A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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The Oakland Athletics have started the second half of this season, following the All Star break on fire, winning their last 5 of 6, beating the New York Yankees, 4-3, Thursday night in Oakland in front of 23, 382. Nick Swisher did his part to rally the team late in the game, hitting one deep to bring the tying run to the plate with 1 out in the 9th inning. But it was to no avail, as Ibanez and Martin struck out and grounded out to end the inning and the game.
Freddy Garcia went only 5.2 innings and was roughed up a bit, giving up 9 Hits, 4 Earned Runs (with one homer to Cespedes in the 1st), Walking 2, and Striking Out 6. David Phelps was a bright spot, coming in from the bullpen and pitched brilliantly in the remaining 2.1 innings, Striking Out 4, and not giving up even a hit, or baserunner for that matter. Phelps did his job, but the bats could not answer loud enough to take the lead from these scorching hot Athletics.
The Yankees lead in the East is still 9 games, and there is nothing to worry about. They are still hitting on all cylinders, and will undoubtely put in a good bid to take the series from the Athletics anyways, when it is all said and done. Ivan Nova (10-4) takes the mound tonight against Tommy Milone (9-6). Game time is 10:05 EST.
The Yankees have started off the second half of the season the same way they ended the first…winning! They took 2 of 3 from the AL West contender Angels, and by sweeping the Blue Jays today have improved their record to 57-34. The biggest story from this series was the stellar performance of C.C. Sabathia coming off the DL and pitching a gem for 6 innings (facing one batter in the 7th inning). He only gave up 4 hits, with 6 strike outs, 1 walk, and 0 earned runs. His command did not seem to be dusty either as he threw only 87 pitches, 66 of them for strikes. This was great to see as it looks like the Yankees are making a strong case, early in this second half, to be running away with the division. C.C. will be a huge part of their success as they head to the post season and make a bid for the World Series (which will undoubtedly go through Texas). Good pitching beats good hitting, and as it stands right now the Yankees look to have both.
They head to the west coast after today’s game for a 7 game road trip. 4 with the Athletics, followed by 3 with Seattle. Then they come home to host their ultimate rivals, divisional rivals, and hated rivals, the Boston Red Sox.
Things couldn’t be going any better right now for the team, and their win total seems to be evidence of that.
The Yankees traded away their top prospect for pitching but they still have a top twenty guy in pitcher Manny Benuelos, who was picked thirteen by MLB.com. This lefty pitched at Triple-A as a 20 year old and while he struggled at times, he also held his own.
His season was derailed because of an appendectomy but he bounced back and was still productive. He also had a nice showing at the AFL and he could be pitching in the Yankees rotation as early as this year.
Jorge Posada has calls it quits and one of the cornerstones of the most recent machination of the Yankees dynasty went out in style. He finishes his career with 275 home runs and a career .848 OPS. That’s very solid for a catcher in a given season, much less a career.
Posada has struggled the past couple of seasons and he’s never been a great fielder so it was nice not to see the Yankees have to force their hand. There was also the controversy last year when Posada complained about being dropped in the batting order. Still, I wish Mr. Posada the best and I’m sure we’ll see him around the ballpark from time to time. He joins a great cast of awesome Yankees’ catchers and my guess is, he gets into the Hall of Fame.
The Yankees have made their starting rotation a priority and it looks like they’re willing to part ways with blue chip prospect Jesus Montero. Montero made a splash in his short time with the Yankees and he’s been their top prospect the past two years. Of course it probably made it a little easier that the Yankees have two more catchers in their top ten prospects with Gary Sanchez listed as fourth by Baseball America. Sanchez is only 19 though but they already have Russell Martin locked up and my best is he gets the start.
Pineda had a nice year as a 22 year old rookie for the Mariners last season. He only went 9-10 but he had a very solid 3.74 ERA and a 1.099 WHIP. He also struck out 173 and walked 55 in 171 innings. The Yankees also get a very young Jose Campos who will be 19 this year but already has three seasons of minor league ball under his belt. The Yankees are giving up Hector Noesi as well.
I like the move. We have enough hitters and Russell Martin is good enough. Since we lost out on Yu Darvish, the Yankees went shopping and this is who they got.
The Yankees got some house cleaning done and tendered contracts to all of their unsigned players including the six that are arbitration eligible. That means Joba Chamberlain (remember him), Phil Hughes, David Robertson, Brett Garnder, Boone Logan and Russel Martin are all back in the fold.
None of this was surprise because all of these guys, sans Chamberlain, played a big role last year. Of all the news, probably the most annoying is that Garnder is going to be the started in left but he’ll be batting ninth. That guy needs to lead off. I know Derek Jeter is the man but Gardner would be so much better up at the top.
Freddy Garcia will be back in the Yankees rotation in 2012 after a solid enough season in 2011. The Yanks will pay him $4 million with a chance at some incentives to work the back end of the Yankees rotation. His incentives are based on the number of starts he makes and if gets to 32, he’ll make an addition $1.5 million.
He had a solid season with a 12-8 record and a 3.62 ERA. He only threw in 146 2/3 innings though and he might have pitched above his head. He had a nice enough 3.62 ERA but his 1.343 WHIP wasn’t much to write home about.
Well, he worked in 2011. The Yankees shored up their rotation by bringing back Freddy Garcia. Any time you can sign someone to a one year deal, it’s worth taking a shot on and the Yankees are looking to pay Garcia between $4 and $5 million in 2012. Garcia was solid in 25 starts and he finished with a 12-8 record and a 3.62 ERA. Now it’s time to get another piece or two.
I like Mark Buehrle. He’s less popular then C.J. Wilson but not many pitchers have been as reliable as Mark Buehrle the past ten or so seasons. Roy Oswalt is also out there and he could be an interesting pickup since the Yankees seem to like bringing guys back for one last hurrah.
They also have some home grown talent who might compete for a rotation spot. Hector Noesi is out there as is Dellin Betances. I’d still like to pick up a veteran but Ivan Nova worked so could one of these other guys.
Winter meetings are coming up and the pieces will start together. I better pick up some Yankees tickets now before they sell out.
The Yankees season ended prematurely once again but there’s plenty of great moments in Yankees history that fans can look back. That’s why it was cool to see two new DVDs that feature great games in the Yankees history. The first one actually happened this year and that’s the game where Derek Jeter got his 3,000 hit and what a game for the future Hall of Famer. See the solo home run that gave him number 3,000 and you also get to see Jeter go five for five in this game. This is why it’s best to get as many Yankees tickets as you possibly can. You never know when history is going to happen with this team.
The second DVD features one of my favorite games. Not only is the game a beat down of the Boston Red Sox but it continued their stupid curse for another year. Game three of the 2003 ALCS is a classic. Relive the Pedro Martinez melt down and the extra innings game winning home run by Aaron Boone. This 6-5, eleven inning game is one I can watch over and over again.
Freddy Garcia improved 12-8 on the season with a really nice start in the Yankees 9-1 blowout win over the Red Sox. The Yankees are in the playoffs, but they could still influence how the playoff picture ends up because they finish up against the Red Sox and Rays. This game was the perfect example as the Red Sox continue their historic collapse.
Garcia gave up six hits and a walk with three strikeouts in six shutout innings. Rookie George Kontos threw a shutout ninth inning and he struck out two in the frame.
Rookie Jesus Montero had a huge day at the plate. He went three for four with a home run, four RBIs and two runs. Derek Jeter had just one hit but it was a three run home run in the second inning.
Now it’s time to think about Yankees playoff tickets. That gave the Yankees win number 96. In order to win 100, they’d have to go 4-1 the rest of the way. With the Yankees getting ready for the playoffs and their opponents fighting for a playoff spot I don’t see that happening but it would be cool if he forced the Red Sox and Ray’s hands.
Last year, the Yankees and the Rays fought a lackluster division race because both teams had effectively locked up a playoff spot early. This year it’s more of the same. The Yankees sit a win back of the Red Sox, but they have an impressive 8 1/2 game lead for the Wild Card. I don’t see the Angels or the Rays catching that much fire or the Yankees tanking that bad so it’s safe to lock them in.
Basically, the Yankees are playing for the chance to play the Tigers (or Indians or White Sox) rather then then the Rangers (or Angels). Honestly, I also think that’s six of one, half dozen of another. The Rangers have a better team, but going up against Justin Verlander, potentially twice, doesn’t leave the Yankees much margin for error in their other games. Still, the Rangers have that potent lineup and pitching so the Yankees will have to bring their A game no matter who they face. I wonder how much baseball playoff tickets will be going for this time around.
Yesterday was a 9-2 pasting over Tampa Bay. Jorge Posada made a statement with three hits and six RBIs while Curtis Granderson hit his 33rd home run of the season. Phil Hughes threw six strong innings and he improved to 3-4.
Next up are the Royals. I like our chances in taking back first place after this series. The Red Sox have the Rays.
Those pesky Red Sox. They did make some nice moves this off season and you knew they were going to bounce back. Still, the Yankees despite all of their troubles this year, have stuck with the Red Sox and they’re just two games back and they have a nice lead in the Wild Card. So it’s looking a lot like 2010, just with a different team. You should get your Yankees tickets now because I can see them being hard to come by these last couple of months.
Yesterday, the Yankees destroyed the Orioles. They scored twelve in the first and by the third they were up 16-1. By the end of the second inning, Robinson Cano was already three for three. He finished five for five with five RBIs. Curtis Granderson had four hits and three runs and Nick Swisher and Andruw Jones both went yard in the game.
Lost in all of the offense was a nice start by Ivan Nova. He gave up two runs on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts in seven innings.
The Yankees finish up their series with the Orioles today then they head to Chicago for four against the White Sox. Freddy Garcia gets the ball for the Yankees this afternoon.
The Yankees dispatched the Rockies for the second straight day and they needed it just to keep up with the Red Sox as the two of them sit atop the standings. The Yanks went down early 3-0 but they bounced back and got some solid relief pitching in this one. Ivan Nova struggled and he gave up four runs in six innings but then three relievers threw a shutout inning each to finish up the game. David Robertson was lights out and then Mariano Rivera threw a shutout ninth for his 20th save of the season. That’s 15 straight seasons with 20 or more saves.
Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada all went yard in this one. Swisher’s was a two run shot. Brett Gardner stole his 16th base of the season. No Yankees had more then one hit so it was good that three of their seven hits went over the fence.
The Yankees get a day off before they head to Milwaukee for three against the Brewers. It’s been a while but the Brewers used to play in the same division as the Yankees so this will be a nice return to that old rivalry. Get your Yankees tickets now while you still can because my guess is the Yankees will be the best team in baseball in the second half and all of the fans will be coming out to see them.
The good news is, the Yankees are in first place. The bad news is, they’re tied for first and they’re only 3 1/2 games ahead of the last place Blue Jays. This is going to be a tough run and while you’ll probably see some of these teams drop off, the Red Sox are back and our cushion is gone.
The Jorge Posada stuff has to stop. Look, I’m as big of a fan of his as anyone but c’mon. You’re hitting like shit, take a break and let the guys who are getting it done hit further up in the lineup. Yeah it’s going to cost you a few at bats through out the season but let’s not throw a hissy fit.
Curtis Granderson continues to rake. Only Jose Bautista has more home runs and while you’d like to see his batting average a little higher, it’s way better then the sub-.250 averages he’s put up the past couple of years. A-Rod is getting it done as well although his power numbers are way down. If Teixeira could get his average above .280, he’d be an MVP candidate with what he’s doing with the power numbers.
On the pitching side, the Yankees have gotten some solid production from both Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. A.J. Burnett has five wins but his ERA is north of 4.00. CC Sabathia has once again been the man. His shortest outing was 5 2/3 innings and the Yankees are 7-4 when he’s on the mound. And in two of those losses he gave up a run or less.
It’s the Mariners this weekend as the Yankees head out west for nine game, three team west coast swing. I always hate heading out west and when the Yankees get home, it’s a three game series against the Red Sox so hopefully they can keep it together while on the road.
Alright, we’re in the closing days of the first month of the season and the Yankees are the only team in the division with a winning record. 12-6 isn’t that shabby and even better, the Yankees are getting it done within the division with a 6-3 record in the AL East.
Chicks dig the longball and that’s what is helping the Yankees get it done. They’ve hit more home runs (36) then any other team in baseball and they’re also the only team with a .503 slugging. Curtis Granderson looks like he’s poised for a bounce back season and he has 7 home runs to go along with his .290+ batting average. Right behind him are Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada with six home runs a piece.
The pitching hasn’t been all bad either. CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett have made for a nice one-two punch and even Bartolo Colon has looked solid. Rafael Soriano needs to turn things around but Mariano Rivera has done his job. In fact Trevor Hoffman’s 601 saves isn’t out of the question.
Next up are the White Sox with a four game series. Then the Blue Jays come to town. Yankees tickets don’t appear that hard to come by right now but my guess is, once this team heats up, it’ll be a sellers market.
What up New York? Come on in…don’t be shy. Why don’t we sit down with a nice glass of brandy, some stogies and talk Yankees pitching? Yeah? Super-duper.
1. C C Sabathia. 2010 stats: 3.18 ERA, 21-7, 1.19 WHIP. Brief: Big fella is a horse. He’s extremely durable and wins lots and lots and lots of ball games. He has the best chance to get to 300 wins of any pitcher right now though he still won’t do it. CC is a little more svelt this season after deciding to not eat entire boxes of Captain Crunch in a sitting. That must have been a tough habbit to kick man, I’m proud of him.
2. Phil Hughes. 2010 stats: 4.19 ERA, 18-8, 1.25 WHIP. Brief: Hughes was an all-star in the first half last year in his first real full season as a big league starter. Scouts love his “stuff” if you know what I mean…(I’m referring to his pitches you sick freak). Hughes should be more prepared for the full big league schedule this time around…good things.
3. A.J. Burnett. 2010 stats: 5.26 ERA. 10-15, 1.51 WHIP. Brief: A stanky year for Burnett last season. The Yankees’ hopes to return to the promised land, lay largely on the right shoulder of Burnett. He’s always been shaky, even in Toronto. Can he harness the good energy and block out the bad? Remember: Harness energy, block bad…feel the flow, it’s like a carousel…you pay your quarter, you go up and down and around…the flow…feel it.
4. Ivan Nova. 2010 stats: 4.50 ERA, 1-2, 1.45 WHIP. Brief: A bit of a risk for the Yankees, going with the 24-year-old. That’s what happens when you lose out on Cliff Lee and Zach Greinke.
5. Sergio Mitre. 2010 stats: 3.33 ERA, 1.09 WHIP. Brief: I think it’s fair to say that the four and five spots are still very much open for competition or a free agent signing. Mitre is battling to lock up that fifth and final spot.
Rafael Soriano. 2010 stats: 1.73 ERA, 45 saves, .80 WHIP. Brief: Consolation prize for Yankee fans from the free agency market. Still, the Yankees have a great, great setup man to help their outstanding closer. I just hope it’s not awkward between him and Cashman at the next office party. I can see Soriano getting too drunk and saying something mean-spirited toward Cashman (Aw snap…some drama!)
Closer: Mariano Rivera. 2010 stats: 1.80 ERA, 33 saves, .83 WHIP. Brief: Still a beast despite the expanding bald spot on the top of his 41-year-old dome.
SEEYA NEXT WEEK.
Did you ever see the movie, “Catch Me if You Can”? It stars Leo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks and is directed by Steven Spielberg. For all intents and purposes it’s a highly enjoyable flick. There’s a line in it, however, that I feel compelled to write about. In the movie, Leo asks, “You know why the Yankees win so many games? Because the other team can’t take their eyes off the pinstripes.” What a load of crap. Here’s your 2011 New…York…Yankees…
Left field: Brett Gardner. 2010 splits: .277 average, five home runs, 47 RBI, .762 OPS. Brief: Gardner is considered sneaky-quick, swiping 47 stolen bases in ’10. His production slipped mightily in the second half, as Gardner batted only .233 after the all-star break. There are concerns within the organization that he will be the same player he was in the second half last season. The good thing for Yankees fans are those concerns are coupled with a fat check book that can go out and make the necessary tweaking if need be.
Center field: Curtis Granderson. 2010 splits: .247 average, 24 home runs, 67 RBI, .792 OPS. Brief: Granderson isn’t a hitter who will consistently hit for average. It’s a common misconception because he’s a speedy centerfield that can rob a sure double in the gap with the efficiency of a common criminal. However, Granderson has an elongated swing that can put him in extended slumps from time-to-time. Still, when he’s on, it’s hard to find a guy more capable of a standup triple this side of Jose Reyes.
Right field: Nick Swisher. 2010 splits: .288 average, 29 home runs, 89 RBI, .870 OPS. Brief: What a pleasant surprise Swisher was in ’10 for the Yanks. Makes me a little sick to my stomach to be perfectly honest. Swisher put up career numbers last year and was also a fan favorite for his “zany antics”. I hate that schtick: “I’m the crazy guy who’s out here to loosen up these up-tight millionaires.” Anyway, there’s also rumors that Charlie Sheen wants Swisher to conduct his first interview since he last ran into some…shall we say…trouble. This guy should buy a lottery ticket.
Third base: Alex Rodriguez. 2010 splits: .270 average, 30 home runs, 125 RBI, .847 OPS. Brief: A-Rod is now 35 years old? Daign, that must make Ken Griffey Junior eligible for an AARP card. Rodriguez produces, despite all the flak he receives. At this point, it’s a simple matter of health for A-Rod. He had a number of different ailments in 2010 including a nagging hip injury. One day he’ll be remembered for what he is, one of the best players of all time. And also for sun tanning in Central Park…The four dudes playing volleyball in Top Gun thought that decision was a little questionable.
Shortstop: Derek Jeter. 2010 splits: .270 average, 10 home runs, 67 RBI, .710 OPS. Brief: There’s certain athletes you don’t mess with. You hear me Hank Steinbrenner!? That’d be like my hometown Detroit Red Wings giving our fearless leader Steve Yzerman grief. And I don’t play that. So, Hank, keep Jeter’s name out of your mouth because he’ll probably make a remarkable play in a big moment and win you another World Series that you don’t need.
Second base: Robinson Cano. 2010 splits: .319 average, 29 home runs, 109 RBI, .914 OPS. Brief: Cano was arguably the best player in baseball last season. He seems to have climbed into that top-tier reserved for future hall of famers and perennial all-stars. Not to mention, the guy makes some ridiculous plays at second base and has tremendous range. It’s good to be good.
First base: Mark Teixeira. 2010 splits .256 average, 33 home runs, 108 RBI, .846 OPS. Brief: Big Tex suffered a nasty hamstring injury last year in Game 4 of the ALCS. He should be back and ready to produce as steadily as always. Teixeira has had at least 30 home runs and 100 RBI every year for the last seven seasons.
Designated Hitter: Jorge Posada. 2010 splits: .248 average, 18 home runs, 57 RBI, .811 OPS. Brief: Now 39 years-old, Posada finally relinquishes his spot behind the plate to Russell Martin. I think this is a great move that should help increase Posada’s production at the plate.
Catcher: Russell Martin. 2010 splits: .248, 5 home runs, 46 RBI, .679 OPS. Brief: A former all-star, Martin’s production at the plate has steadily decreased since 2007. Nonetheless, he will provide a breather for Posada, who should benefit from not having his knee cartilage disintegrate at such an alarming rate.
That’s all for now…come back next week and we’ll take a look at all things pitching for the Yanks. Goodnight now.
The Yankees shored up their pen and found a nice number two guy to complement Mariano Rivera when they signed Rafael Soriano to a three, $35 million deal. That’s a lot of money to pay a setup guy but the Yankees also need some insurance with Rivera’s age becoming more and more of a factor. Rivera is in the fold through 2012 and Soriano has an out in his contract and can move on after this first year if he doesn’t like setting up.
I like the deal although there is some risk money wise. Then again. we’re talking about the Yankees so money isn’t always an object. I like the idea of shortening games down to seven innings and guys like CC Sabathia don’t have to pitch as deep as in years past. Of course the Yankees don’t have an out like Soriano does but if he pitches like he should then it’ll all work out. Adding Soriano is just one more reason you’ll want to get your Yankees tickets as early as possible because this is another World Series team.
Well, this was a kick in the you know what. Cliff Lee signed at a discount with the Phillies. You wonder if this is some kind of curse of George or something. I have full faith and confidence in the current ownership, but you wonder if George would have let this one slide like this. Oh well.
The next best option out there is to trade for Zach Greinke although we’re one of the teams on his no-trade list. His past anxiety issues worry me as well. What really worries me is that the other loser in the Lee sweepstakes, the Rangers, end up with Greinke and now the Yankees are looking at some issues.
I was a little surprised the Yankees scooped up a couple of players in the Rule 5 draft. Of course there’s not a lot of risk here because if they don’t catch, we just give them back.
Alright, it’s go time. The Yankees are well rested and ready to take care of business against a tired and worn down Texas Rangers team. What’s up with Cliff Lee and his whining? I bet Andy Pettitte, who’s coming off his injury, would drool at the chance of pitching on short rest if he knew it would help his team.
Game one has CC Sabathia against C.J. Wilson. If the Yankees don’t sweep this series, it’ll only go five games at the most. I expect a beat down similar to what the Twins put up with.
The Yankees are in the final four again. The Yankees got some solid pitching and it just looks like they have the Twins number when it comes to October baseball. After a disappointing season, Curtis Granderson made up for things by having a monster series. He went five for eleven with a double and a triple and he either scored a run or drove in a run in each of the three games.
On the pitching side, Phil Hughes had a big game in the game three clincher. He threw seven shutout innings and only a run given up by Kerry Wood in the eighth ruined the shutout. Mariano Rivera was true to his postseason form and he pitched in all three games without giving up a run.
The Rays are making things interesting and after going down 2-0, they tied the series back up today and it’ll be a winner take all game five on Tuesday to determine who will play the Yankees. For now, let’s just enjoy the rest.
The Yankees didn’t snatch the division title so that just means we get to take care of the Twins earlier then we thought. Since 2003, the Twins have been in the playoffs four times and in two of those times, the Yankees took care of them in the LDS. Looks like we’re going to make that a third time.
It’ll be Francisco Liriano against I’m assuming CC Sabathia (he’s not listed yet, but they’ve been resting him) which makes for a great game one matchup. Sabthia is 13-8 with a 3.05 ERA in 28 starts against the Twins so that’s definitely good. Sabathia also has had some success against Joe Mauer, who’s just 5 for 23 against Sabathia. Francisco Liriano is 0-2 against the Yankees but he has some solid numbers in four starts. He has a 3.12 ERA and 26 strikeouts in 26 innings. Curtis Granderson hasn’t had much success against Liriano (four for twenty four) and neither has Mark Teixeira (three for sixteen) but Derek Jeter owns him with a 1.121 OPS in fourteen plate appearances.
Let the playoffs and the Yankees quest for a second straight world title begin.
The Yankees lost a tough one to the Orioles this afternoon and with their razor thin lead, they were able to stay in first place because the Rays also lost. Of course we all knew it was going to come down to this week’s four game series against Tampa at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees are in the playoffs, but it sure would be nice to get home field and play the whole schedule game that they were able to do and stick with three starters. It would also mean we’d play the Rangers, and while they’re still tough, the Twins sure do look good.
CC Sabathia won his 20th game of the season yesterday. With a couple more starts, he could reach the 200 strikeout mark for just the third time in his career. He came close last year with 197, but I would have thought he’d have more. CC gets my vote for the Cy Young but of course I’m biased.
The big thing will be whether Andy Pettitte is good and ready. He pitched today against the Orioles and he pitched six solid frames but this was against the Orioles. I know Baltimore has been playing better, but I think Friday against the Red Sox will be a better gauge as to whether he’s going to be good in the playoffs or not.
Robinson Cano has been the Yankees best hitter and to get that kind of production from a second baseman is huge. Watch out for Alex Rodriguez though. Since coming back from his injury, he has a 1.078 OPS so we’re seeing some of the Alex of old. Again, if he’s set for the playoffs, that’s all we care about.
The New York Yankees received their World Series rings prior to the home opener against the Los Angeles Angels wednesday afternoon. The loudest applause probably came when former Yankee and current Angel Hedeki Matzui claimed his ring, after being named World Series MVP for the Bronx Bombers.
The Joke was on Godzilla though, as the Yankee’s played a prank on their former journeyman, placing what Derek Jeter described as a “bootleg” ring into Matzui’s box. Matzui failed to notice, until manager Joe Girardi gave him his actual ring.
The Yankees took the game as well, holding off the Angels 7-5. Jeter hit his first home run of the year, belting a solo shot to right-center. Granderson continued his hitting in pinstripes, as he singled and scored a run. The Angels made it close, cutting the lead to two late in the game with a Bobby Abreu grand slam.
But, Mariano Rivera shut the door for his third save in the young season. The Yankees now sit a half game behind the Blue Jays for the top spot in the AL East, and look to gain some ground in the current home stint.
When the Yankees acquired Curtis Granderson, they understood they were adding another young, powerful left handed bat to their already stacked line-up, but Granderson could be much, much more for a team looking to win a second straight World Series. Granderson hit is second home run in the opening series against the Red Sox, this time in the tenth inning off Jonathan Papelbon. Granderson’s big fly gave the Yankees the late lead and eventually their second straight win to clinch the series. In Detroit, Granderson was a middle of the pack lead-off hitter, hitting a mere, .249 and striking out a whopping 141 times. But when used more appropriately, later in the line-up, Curtis can bring much more to the table. In pitcher-friendly Comerica Park, Granderson belted 30 home runs, a number that will likely climb in a much more hitter friendly Yankee Stadium. If Granderson is able to hit 35 plus home runs this year, arguably the best line up in the majors will be that much better. His many strikeouts will be less damaging later in the line up, and the pinstripes seem to be the perfect uniform for the young outfielder to eclipse his potential.
Pitcher Andy Pettitte hit Red Sox first baseman, Kevin Youkilis in the head late in the fifth inning. Tensions began to grow as John Lackey pegged the Captain, Derek Jeter, to begin the sixth. Tensions were diffused as Youkilis and Jeter playfully exchanged a push on his way to first base.
The Yankees took the series 2-1 and now sit atop the standings in the AL East, with Tampa Bay. They gear up to take on the Rays, as they travel to Tampa to face their division rival this upcoming weekend.
The Yankee bats earned them an early lead against the Red Sox on opening night, as veteran catcher Jorge Posada started off the scoring with a solo home run. Newly acquired Curtis Granderson made his presence felt, hitting a home run in his first at-bat in pinstripes.
New York extended their lead to 5-1, when young outfielder Brett Gardner scored on a passed ball. A lead that was quickly squandered due to the lively bats of the Red Sox, and poor pitching of the Yankee bullpen.
Struggling the most out of the pen was the new Yankee, Chan ho Park, who failed to get out of the sixth inning, yielding three runs on three hits.
In all, the New York relievers gave up four runs, two of which came on a Dustin Pedroia home run, tying the game at seven, in the seventh inning. Pedroia later singled in the eighth giving him another RBI, sealing the victory for Boston 9-7.
If the Yankees are looking to repeat what they accomplished last year, they will need a solid presence between the starters, and arguably the greatest closer of all time in Mariano Rivera.
Those pesky Red Sox won again last night so the Yankees are still sitting on their one game deficit. Still, at 50 wins, the Yankees are in the drivers seat (4 1/2 game lead) for the Wild Card and while that would be the backup plan, it’d still be nice to pass up the Red Sox here before the All Star break.
Yesterday’s game was a nice one as the Yankees took care of the Twins for the second straight night. A.J. Burnett had a really nice start and he improved to 8-4. He gave up two runs on seven hits and four walks with two strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings. Phil Hughes threw an inning of shutout relief and then Mariano Rivera got the final four outs to pick up his 22nd save of the season.
Three of the four Yankee runs came in 4-3 win came in the second inning. The big hit was a two run single by Brett Gardner. Jorge Posada went two for three with a run while Derek Jeter went two for five with a run.
The Yankees go for the sweep this afternoon. It’ll be Alfredo Aceves going up against Francisco Liriano. Liriano’s been solid his last few starts but hopefully we can give Alfredo some runs to help him improve to 6-1.
Those pesky Blue Jays knocked the Yankees down a notch today in a game where Andy Pettitte was roughed up. The Yankees were down as much as 7-1 but they scored five unanswered runs to make it tight but they couldn’t quite pull this one out.
Pettitte gave up six runs in six innings before yielding to the pen. David Robertson shined out of the pen and he struck out two and he didn’t allow a hit in 1 1/3 innings. Brian Bruney gave up the other run and that pushed his ERA up above 4.00.
Eric Hinske belted his first home run since joining the Yankees. Nick Swisher went three for four with a double and a pair of RBIs while Robinson Cano doubled twice and scored two runs.
The loss puts the Yankees a game and a half back of the Red Sox but that should be a single game by the end of the night because they’re losing to the Athletics 5-0. Now the Yankees hit the road. They play three against the Twins before heading to the West Coast.
This is the kind of roll I like. The Mariners have been in town for two games and they’ve lost them both, and that’s pushed the Yankees winning streak to seven. One more tomorow and it’s a nice little sweep. And it was another nice start by Andy Pettitte. He’s going to be hard pressed to retire after this season the way he’s pitched. He improved to 8-3 and he gave up just two runs on six hits and a walk with five strikeouts in seven innings. That gives him 222 career wins versus just 130 losses. His ERA and WHIP are nothing special this year, but he’s getting it done. Mariano Rivera picked up save number twenty with a shutout ninth.
Three Yankees homered. Alex Rodriguez went yard, as did Johnny Damon and Melky Cabrera. A-Rod drove in two while Mark Teixeira went two for four with a run.
CC Sabathia gets the turn tomorrow as we go for the sweep. Jason Vargas throws for the M’s.
This game had a ton of stuff going on. First, it was the ESPN Sunday game of the week. Chien Ming Wang was fighting for his job and then the Yankees were going for their fifth straight win. Of course the game didn’t disappoint and even better the Yankees won. Mark Teixeira drove in two with a double in the first and then he came around to score on Jorge Posada’s sac. fly. Those three runs were all the Yankees would need but in between, there was definitely some excitement.
First off, congrats to Mariano Rivera. He picked up save number 500 with 1 1/3 shutout innings. Also give some props to Wang, who’s fighting for his job. He gave up two runs on four hits and three walks with three strikeouts in 5 1/3 before yielding to the pen. We’ll need to see more starts like this from him but at least we know he has it in him.
Derek Jeter was given a lot of attention last night. Steve Phillips thought he’d get to 4,000 hits but Joe Morgan disagreed. Then Morgan (who I still like but just says some bizare stuff at times) said Jeter would always play short stop and that would hurt him in his chances at reach the 4,000 hit mark. Still, Jeter had a nice game and he went one for two with three walks and a run.
The Red Sox lost, so the Yankees are now three games back. Even better, they come home to take on the Mariners and hopefully they’ll be able to add to that five game winning streak they have. Joba Chamberlain throws in the opener against Brandon Marrow.
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