Saturday, July 2, 2011

Yankees defeat the Mets once again

The Yankees defeated the Mets 5-2 on Saturday evening.  They won their seventh straight game and another interleague series.  The Yankees won every interleague series this year and are 13-4 in interleague with one last game tomorrow at the Mets.  The Yankees are 50-31 at exactly the halfway point of the season.  The team is on pace for 100 wins and they are 1-8 against the Red Sox.  They have been amazing against everyone else.  Here are some news and notes from postgame on Saturday.

Colon has a breaking ball and a changeup, but it’s that fastball that makes him so good. It’s the reason he gets so many strikeouts looking. He’s now thrown 13 consecutive scoreless innings, a stretch of dominance that extended to both sides of a DL stint.  Colon may be the MVP of this Yankees team. 

 Derek Jeter is finished in Trenton. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and a run. He started one double play and had to make at least one impressive, spinning play.  He came through the game fine and will play nine innings tomorrow before rejoining the Yankees on Monday in Cleveland.  It is ironic it is there, he started his first game there and that is where George Steinbrenner is from and it will be the Fourth Of July which would of been the Boss birthday. 

 Speaking of shortstops, you know all about Eduardo Nunez’s 7-for-8 the past two days. It turns out, his only out was caught by an old friend of his. Nunez has known Mets second baseman Justin Turner for a few years now, and in the sixth inning, Turner made a terrific play to rob Nunez on a line drive headed for the gap. “He told me, you can’t be 7-for-7,” Nunez said. “He’s my friend.”

Girardi said he had some advance notice that Colon might be this good. “They said he was really sharp on Monday,” Girardi said. “His velocity was good and the movement was good. He’s kind of surprised us all year long in a sense. We weren’t sure what we were going ot get out of him in spring training, and he just continued to pitch well and he did today.”

A.J. Burnett, CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova are still scheduled to start the Cleveland series. “They’re still the probables,” Girardi said.  This could change of course but that is it for right now.
 By the way, Girardi said he’s not positive he’ll have an announcement about Phil Hughes tomorrow. That seems a little crazy since he’s on turn to start Monday, but that’s what Girardi said.  It is a very tough choice but you know that CC, A.J. and Colon must stay in the rotation, Garcia isn't suited for the bullpen and Nova has eight wins and has been pitching better over his last four starts.  Nova is the likely guy to go down but is that really fair to him.  I would think that will happen rather then a six man rotation because they don't want to mess around with CC and A.J. 

For the second day in a row, the Yankees and Mets drew the largest ever crowd at Citi Field. They had 42,042 today. They had 42,020 last night.  The Yankees seem to have gotten a lot of those this year, largest at Wrigley, I believe in Cincinatti and now at Citi Field. 

 The Yankees are now 24-4 in day games. That’s an .857 winning percentage. They’re also on track for exactly 100 wins with a 50-31 record midway through the season.  It is hard to imagine with them being 1-8 against the Red Sox and they are still 2 1/2 games ahead of them for first place in the AL East. 

 Two more scoreless innings from Cory Wade. The Yankees really seem to have found something there. Russell Martin caught Wade when he had a 0.925 WHIP out of the Dodgers bullpen in 2008. “He looks like he’s even sharper now,” Martin said.  Wade has been a revelation much like Colon.  The Yankees have done well this year with the scrap heap pickups. 

Sergio Mitre made his season debut with the Yankees and gave up two runs in the ninth.  He is viewed as a long man but he has to produce, if not they could call someone up. Dominant pitching performances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight, as well. D.J. Mitchell pitched seven shutout innings in the first game of a double header, then George Kontos spot-started the second game and went four scoreless with no walks and five strikeouts. Keep an eye on both of them. Those would be legitimate long relief options if Mitre continues to struggle.

Yankees News and Notes from Friday and Saturday

Eduardo Nunez won’t be the Yankees starting shortstop much longer, and he knows that. Best-case scenario is that he’ll be in the lineup two more days. If he’s playing much longer than that, something’s gone wrong with Derek Jeter’s rehab.  Jeter got through a rehab today and felt good, he is slated for all nine innings tomorrow then should be active for the Cleveland game on Monday. 

“I’m Eduardo Nunez, I’m not Derek Jeter,” Nunez said. “He’s a Hall of Famer. I’m this young guy. I have to learn a lot and do my best… I know he’s coming back, but I play hard, and one time my moment is coming to play every day. These two weeks have been an opportunity for me to show my manager, my staff and everybody that I can play (every day) one day in my career.”

Nunez made this team because of his bat, and after tonight’s 4-for-4, he’s hitting .309 as Jeter’s replacement. The eighth-inning insurance run he drove in gave the Yankees some breathing room on a night they seemed to hold their breath a lot.  Nunez had three hits today and was robbed of another one by Justin Turner. 

The obvious knock on Nunez is his defense. He has a strong arm and plenty of range, but he’s showing some of the inconsistency that you might expect, but not necessarily like, from a young player.  He has had seven hits the past two days but Jeter is the shortstop for now.  Girardi did say he will try and get Nunez more at-bats. 

“He belongs here,” Mark Teixeira said. “He’s a guy that’s going to play in this game a long time, and he’s showing with this stretch here, these past couple of weeks, that he can play at this level.”

Said Joe Girardi: “When you have guys go down, a lot of times it’s kids who have a chance to step up. And he’s stepped up big time.”

Four scoreless innings from the bullpen, including key outs from Cory Wade and Boone Logan. “It makes it easier for us now that we have an idea exactly what we have,” Girardi said. “In the beginning when we were calling people up, you had to learn them as quick as possible and try to figure out which situations they’re most capable of being successful, but we’ve had them a little while and it definitely helps out to have that little background when you’re bringing them in.”

Nick Swisher has a season-best eight-game hitting streak coming into today's game. He’s hitting .379 during the streak.

  Brian Cashman said before the game that it’s unlikely Jeter will play the full nine innings.  He said this on Friday night.  Jeter ended up playing five.  He was 1-2 with a walk and made some nice plays in the field. 

 Cashman also said Rafael Soriano threw a 32-fastball bullpen and could be back the first series after the all-star break — that’s best-case scenario — but Eric Chavez had a mild setback with a strain in his back. He’s eligible to be back next week, but Cashman said that probably won’t happen

Yankees take Game One of the Subway Series at Citi

The New York Yankees defeated the New York Mets by the score of 5-1 on Friday night. Ivan Nova started for the Yankees and battled for five innings. He was in trouble pretty much all night but he only gave up a run. The Yankees bullpen did a really nice job. The Yankees offense jumped out early and that was all they would need. Jon Niese wasn’t horrible but he got hit hard early and couldn’t recover from them. The Mets offense was shut down tonight, they had been rolling on their recent road trip.
Nova pitched five innings giving up one run on seven hits. He walked two and struck out three. Nova improved his record to 8-4 with a 4.12 ERA. It was said that he could pitch his way out of the rotation with this game because of Hughes coming back soon. The Yankees have a decision to make now but are still not sure what they will do, they could go to a six man rotation. Luis Ayala walked one and struck out one in 2/3 of an inning, Cory Wade gave up a hit and a walk in one inning and Boone Logan struck out the only batter he faced. Dave Robertson pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout, Hector Noesi gave up a hit in 1/3 of an inning. Noesi has pitched well out of the bullpen but he will head back to AAA Scranton on Saturday when Bartolo Colon is activated. Mariano Rivera gave up a hit in 2/3 of an inning.

Niese pitched six innings for the Mets and gave up three runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out seven. He had a rough first inning and then settled down. Pedro Beato pitched one inning giving up an unearned run. He walked one and struck out two, Tim Byrdak got out the only batter that he faced and Bobby Parnell pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up a hit and striking out one. D.J. Carrasco pitched one inning giving up a hit and a run with two walks. Niese saw his record drop to 7-7 on the season.

Nick Swisher had a hit for the Yankees, Curtis Granderson had a hit and a walk and Mark Teixeira had a hit, two RBI and two walks. Alex Rodriguez had two hits and an RBI, Robinson Cano had two hits an RBI and a walk and Russell Martin had a walk. Eduardo Nunez had four hits and an RBI, it was his first four hit game of his career. Nunez has done a good job defensively and gotten better defensively but he needs to tighten up his defense. Derek Jeter is expected back on Monday and Nunez will go back to the bench. Teixeira, Cano, Rodriguez and Nunez all had a double. The Yankees were 4-19 with runners in scoring position and they left 11 men on base.

Jose Reyes had two hits, Justin Turner had three and Carlos Beltran had a hit and two walks. Daniel Murphy had a walk, Jason Bay had a hit and a walk and Ronny Paulino had a hit. Ruben Tejada had a hit and an RBI and Josh Thole had a hit. The Mets were 2-10 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.

In the first inning the Yankees jumped on the Mets for a 3-0 lead. Teixeira had a two run double and Cano had an RBI double. In the second inning Tejada had an RBI single for the Mets to make it 3-1. Nunez had an RBI single in the eighth to make it 4-1 and in the ninth Rodriguez had an RBI double to complete the scoring at 5-1. Rodriguez hit a shot that would have been out of just about any other ballpark. Citi Field is huge and that is why Mets players have had problems with it.

The Yankees won the first of three in this series. The two teams will play on Saturday afternoon at 4:00PM. It will be Bartolo Colon and Dillon Gee in the pitching matchup. The Mets dropped back to 500 and the Yankees are a season best 18 games over 500. The Yankees are 12-4 in interleague play which is the best mark in the majors. The Yankees remain 2 ½ games ahead of the Boston Red Sox in the AL East. Boston won in Houston on Friday night.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Yankees at Mets-Subway Series Round Two

The New York Yankees and New York Mets will take part in the Subway Series Round Two.  It begins tonight at 7:00PM from Citi Field.  Here are the lineup and some notes from both sides of the fence. 

Yankees Lineup:Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Andruw Jones, Eduardo Nunez, Ivan Nova.

Mets Lineup:Jose Reyes, Justin Turner, Carlos Beltran, Daniel Murphy, Angel Pagan, Jason Bay, Ronny Paulino, Ruben Tejada, Jon Niese. 

Johan Santana threw a bullpen on Wednesday.  He is back on the mound but controlling his own schedule.  I still would think it is doubtful for him this season but  you never know.  Taylor Buchholz has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and is out indefinitely.  That is very sad, he may never be the same although Zach Greinke was able to recover from social anxiety disorder. 

Ike Davis will attempt to run next week and if he can't then he will need surgery ending his season.  It is amazing this was all caused by running into David Wright on a pop up, he was supposed to be day to day and that was in May. 

Terry Collins said this afternoon that Wright hit off a tee today in Port St. Lucie.  Manny Acosta will not go on the DL today but they won't play the whole series a man short in the bullpen.  Lucas Duda will start tomorrow against Bartolo Colon and Willie Harris will be activated from the bereavement list on Sunday.  Harris and his wife lost the baby she was carrying, she was rushed into labor and they lost the baby, a very sad situation and thoughts and prayers go out to he and his family. 

Andy McCullough of the Star Leger is reporting that Dillon Gee is battling some dead arm, he is schedule to pitch tomorrow. 

The Yankees are still on schedule with Derek Jeter returning on Monday.  He is in trenton now working out and then scheduled for rehab games there tommorrow and Sunday.  Bryan Hoch reported that both Pedro Feliciano and Rafael Soriano threw off a mound in Tampa today.  They both could be back after the All Star Break wtih Soriano the more likely.  It would be a huge boost to the depleted bullpen.

The Yankees are 11-4 in interleague play this season.  They have assured themselves of a 12th consecutive winning record against the National League.  They end interleague play this weekend against the Mets.  The Yankees have help with a National league pitching coach and catcher this year.  They have always been good against the NL though and I think it is more that the AL is a better league right now and has been for a while. 

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yankees sweep away the Brewers

CC Sabathia tried to pass the credit to his catcher. After 7.2 shutout innings. After a career-high 13 strikeouts. After his eighth win in his past nine starts, Sabathia tried to give the credit to Francisco Cervelli’s game calling.  That is how Sabathia is though, he likes to give others the credit, he is never too high or too low.

Sabathia certainly received the royal treatment when he walked off the mound in the eighth inning. He’s tied for the Major League lead in wins. He’s the first pitcher since Tom Seaver to win 11 games in each of his first 11 seasons. Today’s 13 strikeouts were the most by a Yankees starter since Roger Clemens in 2002, and the most by a Yankees lefty since David Wells in 1998. The crowd roared their appreciation and didn't stop until Sabathia was in the dugout. 

Girardi called today’s start “brilliant.” Cervelli said Sabathia’s breaking ball was “unbelievable.” Mark Teixeira said it was the best he’d ever seen Sabathia. Maybe it was the Yankees just going crazy over him because they like him and he is their ace but still it is high praise and he does seem to inspire that sort of reaction.

“CC could spend a week on a team and you’d fall in love with his personality,” Girardi said. “That’s the type of guy he is… He hangs out with everyone, he’s not a guy who hangs with a couple guys. He’s a guy that seems to attract people. People want to be around him, which is important, because during the course of the season, everyone goes through tough times. This is a guy you know you can count on that’s going to be the same every day and will be there for you. That’s extremely important.”

Of course, Teixeira now leads baseball with 25 home runs this season, and according to Elias he’s only the third player in baseball history to hit 25 in each of his first nine seasons, joining Eddie Matthews and Albert Pujols. Teixeira’s never had this many home runs before the all-star break.

All 13 of Sabathia’s strikeouts were swinging. Why? “We just tried to follow the hitters, what they think,” Cervelli said. “Every time we think they’re looking for fastballs, we throw breaking balls, and we change a lot.”

 Sabathia’s take on the strikeouts: “Just making pitches with two strikes. Earlier this season, I was giving up a lot of 0-2 hits and 1-2 hits. Today, we made a lot of good pitches.”

 Is Sabathia anxious about whether he’ll make the all-star team? “I want to go to the Bahamas,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. I pitch Tuesday, then Sunday, so the way I’m scheduled, I probably wouldn’t pitch in the game anyway.”  That is all you need to know about him, he is a cool customer and a funny guy. 

Mitre said he hasn’t been told a specific role he’ll play. “Starters have a role, and other than Robby and Mo, everyone is just mix and match,” he said. “That’s what it looks like.”  I can't imagine he would be on the team too long although they could get rid of Brian Gordon and keep him as the long man. 

This was the Yankees third shutout and sixth series sweep of the season. The five-game winning streak is a season-high. The Yankees had a total of six series sweeps all last season.

 The Yankees stole four bases in a game for the sixth time this season, doubling last year’s total for four-steal games. They’ve stolen 12 straight bases without being caught.  To me that is the most noticable part of their offense that has changed.  They certainly run a lot, a lot of double steals also. 

In his career, Cervelli is hitting .383 with two outs and runners in scoring position. “It makes me feel happy,” Cervelli said. “I’ve been working a lot with K-Long. I was struggling two weeks ago, and sometimes it’s hard, but you have to make adjustments an try to make everything simple.”  He isn't the greatest hitter but he gets the job done in pressure situations. 

The Yankees will now had across town to play the Mets three games this weekend.  They will then head to Cleveland to playt he Indians three games and Derek Jeter will return on Monday night.  The Yankees are 2 1/2 games ahead of the Boston Red Sox for first place in the AL East.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Yankees vs. Brewers-Battle of first place teams

Here are some news and notes before tonights game.  I also have the Yankees lineup for you.  Freddy Garcia will match up against Zach Greinke.  Greinke has a good record but not a great ERA.  He has not rounded into form yet, remember he missed the first month or so of the season with an injury.  He must get good run support though, the Brewers do have a good offense.  This is a interesting series, two first place teams and you have Prince Fielder taking aim at the short porch in right field. 

Bartolo Colon is on his way back to New York and will be evaluated by the Yankees tomorrow. After a four-inning simulated game on Monday, the Yankees believe there’s a chance Colon could be ready to pitch this weekend against the Mets.  It looks like that is what they are setting him up for as he practiced running and bunting today. 

“That’s what we have to evaluate,” Joe Girardi said. “Do we feel that he is ready? We’ll get a chance to look at him tomorrow and make that decision.”

So why would Phil Hughes need a series of rehab starts, but Colon would need nothing more than a simulated game?  Here is the managers answer to that question, it is pretty simple if you ask me “He’s really only missed two starts,” Girardi said. “It’s not abnormal to skip a pitcher a start and then for him to come back and make the next start. You see that happen all the time, where a guy might pitch on 10 days rest. He did somewhat make a rehab start yesterday: 60 pitches, four innings for Bartolo. He said he felt great, and he could have went more. I believe him, because he was built up. I don’t think missing the two starts was really that much, because he was playing long-toss in that time and keeping his arm in shape. The concern for me is not his arm, it’s making sure his leg is healed. That, we’ll check out.”

 Derek Jeter took batting practice, fielded ground balls and ran the bases at about 50 or 60 percent effort today. Girardi said it’s “probably fair to say” that Jeter would need at least two rehab games before being ready to return. When he might be ready for a rehab assignment is still uncertain. “The one thing you have to see is you have to see him run at 100 percent,” Girardi said. “And you’ve got to see him recover and maybe do it a couple of days in a row before you possibly send him out on a rehab.”  It looks like he could come back next week in Cleveland and be set up to get 3000 hits at home against Tampa before the All Star Break.

 Rafael Soriano played catch today — Girardi said he was pretty sure it was a regular long toss — and reported no problems.  He should be back after the All Start break and that will help out the ailing bullpen.

 Update on Eric Chavez: He's progressing slowly, I would be after the All Star Break he will be back. 

 Phil Hughes will make a Double-A rehab start tomorrow. It seems likely that he’ll need one more — Brian Cashman has said as much — and Girardi said he’s not sure whether Hughes could do enough tomorrow to show the Yankees he’s ready. “I can’t tell you that,” Girardi said. “I’m looking forward to his start to see how he does, I can tell you that, and to make a determination if we think he’s ready.”

Yankees Lineup: Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Russell Martin, Eduardo Nunez.  Freddy Garcia is on the mound against Zach Greinke.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Here is the injury report out of Tampa, Florida from the Associated Press.  New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter did not let a thunderstorm deter him from increasing his workouts.
He went indoors and then came back out when the thunderstorms were gone. 
The Yankees captain, on the 15-day disabled list because of a strained right calf, took batting practice on the field for the first time and started a running program Monday.  He will not be coming back on Wednesday when he is eligible but he could probably return for the weekend series at Citi Field against the Mets.  The Mets fans don't want to see him come back and get his 3000th hit at Citi Field but I could see that happening.  It wouldn't be the same as home but that would be close at least the same city. 

Jeter took 30 swings in batting practice. He fielded seven grounders on the grass before rain forced a stop. After a brief delay, Jeter returned to the field for three light sprints and some agility-related drills.

“Everything’s good,” Jeter said. “Steps in the right direction.”

Other Yankees also continued their rehabilitation.

Infielder Eric Chavez, out with a broken left foot, took batting practice with Jeter.  Chavez is a guy that will be a welcome addition as he can play the corner infield spots and he has some life in his bat. 

Right-hander Bartolo Colon, sidelined with a strained right hamstring, threw four innings of 15-pitches each in a simulated game.  It looks like he could return for the Mets series this weekend or maybe shortly after next week.  He was pitching so well and it will be interesting to see if anything changes after being on the DL or he just picks up where he left off. 

Colon struck out three and allowed two hits, including one to injured minor league outfielder Slade Heathcott, who was the Yankees’ first round draft pick in 2009.

There have been discussions on whether Colon will need a minor league outing or if he could be ready to pitch against the New York Mets this weekend.  They haven't decided anything yet, when they do they will announce it. 

Left-handed reliever Pedro Feliciano, on the DL with a left shoulder tear, made 15 soft throws off a bullpen mound.  I guess this is a good sign since he hasn't done anything yet.  He is a guy they could really use, they need two lefties and he is such a good one. 

Converted reliever Mark Prior, on the DL at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre because of a strained groin, is scheduled to throw off a mound for the second time in four days on Tuesday.  It is amazing what happened to this guys career.  He has just had injury after injury the last few years.  He was a top prospect and at the top of his game when the Cubs were in the NLCS and almost reached the World Series and then everything went south for him. 

Pitching Matchups for the Milwaukee Series

The Yankees are enjoying a day off today and will begin a three game set with the Milwaukee Brewers tomorrow.  Here are the pitching matchups for that series. 

Tuesday-Freddy Garcia vs. Zach Greinke

Wednesday-A.J. Burnett vs. Shaun Marcum

Thursday-C.C. Sabathia vs. Randy Wolf

It should be a good series, the Brewers are in first place and they are a very good team.  The Red Sox will be playing at Philadelphia so this is a good week of matchups at least with the Yankees and the Red Sox.  It should be fun. 

Old Timers Day 2011

There is no one else in the world who can put on a show like the Yankees.  They celebrate Old Timers Day every year and no one else can quite do it the way that they do.  The Yankees welcomed back former greats, captains, champions, all-stars.  They had first time Old timers in Joe Torre, Lou Piniella and Bernie Williams.  Torre was making his return for the first time since 2007 and got a rousing ovation.  He got about a five minute standing ovation and tipped his cap and blew kisses to the fans.  He did come back for the unveiling of the Steinbrenner monument last year and has been there this year in his new role with baseball.  This was the first time he got to put on the uniform again though and get an ovation and really say goodbye or hi again in this case.  Williams had a double in the Old Timers game, Tino Martinez hit a homerun accounting for the only runs in the Old Timers Game.  It was a great day, the day was completed with a Yankees victory which also makes it great. 

Gene Monahan the long time head trainer of the Yankees was also honored before the Old Timers Game in a suprise ceremony.  They showed a video montage of his career, they showered him with gifts and the fans really soaked it in.  Monahan was truly suprised and really got emotional about it especially when he saw his two daughters there. 

The game was an interesting one as the Yankees couldn't get a baserunner through the first 13 batters of the game.  It all changed in three batters with a single and back-to-back homeruns by Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada that tied the game at three.  Nova didn't have his best stuff but kept the Yankees in the game.  The bullpen did it's job with Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera really shutting the door.  They had five strikeouts between them in two innings.  Boone Logan got the win and pitched well again, he has been pitching much better and the Yankees are going to need him as he is the only lefty in the bullpen. 

Posada and Swisher continued thier hot hitting and Alex Rodriguez had an RBI in his sixth straight game.  Eduardo Nunez had a big RBI single.  The Yankees took two out of three from the Rockies and remain in first place in the AL East.  They are 1/2 a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox and one game in the loss column. 

It is amazing to me that they are in first place and are 1-8 against the Red Sox.  How can you be so bad against a team in your division and a good team that you are competing against and still be in first place.  It is like the Yankees don't lose to anyone but the Red Sox.  They are a season high tying 14 games over 500 and will try to make it a season best 15 on Tuesday night against the Milwaukee Brewers.  This should be an intersting series as the Brewers are a good team, what do you think???

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