A Biased Look at the New York Yankees, the Greatest Franchise in the History of Sports
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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.
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 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.
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.
This has been a weird offseason. I thought last year that the best two teams in the American League were the Yankees and the White Sox. Neither made it far and both have done more to bolster their farm system then they have to help out their 2007 team. The Yankees traded their second big name player and once again, they did it for prospects. The Yankees shipped Randy Johnson to the Diamondbacks for reliever Luis vizcaino and three minor leaguers.
The three minorleaguers are Ross Ohlendorf, Steven Jackson and Albereto Gonzalez. Don’t know much about him, but we’re supposed to be getting someone to write about the Yankees minor league system so hopefully we’ll find out whether these guys are good or not. Then again, they could just be trading deadline fodder.
The good news is, you’d hope the Yankees wouldn’t be doing this if they didn’t think they could ink Roger Clemens. He’d be the big catch, the boss just has to make it happen.
As we used to say as kids, close only counts in horseshoes and hand gernades. The Yankees almost swept the Devil Rays this weekend but came up just short yesterday. Last year, it means we get in as a Wild Card instead of the division winner. This year, things are different and every game counts.
On Friday, Jaret Wright was phenomonal. Six shutout innings with ten strikeouts and Proctor, Farnsworth and Rivera finished things out with three perfect innings to complete the shutout. Way back in the fourth inning, Bernie Williams singled home Jason Giambi, and that was the only run of the game. Seven hits total between the two teams, but a win is a win.
Saturday was more great pitching. Chien Ming Wang outdueled Scott Kazmir and gave up only one run on six hits through 8 1/3 innings. Johnny Damon tripled home two runs in the seventh and Melky Cabrera finished the game with three hits, one run and an RBI. Another nice game.
Then Sunday happened. Sigh. The Yankees jumped out to a 5-0 lead in a third inning that was capped off by Jason Giambi’s grand slam. Then the Devil Rays picked and picked and tied the game up in the seventh. Then in the seventh, Scott Proctor gave up the go ahead run, and just like that the Yankees let one slip through their fingers.
Tomorrow is the All Star game, which is mostly Yankees as it should be. Next up after the break will be a huge three game series against the Chicago White Sox. While the Red Sox are closer, it would be nice to make up some ground on the Wild Card six of things and right now we’re six games back of the White Sox. Should be some good baseball.
A month ago, if I had seen this series on the schedule, I would have said “easy sweep.” Something has happened in Miami though and the Marlins have been one of the hottest teams in baseball. Fortunately, the Yankees took care of business and at least won the series. And what turned into a three game, three day series turned into a game on Friday and two on Sunday because of the rain out on Saturday.
On Friday, Chien-Ming Wang was given a three game lead in the fifth inning and while the Marlins crept back into the game, they fell a run short. Wang is now 8-3 and he gave up four runs on nine hits in seven innings of work. Kyle Farnsworth made things interesting and he gave up a run in the eighth, but Mariano Rivera did his job and pitched a perfect ninth for his fifteenth save of the season. Jorge Posada drove in three runs and Johnny Damon and Jason Giambi scored twice.
In game one on Sunday, Mike Mussina outdueled Dontrelle Willis. Mussina gave up a single run on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts in seven innings. Once again, Kyle Farnsworth made things interesting and he loaded up the bases in the eighth but he got out of his own jam. Rivera was lights out and he picked up save 16. The only offense came from Jason Giambi, who homered and drove in two runs.
In game two, the kids got the better of us although three unearned runs helped out the Marlins’ cause. Some rookie (Anibal Sanchez) made his first start of his career and shutout the Yankees over almost six innings. Shawn Chacon pitched well, but not well enough and Derek Jeter had two hits in the 5-0 loss.
The Red Sox have won eight straight and we’re now 2 1/2 games back. Even worse, Robinson Cano might be the latest casualty. It might be time for Brian Cashman to pull the trigger and make deal. Regardless, next up are the last place Braves (sounds weird saying that) so hopefully the Yankees can roll over them.
The Phillies are a decent team, so only winning two in this one in their own park is somewhat of a success. In the last two games of the series, the Yankees really got the job done, so hopefully they can carry this into their weekend series against the Marlins.
On Monday, Randy Johnson was outdueled but he actually looked good. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks with seven strikeouts in seven innings. Jason Giambi went three for four with his nineteenth homerun of the season.
Tuesday’s game was fun. The Phillies broke a 5-5 tie and scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Then the Yankees answered with four runs in the eighth to put the game out of reach at 9-7. Bernie Williams went five for five in the game and Jason Giambi and Jorge Posada both went deep. Mike Mussina was beat up but the pen picked him up and T.J. Beam ended up with his first career win.
Yesterday, Jaret Wright and four relievers completely shut down the Phillies in a 5-0 shutout. The Yankees only gave up three hits. Miguel Cairo went two for three with two runs and Johnny Damon was a perfect three for three.
Hopefully the Phillys can take care of the Red Sox and the Marlins will revert back into the team they’re supposed to be (they finally lost). We’re two games back and we have to make up some ground.
These two game series are weird. It’s nice that the Yankees have two days off this week to rest but they seem to come and go.
Things got off to a bad start on Tuesday. The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the fourth yet still got creamed. The Blue Jays scored three in the first, three in the second, then one in the third to put the game pretty much out of reach. To make matters worse, it was Randy Johnson who got shelled. He gave up seven runs on nine hits with two walks and two strikeouts. Alex Rodriguez hit a two run homerun and Jason Giambi went deep with a solo shot. Derek Jeter double, tripled, had an RBI and one run.
Wednesday went much better. Mike Mussina and Ted Lilly got into a pitching dual, and Moose came out on top. He gave up one run on seven hits with seven strikeouts in 7 1/3 innings. Mariano Rivera pitched a perfect ninth to earn his second save of the season. A-Rod hit his fifth homerun of the season and Jorge Posada singled home A-Rod in the seventh.
The Orioles come to town tomorrow and they’re ahead of us in the standings so this will be a nice way to vault our way back to the top. I’m fully expecting us to sweep them, because the Orioles are just a bad team.
Nothing too newsworthy here in Yankee land. The two Yankees who are going to arbitration have filed their claims with Shawn Chacon asking for $4.1 million and Aaron Small asking for $1.45 million. The Yanks have countered with $3.1 million and $1.025 respectively. I have a feeling the Yanks are going to lose both of these cases.
Alex Rodriguez has finally made up his mind, and he’ll be playing for the US team in the World Baseball Classic. The only other thing going is on is the whole New Yankee Stadium debate. I thought this might be a slam dunk and George looks to be getting some help here.
First off, I have a confession to make. One of the blogs I make an effort to stop by at least once a week is a Red Sox blog. The reasons are two fold. One reason is, it’s always interesting to get the other side’s view of things and the second reason is, Jere, who runs the blog, is a heck of a writer and when he calls me out on a comment, it’s usually pretty well thought.
Anyway, Jere’s mom is an author and her latest book looks like a solid read. I haven’t picked it up yet, so I don’t know first hand, but based on the write up at Amazon and the blog, it looks like something worth picking up.
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