Saturday, May 28, 2011

Yankees at Seattle Game Two

The New York Yankees are in Seattle for game two of their three game series.  The Yankees lost last night 4-3.  It is Ivan Nova vs. Felix Hernandez.  Here is the Yankee lineup.
Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner.

Mets lose to the Phillies to open up homestand

The New York Mets lost to the Philadelphia Phillies last night to open up their ten game homestand.  It was a close back and forth game throughout.  Francisco Rodriguez who has been nearly unhittable was anything but that last night as he gave up three runs to turn a 3-3 tie into a 6-3 deficit in the ninth, the Mets would score a run in the bottom of the ninth and they ended up losing 6-4. 

Chris Capuano pitched a good game and Terry Collins can be second guessed about taking him out but he wanted to try to score a runner from second and felt he needed to pinch hit Willie Harris.  Capuano struck out a season high eight batters, he also did that in one other game this season. 

The Mets got some good injury news yesterday as it looks like both David Wright and Ike Davis could be back within ten days.  R.A. Dickey who injured his foot the other night will not be placed on the DL and is day to day right now.  He didn't have a major injury though which is a good thing.

Gary Carter has brain tumors and it was announced yesterday that it is 90 percent certain that they are malignant which is really sad news.  He was a fan favorite and one of the all-time great Mets.  The Mets are now 8 1/2 games behind the Phillies in the NL East.  The two teams will play game two of their three game series Saturday night at 7:00PM. 

Yankees lose a close one in Seattle

The New York Yankees opened their nine game, ten day West Coast Swing with a loss in Seattle on Friday night.  The final score was 4-3, it was a tight game but the Yankees had a 3-0 lead that they couldn't hold.  A.J. Burnett didn't pitch bad but he threw too many pitches and could only go five innings, the bullpen didn't get lit up but they weren't lights out either and allowed the Mariners to score the runs needed to win the game.  Luis Ayala and Boone Logan were the culprits in this game and now the Yankees have to face Felix Hernandez tonight.  They need a really good game out of Ivan Nova and they need to scratch out runs if they can on King Felix.  If they get guys on they will need to bunt, steal things like that because you don't expect to hit him hard.  Hernandez is 4-0 with a miniscule ERA against the Yankees in his last four starts, he really shut them down last year at Yankee Stadium.  The Yankees will have their hands full tonight. 

The Yankees also now find themselves in second place as the Boston Red Sox continue to win and are a game ahead of the Yankees, the Rays are only 1/2 a game behind the Yankees and this looks like it will be a battle all season long, most likely two of the teams will make the postseason and the other will be left behind.  I still think the Rays have overachieved and although they are good probably aren't this good, I expect the Red Sox and Yankees to make the postseason, another piece of it is in July they will make moves they have too probably the Yankees who will look for another starter, maybe another bat or call up someone from the minor leagues.  The Rays may not have the resources to do anything.  The reason the Rays can stay in it though is they have good young starting pitching. 

The Yankees really needed Burnett to pitch at least six innings but he was taken out after giving up two runs in the fifth and 97 pitches.  He could of maybe come out for the sixth but Girardi wanted to use Boone Logan to get the one lefty and then have Ayala finish the inning, if that happened he would of had Robertson pitch the seventh, Joba Chamberlain the eighth and Mariano Rivera the ninth but he didn't get there and they lost the game.  The Yankees bullpen right now is short because they don't have Rafael Soriano and they don't have a second lefty, they thought Pedro Feliciano would be that guy but he is hurt.  The Yankees clearly need a second lefty in the pen but who that could be is anyones guess because I wouldn't count on Feliciano coming back.  The Yankees could always go to the minors for other arms in the bullpen but Ayala has been pretty good so far, I could see the Yankees calling up someone like Dellin Betances or Manny Banuelos to pitch out of the pen but not until the later part of the year. 

There was another big play in the game, in the seventh inning Eduardo Nunez pinch ran with two outs and stole second base.  The bad part was that he immediately got picked off of second base though and that can't happen.  His hand strangely got stuck in the dirt and both Girardi and he feel he would of been safe if that didn't happen.  Girardi said he would wait until Saturday to talk to him about the play.  He said every player knows you can't be picked off in that situation. 

There was another big play in the game which was Nick Swisher being robbed of a homerun by Franklin Guiterrez in center field, that would of given the Yankees a 2-0 lead early on.  Swisher said that he though for sure it was five rows deep but he got back, leapt and made a great catch. 

Michael Pineda who is a rookie of the year candidate had his shortest outing of the year and had more walks then he has had in any game with five.  The Yankees actually did a pretty good job against him but they couldn't touch the bullpen. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Yankees begin West Coast Trip in Seattle

The New York Yankees begin a three city, nine game, ten day road trip tonight.  They will open the West Coast Swing in Seattle.  A.J. Burnett will start against young Seattle phenom Michael Pineda.  Here is the Yankees Lineup.  This is going to be a very tough trip, if they can be 5-4 or 4-5 that would be good, the Red Sox are very hot right now and they don't want them to pass them by and gain too much of a lead in the AL East. 

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

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Yankees News and Notes

Here are some Yankees news and notes from Thursday.

Yankees reliever Dave Robertson spent his off day back home in Alabama checking on the devastation left by the tornado that ripped through Tuscaloosa last month. He has set up a foundation, not exactly sure what he saw or who he met with but he is trying to help in any way that he can.  Robertson is a really good guy that has also played really well this year. 

“It’s way worse than I thought it was,” Robertson told the Tuscaloosa News. “You can hear about it and see it on TV, but it’s not the same as being here. It’s total devastation.”

If you would like to donate visit the David and Erin website.  David and Erin Robertson and you can help out there, it is just a horrible tragedy with all these storms out there.  In New York we don't have to deal with this kind of stuff but we do know all too well about tragedy and getting through it.

Donnie Collins reported tonight that the Yankees have released left-handed reliever Andy Sisco. He must have requested his release. He was pitching pretty well in Triple-A, but with Randy Flores onboard, Sisco’s role was pretty much non-existent. The team put him on the DL when Amauri Sanit was optioned down.

After Buster Posey’s injury, the Giants called up former Yankees catcher Chris Stewart. He never got much big league time with the Yankees but he will now get a chance with the Giants.  He has a reputation of being a very good defender.

The Yankees will be playing all three west coast teams, the Mariners, Athletics and Angels.  The three teams aren't that good but they have very good pitching and that will be a challenge for the Yankees with their offense that has struggled most of the season but has seemed to maybe turn it around the last couple of days.  The Yankees will see phenom Michael Pinada in Seattle and King Felix.  They will see Dan Haren and Jered Weaver in Anaheim.  The three teams they will play against have the three lowest team ERA in the league.  I never like west coast trips, this is the longest trip of the season and it will be tough.  If they can go 4-5 or 5-4 I would be happy. 

Mets have a Minority Partner

The New York Mets found their minority partner.  I didn't think it would happen but they were able to land someone that only took about 30 percent of the team with no apparent power.  I don't think if we will ever really know the terms of the deal though.  I would think that this guy has to have some power and he is banking on the fact that the Wilpons will have to sell and the team will become his.  Who is he, well his name is David Einhorn.  He is a lifelong Mets fan who has put 200 million down, the deal won't become official until late June.  Major League Baseball has to approve and both sides need to have a mutually acceptable definitive agreement. 

The Mets issued a press release today and here is what Fred Wilpon said.  "We are very excited about David joining our ownership group for several reasons.  David's investment immediately improves the franchise's financial position.  Equally important, Davids intelligence, integrity and success in both business and civic affairs provides us with another perspective in evaluating what is best for this organization and our fans, and we welcome his input.  In partnership with David, we look forward to achieving our ultimate goal of again becoming World Series Champions." 

I think it will be interesting, I am sure for him to come aboard he needed more then free tickets and a parking spot at Citi Field.  I don't know though if he has any real power or the Mets will just let him in meetings and all that and say they listen to him but don't really.  I am sure that he thinks there is a good chance he may get the team also otherwise he probably wouldn't have done it.  I think the Wilpons will probably have to sell eventually but it depends on what is going to happen with the Picard lawsuit.  If they really get hammered and lose then they may not have the money to run the team anymore and have to give it up to David Einhorn.  The Mets fans may be happy with that and he seems like a guy that could really help the team but we will have to wait and see what happens.

Here are Einhorns quotes “Having an opportunity to become part of the Mets franchise is exciting beyond my wildest childhood dreams. I spent my first seven years living in New Jersey and rooting for the Mets. In 1975, I even dressed in a homemade jersey as a Met for Halloween. I have been a baseball fan for my entire life and have enjoyed teaching the game as the coach of my daughter’s little league team. I look forward to partnering with the Wilpon and Katz families through the good seasons, the tough seasons and especially the championship seasons.”

The Mets will begin a ten game homestand tomorrow, lets see if they can get something going.  At the very least at least they have some stability and won't be going broke, maybe they can make some moves at the trade deadline, I am sure they will still try to move their superstars who have the big contracts but it will be interesting to see if this changes anything. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Mets GM speaks out about the owner

After tonight’s 11-1 loss to the Cubs, Sandy Alderson spoke with reporters about the comments made by Fred Wilpon about the team in the New Yorker and now there is a story coming out with Sports Illustrated and he essentially said this:

He doesn’t think Wilpon’s comments were “well chosen” in the interview with the New Yorker.

He has not spoken with the players, but intends to do so at some point.

There is no way to predict what will happen with Jose Reyes, or anyone else, based on what Wilpon said in the article.

He has not read the Sports Illustrated article yet.

The team needs to get past the article in the New Yorker before they deal with the article in Sports Illustrated.

He isn’t aware of the team’s payroll falling below $100 million in 2012, but isn’t comfortable with that notion either.

The Mets once again have controversy

The Mets can't seem to avoid controversy.  Their principal owner Fred Wilpon made some comments to the New Yorker which were released on Monday.  He called the team a not so version of the word crap and had some choice words for certain players such as Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran etc.  He was trying to be like George Steinbrenner used to be but it just isn't him. 

Today at Wrigley Field, Jose Reyes spoke with reporters about the comments made by Fred Wilpon, and basically said the following:

He was surprised by the comments made by Fred Wilpon and he needs to continue playing the game and not worry what happens later. Fred Wilpon is the owner – he can say whatever he wants.

Reyes wants to play in New York, but it’s too soon to think about the future, despite Wilpon’s saying payroll will be reduced next season he still thinks he could stay.  I don't see anyway that is going to happen but I guess he has to say that. 

Regarding the team ‘not being very good’, he thinks the team has a lot of talent, and has played well lately.  I would agree with that but they aren't very good, it is a losing atmosphere though which was brought on by the owners so he should look at himself in the mirror. 

When Fred Wilpon made the comments, the team wasn’t playing well, and he’s the boss, and the players are employees of his company.

The comments are in the past, and it doesn’t change his view on the Mets and the Wilpons.

In addition, Jason Bay spoke with reporters about Wilpon’s comments, and basically said:

He is not worried about the comments – well aware about how he’s doing.

The team has been faced with a lot of things – and thinks they will move on.

His comments are a reality of where the team is at – he can’t speculate on the future of the team and it’s payroll.

The players addressed the issue as a team, and decided they will stick together and take the high road.

He can’t explain the comments made about David Wright.  I don't know if anyone can because he is the leader of the team, as close as a captain as they can have.

They are worried about winning games, and not about what people are saying about them.

Wilpon’s comments should not have any bearing on what happens, unless people let it happen.  He is saying they can use that as an excuse and say that is why we played bad or didn't do this etc but that shouldn't happen.

In a perfect world, the comments can serve as motivation, but it’s a matter of simply executing on the field.  I would agree they shouldn't need motivation after the way they have performed the last few years. 

It might be helpful to hear from either Jeff or Fred Wilpon, but not necessarily right now.

Also, Carlos Beltran basically said:

He’s not 65 or 70 percent – he’s 100 percent healthy.

The years he was hurt, there was no way for him to perform the way he did when he was before he got injured.

He’s so happy to be healthy right now.

The comments are not going to affect him, or his approach to the game.

Regarding Wilpon commenting, and the issues he’s had with the team during his tenure with the Mets, he said “this is not my first rodeo”.

Very interesting stuff coming from the Mets, stay tuned as this story will not go away quickly.  The Mets need to start winning games and that will help let this story die out. 

Yankees with a dramatic win over the Jays

The New York Yankees were losing 4-1 in the eighth inning and this was  fast moving game.  It looked like another one of those games where the Yankees just don't look that good and they would have to try and avoid a sweep at home against the Jays on Wednesday afternoon.  Then with two outs in the eighth they got an RBI double by Robinson Cano and a Russell Martin RBI single, suddenly the game was 4-3.  In the ninth inning with one out Jorge Posada hit a pinch hit double, Chris Dickerson pinch ran for him and go tto third on a Jeter groundout in the shortstop hole that he almost beat out.  Granderson hit an RBI single to tie the game and then stole second he scored the winning run on a Mark Teixeira hard smash off of the first baseman Juan Riveras glove.  A wild celebration ensued and Teixeira got the pie in the face although he turned away from it at the last second.  This was only the second walk-off for the Yankees this season and they badly needed a game like this.  Here are some postgame notes. 

Forty percent of the RBI this season from Granderson(14 of 35) have either tied the game or given the Yankees the lead.  He has been their MVP so far this season and also playing outstanding defense in center field.  He said he was just trying to get something to handle and it is a mental battle with yourself.  He said you just have to try and put the ball in play hard somewhere. 

Posada said going to second was as soon as he fell down he thought he would have a chance so he took the chance and made it.  Posada said he was only going to pinch hit if Gardner got out because if not they would of bunted with Eduardo Nunez. 

Russell Martin is three homeruns shy of his total for the previous two years with the Dodgers. Sabathia pitched a complete game which was the first nine inning complete game win by a Yankees starter since Sabathia did it on May 8, 2009 in Baltimore.  The Yankees went 341 games without a nine inning complete game win by a starter.  It was the longest such streak in American League history.  This informatiion was from Elias. 

There was nothing new with Rafael Soriano.  He is going to see Dr. Andrews which isn't good news.  He had to shut himself down again yesterday and who knows how long he will be out.  The Yankees will have to make due with Joba Chamberlain and Dave Robertson as the main set up guys now.  It may be a double whammy for the Yankees who could lose Soriano for the season and then be stuck with him next year because he won't be able to opt out. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Yankees vs. Jays Game Two of Three

The Yankees will try to even their three game series with the Blue Jays tonight in the Bronx.  It will be C.C. Sabathia vs. Rickey Romero.  Here is the lineup for the Yankees.  The Yankees remain in first in the AL East because the Red Sox and Rays also lost last night, they are percentage points ahead of the Rays and 1/2 a game ahead of the Red Sox. 

Yankees Lineup: Derek Jeter(DH), Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Russell Martin, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez(SS). 

Yankees Postgame Notes

The sixth inning last night is what doomed the Yankees.  Joe Girardi said when he walked out to the mound it was about telling not asking though.  He decided to walk Juan Rivera even though he had a groundball, strikeout pitcher on the mound.  The next four hitters in the lineup were 0-6 with four strikeouts.  He ordered Colon to intentionally walk him.  Colon said he told A-rod to tell him whatever you want I have no problem.  After the walk he gave up a single, walk and three run double that broke open the game.  If they didn't walk Rivera would the same thing have happened, who knows that is the beauty of baseball, you get criticized if it doesn't work and praised if it does.  No one knows the outcome you just try and make the best decision at that time. 

The Yankees got a groundball but not where they wanted and it turned into a big inning.  That does happen, look at the Yankees in the Sunday game against the Mets, a lot of that was the ball falling in the right spot.  The biggest problem in this game and especially that inning was Colon not having the command he usually does, he was missing with his fastball.  He walked Eric Thames on four pitches. 

Girardi was asked why he didn't use Nick Swisher to pinch hit for Jorge Posada late in the game.  He said he was saving him for if they had a couple of guys on base.  I would think a lot has to do with what happened and he is trying not to disrupt Posada anymore. 

Girardi said that Cano hasn't been the same hitter this year but he is still being productive and that is what counts to him.  Cano though just isn't the same feared hitter he was last year and I don't know what it is.  It could be concentration because in the field he hasn't been the same either but I am not sure. 

The Yankees still don't hit guys they haven't seen.  It was Carlos Villanueva first start since 2009 and he got the win.  The Yankees just don't historically hit those guys, it is baffling but they like guys that they know what they are going to do.  The Yankees were 2-15 with runners in scoring position, that has to change. 

Brett Gardner had two stolen bases and Curtis Granderson had one, three stolen bases was a season high for the Yankees.  Granderson scored all three of the runs for the Yankes and is on pace for 123 runs scored which would be the most by a Yankees CF since Rickey Henderson scored 130 in 1986. 

A-rod has had three straight multi-hit games pushing his batting average up to 289.  Yankees and Jays will play game two of their three game series tonight at 7:00PM.  Rickey Romero and C.C. Sabathia are the starters, that should be a good matchup.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Yankees lose opener to Jays as sixth inning is a bad inning

The New York Yankees lost to the Toronto Blue Jays by the score of 7-3 tonight.  Bartolo Colon made the start and didn't do so well, he was pitching well up until the sixth inning.  His control wasn't as sharp as it has been and that is what really hurt him.  He pitched six innings giving up six runs, he walked four and struck out eight.  Hector Noesi pitched the final three innings giving up a run and a hit. 

The offense was led by Robinson Cano who had three RBI.  Alex Rodriguez had another couple of hits as he continues to be hot.  The offense didn't do that much once again, Curtis Granderson drew three walks.  The Yankees were facing a pitcher that they have never seen before and they always do bad in those games.  The Yankees offense has been in a bad slump, not hitting with runners in scoring position and in general.  They were 2-15 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. 

The Yankees remain in first place as both the Tampa Bay Rays and Boston Red Sox lost. 

Yankees come out on top in Subway Series

The New York Yankees defeated the New York Mets this afternoon by the score of 9-3.  The final score looks like the Yankees had an easy time but that isn't true.  The offense struggled for most of the day off of Mike Pelfrey and then the seventh inning happened.  In that inning the Yankees sent 13 men to the plate, scored eight runs and it took half an hour to complete.  Oh yeah they didn't hit a homerun, it was all walks, hit by pitches, singles, doubles.  The Yankees scored runs without hitting a homerun, they must of been sick of hearing all that homerun is evil talk.  The Yankees offense has been inconsistent at best and they seem to only hit homeruns which have accounted for 60 percent of their total runs scored.  This may be the game that breaks them out of the slump and gets them doing the little things more. 

Ivan Nova started for the Yankees and although he wasn't great he pitched 6 2/3 innings and gutted it out.  He gave up 11 hits and bent but didn't break.  He gave the Yankees a chance to win when it looked like he may get knocked out early and they would have a tough time coming back.  Luis Ayala did a terrific job out of the bullpen.  He pitched 1 1/3 hitless, scoreless innings.  Lance Pendleton finished the game up with a 1-2-3 inning. 

Curtis Granderson hit his 16th homerun of the season today.  Alex Rodriguez had four hits and Derek Jeter had two hits.  Jeter is inching closer to that 3,000 mark.  Jeter is 25 hits shy of the mark.  Chris Dickerson and Brett Gardner had two hits, Robinson Cano had a big RBI single.  Jorge Posada had a hit and a walk as he continues to try and climb out of his season long slump, he is hitting much better of late. 

The Yankees will take on the Toronto Blue Jays in a three game series which begins on Monday night.  Bartolo Colon will make the start.  The Yankees are percentage points ahead of the Tampa Bay Rays for first place in the AL East.  The Boston Red Sox are only 1/2 a game behind, it is looking like some race this summer between the three teams.  The Yankees record is now 25-20. 

Joe Girardi seemed to be bothered after the game with all the homerun questions.  He gets asked almost daily about hitting too many homeruns and not doing enough of what they did today.  He said he feels that homeruns aren't being considered hits and that bothers him.  I think that the problem is you can't always hit homeruns, especially against good pitching and in playoff type baseball.  Alex Rodriguez understands and says the same thing I just said which is you are not going to hit homers against great pitching.  He said, "You have to have diversity in how you score runs."  He said that the things they did in that inning are going to count when it really counts which means they will remember that and have something to go back on when they need too. 

In the previous five home games for the Yankees they were 4-33 with runners in scoring position.  In the seventh inning today they were 5-7, including 4-4 with the bases loaded.  The homerun that Granderson hit makes him the fourth player in the last 50 years to have that many homeruns(16) in the first 45 games.  He also layed down a great bunt in that seventh inning and had no problem with that.  He said "If I'm asked to sacrifice bunt, I'm going to take pride in getting that bunt down." 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yankees Vs. Mets Subway Series Rubber Game

Here are the lineups for both teams.  The game is at 1:05PM on the YES Network and SNY. 

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, Chris Dickerson, Francisco Cervelli.  Ivan Nova makes the start. 

Mets Lineup: Jose Reyes, Daniel Murphy, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, Fernando Martinez, Justin Turner, Willie Harris, Ronny Paulino, Jason Pridie.  Mike Pelfrey makes the start. 

Derek Jeter tied Rickey Henderson for most steals in franchise history last night.  It only took Henderson 4 1/2 years and Jeter 15 years.  The Yankees ended their six game home losing streak, they hope to have a winning streak now at home and get rolling. 

The two teams will play each other again at Citi Field July 1-3.  Round one will be decided tonight since the Mets won on Friday night 2-1 and the Yankees won 7-3 last night.

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