Posada had a good game with a homerun and a rbi single. The Yankees were partying well but they still say the right things with not being satisfied. I will have the review of the series tomorrow and a preview of the Angels later this week.
The game is on at 7:07 on TBS, its a good thing they are playing indoors as temperatures outside will be in the 30's with snow showers. It is so good they will be playing outdoors starting next year isn't it? Here are the pregame notes and lineups via the Yankees media notes and Sam Borden/Chad Jennings of the Journal News. The Yankees are up 2-0 in the best-of-five series and are one win away from the ALCS. The Twins came into the postseason as the hottest team, but the Yankees have cooled them off in two different ways: With a gem from CC Sabathia in Game 1 and an 11-inning thriller in Game 2. Andy Pettitte is making his 36th postseason start tonight, which means the veteran lefty has basically pitched one full season in October during his career. His numbers? 14-9, 3.96 ERA. His regular-season averages? 17-10, 3.91 ERA. In other words, he’s one of the best at making the biggest games seem just like every other. Pettitte also owns the Twins – the last time he lost a game to Minnesota was April 30, 2001. Alex Rodriguez seems to have forgotten whatever it was that plagued him in previous Octobers, busting out for five RBI in the first two games of the series including his “Yankee Moment” in Game 2 when he crushed a two-run homer in the ninth inning to tie the game. A-Rod is 4-for-8 in the series. Playing in the Dome is supposed to be a big advantage for the Twins but the Yankees seem more at home there than Minny does. The Twins have lost seven straight home playoff games, four of which were to the Yankees during the 2003 and 2004 first rounds. Despite being up 2-0, the Yankees haven’t gotten much production from the vaunted lineup. Other than A-Rod and Derek Jeter, no Yankee regular is hitting over .300 in the series. Mark Teixiera and Jorge Posada have two hits in the ALDS; Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui, Robinson Cano and Johnny Damon all have just one. In case you hadn’t heard, former Yankee Carl Pavano is standing between the Yankees and the second round. Pavano occasionally played – I use the term loosely – for the Yankees from 2005-08, then signed with Cleveland this year and was traded to the Twins at the deadline. Assuming he doesn’t suffer a debilitating hangnail early, he could do some damage against the Yankees: In two starts against them this season, he allowed just four runs in 13 1/3 combined innings. Yankees Lineup: Jeter(SS) Damon(LF) Tex(1B) A-rod(3B) Matsui(DH) Posada(C) Cano(2B) Swisher(RF) Cabrera(CF) Twins Lineup: Span(CF) Cabrera(SS) Mauer(C) Cuddyer(1B) Kubel(RF) Young(LF) Harris(3B) Morales(DH) Punto(2B)