Saturday, June 11, 2011

Yankees show a lot of fight in 11-7 win over the Tribe

The New York Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians by the score of 11-7 on Friday night.  Ivan Nova started and pitched a really good game.  He went seven innings giving up two runs and four hits.  The bullpen was a mess in finishing the game and they had to use Mariano Rivera with a big lead to get the job done.  Kevin Whelan made his major league debut and it was a rough one, he walked four batters in 2/3 of an inning.  Amaury Sanit who just came back from injury also had a rough outing. 

The offense pounded out 11 runs and 15 hits.  Curtis Granderson hit a homerun and after that the game got ugly.  Mark Teixeira was drilled in the back by a fastball from Fausto Carmona, it was clearly intentional.  The benches emptied and a melee ensued, Joe Girardi went face to face with Cleveland manager Manny Acta and it looked like he was going to punch him out before he was pulled away.  Teixeira was also really upset and was going at Carmona, he had to be restrained and was really yelling at him for a long time.  The Yankees have been getting hit a lot lately and it finally all boiled over. 

Alex Rodriguez had a homerun in the game and Jorge Posada had three hits.  Derek Jeter had one hit and is now nine shy of 3000.  He has six games left at home to get the nine hit and accomplish his goal at home.  The Yankees even stole five bases in this game.  The two teams will play game two of their four game series Saturday afternoon with Bartolo Colon facing off against Mitch Talbot. 

Friday, June 10, 2011

Yankees vs. Indians Game One of Four

The New York Yankees lost three straight to the Boston Red Sox.  They are 1-8 against them this season.  The Yankees are in second place two games back.  Here are some notes and the lineup.
Joba Chamberlain will undergo Tommy John surgery and it will be on Thursday with Dr. James Andrews.  It is a big loss as the recovery is 12-18 months. 
Kevin Whelan has been called up from AAA.  He was the closer there and having a good season.  I wonder if he will be the first from AAA with Montero not far behind.
It looks like Chris Dickerson got sent out, nothing official yet.  Phil Hughes pitched two innings in extended spring yesterday and was consistently at 92 on the gun.  He is on his way back.  The Yankees could put him in the bullpen but I don't think they will.  I can see Nova being sent down or to the pen.
Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Yankees vs. Red Sox-Yanks looking to avoid the sweep

The New York Yankees have lost the first two games of this three game series against the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees also have Russell Martin out with a back issue and then today learned that reliever Joba Chamberlain has a torn ligament in his right elbow and will almost certainly need Tommy John surgery meaning his season is over.  The Yankees were already without what was supposed to be their eighth inning guy Rafael Soriano, Pedro Feliciano never got his season started and the Yankees are left with Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson and Boone Logan.  They need some pitching help and unless they turn to the young guys in the minors I don't know that they are going to get it.  Mark Prior would of been an option but he is also on the DL.  Phil Hughes is currently making his way back, could the Yankees shift him back to the pen, I guess it is a possibility but who knows if they would do that again. 

It has been a really tough couple of days for the Yankees as they lost first place last night and they also lose some of their players now.  I don't know if the Yankees will do it but I would look for some pay back tonight with C.C. on the mound.  The Red Sox have become way too comfortable at Yankee Stadium and something has to be done about it.  I am not advocating throwing at anyone but throw inside and make them eat some dirt and if they get hit oh well.  The Yankees are going to need seven or eight inning out of C.C. tonight and hopefully they can scratch out some runs off of Beckett. 

Here is the Yankees lineup for tonight:  Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, Francisco Cervelli. 

The Red Sox also may be getting some bad news today as second baseman Dustin Pedroia was sent back to Boston for tests on his knee.  He is out for today but they hope that is it, he indicated it is possible he may need knee surgery, if that is the case that would be a huge blow for them. 

The Yankees are 1-7 against the Red Sox this season, not very good but a few yrs ago they were 0-8 against them and ended up splitting the season series.  The Red Sox right now are the better team but they aren't that much better.  I see it as a confidence thing, the Sox know they will beat the Yankees and the Yankees aren't sure they can beat them. 

There is one other thing this year that suprises me so far, the Yankees are only a couple of games over 500 at home.  They need to get that great home field advantage going again.  They always had it at the Old Stadium and in the two years since this stadium opened they have had it but not this year.  That is going to need to change if the Yankees are going to go anywhere this year. 

The game is on MY9, YES has pre and postgame.  I wouldn't expect the game to start on time as thunderstorms are rolling through the area but we will see.  I would expect a delay of an hour or more which on getaway day for the Red Sox and with how long they play will be really fun. 

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Yankees vs. Red Sox

Here are the lineups for tonights game between the two blood rivals. 

Yankees Lineup:Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez(DH), Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, Brett Gardner, Eduardo Nunez(3B), Francisco Cervelli(C). 

Boston Lineup:Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Adrian Gonzalez, Kevin Youkilis, David Ortiz, Crawford, Scutaro, Drew, Varitek. 

The pitching matchup is A.J. Burnett vs. Tim Wakefield.  It should be an interesting night as it usually is between these two teams.  There are just more stories attached to this one though with what happened last night and now Varitek behind the plate with the knuckler which he has never been good at handling. 

I would look early for Burnett to set the tone inside and brush some of these guys off the plate and for the Yankees to be off an running everytime they get on base.  They won't run Cervelli or Teixeira and probably not Cano although I think he can even steal off of that combo, but most of the guys will be running.  Jeter, Rodriguez, Granderson, Nunez, Gardner, maybe even Swisher will be running. 

Yankees lose to the Red Sox

The New York Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox last night by the score of 6-4.  Freddy Garcia had nothing and four batters into the game it was 3-0 Sox.  He lasted only 1 2/3 innings.  Luis Ayala pitched 1 1/3 innings and then Hector Noesi really saved the Yankees bullpen by pitching six innings giving up two runs.  He pitched great out of the pen and got sent down today because he wouldn't be available for a while and the Yankeees are short in the bullpen.  The Yankees claimed Jeff Marquez off of waivers and he is expected to be with the team at game time and Amaury Sanit got recalled.  The Yankees were trailing 6-1 in this game and then got a big two run double from Nick Swisher to make it a 6-3 game.  The Yankees had their chance in the ninth, Jorge Posada had an RBI single to make it 6-4 and Arod was the tying run but struck out to end the game.  Posada was filling in for Mark Teixeira who left in the first inning after getting beaned on the knee.  He has a contusion but he will be playing tonight.  Posada went 3-3 with a walk in the game. 

The Yankees are now 1-6 against the Red Sox this season and 0-4 at home against them.  A.J. Burnett will pitch tonight against Tim Wakefield.  There are a couple of things to watch for, one of them is if the Yankees will retaliate tonight because of Tex and Martin getting hit last night and the other bigger one is Big Papi flipping his bat after his two run homerun in the fifth inning.  Joe Girardi did not like that at all but he wasn't going to have a rookie retaliate.  A.J. Burnett would be a guy that would and could do it tonight.  The other thing to watch for is Varitek who has never been comfortable catching the knuckleball is in the lineup because Jarod Saltalamacchia is in the hospital with an illness.  The Yankees when on base should run on him all night long.  This could be a huge part of the game, I wouldn't of been suprised if they even played Chris Dickerson in this game or at some point he does come in just to add even more speed to the lineup.  The game is on at 7:00PM on the YES network. 

The Yes Network directly after the game and then the postgame will premiere the Joe Girardi Yankeeography, you will want to stay tuned for that.  The series will finish off tomorrow night with a classic pitchers duel between C.C. Sabathia and Josh Beckett. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yankees finish road trip strong and head home

The New York Yankees defeated the Anaheim Angels on Sunday afternoon to win the series two games to one.  It also ended their longest road trip of the season with a 6-3 record.  They played really well on this road trip, some of these west coast trips can really hurt you but the Yankees took over first place out there and are one game up on the Boston Red Sox.  The Yankees lost the first two games in Seattle but then went six out of seven to finish the trip. Here are some postgame notes. “I don’t know if we’ll ever face a nine-game stretch of that kind of starting pitching again,” Mark Teixeira said.

Even the bad starters on this trip were pretty good, but the Yankees won six of nine and played legitimately good baseball. The games they lost were all one-run games. The starting pitching was tremendous, the bullpen did its job, the offense came to life and the defense was especially good the past two nights. Less than a month ago, the Yankees lost six in a row and seemed to be spiraling. Now they’ve won 13 of 18 heading into this week’s showdown against Boston.

“I thought we played pretty well at home before we left, the Mets and Toronto series,” Girardi said. “But before that, we were struggling. We were struggling to win series. There were times we’d win the first agme and we couldn’t win the next two and we weren’t playing well, but we’ve played much better the last five series, and that’s encouraging.”

Pitching deservedly got a lot of credit this road trip, but Teixeira had five home runs during this West Coast swing, including two of them today in Anaheim. He has eight home runs and 19 RBI in the past 16 games. He’s still not hitting for much average, but he’s driving the ball taking his walks.

“I feel good physically,” he said. “Sometimes when you don’t hit home runs, a lot of it’s because you’re a little tired. Your bat’s a little heavy, your bat’s a little slow. Physically I feel like we’ve had a good amount of off days. I feel like I’ve taken care of myself like I always do, and up to his point, my bat’s felt pretty good. Pretty much all season it’s felt pretty quick. I’d still like to get a few more hits. My average is probably not where I want it, but that’s just really good pitching.”

Pitching doesn’t get much better than what the Yankees saw during this road trip, but six wins in nine games shows how well they’re playing heading into tomorrow’s off day and this week’s three-game series against the Red Sox.
More than anything, it seemed the Yankees wanted to talk about their bullpen after this latest win. Bartolo Colon didn’t have his usual command, so the Yankees had to lean on their relievers for 3.2 scoreless innings.

“That might have been the toughest of all the wins that we had,” Girardi said. “It seemed like we had two runners on every inning form the sixth on, maybe even the fifth on, I don’t know, but that was a tough win… When (the relievers) had to get it, they got it.”

Dave Robertson struck out Maicer Izturis to strand the bases loaded in the sixth. Joba Chamberlain struck out Howie Kendrick to strand two runners in the seventh, then he got a double play to end the eighth. Mariano Rivera let the winning run come to the plate in the ninth, then ended the game with a quiet fist pump after the Yankees turned a quick double play.

“There’s a lot of days when you feel great and you’re blowing fastballs by people,” Chamberlain said. “This is the time you have to pitch. You rely on your command, your catcher and your defense most importantly. You’re not going to get a strikeout here, but you’ve got to let them put it into play and let them make plays behind you.”

Both Chamberlain and Robertson called it a battle. Neither had his best stuff, but both found a way. Girardi said some of the credit goes to the rotation for pitching so deep into games lately that he could stick with Robertson and Chamberlain through slightly extended outings.

 Colon only walked two, but it was clear this wasn’t his best day, and he didn’t have his usual command. “I couldn’t find a good grip on the ball,” he said. “I was trying to throw my two-seamer, and I couldn’t.”

  Derek Jeter had another single, this one to right field to pull within 14 of career hit No. 3,000. “As a club we’re starting to get excited,” Girardi said. “I think the fans are starting to get excited. We would love to see him do it at home during the home stand.”

 Jorge Posada said he didn’t think anyone was in position to catch the throw from left field, that’s why he rounded second base on his fourth-inning double. He saw the relay men in front of him and didn’t think any one was behind him. “To be honest,” Girardi said. “He hit the double and I looked down, and I was looking over this way, and the next thing I know, he’s in a rundown. I’m like, what happened? First baseman did his job, he followed, and I guess they threw behind him. I didn’t actually see the play because I assumed it was a double.”

Posada had his first two-hit game since May 17. He came into the game 1-for-16 on the road trip

Brett Gardner also had two hits. He had one hit in the first seven games of this trip, now he has four hits in the past two. Gardner was caught stealing for the seventh time this season. He’s never been a guy who gets caught stealing very often — nine times all last year — but for whatever reason he keeps getting thrown out this year.

This was the 30th career multi-homer game for Teixeira. It was his third multi-homer game in this ballpark, one as an Angel, one as a Ranger and one as a Yankee

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Yankees defeat the Angels behind C.C.

The New York Yankees defeated the Anaheim Angels by the score of 3-2 on Saturday night. The Yankees offense was two homeruns, the big one coming off the bat of Alex Rodriguez to give them a two run lead that they would hold onto. Sabathia was brilliant pitching into the ninth inning but not being able to complete the game. Mariano Rivera earned the save by getting the last batter of the game.
Sabathia pitched 8 2/3 innings giving up two runs, only one of them being earned on eight hits. He walked one batter and struck out three. Sabathia has now won four in a row and pitched into at least the eighth inning in all of those starts. He is now 7-3 on the season with a ERA of 2.80. Rivera earned his 15th save of the season with a one pitch out. He got an easy pop up to short not even breaking a sweat in this one.

The Yankees only managed seven hits in this game, it was better then the three they had in the first game of the series. Robinson Cano had a solo homerun and Rodriguez had the two run homerun. Derek Jeter had a hit and a walk. Jeter is now 15 hits away from 3000 and he tied Sam Rice for 28th on the all-time list. Roberto Clemente is next up at 3000. Curtis Granderson had a hit and a walk, Nick Swisher had a hit and he hit the ball hard a couple of other times. Swisher appears to be coming out of his slump. Jorge Posada drew a walk and hit the ball hard to center field in one of his at-bats, he has been swinging better also of late. Brett Gardner had two hits. Swisher had a double, the Yankees were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base. Granderson was caught stealing and Jeter committed an error.

The two teams have split the first two games of the series. They will finish the series at 3:30 on Sunday afternoon. Bartolo Colon will make the start for the Yankees against Joel Piniero. The Yankees will be trying to win their first series in Anaheim in seven years. They are also 8-20 in their last 28 series in Anaheim. Here are some postgame notes.

The first changeup was fouled off by Maicer Izturis. The second was hit to deep center field by Erick Aybar.

“It was huge for me tonight,” Sabathia said. “The only reason I pitched eight innings tonight is because I was able to get some swings early and get some weak fly balls (and) get some ground balls with that pitch. A couple of years ago, I probably would have been in trouble not being able to command it if I didn’t have it early.”  He is talking about his changeup which was a great pitch for him in this game.

Sabathia has pitched at least eight innings in his past four starts. He’s won seven of his past nine, and tonight he was one out away from his second complete game in the past two weeks. After Alex Rodriguez hit the go-ahead, two-run home run in the sixth inning, Sabathia needed a total of 12 pitches to get through the next two innings. A third of those 12 pitches were changeups, and there’s no telling how many of his fastballs were made more effective because of the change.

During this West Coast road trip, the Yankees have faced six starting pitchers with a 3.01 ERA or lower. They’ve seen some of the very best in the American League, but none has pitched as well as Sabathia, who’s allowed two earned runs in 16.2 innings.

“CC is amazing,” Alex Rodriguez said. “He’s been kind of a life-saver here for the last two or three years. He’s a guy that starts winning streaks for us and stops losing streaks. He did that last Sunday, and hopefully today was another example of that.”

 Cano actually said he wasn’t happy with the home run at-bat because it should have ended earlier with ball four. “Honestly I don’t like that at-bat because I swing at everything and the other slider was in the dirt,” he said. “So, that’s me chasing and swinging at everything, and that’s not where you want to be. You want to be able to just take those pitches and just take your walks and just swing at better pitches.”

 Rodriguez had not hit a home run since May 21, but during that drought he hit .378 with a .417 on-base percentage. “You always want to be productive,” Rodriguez said. “If that means home runs, RBIs, doubles, whatever it takes to help the team win. Over my career, the one thing I’ve never worried about is home runs. I’ve focused on being a good hitter, drawing my walks and being very productive for my offense.”

Girardi on the decision to leave Sabathia in for the ninth: “He was throwing the ball great. I didn’t see any reason to make a change. His pitch count was down which we usually see out of CC. He’s been on a roll.” Girardi said he didn’t want to Sabathia to face Aybar a fifth time, so he went to the closer.

 The Yankees tied their season high by moving eight games above .500. They’ve won 12 of their past 17 games.

The Yankees got their first one-run road win of the season.

Also, Rodriguez tied Mel Ott for ninth place on baseball’s all-time RBI list with No. 1,864. Rivera moved ahead of Goose Gossage for sole possession of 14th on baseball’s games pitched list with his 1,003rd appearance.

The Yankees have assured themselves a winning record on this road trip, but they’d like to win this series. “Tomorrow’s a big game,” Rodriguez said. “We have to come in here with a lot of adrenaline and hunger to finish off the trio. We haven’t accomplished anything, but for the most part the team has played a little better.

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