Thursday, July 7, 2011

Yankees vs. Rays-Jeters Quest for 3000

The New York Yankees will take on the Tampa Bay Rays in the first of four games tonight at the Stadium.  Derek Jeter enters the game three hits away from 3000.  The Yankees are ready for him to do it at home, the quicker the better.  If he does it, it will be a huge thing and I am sure there will be a celebration but they can't delay the game for too long.  I am sure the Yankees will honor him further at some point in the season when they have a chance to figure out how to do it.  He of course will want to just focus on the team winning but it is hard to ignore that he will be the first Yankee to ever accomplish this and the 28th player of all-time. 

The Yankees are currently in first place in the AL East by half a game over the Boston Red Sox.  The Tampa Bay Rays are four games behind the Yankees so this is a big series.  The Yankees can really put some distance between them and the Rays and the Rays can make some noise and make this a three team race.  Here are some notes and the lineup.

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

Bartolo Colon will make the start against Jeff Niemann.  Jeter is 5-9 against him with two doubles a walk and a strikeout.  Niemann has had a tough year.  He has been hurt with a lower back strain and only made nine starts this year. 

Hughes last night didn't pitch great but he didn't pitch poorly either.  The Yankees think he has room to improve but that it was his location that was the problem not his stuff.  Hughes will continue to pitch and see if he can get better.  If he does and no one else gets hurt then the Yankees will be in good shape.  Ivan Nova starts in Scranton tonight and is essentially the sixth starter but working in AAA.  If someone gets hurt or Hughes doesn't improve he will be back up and put back in the rotation. 

The Yankees fans will be showering Jeter with love tonight and these next four games.  The All Star Break is after these four games so now is the time to get to 3000.  It should be a great atmosphere for these games and besides it is a division rival where there is something at stake.  I expect this to be a lot of fun and look forward to seeing how they celebrate hit 3000. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Yankees lose in Hughes return

The New York Yankees were defeated by the Cleveland Indians by the score of 5-3 on Wednesday night. Phil Hughes made his return from the disabled list where he has been since April. Hughes pitched ok but not great. Hughes got off to a rocky start and then recovered. The Yankees offense could not solve Justin Masterson who was brilliant pitching eight innings of shutout baseball. Derek Jeter did have a hit and is now three hits away from 3000 as he heads home.

Hughes pitched five innings giving up two runs and six hits. He walked two and struck out two. Hughes is 0-2 on the season and his ERA is 10.57, it actually went down as it was above 13 coming into the game. Luis Ayala pitched 2/3 of an inning giving up two hits, Boone Logan pitched one inning giving up one hit and one run. Sergio Mitre pitched 1 1/3 innings giving up one hit and two runs. He walked three and struck out one.

Jeter had one hit and hit the ball hard another time. Jeter is excited to get back home and get three more hits there. It will be a special night at the stadium when he does get his 3000th hit. He has four chances to do it there needing three more hits. Alex Rodriguez had two hits, Robinson Cano had a hit and Nick Swisher had a hit, RBI and a walk. Jorge Posada had an RBI, Russell Martin had a hit and an RBI. Jeter and Swisher had doubles in the game. The Yankees were 1-8 with runners in scoring position and left six men on base. Martin made a throwing error.

The Indians scored two runs in the first inning and they didn’t look back. Travis Hafner had an RBI single and on a strike out to Carlos Santana, it was a wild pitch and Martin tried to throw to third and threw it into left field allowing a run to score. In the seventh inning Lonnie Chisenhall hit a solo homerun to make it 3-0. It was the first homerun of Chisenhalls major league career. In the eighth inning Santana walked to drive in a run and Grady Sizemore hit a sacrifice fly to make it 5-0. The Yankees scored three runs in the ninth but fell a little bit short in their comeback attempt. Swisher hit an RBI double, Posada had an RBI groundout and Martin had an RBI groundout.

The Yankees lost two out of three games to the Cleveland Indians. It was the first time they have lost a series since June 7-9th against Boston. The Yankees remain in first place but are now only ½ a game ahead of the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees begin a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night. The Rays are four games behind the Yankees so this is an important series. The Yankees can put some distance between the two teams or the Rays can get right back into the race.

Yankees notes after a Grand victory

Here are some postgame notes after a Yankees victory in Cleveland.

CC Sabathia said he’s been on a run better than this, which really gives some perspective to just how good he was during his short stint with the Brewers. After seven scoreless innings tonight, Sabathia has allowed a total of one run in his past three starts. During those 22.2 innings he’s struck out 33, walked five and extended his personal winning streak to five in a row.

“Milwaukee is still my best,” he said. “I don’t even know what happened. It was just one of those things… That was two and a half months. This has been three or four starts.”  I would say what happened is he was pitching in the National League, the offense isn't as good.

Sabathia’s ERA is down to 2.90 and he’s the first big league pitcher to reach 12 wins. It’s the second straight year that he’s had 12 wins before the all-star break, making him the first Yankees starter to do that since Tommy John in 1979-80.

“It’s as good a run as I’ve seen him have with us,” Joe Girardi said. “He’s been tremendous.”

Derek Jeter said he can’t help thinking about 3,000 hits because he hears about it every time he’s on-deck. Tonight, he said, fans were telling him to go 6-for-6. He told them he was trying, I can only imagine but he is good at not letting any pressure get to him.  He has been a cool customer his whole career and that is part of what makes Derek Jeter, Derek Jeter. 

Tonight Jeter pulled within four hits of No. 3,000. He’s had two four-hit games this season, so it’s not out of the question that he could do it tomorrow. Thing is, Girardi wants to give Jeter one day off — a full day off, not a DH day — before the all-star break. He doesn’t want his 37-year-old shortstop playing nine days in a row when he’s coming back from a calf injury.

Jeter, of course, wants to play.  He always wants to play and when he isn't it kills him, he doesn't know what to do with himself.  The three weeks off he had must of really been bothering  him. 

Granderson went deep twice tonight. That gave him 25 home runs for the season, which is one more than he had all last season. It’s five away from his career-high. As he’s always done, Granderson downplayed the surging home run totals. “They’ve just come a little bit quicker than they have in the past,” Granderson said.  It is amazing how he has transformed himself.  He was a good major league player and could of done nothing and been ok but you have to give him credit for changing things and they are working. 

 Granderson has four home runs in his past four games, a streak that came immediately after he went 14 games without a homer.

  One theory about Sabathia’s increased velocity: It’s finally gotten hot. Sabathia loves pitching in the heat. “I’ve been able to stay loose,” he said. “That’s a big thing for me. In between innings trying to stay loose and make sure I can keep sweating, and I think that’s a big part of my velocity.”

 Girardi was quick to give credit to Brett Gardner during his postgame press conference. That five-run second inning wouldn’t have happened without Gardner breaking up what would have been an inning-ending double play. His slide into second base was actually a pivotal moment in this game. “I got in there a little bit,” Gardner said. “Not like I do against some guys.” 

Jeter said it didn’t bother him that his first hit off the disabled list was dribbler that went for an infield single, but he did enjoy hitting the ball hard on that second-inning double. “I don’t care how I get hits,” Jeter said. “I have no ego whatsoever. It did feel good to hit a ball good. It’s the hardest ball I’ve hit in three weeks.”  That is pretty funny that he said that because he has an ego and a big one.  Part of the reason the contract was an issue in the winter is because of his ego. 

 Girardi said he’s still not sure whether Mariano Rivera will be available tomorrow. “He talked about being ready in case of emergency,” Girardi said. “I didn’t know what that emergency would be. When he said he still felt it a little bit, I said, ‘You’re off again today and we’ll see where we are tomorrow.’”

 Brian Gordon made his Scranton/Wilkes-Barre debut tonight and pitched five scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. Ivan Nova will make his first Triple-A start of the year on Thursday.  It is nice to have depth in AAA so you know who to call if something happens at the big league level.

Yankees offense rolls and CC dominates in Yankees victory

The New York Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians by the score of 9-2 on Tuesday night.  CC Sabathia pitched seven shutout innings.  It was the big mans fifth straight victory.  He failed to make the All Star Team but he sure is pitching like an All Star.  He leads the major leagues with 12 wins and is 12-4 on the season with a 2.90 ERA. 

Curtis Granderson continued his great season hitting two homeruns.  He has 25 on the season which is one more then he had all of last season.  His career high is 30 which he accomplished in 2009 with the Detroit Tigers.  Derek Jeter had two hits and is now four away from 3000.  He has one more game in Cleveland tomorrow if he plays and then the four at home against the Tampa Bay Rays before the All Star Break.  He would like to get it at home against the Rays. 

Francisco Cervelli was the only starter who didn't have at least two hits.  Granderson had three and every other starter had two hits.  The Yankees will try and win their eighth straight series tomorrow.  It will be Phil Hughes against Justin Masterson in the pitching matchup.  Hughes hasn't pitched in the major leauges since April.  He underwent a successful rehab stint and the Yankees are anxious to see what he could give them the rest of this season.  They are confident he is past his arm troubles and ready to be more like the guy he was last year when he won 18 games. 

The game will be on tomorrow night at 7:00PM on the YES Network.  The Yankees don't play a lot of day games on get away day for whatever reason.  I would assume it's because it is the Yankees and they get better ratings at night. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yankees postgame news and notes after a tough loss

The New York Yankees lost this afternoon to the New York Mets 3-2.  Here are some news and notes from after the game.  Derek Jeter is headed to Cleveland after he returns to the team, he was off about three weeks with an injured calf.  Jeter needs six more hits to reach 3000. 

Phil Hughes will start Wednesday in Cleveland he is jumping right into Ivan Nova's spot in the rotation.  Nova was optioned down to AAA Scranton earlier in the day.  The Yankees did discuss several options but it came down to sending Nova down or going with a six man rotation.  Girardi sent him down because he didn't want to mess with Burnett and Sabathia's schedule.  Girardi said this about Nova "I think he handled it like a man and a professional.  I think he will go about it the right way." 

Teixeira was not selected to the All Star Team.  That was a suprise to me and not in a snotty way but a firm way he said he doesn't want to be in the HR derby if he isn't in the All Star Game.  That is just a feeling of his and not meant to be mean or mad because he didn't get in.  It was a hard choice for the Yankees.  Larry Rothschild the pitching coach said it was hard but a good one to have to make.  They briefly discussed putting Nova in the bullpen.  I thought about that a couple of weeks ago, they feel that would hurt his development, he is a starting pitcher and that is what he needs to do. 

“In a lot of other places he wouldn’t be out of the rotation, but because guys are throwing so well, it just happens,” Girardi said. “He’s not the first guy that has thrown the ball extremely well and has had to go down… Going into spring training would you have said we had an excess of starting pitching? I probably would have said no, but the guys have thrown great. This kid, he’ll be back at some point. We know that.”

All around the Yankees clubhouse, the team seemed to feel badly for Nova. But they also seemed to understand the situation. Every option came with its positives and negatives, but the Yankees wanted to get Phil Hughes back, they wanted to keep all of their veterans in the rotation, and they wanted to keep Nova on an every-five-days schedule.  This information is coming from Chad Jennings of the Journal News. 

“It sucks the moves that correspond with it,” Hughes said. “I feel bad for Nova, but I’m real excited to get back. I’m ready, and I feel up for it.”

Rivera had converted 26 straight saves against the National League.  That includes two in the World Series.  It was tied for the second longest streak of interleague.  Troy Percival had 26 and Eric Gagne had 29. 

Girardi is hopeful of Nunez returning tomorrow even with Jeter coming back.  The Yankees have their whole infield on the All Star team other then Teixeira.  Teixeira said it is tough in the AL because of so many good first baseman.  He said he would be spending time with his family, he didn't seem that upset about it.  CC Sabathia was the other guy that didn't get in that was kind of a suprise.  He is looking forward to the three days off though and isn't uspet at all.  Dave Robertson is the other name that everyone is talking about that it would of been nice if he made it.  He didn't though unless their is an injury. 

The Yankees will open up a three game series in Cleveland tomorrow with A.J. Burnett on the mound.  They will try and start a new winning streak and Jeter will resume his chase for 3000.  He is six hits shy of that mark and will have these three games before returning home for four against the Tampa Bay Rays.  It will then be the All Star Break. 

The Yankees fail to sweep the Mets

The New York Yankees lost to the New York Mets today by the score of 3-2.  It was a good pitchers duel between Freddy Garcia who pitched a great seven innings and R.A. Dickey who pitched well for five innings.  Dickey left the game with a hip/butt injury.  It doesn't appear to be anything serious and he should make his next start. 

The Yankees did  hit a couple of triples in this game but no homeruns.  The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the eighth inning after Gardner hit a triple, Granderson hit a sacrifice fly.  The Mets tied the game in the ninth inning off of the great Mariano Rivera who blew his fourth save of the season.  Jason Bay walked with two outs and no one on.  Lucas Duda hit a single to put runners at the corners with two out and Ronny Paulino coming to the plate.  With two strikes Paulino hit an RBI single.  The next batter hit one right through Pena's legs which was an error but Brett Gardner threw Duda out at home.  The throw wasn't great, it was up the first base line a little.  Martin made a great play going to get the ball and then diving back to tag the runner out before he could score the winning run. 

The game went to the tenth and the Yankees had a triple from Cano with two outs but they couldn't get the run in.  In the bottom of the tenth the Mets scored on a Bay RBI single to walk-off with the win.  Pena made two critical errors, he is supposed to be really good defensively but he also made three errors in Cincinatti a couple of weeks ago.  Derek Jeter will be back tomorrow and he is the guy most likely who is going to be sent back down to the minors. 

Resistance Bands is a Free Blogger Template