A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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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.
Mike Mussina pitched a good game today against the Cincinnati Reds, making a couple mistakes. But it was those mistakes that were his demise. He gave up a home run in the 2nd inning, and a costly 2-run double in the 5th inning. Those three runs were all the Reds needed today as their pitcher Edinson Volquez had the Yankees number, no matter what they did. Mussina left the game after the 8th inning, giving up a total of 10 Hits, 4 Earned Runs, Striking Out 4. A very solid performance, but not good enough for the Win.
The only offense came from two 1-run innings, in the 3rd and 7th innings, snapping a 7-game winning streak. Having swept the last two series, I suppose you can give the club a break on this one, especially when they run into a buzz saw like Volquez. The good news is that both Boston and Tampa Bay lost their respective games today as well, so they did not lose any ground in the American League East. They remain 5 games behind Boston, and look poised to make the Rays their next victim on their way to the top of this tough division. The critics are awful quiet, and rightfully so.
Once again Chien-Ming Wang took the mound on the road for the Yankees and dominated the opponent, leaving the game after pitching 5 innings of shut-out baseball. The difference in this start was that he left due to injury. As he was running the bases in this interleague game with the National League’s Houston Astros, he hurt his right foot, and had to be helped off the field, not returning to pitch in the 6th inning. Instead he was replaced by Ohlendorf, and faces the prospect of being out for a long time, wearing a cast, and walking boot, possibly, through early September. Yikes!
Even though he left in the bottom of the 5th inning, he still pitched the Major League minimum to get the decision (another Win), and took his road record to 5-0. He dropped his ERA to 4.07, and looked as dominant as he has looked all season. He spread 6 Hits over that time, and did not allow a Run, a Walk, or any offensive threat by the Astros all day. Wang will be missed greatly.
The offense, on the other hand, does not have any bad news following these facts. 13 baserunners crossed home plate for the club today, matching their second highest point total of the year, behind only to the 15 Runs they posted on that horrible team from Boston (who wear red sox), at Yankee Stadium, on April 16th.
So many good things happened today for this team offensively that it would take pages of details to sort through them all. However, looking through the lineup, it is nice to see that 7 RBI’s came from the bottom of the list (Posada 3, Cano 3, and Cabrera 1), and the rest picked up from the meat of the order (Jeter 2, Matsui 1, Rodriguez 3).
This was an impressive win, although shadowed by the lose of their ace, and sends the Yankees speeding away from that dreaded .500 record that has been hanging around for months now, at 37-33, and they are starting to make a move in the East. They are sitting alone in third place, 6 games out, and climbing the ranks, leaving Baltimore and Toronto behind.
The team heads home on their day off Monday, and hosts the Padres at the House that Ruth Built for a 3-game series. They look to make this their third straight series win, and keep up their winning ways. Any information on the condition of Chien-Ming Wang will be passed along.
Darrell Rasner took the mound in Oakland today in front of many family and friends. Coming from this lovely California climate (mid to low 70’s again today), he did his best to fight back the nerves and pitch to impress his hometown fans. However, just like most homecomings in sports, it was a bust. He was beat up pretty good in his 3.2 innings of work, having his day ended in his dismal 3rd inning. His day accumulated 9 Hits, 7 Runs (6 Earned), 1 Walk, and 4 Strike Outs. Not the way he wanted to perform for his family and friends.
The Yankees struck first with a team leading 15th Home Run for Jason Giambi (with that crazy moustache), in the 2nd inning. Little did they know what was in store for them in the next inning. Other than a late mini-rally in the top of the 9th inning, that was the only offense the club could put together today.
The bullpen, coming in so early in this contest, put together an impressive 4.1 innings of 2 Hit ball, with only 1 Earned Run. Good enough to hold them back, but the damage had already been done.
The Yankees lose this one 4-8, and drop to their familiar .500 record at 33-33. They drop back to 7 games behind Boston, and for the forth straight day have a 3-way tie for 3rd place (or basement, depending on how you see the glass).
Chien-Ming Wang took the mound today in beautiful California, needing a win to start the clubs ascend toward the leaders in the American League East. The team gave him a 2 Run lead by the time he took the mound to start the game, and that was all he would need.
Wang went 7.1 innings, scattering 7 Hits, allowing only 1 Run in the 7th inning off the bat of Ellis. Other than that, it was your typical dominating performance from our ace. There really wasn’t any threats produced by the A’s offense, until the shaky 7th inning, but then the bullpen entered and ended the game without allowing any more runs. Rivera entered in the 9th inning, and looked unphased pitching his typical inning of shutout ball, picking up his 17th Save of the season.
The scoring came early, in the 1st inning, with Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi hitting runners across homeplate, and they never looked back. The combination of excellent pitching, and that early offensive blast was good enough for the victory here in Oakland.
This brings the Yankees to within 6 games of Boston (losing today to Baltimore), along with a continuing tie with Toronto and Baltimore. The East still looks to be wide open, and well within reach, given a nice little winning streak. You can’t control what the other teams do, but you can maximize your chances by continuing to win, and put pressure on the leaders in the division.
The Yankees entered this game with a comfortable 2-1 lead in this series with the Kansas City Royals, but could not come up with the win today, ultimately splitting the series, 2-2. The way the Yankees have been hovering around .500 all year, it should not be that much of a surprise. It would have been nice to get that win, and take 3 games in this series, but it seems that the Royals wanted it more, winning this close contest, by a score of 3-2.
The biggest disappointment for the club with this lose is that they played good baseball. Mussina came in and pitched 8 innings of solid ball, giving up only 7 scattered Hits, and if it was not for that 7th inning blast from Olivo (with one man on), he would have pitched 8 shut out innings. But that homer tagged him for 2 Runs, but that was all they got. Believe it or not, it was the bullpen (Rivera) that gave up the game winning run in the top of the 9th inning. This is the second time that Rivera gave up a home run in the last three games. Not something that Yankee fans are accustomed to seeing. The good news is that Rivera does not seem to be injured, and these are the types of games that he is famous for putting in the past, not letting it have any effect on his future save opportunities.
The Captain said it best, as interviewed by MLB.com, “He’s human, he makes mistakes. But the thing with him is, he forgets about it. The next time he pitches, he won’t be thinking about what he did.”
The offense for the Yankees also came in the 7th inning, as Alex Rodriguez smacked his 528th home run (10th of the season), with one man on, tying the game at 2. This offensive strike could have been the direct result of the award he was given by MLB.com as the distinguished hitter of 2007, as voted by you, the fans. So even though those 2 Runs were not enough, a congratulations is still in order. Hopefully, he can keep up the pace he is on this year, with his .313 AVG, 10 Home Runs, and 31 RBI’s. Another Yankee player trophy to add to the long list.
This lose brought the Yankees back to .500, at 32-32. It also takes them into a 3-way tie for third place in the East, with Toronto and Baltimore, at 7 games behind league leader Boston (just 1 game ahead of those pesky Tampa Bay “Devil-less” Rays.
It is off to the west coast now, as this home stand draws to an end. Oakland, and Houston are next on the schedule before returning home to host San Diego, starting on June 17th.
These are those types of games that you hate to lose. The close ones that could have gone either way. The key to winning these types of games is to give your pitcher just enough run support to get the job done. That did not happen today, as the Yankee bats were silenced by a young buzz saw, by the name of Kyle Davies. Does that name sound familiar?
Kyle Davies was on the mound for his first Major League appearance as a Royal (after 2.5 years with the Braves), about a year ago, against your New York Yankees, when Alex Rodriguez finally pulled that monkey off his back and hit his 500th Home Run. Ironic how time changes things. He looked confident, and poised, shutting down these mighty, Yankee bats.
Normally an 8 inning, 9 scattered Hit, 2 Run, and 4 K’s outing would be good enough for a Win on any team in the league. Not today, as Darrell Rasner picked up his third lose of the season, taking him to 3-3 on the year.
The only run support came from Melky Cabrera’s bat, as he drove home Robinson Cano in the 7th inning, starting a late inning run that fizzled out, leaving that as the only Run scored in the inning, and in the game, losing this one 1-2.
This lose puts them at 6.5 games out of first place in the East. They are only, however, 1 game away from eclipsing Toronto, and sliding into third place. Finishing the rest of this home stand strong, put together a few wins in a row, and who knows what can happen?
It was an error in the 1st inning that helped add 2 Runs to the total of 4 that Mike Mussina gave up today, in his otherwise great performance. He went 6 innings, giving up 6 Hits, 4 Runs (2 Earned), Striking Out slightly below his average with 4, and only Walking 1. Not a bad days work, if you could just get some run support, and pitch from that point on, as close to perfect as you can, and ask your team to bail you out of this one.
That is exactly what happened. The Yankees and their high powered offense went to task, and used the eight remaining innings to catch and pass the Minnesota Twins, never looking back. Once the lead was nullified in the 4th inning, and ended the day for the Twins starter, Perkins, they continued on their way, scoring Runs in the 5th and 7th, eclipsing a late burst by the Twins, and winning 6-5.
This win brings the club out of the basement, and into 4th place in the American League East, passing those Balitmore Orange Birds. Momentum is really on the side of Derek Jeter and his New York Yankees. They just need to keep this up, and before we know it, we will be talking about the “Used-to-be Devil” Rays, or the Boston Cream Puffs, at the top of the division, instead of that team from Baltimore.
These are the games that Yankee fans like to see more then most others. Andy Pettitte pitched a wonderful game today, going 6.2 innings, allowing 8 Hits, which yielded the O’s only 2 Runs. He struck out 3, and only walked one batter. Things were apparently getting a little hairy there in the 7th inning for Pettitte, but no fear Yankee faithful, here is the best part. Chamberlain and Rivera, thank you for coming to today’s game. Another great outing from those two. I am almost going to miss Joba coming in from the bullpen, maybe not. Either way he picks up his 12th Hold, and Rivera gets his 13th Save.
The offense was, if nothing else, steady today, scoring 1 Run in four separate innings. The one to remember was a huge shot off the bat of Jason Giambi in the 4th inning with 2 Out.
It’s nice to see a win against these pesky Baltimore Orioles. There are just certain teams that have your number, but you can’t quite put a finger on why. Take for instance the Kansas City Royals’ dominance over the Detroit Tigers. It just doesn’t make any sense on paper, but somehow that certain team always seems to get the job done against you. The Orioles seem to be that team. For some reason…you get the drift.
Their record is at 26-27, and the momentum seems to be in their direction now. If they could put together a nice litte run here we would not only say goodbye to .500 but we may be looking at contention for the AL East. Just throwing that out there.
There was no lack of offense in this one, with both teams scoring numbers of runs in bunches. This of course works great for the fans and the scoreboard, but the pitchers’ ERA tends to take some hits. Their numbers climb a little bit after a slug-fest like we had today. Plenty of souvenirs were given away today, with 9 Home Runs hit, and a total of 19 Runs scored (14 of them off those home runs). To say that either team had this one wrapped up early, even with the number of Runs scored, would be giving to much credit to one team or one pitcher. In other words, both teams struggled from the mound today, and both offenses took advantage of it.
The scoring started early, with both Giambi (solo shot to right) and Damon (3-run blast), scoring for the Yankees using the patented Yankee long ball. This put them up 4 Runs in the top of the 2nd inning, but with no support from the pitching staff, found themselves tied going into the 3rd. Not good.
Kennedy, and Burres, the starters for their respective clubs, both got beat up early, andhit hard all day. They bothended up getting pulled early (Kennedy due to a lat strain), but their relief was nothing to write home about. The hitting had just begun, from both sides, and there was a period of time where the fans were wondering if each team had enough pitchers to finish the game, without having to pull one of their outfielders (who may have pitched BP in college, or maybe read a book on pitching) to pitch in the late extra innings. But both teams made it through to the end, each using 6 pitchers to get there.
Just as quickly as the hitting started, it ended after the 5th inning, knotted at 8 Runs a piece. The middle relievers for both teams got the job done through regulation, with strategic spot-pitch performances. We even got to see Rivera today, as he was again great for two innings, only allowing 1 Hit, Striking Out 3, but keeping the game tied into extra innings.
The Yankees took the lead in the 11th inning off an RBI single from Matsui, making it 9-8, and LaTroyHawkins on the mound for the club to end it, with a hard fought victory, losing two 4 Run leads. But things did not go according to plan, and after getting in some trouble early in the 11th inning, Girardi elected to walk the bases loaded with1 out, in hopes of getting that “ground ball into a double play” thing, that we see most often in baseball. As much as I don’t agree with it, Girardi was playing the percentages. I suppose you would rather pitch to a player that doesn’t see action every day, and has been sitting for the better half of 3 1/2 hours, coming off the bench to pinch hit.
However, the deck was stacked against them today, and the game winning RBI came off the bat of Alex Cintron, hitting safely into right field, pushing home Aubrey Huff to win it, in the bottom of the 11th inning, in dramatic fashion.
This keeps the New York Yankees in last place in the East, 6 games behind league leaders Tampa Bay Strobe Lights, and5.5 games behind 2nd place Boston Tea Party. This is still anyone’s division to take at this point, and the Yankees are just the type of team to come away withit this year. Their record slips a bit to 2 games under .500 at 25-27, losing their second straight game to the Orioles, and hoping for a win tomorrow to avoid the sweep.
The winning streak ended at five, as the Yankees lose the first of three to the Orioles, in Baltimore. The bullpen let the team down today, as they were responsible for 5 of the 6 Runs scored today, and Darrell Rasner started and went 6 innings for the club. Just shut down today by the extraordinary pitching of Garrett Olson for the Orioles. Not much you can do when you are matched up against a pitcher ready to tear.
Moeller, the catcher behind the plate for the injured Posada was responsible for the only run scored today for the Yankees. It was the only product of a late inning rally, that went nowhere for the Yankees. They squeezed that one run out, and then the tank was dry. They lose this one today by a score of 1-6.
I don’t know what it is about having a record over .500, but the squad can’t seem to get things together enough to eclipse that mark, and leave it in the past. That would help out tremendously on their run for the top, and get the Boston Red Silly’s and the Tampa Bay (used-to-be Devil) Rays a little less comfortable on their perch atop the AL East.
Fifty games into the season, and we are even at .500, with a 25-25 record, and on a tear in the East, winning their fifth straight game. They won this late, and in dramatic fashion, beating the Seattle Mariners in three straight, and sweeping the series. They looked like they might be in trouble through most of this one, until the 8th inning, when Jose Molina hit the game winning single, and took the score to 6-5, and that is where the score would stay.
One of the funny things about getting used to something; it’s that you begin to expect it. So far as to maybe even cry when we don’t get it. Well maybe not the cry part, but Chien-Ming Wang pitched a decent game today, giving up a dinger in the 3rd inning, a solo-shot, to Susuki, 1 of 5 he was charged with today. The Hits totalled 7, and a measly 2 strike outs spread over 6.1 innings of work. He left without the lead, and lost his decision, giving that to Ramerez, who came in relief.
Once the Yankees took the lead in the 8th inning, it was automatic. Rivera entered in the 9th, lights out. As a local Fox personality says…”Bingo-Bango!” That is what it is like when you see Rivera take the mound with the lead. “Pack up the kids hunny…this thing is over, maybe we can beat the traffic.” Automatic. Period.
This win streak has done more than rally the team, it has catapulted them right out of the basement, leaping them over Baltimore, in the East. They are only a tiny 5 games back now, and things are looking a little different than they have looked in weeks. Some of our players are bad from injury (i.e. Rodriguez), with still some more to come (i.e. Posada), and this team is starting to put something together that they can build on to make a playoff spot guaranteed. It is still early.
For the second day in a row, the Yankees have put a spot on the board against these Seattle Mariners (yesterday being 13 runs). What a nice little rally the ball club finds itself in. It’s surprising what good can come out of a good beating. The club looks energized, and the bats seem to have found their mark. Mussina wasn’t excellent, having one bad inning of five, but didn’t need to be today. The Yankees win by another impressive score of 12-6.
Mussina pitched a total of 5 innings, and gave up 4 runs on 7 hits, striking out a lowly 4 batters, in his service today. Like I said before, he wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t need to be. He was good enough.
In the Yankees continuing effort to transfer successfully Joba Chamberlain from the bullpen to the rotation, he came in relief of Mussina and pitched two very strong innings, not allowing any runs, and only giving up 1 Hit, and received his 11th Hold of the season.
The offensive was still on a high from yesterday’s beat-down, and continued scoring runs at will. 5 on those 12 Runs came off of Home runs, hit by Giambi (3-run shot in the 2nd inning), and Abreu (2-run laser in the 6th inning), both off their starter, Silva.
The team is now staring at .500, once again, and this 4 game win streak has done well for their position in the AL East. They are looking at being only 1 game behind the third place Toronto Blue Jays, and 5.5 games out overall, behind some team from Boston? I didn’t realize there was a Major League team there. I will have to look into it, and let you know down the road.
Shelley Duncan started the scoring for the Yankees in the 3rd inning, going yard off of the tough Mariners’ Bedard. This is a Mariners team that just got swept by the lowly Detroit Tigers, and have many battle scars to show for this last road trip. That was just the beginning of the scoring, as the Yankee offense seemed to be alive today, possibly brought out by the emotion of yesterdays walk off single by Cano to clinch the series with the Orioles. Maybe this team has it now running on all cylinders. Either way, the offense flexed it’s muscle today, blowing out the Seattle Mariners 13-2.
The offense was quiet for a couple of innings after the Duncan blast in the 3rd, but put the dagger in the hearts of the Mariners fans, exploding for a huge 8-run 5th inning, and then it was just a matter of bagging the remaining batters to close this one out.
Pettitte had a very nice day, pitching with plenty of run support through 6 innings, spreading out 8 Hits, and giving up only 2 Earned Runs, striking out 9! A great game from Pettitte, getting his first win at home this year. Hawkins and Ramirez finished it off, pitching shut out baseball to end it.
This is the third win in a row for the club, and the offense looks great, even though they are missing Posada’s steady bat, and Hall of Fame wisdom behind the plate. He is scheduled to return to the team sometime in mid-June, so we will keep our lazy eye on that situation.
The Yankees record improves to 23-25, with .500 in their sights. Maybe even by the end of this series. Kick ‘em while their down? We’ll see.
Rivera took the mound in the 9th inning, and it was still any one’s game. Tied at 1 run a piece, and looking like extra innings. Rivera did what he does best. Perfect 9th inning. The Yankees, behind a nice piece of hitting from Cano, sealed the fate of the Orioles, and the series, with a base hit down the left side of the infield. This came on 2 outs, in the bottom of the 9th, with Matsui on second, and a house full looking on. What a clutch performer. Hit that single, and drove home Matsui, turning around 3rd in a hurry to get home. Walk off single for Cano, and a series clinching win for the club.
This was not to be overtaken by a very fine pitching performance by Ian Kennedy. Somewhat of a question mark. Possibly now answered. Kennedy went with the number 4 today…after his 6 innings, we see 4 Hits, 4 Walks, and 4 Strike Outs. He only yielded 1 run, and did not get the decision in this one. The win was awarded to Rivera, who is now 1-1 on the year.
Overall a very nice game, today, and a good win for the team. It is a confidence booster to be able to grind one out for a victory. Possibly something that you can build on, and use it to start the little winning streak we have been waiting for all season.
Maybe wishful thinking, maybe true statements, only time will tell. They win a dandy in Yankee Stadium, today, and take the series from the visiting Baltimore Orioles. Next up the bruised and beaten Seattle Mariners, who are getting kicked around pretty good by the Detroit Pussy Cats, looking to get swept if they are not careful. This is the next, and last, series of this home stand, until they ship off to Baltimore to play these Orioles on their home turf starting next week.
They are still in the basement at 7.5 out, but we will talk about that later. Rattle off a nice little streak here, and then come talk to me. It is baseball…a marathon of mini-sprints. Talk to me then.
On a day that Jeter should have sat out, and give the left hand that took the Cabrera fast ball a break, he knew the team was struggling and wanted more than anything to help bring them out of their slump. So possibly on the shoulders of a hurt #2, Derek Jeter, the Yankees rose to the challenge, and defeated the Orioles in this one today, creating an exciting rubber game tomorrow, at Yankee Stadium.
MLB.com: “He loves to play,” Girardi said. “Very seldom does he ever come out of a game. I feared the worst when he got hit [Tuesday] because it was a loud noise. But we were fortunate.”
That is why the Yankees made Jeter their captain. His determination is second to none. On a day that most players would take off (if for nothing else rest), Jeter is smiling in the team photograph (which also took place today) one minute, and icing his hand with the trainer, telling Girardi he’ll play today, the next minute. Way to go Derek, and you were rewarded with a win, and possibly a change of pace for the club. Getting them started on the old winning way.
Rodriguez kept to form, belting another homer today, off of Olson in the 3rd inning, a solo-shot. But the offense hit hit for 3 Runs in the 2nd inning, and 3 Runs in the 3rd inning. They scored two more runs in the 6th inning, for good measure, coasting to a victory at Yankee Stadium today.
Joba Chamberlain came in relief of a very solid Rasner (winning his third), and pitched 2 shutout innings, giving up 1 Hit, and 2 BB’s. Overall a very good pitching day, from the two of them. Joba pitched the 2 innings of work today in an effort to get him conditioned back to a spot in the rotation…coming soon.
The Yankee’s record goes to 21-25, tying them with the Kansas City Royals, over in the Central. Yikes! We are a btter team than that, no?
Good News/Bad News first? Which do you prefer first? Well there is big news on every front. Let’s just get this out of the way, the Yankees fall hard today and only score 2 runs, to the Orioles 12. So they lose another game by a large deficit, coming off the 2-11 romping they took at the hands of the Mets yesterday. Things are not looking good for this pitching staff, if they keep giving up this amount of runs, they will never come off of this losing streak in a timely fashion, and start a downward spiral.
Mussina was roughed up pretty good, and fast, only going 2/3 (0.2) of an inning, and giving up 5 Hits, 7 Runs (only 1 of them earned), and was ranked before the 1st was in the books. Tough. More bad news, unfortunately, but not all news is bad, here, some is good.
Alex Rodriguez made his return today, and showed that he hasn’t lost anything from being out, smacking a 2-run shot in the 6th inning. This did not do a whole lot, and added the only runs to the tally that the Yankees would get today. This is reassuring to see a guy come off injury, and give the consistent numbers he had before the bang. Good job A-Rod!
And what would be a normal Yankee day without more to worry about. Derek Jeter was hit by a pitch in the hand today, and left the game, not to return. X-Rays were negetive, and he was given the diagnosis by Team Physician Dr. Stuart Hershon, of a contusion, and has been listed as day-to-day. He should be fine, guessing by his reaction. But day-to-day could be a while, and the timing could not be worse.
The Yankees are looking at falling another game behind the Red Sox, who has the lead, and officially putting them solidly in the basement, in the American League East, 7.5 games out. I am sure Hank will have have something to say about this.
Today is a day of rest for the club, as they get ready to host the Baltimore Orioles in Yankee Stadium for a three game mid week series going from Tuesday to Thursday. They need the day to try to get some of these veterans healthy and back on the field. I am not making excuses, but it would definitely benefit the club to have their best players featured every game.
They are dead last in the East, 6 games behind the league leaders Red Sox, and 2 games behind the 4th place Toronto Blue Jays. Hopefully bringing in a new team is going to help change the mojo of this club, and get their bats on track. It is a scheduled match up of Mussina against Cabrera, so things should turn around on the big shoulders of “the moose.”
Chien-Ming Wang was cruising right along for the first 3 innings, but it was a horrible 35-pitch, 4-run, 4th inning, that began the decent for the ace of the pitching staff today. He was tagged frequently and often from that point on, giving up a solo-homer in the 6th inning to Church. And then another rough inning in the 8th, as Wang tried to make it through that inning as well, but could not. He ended up getting hit around in the 8th inning as well, giving up two more runs, before hitting the showers. Those were only 2 of 6 runs that would be scored against the Yankees that inning. All around poor pitching.
The only offense that the Yankees could muster up was a 2-run home run from Matsui, other than that the bats were silenced. Not something that a powerful lineup like that Yankees are used to. With a lot of injuries to key players, we will see how they are doing after a small healing break. If they do not start putting numbers after that, than we are going to have cause for concern.
This skids the Yankees to a record of a smelly 20-24, and puts them 6 games behind the now league leading Boston Red Stockings in the East. I guess that is the best team to be in that position, since we seem to catch them every year, and make a good season of it. We end the year with a 3 game series against them, so you know that the hitting will return to get the club to the point for drama come season end.
Andy Pettitte continued his losing streak at Yankee Stadium, today, after falling to the New York Mets. He remains winless this season at The House That Ruth Built. He went 6 pretty good innings, fanning 7, and being charged with 3 earned runs.
Farnsworth relieved a spent Pettitte in the 7th inning, and proceeded to put 3 more runs on the board, for the Mets, going only that one inning, and pitched 29 times! Ouch. He gave up 3 hits (2 of them homers, to Reyes and Wright, totalling 3 runs, walked 1, and struck out 1. Not the best day for Farnsworth.
The Mets weren’t done yet, as they tacked on 1 more run in the 9th inning off of Chamberlain, who also struggled. That insurance run didn’t matter, as the ultimate damage had already been done of the shelling that Farnsworth took in the 7th.
Santana, for the Mets, had a decent day, but was hit hard for the long ball three seperate times off the bats of Jeter, Giambi, and Abreu. Four runs should have been enough, but the bullpen let us down today, and ended up losing this one, by a score of 4-7.
Their record falls to 20-23, and they stand at 5.0 games behind American League East leading Tampa Bay. One more game against the cross town rivals New York Mets. These are exciting series, and I think the 55,000+ people that showed up to see this one today would agree with me. No word on the reschedule for the previously rained out event, but I will pass it along as soon as decisions are made.
This 3 game subway series with the New York Mets will start tomorrow (weather permitting), as this one has been delayed due to rain. We will join the regularly scheduled game tomorrow, as this one has not yet been re-scheduled. When that happens I will pass that along to you, the faithful observers of my column.
Ian Kennedy was chipped away at all game, and eventually gave up 5 earned runs, in 5 innings of work, on 5 hits. He gave up two home runs; a solo shot in the 1st inning to Iwamura, and a 2-run home run to Riggans in the 4th inning. He spent most of the game getting out of trouble, and staying behind in the count on most batters. Not a very good outing today from the kid.
The offense was silent throughout the first 6 innings being held to only 3 hits, and no runs, earned or otherwise, by Kazmir of the Rays. It wasn’t until the bullpen was brought in, in the 7th inning that helped the Yankees come back with two runs, but it was still not enough. The Rays win this one, and win 3 out of the 4 games in this series.
The Yankees just could not get anything going in this one, especially early on, while the Rays kept added to their lead what seemed to be every inning. But the Yankees record falls to 2 games under .500 at 20-22.
Is it just me, or has pitching taken over in Major League Baseball? Averages are down, offensive numbers seem to be down, teams relying on power and the long ball, are struggling to get past .500. It is understood to be a pitching game, over there in the National League, but here in the American League we like our offense(i.e. the DH). The number being put up lately seem to be down. Just ask the Detroit Tigers lineup where that $Yankee Money$ power is at. Heck, ask the $Yankee Money$ Yankee’s where their power is.
Anyways, we had another pitching dual today, Mike Mussina took the mound for the Yankees, and James Shields took the mound for the Rays. Everything looked very similar through the first 3 innings, no runs from either team, and nothing looking like it was about to change. In the 4th and 5th innings the Yankees snuck a couple of runs from the bats of Abreu and Cano.
The Rays responded with a run of their own in the 7th, ending Mussina’s day, and brought in Ohlendorf for his second hold of the season. Then things from there (8th and 9th innings) were just like they should be. It should not matter how many runs we are ahead of our opponents coming into the 8th inning as long as we are ahead. That is because we have Chamberlain and Rivera to close out the game.
That is exactely what happened. Chamberlain pitched a 4 batter, 3 strikeout and a walk inning, for his 10th hold of the season. Then Mariano Rivera enters and does what he does best. He allowed no hits, and struck out one for yet another perfect inning, and the save.
This is how it is supposed to go. Take the lead into the 8th inning, and lights out. This was reassuring to see. The Yankees are now 3.5 games out of first place, behind these Tampa Bay Rays. There record clips one game closer to .500 at 20-21. The last game of the series is tomorrow, and hopefully the Yankees can come away with a split 2-2, after going down 0-2 after the first two games.
It took 11 innings to decide this one, and the Tampa Bay Rays came out on top, 2-1. Chien-Ming Wang pitched another great game for the club. It is the bats that need a kick start. Again today, the offense was silenced by the pitching staff of the Rays. And wouldn’t you know it, Mariano Rivera took the lose, and saw his ERA sky-rocket to 0.56!
Wang gave up only one run in the 4th inning, to Hinske’s bat, but other than that he was again spectacular. There was some defensive help that came his way as well, as Matsui made a great grab in left. But overall, it was what you have come to expect out of Wang, just no run support.
Matsui did it again in the 9th inning, being the hero to tie the game at one and send this one into extra innings. It wasn’t until the 11th inning when the Rays finally broke the tie, winning it 2-1.
This win boosted the Tampa Bay Rays into 1st place in the division, 0.5 games ahead of the enemy Boston Red Sox. It also dipped the Yankees to 19-21, 4.5 games out of the lead in the division.
We have two more games to be played before this series come to a close, so let’s see if the Yankees can turn things around, and play for a split.
The Yankees could not get anything going today, and provided no run support for Andy Pettitte, today, as he was looking to extend his seven game win streak, in as many starts. He ran into a team, in the Tampa Bay Rays, that wanted it pretty badly.
Let’s not forget the bad blood that was started in the pre-season, in spring training, when a Ray drove into our rookie catcher and broke his wrist. Or the game following when Shelly Duncan slide hard into second, making contact with their second baseman, clearing the benches, and mayhem ensued.
Pettitte just could not seem to get relaxed out there today. He was avoiding danger well in the first three innings. It wasn’t until the 4th inning, that things seemed to come unravelled. He gave up 4 more earned runs in that inning, bringing his total to 5 for the game. That was the last inning of action he would see today, and he took the loss, going only 4 innings, with 8 hits, 5 earned runs, and 2 walks against him.
Garza for the Rays, on the other hand, pitched a wonderful game, going 7 innings, giving up NO runs, and only 5 scattered hits. He pitched very well today, and kept the power in the Yankee lineup silent.
A positive, though was that the 5 hits came from the #’s 6, 7, 8, and 9, hitters in the lineup. Just no run support, or enough hits together to do any harm.
With this loss today the Yankees fall into 4th place in the division, behind Baltimore, Tampa Bay, and Boston. They are behind the league leader, Boston Red Stockings, by 4 games. Their record, again, drops below .500 to 19-20.
The game was delayed due to rain, and a rescheduled date has not yet been determined. Stay tuned for further information regarding this game. As soon as I find out anything I will pass it along to you.
I will be the first to admit that I was more than worried after the home run was hit by Tiger’s very recent call up, Matt Joyce. It just seemed to be an automatic out to me. But after that Rasner settled right in and pitched an excellent game. He ended up going 6 innings, giving up 4 hits, and 2 earned runs. One of those runs he was responsible for after he we taken out of the game. He pitched to one batter in the 7th inning. All in all, a very good performance today, and for his second win in a row. It is sometimes surprising where your good ballplayers, for now, are going to surface from.
Derek Jeter hit his first home run of this 2008 season, in the 1st inning off of Jeremy Bonderman, with no one on, to contribute one of the two runs scored in that inning. The rest of the RBI’s came from four different players, which is good to see performance spreading out throughout the lineup. They amounted enough offense to win this one today 5-2.
That creates a rubber game situation tomorrow, as the Yankees play the last of a three game series against these Detroit Tigers. It is an early start, 1:05pm EST, so if you are attending the game, make sure to get there early enough to enjoy batting practice, a Ball Park Frank, peanuts and a beer, I know I will. Go Yankees!
They were down by 4 runs heading into the 9th inning, and found themselves with the tying run only 180 feet from home plate. But, it was not meant to be, as the final out was recorded at Comerica Park in Detroit before that base runner could come home and send it into extra innings.
Kei Igawa had a very rough day, getting the loss, and seeing his ERA soar to 18.00. He was hit hard and often by the high powered offense that has been assembled in Detroit. He lasted 3 innings, and pitched to 4 batters in the 4th inning, recording no outs, before getting the hook from manager Joe Girardi. Igawa’s miserable numbers look like this: 3 innings, 11 hits, 6 earned runs. Dismal to say the least. None of those runs scored, scored on homers, so it goes to show how bad he was hit around.
The bright spot for the pitching staff was the bullpen. When they came on in relief, in the 4th inning, they proceeded to pitch shut out baseball for the remainder of the game. The totals for the rest of the game saw only 2 hits, and 4 strike outs over the 5 innings left in this one. By the way, that was 4 strike outs more than Igawa had this time around. OUCH!
The Yankees didn’t stop until the umpire called the last out, surging late in the game, with a 9th inning rally, scoring three of the needed four. The Tiger bullpen is somewhat known for it’s collapses, so as the inning stretched on you felt more and more confident about the results. They had the tying run on second, and that was as far as they could take it.
They end up losing a tough one, and again drop below .500 (18-19). Staying pretty steady at .500 is not bad, but it is not Yankee baseball. With approximately 1/4 of the season behind us now, it is time that they do the necessary things to straighten up that pitching staff.
Well, you can’t have a Cliff Lee take the mound everyday. The Cleveland Indians showed some signs of being human today, as they gave up numerous home runs to Yankee batters. They were a different team out there. Without their ace(s) on the mound, the Indians take on a different look, at least not as confident for sure. Can you blame them? Who wouldn’t be confident (cocky even) if your pitcher won’t even allow base runners, let alone runs?
But it was another story today, as the Yankees faced Paul Byrd. They took some time mounting an attack, as they didn’t score their first run until the 4th inning. But once they scored that run, it was like the flood gates opened, and they started launching the ball all over the park. Byrd was hit hard and often after that. He ended up lasting 6.1 innings, after giving up 8 hits, 5 earned runs on 3 homers, giving him his third lose of the year.
Mussina won his forth straight, going 5 innings, giving up 4 hits, and 3 earned runs. He pitched well, and again, well enough to give the offense a chance to win it, which they did. The offense gets the “most valuable” in this one, with a barrage of homers throughout the game.
Here is how it looked in the box score provided by MLB.com/yankees:
HR: Damon (5, 4th inning off Byrd, 0 on, 0 out), Giambi (6, 4th inning off Byrd, 1 on, 2 out), Cano (4, 7th inning off Byrd, 0 on, 1 out), Betemit (1, 7th inning off Kobayashi, 0 on, 1 out).
This is exactely what you want to see if you are a Yankee fan. The offense just needs to build on this, and a .500 record (18-18) can be a thing of the past. Next up are those dreaded Tigers out of Detroit. This is the team that swept them at home only a week ago. Hopefully they can return the favor, starting tomorrow in Detroit.
If there was a Cy Young being given out right now in the American League, you would be hard pressed to come up with another pitcher more deserving than Cliff Lee of the Cleveland Indians. He pitched another outstanding game, and against possibly the hottest pitcher going, in Chien-Ming Wang for the Yankees. Don’t misunderstand me, Wang pitched a very good game dispite his first lose of the 2008 season. He went 7 strong innings, giving up only 5 hits, 3 earned runs, striking out 4. With any kind of run support from his teammates, Wang probably was looking at his seventh win of the season, and staying undefeated. However, three runs was two more than Cliff Lee needed today, leading his Indians to victory by a score of 3-0.
Since there is no offense to speak of in this game for the Yankees, it goes without saying that Lee’s ERA dropped, again, to a whopping 0.81. He went 7 innings also today allowing 6 hits, with 7 strike outs. It is always impressive to see a pitcher when he is on his game. But, even more impressive is when that pitcher does it against these Yankees. Let’s face it, the Yankees are one of the better teams in baseball annually, and to come in to their park, and pitch a shut out over 7 innings is incredible. To have an ERA under one is unexpected, and with the American League Cy Young winner as your teammate, things can only get better. This is good news for the Indians, but bad news for every team they face.
This lose today takes the Yankees below .500 again this season (17-18), as they can’t seem to leave this mark behind them. The American League East is starting to seperate, with Boston still on top. Tampa Bay has broken the 3-way tie for second, and passed the Yankees who are now staring at third place, 4.5 games out. Hopefully they can avoid the sweep tomorrow, and start a winning way. In less than a week they will be facing the Tampa Bay Rays in Tampa, so if they do not fall farther behind them in the standings, this is the opportunity to knock them out of second place, and continue their hunt for the Red Sox.
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