Saturday, February 23, 2013

The New York Mets defeat the Washington Nationals 5-3 in Port St. Lucie

The New York Mets defeated the Washington Nationals by the score of 5-3 on Saturday afternoon in Port St. Lucie, Florida. Zach Wheeler pitched a very impressive two innings for the Mets, Ruben Tejada hit a homerun and Marlon Byrd had a couple of hits. 
Shaun Marcum started for the Mets and pitched two innings giving up four hits and three runs, Wheeler pitched two scoreless giving up a hit and a walk and striking out two and Cory Mazzoni got the win pitching two scoreless giving up a hit and striking out three. Darin Gorski pitched two innings giving up a hit and a walk with a strikeout and Bobby Parnell picked up the save pitching an inning giving up a hit and striking out one.

Stephen Strasburg started for the Nationals and pitched two inning giving up three hits and two runs with a strikeout, Drew Stammen pitched two innings giving up three hits and a run with a strikeout and Fernando Abad pitched an inning giving up two walks and striking out one. Bill Bray took the loss pitching an inning giving up three hits and two runs with one of them being earned with a walk and a strikeout. Erik Davis pitched a scoreless inning giving up a walk and striking out two and Cole Kimball pitched a scoreless inning giving up a walk.

Kirk Nieuwenhuis had a hit, Colin Cowgill had a hit, an RBI and drew a walk and also scored from second on a groundout. Tejada had a hit and two RBI, Ike Davis drew a walk and Byrd had two hits. Justin Turner had a hit and Jordany Valdespin had a hit and an RBI. Byrd and Cowgill each hit a double and Tejada hit a homerun. The Mets were 2-8 with runners in scoring position and left nine men on base. Bixler, Brown and Hicks each made a fielding error and Buck had a passed ball.

Steve Lombardozzi drew a walk, Bryce Harper had a hit and Ian Desmond had a hit. Chris Marrero had a hit and an RBI, Chris Snyder had two hits and two RBI and Micah Owings had a hit. Marrero hit a double and Snyder hit a homerun. The Nationals were 1-12 with runners in scoring position and they left ten men on base. Perez and Rhymes each had a stolen base. Tracey and Owings each committed an error.

Tejada hit a two run homerun in the first to give the Mets a 2-0 lead. The Nationals took a 3-2 lead in the second inning. Marrero hit an RBI double and Snyder hit a two run homerun. Valdespin hit an RBI single in the fourth inning to tie the game at three. In the sixth inning the Mets scored two runs to take a 5-3 lead and that is how the game would end up. Cowgill hit an RBI double and Omar Quintanilla reached on an error scoring the final run of the game.

The Mets are 1-0 in the grapefruit league and the Nationals are 0-1. The Mets will play at the Houston Astros on Sunday afternoon and the Nationals will remain home to take on the Miami Marlins.

The New York Yankees defeat the Atlanta Braves 8-3 in grapefruit league opener

The New York Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves by the score of 8-3 on Saturday afternoon in Orlando, Florida. David Phelps got the start for the Yankees and pitched two scoreless innings picking up the win. He was the only major league pitcher to pitch for the Yankees in the game. Zoilo Almonte was impressive with a homerun and throwing out a runner at third from right field. Francisco Cervelli threw a runner out at second as the battle for starting catcher began. Robinson Cano also hit a homerun in the game. 
Phelps pitched two innings giving up three hits and no runs. He didn’t walk a batter or strikeout a batter. Brett Marshall pitched two innings giving up a hit, a run, a walk and striking out two, Nik Turley pitched an inning giving up a hit and striking out one and Mikey O’Brien pitched an inning giving up two hits and two runs with a strikeout. Kelvin Perez pitched an inning giving up a hit and striking out one, Branden Pinder pitched a perfect inning and Chase Whitley pitched an inning walking one.

Paul Maholm started for the Braves and pitched two perfect innings. Jordan Walden the former closer of the Angels really got hit. He pitched one inning giving up three hits and four runs with one of them being earned. Anthony Varvaro pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout, Yohan Flande pitched an inning giving up a hit and a run and J.R. Graham pitched an inning giving up a hit and walking two. Walden took the loss.

Eduardo Nunez had a hit, Robinson Cano had a hit and an RBI as he hit a homerun and Mark Teixeira had an RBI. Juan Rivera had a hit and drew a walk, Austin Romine had a hit and two RBI and Francisco Cervelli drew a walk. Zoilo Almonte was the star with a hit and two RBI and he had an outfield assist. The Yankees were 4-11 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. Melky Mesa had a stolen base. Almonte threw a guy out at third from right field and Cervelli threw out a runner trying to steal second base. Corban Joseph committed an error.

Reed Johnson had a hit, Freddie Freeman had a couple of hits and Evan Gattis had two hits and two RBI for the Braves. Todd Cunningham, Christian Bethancourt and Jose Yepez each had a hit and Chris Johnson had an RBI. Gattis and Bethancourt had a double and Gattis also hit a homerun. The Braves were 0-7 with seven runners left on base. Cunningham was caught stealing, Freeman, Johnson and Uggla each committed an error. Bethancourt had a passed ball.

The Yankees scored four runs in the third on a two run homerun by Almonte a Teixeira RBI groundout and a wild pitch to score a run. Atlanta scored in the fourth on an RBI groundout by Johnson and the Yankees got the run right back in the fifth. Cano hit a solo homerun to make it 5-1 Yankees. Gattis hit a two run homerun in the sixth to cut the Yankees lead to 5-3 but the Yankees scored three runs in the seventh to make it 8-3 and that would be the final score. Jose Pirela had an RBI single and Romine had a two run single.

The Yankees are 1-0 in the grapefruit league and the Braves are 0-2. The Yankees will play their first home game of the schedule on Sunday afternoon against the Toronto Blue Jays and the Braves will play at the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Yankees are about to begin their exhibition season

The New York Yankees will begin their exhibition season on Saturday afternoon against the Atlanta Braves. They will be playing at the Braves. Arod made a statement on Thursday through his PR people. It basically said he is focused solely on his recovery and that he will play again. He can’t wait to play with his teammates again as he feels they have a great team and looks forward to rejoining them at some point. I am not so sure I believe though that he will every rejoin the Yankees. Can they get rid of him? Will they get rid of him or will they even try?? I think if MLB finds him guilty they may try, it won’t be an easy fight though. 
The Yankees did announce on Thursday that they will be moving Brett Gardner to center and Curtis Granderson to left field to begin the exhibition games. The move will hinge on Granderson being able to play left field. They have no doubt that Gardner can handle center but Granderson hasn’t played left field too much. Phil Hughes and Mark Montgomery are feeling better. It doesn’t look like anything too long lasting or that will affect them again.

Jorge Posada reported to camp on Friday as a special instructor. The questions came of course about him unretiring like Andy Pettitte did last season. He said he is happy where he is at and he doesn’t think he could play right now. He said he doesn’t want to even try, he will be in camp a few days and then back home to be with his family. He said he will then come back later in camp also and wouldn’t mind being a roving catching instructor for the Yankees. He wouldn’t commit to full time coaching at this point either but said he want’s to be involved and is happy with his life right now.

Joe Girardi announced that Francisco Cervelli will get the start behind the plate for Saturday’s exhibition opener. David Phelps is starting on Saturday and is scheduled for two innings or 35 pitches, which ever comes first. The other pitchers being listed for Saturday are: Brett Marshall, Nik Turley, Mike O’Brien, Kelvin Perez, Branden Pinder and Chase Whitley. Girardi said he isn’t sure exactly which pitchers will get into the game after Phelps. Adam Warren will start on Sunday, Vidal Nuno on Monday and Jose Ramirez on Tuesday. The regular pitchers probably won’t get started until March and then they will be on regular rotation. Mariano Rivera threw his first live batting practice and everyone including himself seemed pleased with it. The most important thing is that he came out of it healthy.

Michael Pineda threw another 25 pitches in the morning. He came out of it feeling good, he is progressing at a good pace and should be ready to help the team by June at this point. Mark Montgomery also threw a 25 pitch bullpen and came out of it good.

Austin Romine, Robinson Cano, Dan Johnson, Eduardo Nunez, Mark Teixeira, Tyler Austin, Slade Heathcott, Melky Mesa and Juan Rivera are the notables on the travel squad for tomorrows game.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

New York Rangers lose in a shootout in Ottawa

The New York Rangers were trailing 1-0 in this game and came back and were able to salvage a point. They took a 2-1 lead within a minute though and then gave up a power play goal. It was an exciting overtime and both teams had some chances but it went to a shootout and in the 7th round the Rangers lost. Chris Kreider had a chance to keep it going but hit the post to end the game. JT Miller in the sixth round made a nice move and he just couldn’t finish as he had the empty net to shoot at. 
The first goal of the game was scored at the 6:48 mark of the first period. Jakob Silfverberg scored a shorthanded goal. The assists were from Daniel Alfredsson. Ryan Callahan scored a power play goal to tie it at the 10:44 mark of the third period.

The Rangers took the lead at the 11:35 mark of the third period. Ryan McDonagh scored with assists from J.T. Miller and Jeff Halpern. Miller got his first NHL assist. At the 13:30 mark of the third period Mika Zibanejad scored with assists from Greening and Wiercioch.

Kaspars Daugavins scored the winning goal in the shootout. Callahan scored the only shootout goal for the Rangers. The Senators had 37 shots on goal in regulation and the Rangers had 34. In overtime each team had three shots on goal.

The Rangers will play at Montreal on Saturday. They remain in eighth place in the conference and three points behind the Senators and four points behind three other teams. It is a very bunched up conference right now.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Yankees spring training notes on a quiet day

Wally Matthews quoted a source today who said Hal Steinbrenner may be beginning to break from his payroll cutting mandate. Are we surprised, I though eventually you might hear something about this. They are saying he may want to spend significantly in the off-season. He has said in the last couple of days they have reached out to Scott Boras and stated the desire to keep Robinson Cano and pay him a huge amount. 
David Price said that he wouldn’t be a Yankee long term because of their facial hair policy. Derek Jeter had a great quote about that basically saying do you think any player wouldn’t come because of that?? He is right basically saying it is about the money and if that is right a player won’t turn that down.

The Yankees went through pop up drills today. Joe Girardi said Jeter looked ok, he didn’t want him running all over the place so they still took it easy with him but he did some work and came out ok.

Girardi said he is impressed by the young power arms he is seeing. He said it isn’t just one or two either. The Yankees to seem to have a lot of quality pitching in their minor leagues and this is good for them if they want to keep that payroll down. It is always important to develop your own pitchers, if you can do that then you are in really good shape.

Curtis Granderson was in center and Brett Gardner in left during drills today. Girardi said don’t read into that though. Phil Hughes should be out about two weeks. The Yankees aren’t too concerned about him right now but it is a bulging disk in his back and he needs rest, they will have to worry a little bit until he comes back and is past the issue. Eduardo Nunez almost got hit by Joba Chamberlain in batting practice today and Kelvin Perez was hit in his non pitching elbow by a come backer.

It is about time for some games and more to talk about, it is pretty tedious right now and not much really going on. There isn’t much to say at this point and really nothing to analyze. That will all change soon though as the games begin on Saturday.

New York Mets notes from spring training

Daniel Murphy received a cortisone injection in New York on Tuesday. He is listed as day-to-day. I guess we can say that we are all that. He was sent for evaluation on Tuesday after pulling his intercostal muscle. Sandy Alderson the GM said he expects him to miss about a week. 
Johan Santana threw a bullpen today. Zach Wheeler threw live batting practice to Justin Turner, John Buck, Ruben Tejada and Marlon Byrd. The reports continue to be that he is very impressive. It looks like the Mets really have something with him and Matt Harvey, they just got to keep them healthy and the future is bright.

Terry Collins told reporters he intends to bat Kirk Nieuwenhuis in the leadoff spot in the teams grapefruit league opener on Saturday. Collins said he deserves the opportunity to show what he can do from the leadoff spot first. He hit 264 in 133 plate appearances last year from the leadoff spot. He had seven doubles, one triple, five homeruns and 15 RBI with six walks and 39 strikeouts.

Jenrry Mejia age and identity have been confirmed and he will be arriving in camp in the next couple of days. He had a visa issue in the Dominican republic. Alderson said this was routine and he reported to the team’s Dominican facility for workouts.

The Mets announced they have signed right handed pitcher Andy Wells and outfielder James Roche to minor league contracts. Wells will report to minor league camp and Roche to extended spring training. Wells played with the York Revolution in the Atlantic league last season and Roche played with the Newark Bears last season.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Yankees notes as they prepare for the first spring game this Saturday

Joe Girardi named David Phelps as his starter for Saturday and Adam Warren on Sunday. The Sunday game will be the first one televised on the YES network. Phil Hughes had back spasms today in his upper back which Girardi considers good. He said he will be shut down for a couple of days and then they will see from there. Girardi said he isn’t too worried because he was a little ahead of schedule. 
Eduardo Nunez is going to get a chance to play a lot right now. It is another chance for him to make a name for himself. Nunez is a very good offensive player, he is dynamic with speed and some power. It is his defense that gets him in trouble. Nunez will play a lot of shortstop though with Jeter not being ready to play games yet and definitely not in the field for a little while. Jeter may even be the regular DH against lefties during the season which would give Nunez that opportunity to be the regular shortstop against lefty starters. Girardi said he has to earn it and that they have to toy with some different options but they liked what they saw out of him at the end of last year. They said they plan on keeping him at short for the most part, I don’t see him anywhere else right now other then DH.

Girardi said it is possible they keep both Nunez and Jayson Nix but then they wouldn’t have a lefty pinch hitter and they would like to have that.

Austin Romine said he is more or less stopped thinking about his back. He doesn’t really notice it anymore. He is very optimistic that he has gotten past that problem and a week into spring training and he has had no problems at all.

According to Chad Jennings of the Journal News and Lohud Yankees blog there was some buzz today about Ichiro. He made a behind the back catch during outfield drills, Brett Gardner said it was his fault because he asked him for it. He apparently does this every so often, he seems like a really fun guy to be around and he loves being a Yankee. I really like this guy and hope he continues to succeed because he is a crowd favorite.

Mark Teixeira will have his last day in Yankees camp before heading to the WBC on March 2nd and Cano on March 3rd.

New York Mets Spring Training Notes-Monday

Adam Rubin of ESPN reported today that the Mets are going to shop Justin Turner. He did say though that nothing is definite. He could still end up on the team for opening day. They want to create more roster flexibility for their non-roster relief pitchers in camp. 
Terry Collins said today that he will be going to team executives about naming David Wright captain. I think they might as well do it officially but he is already that even if they don’t say it. He is the face of the franchise he is the guy that has been with them and he is the guy that will continue to be with them.

The Mets announced their pitching schedules for the first three grapefruit league games. They open up at Saturday at 12:10PM against the Nationals in Port St. Lucie. Shaun Marcum will start followed by Zach Wheeler, Cory Mazzoni, Darin Gorski, Jeurys Familia and Bobby Parnell.

Sunday at 12:10PM against the University of Michigan in Port St. Lucie Jon Niese will start. He will be followed by Dillon Gee, Brandon Lyon, Hansel Robles, Rafael Montero and Carlos Torres.

Sunday at 1:05PM against the Astros in Kissimmee Matt Harvey will start followed by Jeremy Hefner, Aaron Laffey, Pedro Feliciano, Scott Atchison and Josh Edgin.

Next Monday against the Nationals in Port St. Lucie Collin McHugh will start followed by Gonzalez German, Elvin Ramirez, Greg Burke, LaTroy Hawkins, Robert Carson and Scott Rice.

The Mets have officially denied Johan Santana’s request to pitch in the World Baseball Classic. Sandy Alderson the GM announced that today. He said we know he wants to play but under the circumstances it isn’t in his or their best interest. He will make his first start on March 2nd Terry Collins said yesterday.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Yankees Spring Training Report-Monday(First Full Squad Workout)

Derek Jeter was of course the big topic as he went through his drills. He joked that his ankle felt terrible and then laughed and said no it feels good. Robinson Cano talked contract but really didn’t say much. He did say it isn’t about the money and why wouldn’t he want to be a Yankee? Of course it is about the money though, isn’t it always about the money?? 
He said he is just focused on helping the team win this year and get another championship. That is the Yankees company line so he has learned well. He said he isn’t going to think about it, I would expect a huge year from him though knowing he is going to cash out either from the Yankees or someone else. I think they will keep him because he is the next guy in that long line of Yankees.

Ichiro Suzuki as always had a funny comment. He was talking about the Derek Jeter getting fat headline over the winter and said “I came and Derek Jeter was not the eater that the media portrayed him to be.” “It was good to see him that way.”

Mark Montgomery is a rising star in the Yankees system. He is a relief pitcher, he tweaked his back today, Joe Girardi just said it is spasms and he will be out a couple of days. Girardi did talk lineup a little but didn’t say for sure where Cano will hit, it has to be either third or fourth. I personally would bat him third and have Teixeira protecting him. He also didn’t commit to Ichiro being at the top or bottom of the lineup. I think he should be at the top with Gardner at the bottom. I like having Gardner ninth as a double leadoff hitter with Jeter one and Ichiro two.

It does look like Nunez will get a lot of time at short as he was with Jeter the whole day. They were going through drills together and Girardi has said Jeter could DH more regularly, this is also an easy way to get Nunez in the lineup. We know Nunez can hit, he is a dynamic offensive player but he has to field enough. I am one that believes he will never be great out there but also needs to play more regularly and at one position to best succeed.

The first game of the spring will be on Saturday with the first televised game on YES on Sunday. The Yankees will be airing 19 spring games this year which is the most they have ever had on. The first game of the season will be on April 1st at home against the Boston Red Sox.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Yankees first full squad spring notes

The notes are from the Lohud Yankees blog and put into my own words.  They provide great coverage of the Yankees all season as Chad Jennings is down in Tampa and mostly covers the Yankees during the season as well. 

Derek Jeter held his annual first day of camp press conference. He of course mostly talked about his ankle but was asked about Kevin Youkilis, Alex Rodriguez and Mariano Rivera. He didn’t say anything controversial of course, he just said the goal is always the same to win. He also said why wouldn’t he be ready for opening day and that he wouldn’t be playing next week but there is plenty of time to get ready. 

Jeter did admit that he is going to be 39 and has a plate in his ankle, he said he isn’t completely ready right now but he will be. Joe Girardi left everything open, he said it is possible that Jeter regularly is the DH against lefties this season and Eduardo Nunez would be playing shortstop on those days. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing, to get Nunez regular work and into the lineup pretty much all the time.

Girardi said everyone reported on time and as far as he knows everyone passed their physicals. Girardi said he expects Jeter to start as DH when he first gets into the spring games and then they will go from there. Mark Teixeira said he slightly altered his offseason workout program to stop doing his heavy lifting a little earlier. He said it is to get ready for the WBC but he also believes that it will help him with his early season struggles.

Teixeira said there is really no reason to change his offensive approach since he has had so much success with it. He said he wants to be best at what he does well which is hitting home runs, driving in runs and playing gold glove at first base. He said if he does those three things he knows he will help his team well, he has been doing those very well for the Yankees.

Travis Hafner called Yankee Stadium the best place for him due to his pull-heavy offensive approach. He said he signed though because he has only been to the playoffs once in ten years and feels he has a great chance with the Yankees to get back there. He said he feels great and ready to go and he is only a DH, he has a first base glove but hasn’t done any defensive drills in years. Girardi said he is strictly a DH also.

Girardi said his message for tomorrow before the first official full squad workout is lets get better, lets be prepared and lets get better, they advanced to the ALCS last year and then got swept. They do need to get better and make it to the World Series and try and win another one.

The New York Rangers defeat the Washington Capitals at home

The New York Rangers defeated the Washington Capitals by the score of 2-1 Sunday night at Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Rangers were trailing 1-0 less then two minutes into the game but they scored the last two goals of the game to secure the win. The Rangers had the better of the play and were badly out shooting the Capitals but still trailed 1-0 after one period. Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin were the goal scorers and Henrik Lundqvist played well in goal. The Rangers are now 4-0-1 in their last five games. 
The Rangers had 40 shots on goal and Holtby the Capitals goalie probably played his strongest game of the season stopping 38 of them. The Rangers didn’t score until their 30th shot on goal and that was in the second period. The Rangers penalty kill was 4-4 and the Capitals have a good power play.

Lundqvist finished with 27 saves and 10 in the third period. Darrol Powe was lost to injury after having a hard center ice collision. There was no update on his condition after the game. John Carlson scored for Washington 1:19 into the game, Ribeiro and Fehr assisted. Hagelin scored at the 7:39 mark of the second period and had assists from Ryan McDonagh and Rick Nash. Stepan scored the power play goal which was the game winner at the 4:25 mark of the third period. Brad Richards and Michael Del Zotto assisted on that goal.

The Ranger will now play the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night at the Garden. The Ranger now have 17 points on the season, they came into the game in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. It is really bunched up right now, the Canadiens were just in front of the Rangers. The final shot totals were 40-28 in favor of the Rangers. The penalties were pretty even with Washington taking five and the Rangers four. There were no fights in the game.

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