Saturday, June 4, 2011

New York Mets vs. Atlanta Braves

The New York Mets will be hoping to even their three game series against the Atlanta Braves tonight.  The game is at 7:00PM at Citi Field.  The Mets lost last night by the score of 6-3.  The Mets are having a tough homestand, they have injuries all over the place, they can't win, the stands are empty, there isn't much else that could go wrong for them.  They even had good news about David Wright yesterday but he is still going to be pushed back another three weeks.  Ike Davis, who knows when he will be back, no one not even Davis has an idea.  The Mets are a mess right now but somehow manager Terry Collins has kept them around the 500 mark and should be comended for that.  Here is their lineup for tonights game.

Mets Lineup:Jose Reyes, Justin Turner, Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan, Jason Bay, Josh Thole, Ruben Tejada, Dillon Gee.

Yankees at Angels Lineup

The New York Yankees will send their ace C.C. Sabathia to the hill tonight looking to even their three game series.  They lost to the Angels last night 3-2, Ivan Nova pitched a good game showing much improvement from his previous four starts.  Jered Weaver was almost unhittable though only giving up three hits.  The Yankees have had their problems in Anaheim over the years, they haven't won a series there in seven years and out of the last 28 series they have won eight of them in Anaheim.  If they could just win one game they will have had a winning road trip.  This is the end of a nine game, ten day West Coast swing, the longest trip of the year for the Yankees.  The Yankees will be off Monday and then start a three game series at Yankees Stadium agains the Red Sox on Tuesday night. 

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner.

Yankees lose in Anaheim as usual and some notes

The New York Yankees lost to the Anaheim Angels last night by the score of 3-2.  It was a very non exciting game.  There were only three hits from the Yankees, they made Jered Weaver work but that is all they did.  They had him at 101 pitches after five innings but he only threw six pitches in the sixth inning and that is what could of changed the game.  If they were more patient and got him out in that inning would they have won the game??  It is difficult to say, who knows what would of happened but it didn't help that he got through that inning really quickly and was able to complete seven innings.  Ivan Nova is the other story as he started out shaky and the Yankees bullpen was busy in the fourth inning, he settled down though and pitched a good ballgame going into the seventh inning.  He is having an up and down season and many young starters do but he seemed to grow up in this one a little bit.  Here are some postgame notes from the late game.  The two teams will play game two of their three game series tonight at 9:00PM.

 Jeter on his 15-pitch at-bat to start the game: “It was a while. I don’t know how many pitches it was, but it was probably the longest I’ve been up there. I’m not known for being up there too long.” Just a few seconds later, with a straight face, Jeter began explaining that his entire approach tonight was to foul off as many pitches as possible. He was kidding.

 After Jeter flied out to end that opening at-bat, he clearly communicated a little bit with Weaver as he ran off the field. “It was just more of a gesture,” Jeter said. “I’ve known him since he was a teenager, so it was all in good fun.”

 The line drive back to the mound hit Nova at the very bottom of his glove hand, and pretty much hit all glove. Nova said he’s fine. “I just see the ball right at my face and react,” he said.

Turns out to be significant that Jorge Posada’s fourth-inning double bounced over the wall. If that weren’t a ground rule double, Nick Swisher almost certainly would have scored an extra run.

 Nova had never faced any of the Angels hitters before tonight.

Boone Logan was brought in to face a switch hitter tonight. He got two strikes, but he couldn’t put Alberto Callaspo away, giving up a single. “I just thought he missed his spot with that pitch,” Girardi said. “With two strikes, hitters sometimes shorten up a little bit and take a little bit different approach, and you got to be able to make the pitch.”

 The Angels announced that Ervin Santana has been bumped up one day and will start Saturday in place of Dan Haren. Joel Pineiro will start Sunday’s game in place of Santana.

 Jeter was asked if it’s starting to feel like the Yankees are facing one ace after another. “Even if you’re facing guys that may not be big-name pitchers,” he said, “they still seem to get up for us and throw the ball well."

The Yankees really struggle in Anaheim and with the Angels in general.  The Yankees are 45-56 against them including last nights game since 2000.  They haven't won a series in Anaheim in seven years and are 8-20 in their last 28 series there.  Anaheim is not a place the Yankees like going too, for whatever reason they just don't win there. 

The Yankees will have their ace on the mound tonight with C.C. Sabathia pitching against Ervin Santana. 

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mets vs. Braves Pregame with the Mets Lineup

The Mets begin a three game series with the Atlanta Braves tonight at Citi Field.  Here are some notes, with Ike Davis comments and the Mets lineup.  The game is at 7:05PM.

Ike Davis spoke to reporters this afternoon at Citi Field, about his ankle and his recovery, basically saying the following:

He knew the sprain wasn’t bad, but the bone bruise is in the ankle, and it has been slow to heal.

The ankle got worse when he ran, and so they decided to shut him down.

He is in New York for a couple of days, and will head back to Port St. Lucie to continue his rehab.

He is trying to take time off from hitting to see if gets better faster.  It does seem strange that he would be out for so long with this injury but you can't get into his body to see how he really feels.

There is no timetable for his return, I don't expect him back anytime soon.

In addition, Terry Collins spoke with reporters, and basically said:

David Wright had an appointment with doctors, and he doesn’t have the results yet.  The appointment was at 3:30 so maybe before the game but I would expect to hear in the postgame.

The Braves have a complete pitching staff, and they are all tough pitchers.

He likes that Manny Acosta has been throwing strikes with high velocity in the minors and he feels Mike O’Connor needs to get his command back.  He thinks that Ruben Tejada will be a very good major leaguer.

Tonight’s lineup is:

1. Jose Reyes SS

2. Justin Turner 3B

3. Carlos Beltran RF

4. Jason Bay LF

5. Daniel Murphy 1B

6. Angel Pagan CF

7. Josh Thole C

8. Ruben Tejada 2B

9. Jon Niese LHP

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yankees sweep Oakland and some postgame notes

The New York Yankees won 4-2 this afternoon over the Oakland Athletics sweeping the three game series.  The Yankees started off this road trip losing the first two games, they have now won the last four in a row.  They have run into good starting pitching but the offense has done well and the Yankees starters have performed really well which they have for most of the season.  It is really interesting that they don't get talked about a lot right now but they may be soon if this keeps up.  Ivan Nova has the highest ERA of the starters and that is in the high fours.  Every other starter has an ERA below four.  Here are some postgame notes as the Yankees will enjoy a day off on Thursday and head to Anaheim to get ready for a three game series there beginning Friday night.

“Our guys have pitched pretty well too,” Joe Girardi said. “Bartolo got us off to a great start, and Freddy’s been throwing the ball well, and I just felt that our club, we had a chance to win every game on this road trip, and we’ve been playing better. I just felt we had a chance today.”

Following the lead of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett gave the Yankees seven strong innings. He allowed a two-run homer in the first inning, then allowed one more hit the rest of the way. Girardi said Burnett got stronger as the game went along. 

“Once you’re out there you don’t think about it,” Burnett said, “but obviously you don’t want to be the guy that makes the winning come to an end either. I think we’ve done a good job here of late, and to keep it going, it’s up to us to go out and set the tone. Our defense and our hitters see that confidence and see we’re in those games. It helps them out as well.”

“We’ve beaten three pretty darned good pitchers,” Alex Rodriguez said. “Our guys have been terrific. You can’t say enough about the jobs Colon and Garcia have done. Those guys have been Godsends for us, and A.J. was terrific today.”

Said Girardi: “Pitching is the key, obviously. You have to pitch well to win a lot of games. Whenever we pitch well I get excited, but it’s good to see our offense swinging the bats. It’s great.”

The Yankees got their first three-game series sweep of the season. Every other series sweep this year has been a two-game set against the Orioles. With Sunday’s win in Seattle, this is also the Yankees first four-game winning streak of the year.

Girardi pointed out that this game wasn’t necessarily easy for Burnett. The final numbers are outstanding, but he was laboring, especially early. The difference, he said, was an adjustment away from his four-seam fastball, which was finishing too far up in the zone. “I think at times in the past I would stick to it and get beat up,” Burnett said. “I realized that the two-seamer kept me down in the zone today. To righties I used that more and changeups to lefties. Everything was down.”

The Yankees have won 10 straight against the A’s, and they’ve gone 24-4 against them since Girardi became manager in 2008. “That’s hard to believe because they’ve got a really good team,” Alex Rodriguez said. “Billy Beane has done a great job of gathering talent and great pitching.”

 When Swisher was traded to Chicago, Gonzalez was one of the primary pieces coming from the White Sox to the A’s. Swisher said he had no idea until this morning that he was facing a guy he was once traded for. “I just found out about that this morning, that we were in the same trade,” Swisher said. “No one likes getting traded, bro. You don’t really pay attention to who was on the other side of it. He’s a great pitcher, no doubt, and he’s got a lot of potential. I wish him the best of luck.”

 Derek Jeter had a double to move within 16 hits of 3000. “I can’t wait, man,” Swisher said. “I can’t wait to see that. I’ve seen someone hit 500 (home runs), seen Mariano save 500, but I’ve never seen 3,000 hits, man. I’m excited to see that.”

 Jeter has a seven-game hitting streak and has a .512 on-base percentage when leading off the first inning this year. That’s the highest such on-base percentage in the Majors.

 Russell Martin is hitless in his past 16 at-bats. On the positive side Mark Teixeira has a nine-game hitting streak.

 Mariano Rivera picked up his 14th save of the season. He’s now pitched in 1,002 games, tying Goose Gossage for 14th on baseball’s all-time games pitched list.

 Burnett had not won a game on the road since August 10, 2010, an 11-start streak without a victory. He was 0-5 with a 5.64 ERA. No other Major League starter failed to get at least one win on the road over that stretch (minimum 60 innings pitched) and only one had a higher ERA. Carl Pavano was the other pitcher.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Yankees defeat Oakland and some postgame notes

The New York Yankees defeated the Oakland Athletics by the score of 5-0 on Monday evening.  Bartolo Colon made the start and pitched a complete game four hit shutout.  It was his first shutout since 2006.  Colon continues to be a huge story this season, he is the frontrunner right now for comeback player of the year.  Colon was good in spring training but no one could of seen this coming.  He is 3-3 on the season but with a low threes ERA.  The Yankees offense got going early in this game with three first inning runs.  They tacked on a couple more late in the game and they cruised to victory.  The Yankees have now won two in a row after losing the first two of this long road trip in heartbreaking fashion.  The Yankees and Athletics will play game two of their three game series on Tuesday night in Oakland, game time is 10:05 Eastern Time. 

“I feel really good,” Colon said. “I thank God that I’m healthy, and I’m helping the team to win. I feel really strong physically and mentally right now.”

Trevor Cahill had allowed as many as three runs in a start only twice this season. The Yankees scored that many in the first inning. “Cahill’s one of the best pitchers in baseball,” Mark Teixeira said. “We didn’t get a lot of hits off him, but we made them count. Scratching out a couple of runs early was big for us.”

 Teixeira has a seven-game hitting streak and has four home runs in his past five games. He’s hit seven homers in his past 11 games and is now tied with Curtis Granderson for the second-most homers in the American League.

 Jeter extended his hitting streak to five games. He’s hitting .359 in that span and has reached base to start the first inning in 20 of his 41 games as the Yankees leadoff hitter this season.

 Colon has not walked any of the 69 batters he’s faced to leadoff an inning. No other American League pitcher has started more than 30 innings without walking the leadoff hitter. This was Colon’s ninth career shutout and his first since July 5, 2006 in Seattle. It was his 32nd complete game.

Colon said he actually feels like a better pitcher now than when he was in his prime because he’s throwing more strikes now. “When he first came up he threw the ball as hard as he could,” Jeter said. “Now he’s hitting spots, his ball is moving, he’s getting ahead of guys. He’s become more of a pitcher. I think he was more of a thrower.”

 Brett Gardner snapped an 0-for-13 stretch with a bunt single in the ninth. He also stole two bases tonight, the second one as part of a double steal that setup a sac fly in the seventh. It was a shallow fly ball to center. No chance any of the Yankees except Gardner would have so much as attempted to score on that ball.

Jorge Posada is 0-for-10 on the road trip and has one hit in his past 17 at-bats.  Posada is going to be an interesting one.  I don't know how long the Yankees will keep him out there if he isn't hitting, he is a Yankees icon but you have to do what you have to do to win.  Will the Yankees keep him around as a bench player, will they just release him outright or will they keep him as DH as long as they are winning.  It is impossible to know right now but it will be June in another day and he is still hitting below 200. 

Alex Rodriguez snapped a season-high nine-game hitting streak.

The Yankees are 22-4 against Oakland since Girardi became manager in 2008

Monday, May 30, 2011

Yankees in Oakland for Memorial Day

The New York Yankees start a three game series in Oakland this afternoon which is Memorial Day.  They played a day game in Seattle yesterday and are playing another day game today in Oakland.  Here are the pitching matchups for the series and the Yankees lineup for today.

Bartolo Colon vs. Trevor Cahill-Today

Freddy Garcia vs. Brett Anderson-Tomorrow Night

A.J. Burnett vs. Gio Gonzalez-Wednesday afternoon

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner. 

The game is at 4:05PM today, enjoy the nice hot weather in the New York area and your bbq today.  I will have the postgame recap and some notes later on tonight. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Mets win finale at home against the Phillies

The New York Mets defeated the Philadelphia Phillies by the score of 9-5.  They did not want to get swept at home by the Phillies. They came out on fire and had a 8-0 lead after two innings.  Jon Niese started and pitched a very good game, the bullpen struggled a little bit but with a big lead they were able to close out the game.  Jose Reyes magical season continued with four hits.  He is now batting 335 on the season, you think he is in a walk year and knows he may get traded??  Justin Turner continues to impress with two more hits and is hitting 330 on the season.  Daniel Murphy and Josh Thole each had three hits. 

The Mets will begin a three game series Monday night with the Pirates.  Dillon Gee will be on the mound in that one.  He will face Charlie Morton and the game is at 7:10PM.  R.A. Dickey had a bullpen session this morning and it went well.  He is scheduled to start on Tuesday but doesn't know yet if he will be making that start. 

Terry Collins said today that he hopes Johan Santana will be throwing batting practice in the next couple of weeks.  He has been throwing from 200 feet and off the slope of a mound. 

Carlos Beltran left the game with tightness in his hamstring.  Terry Collins said he expects him to be in the lineup on Monday night.  According to Ian Begley of ESPN New York doctors believe that Gary Carter has a Grade 4 glioblastoma which affects the brain and central nervous system.  It is inoperable but doctors are optimistic that they can shrink the tumors. 

The Yankees salvage the final game in Seattle

The New York Yankees defeated the Seattle Mariners by the score of 7-1 on Sunday afternoon.  They needed a game like this after two heart breaking losses Friday and Saturday nights.  The Yankees had a chance to win all three games in Seattle and should of won at least two but they only ended up getting the one victory.  They head to Oakland now to take on the Athletics a team that is rolling right now winning four games in a row for the first time this season.  The Yankees will see more good pitching but like Michael Pineda and Felix Hernandez, the ironic thing is the Yankees didn't do so bad against them, they just couldn't hit the bullpen of Seattle. 

Nick Swisher hit a homerun in this game and also drew a walk.  It looks like he may be starting to come out of it.  Eduardo Nunez had his first career triple and didn't make a throwing error.  Derek Jeter is only 20 hits away from 3000 now.  He should be able to get it on the next homestand.  He still has these six games to go on the West Coast so we will see how he does in those and then a homestand to see if he can get it done. 

C.C. Sabathia pitched like the ace that he is, the Yankees offense helped him like they usually do but he still went eight innings and was really only in trouble in the fifth inning and he turned a 1-2-3 double play on Ichiro Suzuki to end the inning.  Sabathia was pumped up on that one, he pumped his fist as he left the field.  It was 7-0 Yankees at the time but the Mariners had the bases loaded with one out and could of jumped right back in the game. 

In Sabathia last eight starts the Yankees have averaged more then eight runs per game.  Sabathia said he has noticed it.  Andruw Jones had the big hit of the game with a three run double with two outs in the third inning.  It made a 2-0 game 5-0 and send the Yankees cruising to victory.  Sabathia leads the majors in wins since his debut in 2001.  In his past three starts Sabathia has pitched 25 innings and he has an ERA of 1.80, the Yankees have won all three of those starts.  Sabathia truly is an ace, he gives the Yankees everything he has and he pitches deep into games especially when they need it the most like todya. 

Teixeira has a six game hitting streak and five game RBI streak.  In his past ten games he is hitting 262 with six homeruns and 13 RBI.  Lance Pendleton pitched another scoreless inning, every reliever has appeared in the three game series.  Pendleton still hasn't been charged with a run in his brief major league career. 

Phil Hughes update:He threw a 30 pitch bullpen on Sunday morning and felt good.  He did mix in his changeup and curveball.  The first 20 were all fastballs, then he mixed up the last ten.  Hughes said no problems and no pain, he is scheduled to take a couple of days off and throw another bullpen on Wednesday.  Hughes said he thinks he could throw BP this coming weekend in Anaheim. 

Yankees lose again in Seattle

I kind of thought the Yankees would lose the first two games of this road trip but not in the way that they have.  They were facing a young phenom in Michael Pineda and then the reigning Cy Young Award Winner Felix Hernandez.  They did lose both games but they didn't do so bad against those pitchers.  They had the lead in both games but weren't able to hold it and also they couldn't do anything at all against the Seattle bullpen.  The guys in that bullpen are doing a good job but they aren't exactly household names.  The Yankees problem all year long has been their inability to hit with runners in scoring position and that has continued in this series.  The Yankees will try to salvage the final game of the series this afternoon at 4PM.  C.C. Sabathia will be on the mound against Jason Vargas. 

Ivan Nova had his worst start since April.  He didn't have command and got taken out in the fourth inning.  It wasn't a good start for him but he is still young and learning.  He will have his ups and downs and that is what happens when you have a young starter in your rotation, it is just in New York it is magnified and there isn't as much patience when the mission statement is win the World Series or it is a failure. 

The Yankees bullpen was outstanding last night but a couple of bloops off of Mariano Rivera lost them the game.  Luis Ayala, Hector Noesi, Dave Robertson and Joba Chamberlain all held the Mariners scoreless.  Rivera was really the only choice for Girardi, he could of went to Pendleton but if he did that Rivera would of been the only man left in the bullpen and you can't have a single inning pitcher as the only one left.  He could of went to Ayala for another inning but then he would start getting to the point where he was burning him out.  Rivera took the loss but he didn't pitch that bad, they just hit a couple in the right spots, one of them Gardner just missed catching. 

Derek Jeter is now the all-time Yankees leader in stolen bases with 327, he passed Rickey Henderson who accomplished the feat in five years.  Jeter now can set his sights on 3000 although I don't really think he is thinking about it.  I think he may start thinking about it when the Yankees return home, especially if he is within 10 or 15 hits.  I think Jeter will hit 3000 at home in the next homestand. 

Robinson Cano has been in a really bad slump but he had a good night, three hits and really good at bats.  The homerun that Cano hit was his first since May 12th and only the second homerun of the month for him.  I would expect him to get hot and hit a bunch quickly but to me the more cocerning thing is that his average was in the 270s.  He isn't a power hitter even though he hits homeruns, he is a high average guy though and that hasn't been there. 

Mark Teixeira went deep again and now has eight homeruns in his last 17 games at Safeco Field.  He has 14 career homers at Safeco.  Only Eric Chavez has more with 15 career.  Teixeira has homered in three straight games.  The Yankees are 3-4 in extra inning games this season.  The Yankees were 1-9 with runners in scoring position and once again that is what killed them, they need to start getting hits with runners in scoring position to win games. 

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