Saturday, June 25, 2011

Yankees postgame notes after their win

It came out after this 8-3 win over the Rockies that Alex Rodriguez has been playing on a sore right knee since hurting it last Sunday night while running the bases against the Cubs at Wrigley Field. Joe Girardi had a chance to pull him with a 6-0 lead after seven in this latest game, and he took advantage of it.

A-Rod might be hobbled a bit, but he hasn’t let it bother him at the plate. He knocked in three runs with two hits, so he now has at least one RBI in five straight games and 50 for the season. He’s batting .545 (12 for 22) in his last six, with at least one hit in each game, and .408 in his last 14.

”He comes to play every day, and that’s what great players do,” Girardi said. “You’ve got to find a way to fight through the little nicks that you have in the course of the season.”

CC Sabathia turned in another inspired performance in winning his third straight start and becoming the first pitcher in the majors to win 10 games – eight innings, one run, seven hits, one walk, nine Ks.

The lefty matched Chien-Ming Wang for the fastest to 50 wins among Yankees pitchers over these last 30 years. This was Sabathia’s 85th start in 2 1/2 seasons. He’s also the fifth Yankees pitcher in the last 60 years to win No. 50 and have fewer than 20 losses. This season, the Yankees have scored at least seven runs for him eight times. Also, he has gone at least seven innings 11 times in 17 starts, often taking the burden off a banged-up bullpen.

Yankees snapped their two-game skid and have won 11 of 15.

“I feel the past week we’ve been playing outstanding baseball,” Nick Swisher said.

The Yankees are up to a major-league-best 21-4 in day games as opposed to 23-27 at night.

“It’s probably a lot of luck,” Gardner said.  That is a really weird stat and I don't know what to make of it. 

Curtis Granderson scored two runs and leads the majors with 68. He has scored at least one time in seven straight games, which is one away from his career high. He’s also batting .295 in home games.  He is like a completely different players since changing his swing last season.  This season he is just on a tear though and it is fun to watch. 

Jorge Posada had a season-high-tying three hits and has now hit safely in 10 of his 11 starts, batting .405 over the span.  Ever since he sat out that one game he has been a different player.  I don't know if that helped him clear his mind or get everything off of his chest but whatever happened it worked.  I also think his son having surgery and being ok has helped. 

Nick Swisher went 2 for 3 with a sac fly and is now batting .315 in his last 27 games, raising his average from .204 to .245.  They needed Swisher to start hitting because he is a fun guy in the clubhouse but they couldn't have him batting 200. 

Sunday is Old-Timers’ Day. They will take batting practice starting at 10 a.m. The ceremonies begin at 11:30, followed by the Old-Timers’ game. The regularly scheduled games is down for 2:20.  It is always a fun day and Joe Torre, Bernie Williams and Lou Piniella will be making their first Old Timers appearances.  Torre was at Yankee Stadium for the unveiling of the Steinbrenner Monument but this will be the first real appearance for him as he will be announced and get a hand and all of that.  He last managed in 2007 with the Yankees and left in a not so good way, the organization and he have mended fences though and it should be a great day. 

Yankees defeat the Rockies behind a dominant Sabathia

The New York Yankees defeated the Colorado Rockies on Saturday afternoon by the score of 8-3. Sabathia started the game for the Yankees and was simply dominating. The Yankees offense also went to work with just about everyone involved. Robinson Cano was the only player without a hit. The only homerun of the game for the Yankees came from Mark Teixeira but they hit four doubles. The doubles came from Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher.
Sabathia pitched eight innings giving up seven hits and one run. He walked one and struck out a season high nine batters. Sabathia became the first major league pitcher this season to record 10 wins. He is 10-4 with a 3.25 ERA. Buddy Carlyle pitched an inning giving up a hit and two runs. He walked two and struck out one.

Posada led the offense with three hits and he had an RBI. Brett Gardner had a hit and two walks, Curtis Granderson had two hits and an RBI and Teixeira had two hits, two RBI and a walk. Alex Rodriguez had two hits, three RBI and a walk, Swisher had two hits and an RBI and Eduardo Nunez had a hit. Francisco Cervelli had two hits. The Yankees were 5-14 with runners in scoring position and they left eight men on base. Gardner had a stolen base which was his 15th of the season. The Teixeria homerun was his 22nd of the season.

The teams have split the first two games of this series and will play the rubber game on Sunday afternoon. The game is at 2:05PM as it is Old Timers Day. The ceremonies begin at 11:30AM for that and it is always a special day. There are over 50 former Yankees expected to attend. Joe Torre, Bernie Williams and Lou Piniella are making their first appearances. Torre will be making his first appearance since managing his last game as a Yankee in 2007. The Yankees are also back in sole possession of first place after the Boston Red Sox lost their fourth in a row on Saturday night

Yankees lose to the Rockies as Giambi has a big night

The New York Yankees lost to the Colorado Rockies by the score of 4-2 tonight.  Jason Giambi made a return to the Bronx.  He played with the Yankees for seven seasons and was a crowd favorite.  He did get a nice ovation and then in his first at-bat launced a solo homerun deep into the right field bleachers.  Giambi is now 40 years old and limited to pinch hitting duty but in this series with the DH he gets to play all three games.  The Yankees will play three games against the Rockies and then after an off day play three against the Brewers. 

A.J. Burnett made the start for the Yankees.  Burnett didn't have his control and he wasn't very good but what has been a major difference from last year is he kept the Yankees in the game.  If this were last year he would of totally imploded been out of the game and the Yankees would of had no shot.  In this game he figured things out and finished strong and was able to pitch into the seventh inning.  Boone Logan had another strong outing as he gave up one hit in 1 1/3 innings.  He is their only lefty out of the bullpen right now and they need him to get out some lefties.  Luis Ayala finished off the game with 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit. 

The offense was all supplied by Alex Rodriguez.  He had an RBI double and a sacrifice fly.  Rodriguez is starting to really heat up once again.  His power numbers are a little down but I wouldn't be suprised to see him go on a streak soon where he hits five in a week.  Nick Swisher had a good night with a couple of hits, Curtis Granderson had three walks. 

The two teams will play game two of the their three game series on Saturday afternoon.  It will be C.C. Sabathia vs. Aaron Cook.  On paper this looks like a total mismatch where the Yankees should win setting up a rubber game on Sunday which is Old Timers Day.  Sunday should be an emotional day as Joe Torre will be back in the bronx for the first time since 2007 when he managed against Cleveland in the ALDS that they lost in four games.  Bernie Williams and Lou Piniella will also make their first Old Timers Day appearances. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Mets notes on an off day

The Mets lost Friday, won Saturday and lost yesterday against the Angels. They were  off today, and they’ll begin a three-game series against the A’s in Citi Field starting Tuesday night.

According to multiple reports, David Wright played catch for the first time on field Sunday, while also fielding ground balls from his knees. Wright is recovering from a stress fracture in his lower back, and said he will see a doctor later this week in hopes of being cleared to begin rehabbing in St. Lucie.
“It’s day-by-day,” Wright explained. “I just have to wait it out and make sure the bone heals correctly before I start amping it up. … Hopefully I’ll be ready to go after I get that clearance.”

Saturday, Jose Reyes told reporters that, despite a brief meeting with Scott Boras, there is “no chance” he will leave his current agents.  That is a little bit of good news for the Mets, I still believe he will get traded this season though and if not he will become a free agent.  I don't see anyway the Mets can keep him.

Before the game, fans, players and ex-teammates signed a giant Get Well card for Gary Carter.  That is really nice, it is so sad what  he is going through.  The Mets need a good series against the A's, they need to start winning at home and making a run at over 500, then they can start thinking wild card.  They have been fun to watch and they have hung in there but at some point they need to really get something going not win two lose two, win one, lose one. 

Yankees take series in Chicago over the Cubs

“Either way, I’m ready,” Swisher said. “I’m not a guy that really looks at the numbers. I just go off how I feel in my own head. You have to. This game can beat you up and it can put you at the top of the mountain. You’re going to have good times and bad times, but tonight was definitely a good night.”  This is Nick Swisher talking about his three run homerun that won the game for the Yankees.  Swisher had been struggling all year long from the left side but did his job in this at-bat. He was brutal earlier this season, but for the past month now he’s hit for average, hit for power and drawn 21 walks in his past 23 games.
“I feel good,” he said. “I know I dug myself a hole there early in the season, but I’ve been battling, fighting and putting the time in, just having run. I’m finally laughing again and smiling, really enjoying the game like I know how.”

Brett Gardner also seems to have turned his season around, and Jorge Posada was showing some positive signs before the Yankees started playing the National League portion of the schedule and lost their designated hitter. The Yankees right now are playing well and their offense is doing what it was supposed to for the most part, Swisher, Posada and Gardner have huge importance with the offense and the best case scenario has happened with them hitting again.  The Yankees don't want to make a trade for a bat, if this continues they won't have too, if anything they need pitching. 

 CC Sabathia had another one of those games where he looked rocky earlier and seemed to finally decide he’d had enough. After the Alfonso Soriano homer that gave the Cubs a three-run lead, Sabathia allowed just three more hits and he retired 12 of the last 13 batters he faced.  Sabathia is that type of guy that will battle through things and give you a chance to win the game. 

 Both Sabathia and Girardi said the key was going to more offspeed pitches late in the game. The Cubs were being aggressive, and Sabathia was able to get some early swings and misses.

 Of course, you know what Sabathia was most upset about: His 0-for-3 at the plate. He actually came up in pretty key spots early in the game and never got it done. And that’s from a guy who takes a lot of pride in his ability to hit. And his teammates know it. “I’ve been getting crushed in (the clubhouse),” Sabathia said. “You know me, I didn’t go in and look at pitches I was throwing. I went in and looked at my three at-bats. We’ve got some work to do before Citi Field.”

Rough couple of days for Russell Martin, who was run over at home plate yesterday and was hit in the head on a swing tonight. “It’s part of the trade unfortunately,” Girardi said. “You’re going to get hit with some back swings and it’s frustrating, but we’ll see how he is tomorrow.”  Martin is tough, real tough and he was back behind the plate tonight. 

 Girardi said he was going to Dave Robertson in the bottom of the eighth, no matter what happened in the top of the inning. “I was going to make the switch because that part of the order had given (Sabathia) trouble,” Girardi said.

 Three-hit game for Brett Gardner, including the first leadoff home run of his career. He has eight multi-hit games in his past 15. “I really didn’t have a lot of concerns (putting him in the leadoff spot),” Girardi said. “His struggles the first month of the season were whether he was hitting first or ninth, he was struggling. He’s just started to swing the bat well.”

After losing the opener, the Yankees were able to salvage a series win. “It’s a good feeling,” Girardi said. “We didn’t score any runs the first day, and to be able to come back and the way he won tonight, it’s a close game and then we were able to break it open.”

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Yankees defeat the Cubs in a sloppy game

The big play of the game was Carlos Pena being nailed at the plate in the sixth inning.  Bowled over and knocked to the ground, Russell Martin picked himself off the dirt and turned toward two men. He was showing one of them his glove and more so that he had held onto the ball.  Who was he showing it to though??  The umpire or Carlos Pena?

“I was showing it to Pena,” Martin said. “That’s just the feistiness in me.”

 “When someone’s trying to run you over,” Joe Girardi said. “You don’t necessarily help them up.”

Ever since Buster Posey was lost for the season, home plate collisions have been a hot-button topic around baseball. Girardi has said time and again that he was against any sort of catcher-protection rule. Catchers are supposed to block the plate, he said, and that’s what Martin did tonight.

“That was a clean hit,” Martin said. “There wasn’t anything dirty. As a catcher, you have to know when to put your body in position and when not to… Yesterday, I told Swisher, ‘I’m getting bored back there. I haven’t had a play in a long time.’ I got what I asked for.”

 You can't forget about the error on the double play ball, but Eduardo Nunez still managed to show why the Yankees have some faith in him as an everyday shortstop while Derek Jeter is on the bench. He scored the go-ahead run, drove in the key insurance run and had his third two-hit day since taking over the position. “I don’t think Nuney (gets) enough credit for what he did in the ninth,” Gardner said. “The double he hit to left-center ended up being the game-winning hit. That was the difference.”  Nunez has a pretty good bat, he has some pop, can steal bases and has a good arm.  He has to get better defensively though, once that is cleaned up he may be the heir apparent at short stop.  Derek Jeter wasn't very good in the field in the minor leagues and really never good at all up the middle, they talk about his decreased range with age but he really never had great range at least up the middle. 

A.J. Burnett was pretty good today. Actually, he was very good today except for a bad fastball that Pena hit for a two-run home run. Burnett would have pitched through the sixth if not for Nunez’s error. He struck out eight and showed a terrific curveball.  If you didn't watch the game and see he didn't complete six innings you may say he wasn't that good but he would of been through the sixth without the error.  If Burnett can pitch that way consistently which he has for most of the year the Yankees are happy.

Another day with Burnett praising Martin for his ability to block breaking balls in the dirt. “If I’ve got a strike on a hitter, I’m going to throw it in the dirt as hard as I can,” Burnett said. “I always tell Russ, I just try to get it by him. That’s my goal. He won’t allow it to happen.”  Martin started off hot with the offense and has cooled down but he still is a very good defensive catcher and that is the most important thing.  This shouldn't be taken as an insult but Martin is the best defensive catcher the Yankees have had in a while.

Burnett on his weird sac bunt that started foul — by a lot — and rolled back into fair territory: “I work on putting English on it,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it. It bounced a good foot foul and hit that ridge and rolled back fair.”  It was a very weird play but as John Sterling would say that's baseball Suzyn. 

  Until Mariano Rivera allowed a home run in the ninth, this pieced together bullpen had gone eight straight games without allowing a run. Corey Wade, Hector Noesi and Dave Robertson pitched 2.2 scoreless to form the Rivera bridge tonight. “These guys have taken an opportunity and ran with it, a lot of these guys,” Girardi said. “We call up Corey and he does a good job. Noesi does a good job. They’re just throwing the ball well.”  Of course they miss Joba Chamberlain and Rafael Soriano and the lefties that never started the season but the bullpen they have now is doing a great job.  The main reason they miss those guys is the experience they have, these guys are getting good experience now though and so far so good.

 Girardi said he wasn’t bothered by a series of base running mistakes tonight. He likes his guys being aggressive. The head-scratcher was Alex Rodriguez being thrown out by 10 feet trying to stretch a single into a double. “I didn’t ask him,” Girardi said. “I usually don’t talk to guys right away in that situation. If I had to guess, I think he thought Soriano kind of dropped his head and was just was going to kind of take it easy throwing it in.”

Thanks to the Lohud Yankees Blog for providing some of the information from this game.  This was a very sloppy game for the Yankees but they will take any win and tonight will go for the series with their ace on the hill.  C.C. Sabathia is matching up against Randy Wolf.  It looks like a mismatch on paper but you never know.  This is a fathers day, night game.  The game is on at 8:00PM on ESPN.  The Yankees will head to Cincinatti to start a three game series there tomorrow night. 

Resistance Bands is a Free Blogger Template