Saturday, May 7, 2011

Yankees Postgame Notes after a win in Texas

The New York Yankees defeated the Texas Rangers 4-1 last night.  The Yankees ended their longest losing streak of the season at three.  Ivan Nova started and pitched great, he had the longest outing of his career with 7 1/3 innings.  He allowed two hits and one run which was unearned.  He struck out one and walked one but induced lots of groundball outs and was better then he has been if not in his brief career then definitely this year.  Curtis Granderson continues to be a completely different player then he was for most of last season.  He made some changes in his swing in August and since then has been great.  There are only two other players in baseball who have hit more homeruns since then and he leads the AL this year with 10.  Granderson hit two of them last night.  Here are some notes from the postgame. 

Nova started off the year badly but in his last three outings he matched his career high in longest outing and then broke it last night.  He seems to be getting more and more confidence each time out and looks like he is going to be a solid major league starter.  The one thing that he does have is a confidence to him and he isn't afraid of anything.  Joe Girardi said "He showed me work ethic and confidence."  He said it isn't easy for a young player especially in New York but he showed a lot of fight and has come through it.  Russell Martin continues to get a lot of the credit also, he has been great offensively and defensively and has handled this pitching staff so well.  It isn't easy to switch leagues and come to a new team and learn all the pitchers and handle them this well.  Martin also dealt with a lot of them in spring training because the Yankees had two jobs up for grabs. 

Interesting situation after the game with Jorge Posada going to Joe Girardi and thanking him for sticking with him.  Posada and Girardi have never really been that close and Posada has struggled with his new role as the DH.  He is still hitting under 200 although his power numbers are pretty good.  Girardi assured him that he hasn't lost faith in him and he isn't in danger of coming out of the lineup.  It is interesting that with all the stuff flying around about Derek Jeter that Posada did this.  You have to wonder if he will go to Jeter and give him some advice. 

Nick Swisher was in the original lineup but was scratched due to being sick.  Girardi said he hopes he will be in the lineup tonight.  I would think Granderson plays against a lefty tonight but Girardi said he will have to see how he feels.  Girardi won't go against him if he says he can play because of the way he has been hitting this year. 

The Yankees and Rangers will play game two tonight at 8:05 with Bartolo Colon facing Derek Holland.  The game will be on the YES Network.  Enjoy the afternoon and the game tonight everyone. 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mets able to avoid the sweep

The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants today by the score of 5-2 to avoid the three game sweep.  They will now open a three game weekend series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The Mets got a great pitching effort out of Mike Pelfrey who needed that badly as he has struggled so far this season.  K-rod had a four out save but made it interesting in the ninth inning loading the bases with one out.  He was able to get a strike out and have Buster Posey ground out to end the game.  The Mets improved their record to 13-18.  Reyes and Beltran continue to play well and will be potential July trade bait, I would guess that both will be gone. 

Reyes has been rumored in the last couple of days to be going to the Giants.  Both teams denied even talking saying they haven't done so since the winter.  I could see him going to the Giants because they could use a shortstop but not this early in the season.  The Mets put Pedro Beato on the 15 day DL and called up Mike O'Connor, that is actually a couple of days old. 

This Dodgers series should be good, it is the oldtime New York team which is always fun and also Andre Ethier comes to town with a 29 game hitting streak.  He missed the last game then they were off yesterday so he has had two full days off.  Can the Mets stop the streak or will it go to 32 games before he leaves town.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Yankees lose their third straight

The New York Yankees lost their third straight game in Detroit this afternoon.  They lost 6-3, the game got away from them in the seventh inning.  A.J. Burnett pitched a really good game but lost it a little in the seventh inning, he wasn't helped by a huge error in that inning.  Eduardo Nunez who is known for his defense has been struggling and had a two run throwing error that made it a 5-2 game and it should of been the last out of the inning.  The Yankees bats once again were quiet, they got a lot of hits but couldn't score many runs.  The Yankees problem has been when they score runs it is with the homerun.  If they don't hit homeruns they don't usually score that much, they lead the league with 60 percent of their runs scored by the homerun.  Detroit is a really big ballpark and they don't play well there, it isn't a park that is good for them. 

The Yankees will now travel to Texas for a three game weekend series.  I would guess that the bats would wake up there, it is a place they usually play well in and it is a hitters park.  The Yankees will get a break for at least one game with Nelson Cruz sitting out today and tomorrow with an injury.  The Yankees will face a couple of lefties so expect to see Andruw Jones in left field.  The Yankees suffered a pretty significant injury today with Eric Chavez breaking his foot, he will be out a while and Ramiro Pena has been called up to take his spot.  Pena will be good defensively but he won't contribute much offensively, he has shown a knack for getting big hits though. 

Nunez came into this year with a reputation as a good defender with a big arm.  He has already made five errors this season.  As a guy who won't play every day and needs to spell Derek Jeter at shortstop that can't continue, he won't have a job if it does.  The Yankees don't believe this is the player that he is and they need to get him right.  He did make 33 errors in his breakout year of 2009 with the Double A Trenton Thunder.  He cut that number down to 14 with AAA Scranton last season.  He is hitting 385 and has some speed, he can steal a base when needed late in the game but the defense is really hurting them right now. 

The Yankees starters all pitched at least seven innings in this series but they only scored 10 runs.  They scored half of the runs in the first game.  Mark Teixeira said that they pitched well but didn't hit so well and didn't play defense when they needed too. 

Interesting little tidbit the last time that Arod was used as a pinch runner was in 1995 when with Seattle he pinch ran for Tino Martinez.  The YES Network had that one for you.  The Yankees knew when Girardi came out to third base to look at Chavez that he was coming out of the game.  the Yankees put on an act to give him more time to get loose.  Girardi said he didn't need another guy getting hurt. 

Derek Jeter will play tomorrow according to Girardi.  Girardi said that they hit balls hard all over the place today but they were caught, they did have a lot of hits today so maybe that is a good sign.  I didn't see the game today but from what I hear and see tonight it appears that they were just unlucky today with their offense.  It could be a good sign for them heading into Texas where they normally play well and are able to score a lot of runs. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yankees shut down in Motown

The Yankees were shutout in Detroit tonight by the score of 4-0.  Freddy Garcia pitched well into the eighth inning but the offense just couldn't get anything going off of Max Scherzer.  He looked very impressive, he is 5-0 on the season and is a young right hander.  The Yankees offense has not been very good lately and on this early season they have been a homerun or nothing kind of team.  If you look at the averages on the team they are pretty bad.  Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano are their two best pitchers and they have both come way down due to slumps.  Derek Jeter has been a groundball hitting machine this year and he left this game early with a hip injury.  I would expect to see Nunez at short tomorrow which may not be the worst thing for a couple of days. 

The Yankees pitching wasn't bad at all.  Garcia gave the Yankees what they could expect, seven innings, four runs, he struck out eight and only walked a couple.  Buddy Carlyle pitched a scoreless inning.  Garcia on most night would win with the Yankees offense scoring runs, they average over five per game.  The Yankees have now lost two in a row and will try and split the four game series tomorrow afternoon. 

A.J. Burnett will pitch against Rick Porcello tomorrow before the Yankees head to Texas to take on the Rangers in a three game weekend series.  The Yankees have shown that they are a fastball hitting team and lately the opposing pitchers have given them a healthy dose of breaking balls and they haven't been able to adjust to that yet. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Yankees at Tigers-Game Two of Four

The New York Yankees will play game two of their four game series in Detroit tonight.  It will be C.C. Sabathia against Brad Penny in the pitching matchup.  The Yankees won the first game last night by the score of 5-3.  Bartolo Colon had another strong outing and continues to impress everyone.  Here are some notes and the lineup for tonight. 

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin, Brett Gardner.  Nick Swisher is sitting this one out, I think it is just a day off as he has played every inning so far this season.  The Yankees are in a long stretch of consecutive games and Girardi tries to give everyone days off to keep them fresh. 

Nick Swisher announced today that he signed a deal with New Balance for two years.  It is an endorsement deal and he will be wearing their shoes on and off the field.  Swisher is a great guy to have to promote your product.  I can definitely see him going into acting after his playing career is over.  He has already done a little bit of it.  His wife Joanna Garcia of course is an actress so that probably has something to do with it but he is a natural in front of the camera. 

Phil Hughes was going to Columbia Presbyterian for further evaluation today in New York.  When there is something if anything to know about him I will have that on this blog.  It looks like he will just continue to rehab and hopefully the velocity will come back.  The Yankees can afford to take their time right now with Colon and Garcia doing so well.  Ivan Nova has also stepped up in his last couple of starts. 

The Yankees signed Brad Halsey a former farmhand to a minor league deal.  It appears that he is in extended spring.  He is 30 years old and hasn't played in the major leagues in a few years but did pitch for an independent league last season.  He is a lefthanded pitcher trying to revive his career, lefties always find a way to hang around. 

Enjoy the game which is at 7:05 tonight. 

Mets vs. Giants-Emotional night on tap

The New York Mets begin a three game series with the San Francisco Giants tonight at Citi Field.  They are the first NY team to play in NY since Osama Bin Laden death, it is sure to be a patriotic and emotional night.  Here are some notes and the lineup.

Mets Lineup:Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, David Wright, Carlos Beltran, Ike Davis, Lucas Duda, Josh thole, Jason Pridie, R.A. Dickey.

Lucas Duda was recalled from AAA Buffalo due to Jason Bay going on Paternity leave for 1-3 days.  Duda was batting 257 in AAA with four doubles, three homeruns and nine RBI.  He has had five out of his last eight games be multi-hit games.  Those stats are in 21 games down in AAA.

Jenrry Mejia is off to see Dr. Andrews, most likely he will undergo T.J. surgery in the near future but just wants to make sure.  It is never good when you go and see Dr. Andrews.  The Mets have high hopes for this kid and this was a devastating injury but most are able to come back from the surgery in a year or two and be just as good if not better. 

The Mets will wear special stars and stripes hats tonight.  A source says the Mets will sell a part stake in the team this month.  I will see it when I believe it but they keep saying they have minority investors and they have been moving forward.  It is hard for me to believe anyone will do that without some type of agreement about having a chance to get the whole team. 

The game is at 7:05PM on SNY, enjoy the game everyone and it should be emotional with the patriotic theme, USA USA will be heard going through the crowd, a special national anthem and God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.  It should be fun to watch at home on T.V. if your not going to the game. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yankees win another series at home

The New York Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon 5-2.  The Yankees won two out of three and still haven't lost a series at home.  They split four games with the Chicago White Sox in the last series but they have won every other home series.  The Yankees will now begin a four game series in Detroit beginning tomorrow and then head to Texas for a three game weekend series.  Here are some notes from today.

It has been amazing to watch the transformation of Curtis Granderson.  He changed his swing with hitting coach Kevin Long last August and only two other players have hit more homeruns since then.  He has eight homeruns this season, he didn't hit his eighth last season until July 25th.  Granderson will play in Detroit for the first time since the trade. 

Ivan Nova struggled with his fastball early on.  He went to his curveball and got all his strikeouts off of it.  Nova said that last start he started using his curve more.  This was his second straight quality start.  He has pitched into the seventh inning two starts in a row.  This is a young man that struggled to get out of the fifth inning last season, he is showing improvement and growth which is a great sign.  He has good stuff and shows amazing compusure for a young man. 

Before Nova Al Leiter was the last Yankees rookie to start five of the Yankees first 25 games.  That was back in 1988.  Robinson Cano suffered a bruised left hand, it happened on a pickoff throw in the sixth inning.  He didn't come out of the game until he was supposed to hit in the eighth inning.  He told Kevin Long he couldn't grip the bat, he will get treatment and says he will be ready to play tomorrow night. 

Jorge Posada tied Joe Dimaggio for 10th on the Yankees all-time list of games played with 1,737.  Mark Teixeira has hit six of his seven homers at home.  He has hit all six in the first three innings.  Teixeira in the first inning this season is batting  474 with three doubles, three homers and six RBI. 

The Yankees hit two more homers today which extended their major league lead to 45.  They have 15 multi homer games this season.  They have scored 80 of their 139 runs via homers.  The 57.6 percentage  also tops the majors.  Mariano Rivera has 10 saves which is the earliest he has done that.  The Yankees pitching has been great lately, they have allowed three or fewer runs eight times in the last 10 games.  The starters have a 2.44 ERA over the last 13 games. 

Yankees vs. Jays the rubber game

The New York Yankes are playing the final game of their three game series with the Toronto Blue Jays this afternoon.  The Blue Jays won on friday night and the Yankees bounced back to win last evening.  This is also the last game of a seven game homestand.  Here is the lineup and some quick notes. 

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli.  Ivan Nova makes the start and trys to get some momentum after pitching into the seventh inning for the first time in his career last time out. 

Cervelli was activated on Friday and will make his first start of the season today.  He broke his foot in spring training and rehabbed and came back a little earlier then expected.  He should play more now to give Russell Martin some rest so they don't wear him out.  Martin has been great but you don't want to burn him out. 

A.J. Burnett yesterday wasn't great but it was a good example of the difference in him.  Last year he would get frustrated and get out of control.  This season so far he has been able to fight through things, he knew he didn't have his curveball and early on he admitted it bothered him but he found a way to fight through it and earn the victory.  He finished April at 4-1 with an ERA under four.

Burnett recorded the 26th pickoff of his career yesterday ranking him fourth amongst active right handers.  Granderson lost a ball in the sun to lead off the game yesterday but didn't use that as an excuse.  He said it was hit harder then he thought.  He did admit the sun was troublesome until the seventh or eighth inning.  That is what you have to like about Granderson, he is a good guy and very accountable, he doesn't use excuses and comes to play every day. 

The Yankees were 4-9 with runners in scoring position yesterday after being 0-8 on Friday night.  The five runs were the most they scored this season without hitting a homerun.  They are a team that has mostly relied on homeruns and they need to have more games like this where they score in other ways. 

The combination of Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera pitched the last three innings the way they are supposed too.  They didn't give up any runs.  Soriano bounced back from a rough outing last time out and he vows he will have a better May after a rough April.  I still believe he will get better and really help this team and the bullpen will become a strength of the team. 

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