"Now, what is this site about, how Joe Torre ruined pitchers' arms? Is that it?"
-Michael Kay, August 18, 2009

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

More Giambi rehab!

Jason Giambi played in his fourth rehab game tonight for A Tampa.

He went 1-3 with a walk. He is now 4-13 with no home runs, one RBI and three walks.

Looks like I'll get to see A-Rod go 0-4 with the specially marked balls

Alex Rodriguez is definitely pressing. He's been swinging at garbage since getting to 499 career home runs.

At least he made good contact a couple of times tonight, driving the ball to the warning track twice.

What's disheartening is that he hasn't gotten a hit since reaching 499. He is 0 for his last 16. The Yankees are 2-3 over that span. It'll be best for everyone when he finally gets this home run out of the way.

I was kind of hoping he wouldn't hit the home run tonight, as I have tickets to tomorrow night's game. John Danks is starting, and Rodriguez is 0-3 with one strikeout against him.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City
Game 16 - July 26: Loss (0-7) vs. Kansas City
Game 16.75 - July 27: Win (8-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 17.75 - July 27: Loss (2-4) vs. Baltimore
Game 18.75 - July 28: Loss (5-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 19.75 - July 29: Win (10-6) vs. Baltimore
Game 20.75 - July 31: Win (16-3) vs. Chicago

The Yankees are 15-6 (57-49 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 106 notes: Yankees win 16-3

Alex Rodriguez didn't homer, but the Yankees homered eight times in Tuesday night's 16-3 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

The Yankees got to White Sox starter Jose Contreras (5-14) early. After the first two batters of the game reached base, Bobby Abreu launched a three-run shot into the right field upper deck. Hideki Matsui later added a solo home run in that inning.

With a four-run lead, Mike Mussina (6-7) gave up most of that lead back in the second inning. After two singles, he gave up a three-run home run to Juan Uribe.

That would be all the runs he would give up tonight, as he shut down the White Sox and the Yankees kept scoring. They would add five runs in the third inning, two more in the fourth, three in the sixth and two in the seventh.

Mussina went six innings, giving up only those three runs. He also struck out six batters and didn't walk any batters. Kyle Farnsworth, Mike Myers and Sean Henn pitched one inning each, and only gave up a combined two hits and zero earned runs.

Contreras gave up seven earned runs in 2 2-3 innings. He also allowed three home runs. Relievers Charlie Haeger and Gavin Floyd gave up a combined five home runs in 4 1-3 innings.

Some notes from the game:

  • The eight home runs hit by the Yankees tonight ties a franchise record. Seven different players also homered.
  • In their last three home games, the Yankees have scored 54 runs and have recorded 61 hits.
  • Jorge Posada went 4-5 with a home run, a double and two RBIs.
  • Hideki Matsui will be sad to see July end. In his final July game, he hit two home runs. He finishes the month with 12 home runs, giving him 21 on the season.
  • Alex Rodriguez is 0-16 since hitting his 499th home run. He made good contact tonight, however. I predict he will hit No. 500 tomorrow night.
  • Andy Phillips' 11-game hitting streak was snapped with his 0-4 night.
The Yankees are now at 57-49 on the season. Both Cleveland and Boston lost tonight. The Yankees are now only three games behind Cleveland in the Wild Card race and seven games behind Boston in the AL East race.

Andy Pettitte will face John Danks tomorrow night.

AP Photo

Mussina is up to his old tricks again

Mike Mussina can never, ever pitch with the lead.

After Bobby Abreu hit a three-run home run and Hideki Matsui delivered a solo shot in the first inning, Mussina gave most of the lead right back in the second inning.

After allowing two singles, he gave up a three-run home run to Juan Uribe.

He must've been pretty busy during yesterday's off-day/night.

Hughes will definitely go on Saturday

Peter Abraham is reporting the Phil Hughes is in the Bronx today and has said that he will start on Saturday.

This makes me feel a little better, I guess. I am still recovering from the loss of Scott Proctor.

2008 All-Star Game logo unveiled

As if there wasn't enough news today, the logo of the 2008 All-Star Game (shown below) to be held at Yankee Stadium was unveiled today.

The All-Star Game logo prominently features aspects paying homage to the stage upon which the game will be played. Yankee Stadium's historic and recognizable facade plays a headlining role, in addition to the Yankees' classic pinstripes (source).

Game preview: White Sox at Yankees 7/31/07

I am covering today's game at The Bronx Block.

The matchup is Jose Contreras (5-13, 6.22 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (5-7, 4.77 ERA).

Lineups

Chicago White Sox (48-57)
New York Yankees (56-49)
Jerry Owens CF
Johnny Damon DH
Josh Fields 3B
Derek Jeter SS
Jim Thome DH
Bobby Abreu RF
Paul Konerko 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
A.J. Pierzynski C
Hideki Matsui LF
Jermaine Dye RF
Jorge Posada C
Scott Podsednik LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Juan Uribe SS
Andy Phillips 1B
Danny Richar 2B
Melky Cabrera CF

Time: 7:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Good-bye, Scott Proctor

Well, I guess my Save Scott Proctor campaign didn't work, as the man himself was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for INF Wilson Betemit. This, obviously, is very sad news for me. The namesake is gone; 3,000 miles away, in a different league, in a different time zone.

Personally, I don't understand this trade. They are trading away one of their better arms in the bullpen for a utility infielder. Some are saying he will play first. The problem, however, is that he has never played first in his career. Oops. I understand it improves the bench, but the bench isn't that important in the American League. Also, Kyle Farnsworth is still on the team.

Some people are saying Proctor is at the peak of his value and that his Joe Torre workload will come back to haunt him in the future. That may be the case, but now was not the time to trade him, especially for Betemit. The bullpen is a weakness and it only got weaker. Eric Gagne is on his way to Boston and the Yankees responded by not getting rid of Farnsworth. However, Joba Chamberlain should soon be calling the Yankees' bullpen home. Also, according to Mark Feinsand, Edwar Ramirez will be called up.

Anyway, it's time to remember Proctor as a Yankee. The best way to deal with a loss is to took back on all the good times we had. Proctor's career has come full-circle. He was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 1998 in the fifth round. He was then traded in 2003 as part of the Robin Ventura trade.

He made his debut for New York in 2004 and has been a valuable member of the staff ever since. He pitched 102 2-3 innings last year in 83 appearances. This season, he is 2-5 with a 3.81 ERA and has pitched in 54 2-3 innings.

Because of last year's ridiculous amount of work, a blog was born. People were saying that his arm was going to fall off at any moment. That moment hasn't happened yet and it may or may not happen in the future.

Proctor will be missed here, and I wish him all the best in Los Angeles. I hope Grady Little will be a little more respectful of Proctor's arm. Knowing Little from 2003, it seems like he never likes to go to the bullpen. I will frequently update his progress with his new team. I also appreciate the condolences from those in the blog community.

On the way out, Proctor was classy as always. “I’m glad (Joe Torre) put me in as many games as he did,” he said. “I have nothing but respect for him” (source).

To answer some frequently asked questions:

Yes, this blog will remain a Yankees blog.

Yes, this blog will still be called "Scott Proctor's Arm." It'll serve as a reminder of the man himself and of the abuse he took from Torre.. Maybe I'll accept suggestions for a new name down the road, but for now, it'll remain the same.

The top right photo is Scott Proctor riding off into the sunset. He will most certainly be missed.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Giambi in Tampa

Jason Giambi played in his third rehab game in Tampa tonight.

He went 2-5 with two singles and two strikeouts.

Overall, he is 3-10 with one RBI, one double, two singles, two walks and five strikeouts. He has been the designated hitter in all three games.

Look for him to join the team in early August if everything goes smoothly.

Chamberlain in Scranton

Joba Chamberlain, after being moved to the AAA bullpen, has just made his first appearance.

He finished one inning and struck out the side on 13 pitches, throwing only three balls.

He was scheduled to only pitch one inning, so I doubt they'll send him out for more. If they do, I'll post an update.

UPDATE - 9:55 p.m.: He didn't get another inning. He should make his next relief appearance on Wednesday and will be evaluated after that.

UPDATE - 10:12 p.m.: Here is what I wrote for The Bronx Block about his outing.

Tuesday has the potential to be historic

As we all know, Barry Bonds is on the verge of tying Hank Aaron's home run record at 755. He is currently sitting at 754.

Alex Rodriguez has 499 home runs.

Tom Glavine has 299 career victories.

All three players are scheduled to be playing on Tuesday.

Personally, I hope Rodriguez doesn't homer tomorrow night. I'd like to be there in person for his attempt at his 500th home run on Wednesday.

UPDATE: Here is a much more detailed write up the AP did on this story. Apparently I wasn't the only person to notice this situation.

Pre-trade deadline deals

A few trades were made today in advance of Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline.

Pending physicals, Texas Rangers 1B Mark Teixeira is on his way to Atlanta. Joining him will be RHP Ron Mahay. The Braves are sending rookie C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, minor league SS Elvis Andrus and two more prospects to Texas (source). From the same article, there is a rumor that the Braves are trying to acquire Kansas City Royals reliever Octavio Dotel for RHP Kyle Davies.

After Jose Valentin broke a bone in his leg, the New York Mets needed a second baseman. Today, they acquired Luis Castillo from the Minnesota Twins for two prospects (source). While Castillo doesn't steal many bases anymore, he is still a solid hitter (batting .304 this season) and is a three-time Gold Glove winner. Here is what one Met fan thinks of the trade.

The Cincinnati Reds have traded RHP Kyle Lohse to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league LHP Matt Maloney (source). Lohse is 6-12 with a 4.58 ERA in 21 starts. Maloney is 9-7 with a 3.94 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 125 2-3 innings in AA.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

A look at the standings

I delve into the standings after all of the Sunday games have been completed to track the Yankees' progress over the week that just ended.

Here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings:

AL East

Boston Red Sox
64-41--
New York Yankees
56-49
8.0
Toronto Blue Jays
52-52
11.5
Baltimore Orioles
49-55
14.5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
39-6524.5

Wild Card
Cleveland Indians
60-45
--
Seattle Mariners
57-46
2.0
New York Yankees
56-49
4.0
Minnesota Twins
53-516.5
Toronto Blue Jays
52-527.5

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees have gone 5-3 and lost a half-game in the AL East. The Red Sox went 5-2 over that same period.

In the Wild Card standings, the Yankees gained 2.5 games. The Indians went 2-5. In two weeks, the Yankees have gained four games on Cleveland.

The Red Sox magic number to eliminate the Yankees is 50 (down eight from last week).

The Indians magic number to eliminate the Yankees is 54 (down five from last week).

The series ahead

The Yankees will begin a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox at Yankee Stadium Tuesday night. The pitching matchups are:

Tuesday, 7/31/07, 7:05 p.m., YES
Jose Contreras - RHP (5-13, 6.22 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (5-7, 4.77 ERA)

Wednesday, 8/1/07, 7:05 p.m., YES (I will be in attendance)
John Danks - LHP (6-7, 4.83 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte - LHP (6-7, 4.11 ERA)

Thursday, 8/2/07, 1:05 p.m., YES
Jon Garland - RHP (8-7, 4.12 ERA) vs. Roger Clemens - RHP (3-5, 3.92 ERA)

Hughes in Scranton

Phil Hughes made his second rehab start in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Sunday afternoon.

His line: 6 2-3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 91 pitches for 57 strikes

He is in line to start on Saturday for the big club against Kansas City.

In other news, Joba Chamberlain is scheduled to pitch one inning in relief tomorrow for Scranton. He was originally scheduled to start but was scratched because of the organization's new plans for him.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City
Game 16 - July 26: Loss (0-7) vs. Kansas City
Game 16.75 - July 27: Win (8-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 17.75 - July 27: Loss (2-4) vs. Baltimore
Game 18.75 - July 28: Loss (5-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 19.75 - July 29: Win (10-6) vs. Baltimore

The Yankees are 14-6 (56-49 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 105 notes: Yankees win 10-6

See what happens when Johnny Damon decides to show up? The Yankees' lead off hitter went 3-5 with two RBIs and four runs scored in their 10-6 victory over the Baltimore Orioles Sunday afternoon.

In what has been a continuing trend, the Yankees scored early to win, as they scored one run in the first and three in the second.

Chien-Ming Wang (12-5) gave up three runs over six innings. His control was an issue today, as he walked four and struck out only one. He also gave up nine hits.

The Yankees' ace has struggled in his last four starts. He has a 4.62 ERA in his last 25 1-3 innings pitched. However, he is 3-1 over that span due to a large amount of run support.

The bullpen once again proved that changes need to be made. In its three innings of work, a combination of Luis Vizcaino, Kyle Farnsworth and Mariano Rivera gave up six hits and three runs. Rivera struck out the side in his one inning of work. During the game, word got out that highly-touted prospect Joba Chamberlain will be moved to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre bullpen.

Daniel Cabrera (7-11) started for Baltimore and was rather wild. He walked five batters in six innings. He also allowed six hits and four earned runs.

Some notes from the game:

  • Hideki Matsui went 0-3 but drove in three runs. He hit two sacrifice flies and grounded into an RBI fielder's choice.
  • Barry Bonds, er, Paul Bako went 1-1 with four walks.
  • Alex Rodriguez's 500th home run will have to wait yet another day. He went 0-2 with three walks (one intentional walk). The Yankees play their next six games at home.
  • Bobby Abreu went 2-3, raising his extremely high average (.364 before the game) in Yankee wins.
  • Andy Phillips extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a double in the second inning.
  • Five Yankees had multi-hit games: Damon (three hits), Derek Jeter (two hits), Abreu (two hits), Robinson Cano (two hits) and Melky Cabrera (three hits).
  • Farnsworth gave up a two-run home run in his one inning of work.
  • The start of the game was delayed by about 40 minutes because of supposed rain in the area. It never rained during the "rain" delay or during the game.
This was a big win for the Yankees. They had lost their previous three games and needed to get back on track. Also, Cleveland and Boston both lost today. The Yankees now trail Cleveland by four games in the Wild Card race and Boston by eight games in the AL East race.

The Yankees now stand at a record of 56-49 and will open a three-game series at home against the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday. Mike Mussina will match up against ex-Yankee Jose Contreras.

This is the Yankees' last game before Tuesday's 4:00 p.m. non-waiver trading deadline, so the roster for Tuesday's game could look different.

Chamberlain to Scranton bullpen

Michael Kay has just announced that Joba Chamberlain will be moved to the AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre bullpen.

I guess he'll be in New York after a few appearances. My prediction is that he and Phil Hughes will be called up together.

Molina is already paying dividends

In two games as a Yankee, Jose Molina has thrown out two runners. He is also 2-4 with a double and a sacrifice bunt.

Meanwhile, Wil Nieves is 2-8 with two doubles for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in two games. We'll probably be reacquainted with Nieves in September when the roster expands.

40-minute rain delay

Sunday's game began with a 40-minute rain delay despite there being no rain.

Meanwhile, in the first inning, the Yankees had the bases loaded and no outs. Ideal situation for a team that's been struggling, right? Wrong.

The Yankees only came up with one run - a one-out sacrifice fly from Hideki Matsui.

Chamberlain on the way up?

From the New York Post:

Before watching Mike Myers, Luis Vizcaino and Brian Bruney pitch ineffectively last night during a 7-5 loss to the Orioles at Camden Yards in front of 48,402 sweaty customers, Yankee decision-makers were leaning heavily toward bringing Joba Chamberlain to the big leagues and using the minor-league starter in the bullpen.

After the Yanks' third straight loss, the discussion was how to make the transition from starter to reliever easy on the 21-year-old right-hander with electric stuff.

His call-up is not official - but could come at any time.

"We couldn't get the job done out of the pen," manager Joe Torre said of his relievers giving up three runs and allowing three of the six inherited runners to score.

Chamberlain, a 2006 draft pick, may not be the answer, but he will provide a new look to a pen many have grown tired of seeing (source).

I have gone on record stating my displeasure for such a move.

I guess it's better than giving up prospects for Eric Gagne, however.

Whatever the case, the bullpen, as it is currently constructed, is not a championship bullpen. Changes will have to be made before the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline if they are serious about contending.

Shelley Duncan isn't a "Torre guy"

Shelley Duncan has not played in the last two games. The Yankees have lost both of these games.

Coincidence? I think not.

Duncan also hasn't played in four of the last five team games. I guess Joe Torre forgot that Duncan is even on the team's roster.

At least use him as a pinch hitter if you're not going to start him.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City
Game 16 - July 26: Loss (0-7) vs. Kansas City
Game 16.75 - July 27: Win (8-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 17.75 - July 27: Loss (2-4) vs. Baltimore
Game 18.75 - July 28: Loss (5-7) vs. Baltimore

The Yankees are 13-6 (55-49 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Boston beat Tampa Bay in extra innings tonight. They now lead the Yankees by nine games in the AL East.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Giambi in Tampa

Rehabbing Jason Giambi played in a doubleheader in Tampa tonight.

In one game, Giambi went 0-2 with two walks and one strikeout.

In the other game, he went 1-3 with a double and an RBI. He also struck out twice.

Good to see him walking, I guess.

Game 104 notes: Yankees lose 7-5

Despite a late rally, the Yankees still came up short Saturday night, as they fell to the Baltimore Orioles by a score of 7-5.

Trailing 7-1 in the ninth inning, the Yankees were able to score four off of Cory Doyne. He retired no batters and gave up a hit to all five batters he faced. Jamie Walker then came in and got the final three outs for his third save of the season.

Orioles starter Brian Burres (5-4) took a shutout into the seventh inning. He gave up a solo home run to Hideki Matsui to lead off the frame and was then taken out. His line: six innings pitched, four hits, one earned run, three walks and seven strikeouts.

Roger Clemens (3-5) had to work hard. In 6 1-3 innings, he gave up eight hits and four runs. He also struck out six batters. The bullpen didn't help matters either. They gave up five hits in 1 2-3 innings, including three runs (two earned runs).

Some notes from the game:

  • Clemens threw 31 pitches in the first inning when he allowed two runs. He threw 113 pitches overall.
  • Miguel Tejada went 2-4 with four RBIs.
  • Andy Phillips went 1-4 and has now hit in 10 straight games.
  • Matsui's home run gives him 11 for the month of July. He has two more July games to try to add to that total.
  • Alex Rodriguez went 0-4, so his 500th home run will have to wait another day.
  • The top four hitters of the Yankees' lineup (Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Rodriguez) went a combined 1-17 with one RBI and seven strikeouts.
  • Damon grounded into two double plays.
  • Tonight was Clemens' 700th career start. I wonder if every ball used tonight had a special marking.
This loss puts the Yankees at 55-49 on the season. They have now lost the first two games of this series (the suspended game victory notwithstanding).

Fortunately for the Yankees, Cleveland lost to Minnesota today, so the Yankees don't lose any ground in the Wild Card.

Boston is currently in extra innings against Tampa Bay.

Tomorrow, Chien-Ming Wang will face Daniel Cabrera in hopes of trying to salvage a game from this series.

A-Rod as good as Barry? Hell no

Barry Bonds had something to say regarding Alex Rodriguez's place in history in today's Post.

Here is my reaction to the article on The Bronx Block.

Your author as a Simpsons character

In response to the release of "The Simpsons Movie," Burger King has allowed for people to make themselves into a Simpsons character.

Me, being curious, decided to try it out. The result is above. I don't think it looks anything like me, but I digress.

Thanks to Mr. Abraham for originally posting the link.

Incidentally, I saw the midnight showing of the movie Thursday night/Friday morning. This was after spending all night at a Hudson Valley Renegades game and having to wake up at 7:15 the next morning for work.

I came away somewhat disappointed, despite all of the good reviews. Most of the jokes were shown in the numerous trailers, and those weren't even that funny to begin with.

The show has been going downhill for a while now and the entire movie seemed like a longer episode. Maybe if I see it again somewhere down the line I'll warm up to it.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City
Game 16 - July 26: Loss (0-7) vs. Kansas City
Game 16.75 - July 27: Win (8-7) vs. Baltimore
Game 17.75 - July 27: Loss (2-4) vs. Baltimore

The Yankees are 13-5 (55-48 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 103 notes: Yankees lose 4-2

I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. The Yankees have had two or three long stretches of winning followed by a great depression.

The Yankees have now lost two of their last three games with their 4-2 loss against the Baltimore Orioles Friday night. I understand it's impossible to win every game, but with the hole the Yankees have dug themselves, the Yankees can't afford games like these, especially when Cleveland and Boston both win.

The offense has cooled down after the ridiculous series against the Devil Rays and half of the Kansas City series. They have now scored two runs in their last two losses.

The Yankees opened with a 1-0 lead off of a Melky Cabrera triple in the second inning. The Orioles then scored three runs in the bottom of the third off of Yankees' starter Andy Pettitte (6-7). Overall, Pettitte pitched seven innings and gave up three runs, striking out five and walking three.

The Yankees cut the lead to 3-2 when Robinson Cano drove in Alex Rodriguez with a single.

With Scott Proctor pitching in the eighth, he gave up a home run to Kevin Millar to make the score 4-2.

Jeremy Guthrie (7-3) started for the Orioles and pitched six innings. He gave up six hits, struck out four and walked three. The Orioles then used five relievers to get nine outs.

Some notes from the game:

  • Proctor has given up a home run in four of his last six appearances. He has now given up eight in 54 1-3 innings this season.
  • The Orioles' bullpen gave up no runs and only one hit in their three innings of work.
  • Chad Bradford recorded his first save of the season with his scoreless ninth inning.
  • Rodriguez went 0-2 with two walks as he's chasing home run No. 500.
  • Andy Phillips went 2-3 to raise his batting average to .311. Stay away, Jason Giambi.
The Yankees fall to a record of 55-48 after the victory in the completion of the suspended game and the loss in the scheduled game.

The Yankees are now eight games behind Boston in the AL East and five games behind Cleveland in the Wild Card.

Tonight, Roger Clemens will face Brian Burres. Clemens needs to get the Yankees back on track.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City
Game 16 - July 26: Loss (0-7) vs. Kansas City
Game 16.75 - July 27: Win (8-7) vs. Baltimore

The Yankees are 13-4 (55-47 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 76 recap: Yankees win 8-7

The Yankees didn't score in the resumption of the suspended game.

The Orioles were able to push across a run in the ninth off of Mariano Rivera. After Miguel Tejada struck out to lead off the ninth, Corey Patterson doubled and Ramon Hernandez singled to score Patterson. A single advanced Hernandez to third with two outs. The game ended when Robinson Cano was able to get the force out at second base.

Mike Myers received the win and Rivera got a five-out save.

The series ahead

The Yankees begin a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards tonight after the completion of the suspended game. The pitching matchups are:

Friday, 7/27/07, 20 minutes after the completion of the suspended game, my9
Andy Pettitte - LHP (6-6, 4.12 ERA) vs. Jeremy Guthrie - RHP (6-3, 2.88 ERA)

Saturday, 7/28/07, 7:05 p.m., YES
Roger Clemens - RHP (3-4, 3.72 ERA) vs. Brian Burres - LHP (4-4, 4.33 ERA)

Sunday, 7/29/07, 1:35 p.m., YES
Chien-Ming Wang - RHP (11-5, 3.57 ERA) vs. Daniel Cabrera - RHP (7-10, 5.04 ERA)

Game underway

The rain has cleared and Hideki Matsui has just stepped in to face Rob Bell.

Game preview: Continuation of the 6/28/07 suspended game

It is finally July 27, which means it's time to complete the suspended game from June 28.

When we last left you, the Yankees scored four runs in the top of the eighth to retake an 8-6 lead over the Baltimore Orioles. This was after the Orioles scored four runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead.

There was a brief rain delay in the seventh. Play resumed and the Yankees began their eighth inning rally. After Derek Jeter drove in two runs to break the 6-6 tie, play was stopped. Melvin Mora was then ejected for arguing. The Orioles were upset that the umpires waited too long to call the game.

Play was eventually suspended. The stats from the game counted and play is set to resume tonight. Hideki Matsui will be batting with two outs when the game resumes.

However, according to Peter Abraham, it is raining in Baltimore right now. It's rather fitting.

Tonight's scheduled game is set to begin 20 minutes after the completion of the suspended game.

Breaking news: Igawa sent down

Kei Igawa has been sent down to AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Chris Basak has been recalled, according to someone named Andrew over at The Bronx Block.

This is the right move and it signals the return of Phil Hughes next week.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

More on Rodriguez's amazingness

As just seen on Baseball Tonight, Alex Rodriguez is a hell of a baseball player.

He is the only baseball player ever to hit 35 home runs and drive in 100 runs in 10-straight seasons. EVER.

Absolutely mind-boggling.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City
Game 15 - July 25: Win (7-1) vs. Kansas City

The Yankees are 12-3 (54-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 101 notes: Yankees win 7-1

The Yankees have been playing great baseball since the All-Star break. Wednesday night was no different, as the Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals for the third-straight time by a score of 7-1 to win another four-game series.

Mike Mussina (5-7) started for New York and went 5 2-3 innings. He gave up one run and six hits and struck out four batters in his outing. The Yankees used five relievers to close out the game, including Mariano Rivera who had not pitched since July 21.

The Yankees took the lead in the second inning off of a Melky Cabrera two-run home run. The Royals cut the Yankees lead to 2-1 in the sixth on a Reggie Sanders RBI single. However, that was the only run they would be able to push across tonight.

The Yankees scored five runs in the latter innings to put the game out of reach.

Gil Meche (7-7) started for Kansas City. Through seven innings, he had only given up three runs. However, he seemed to tire and gave up five runs after 7 1-3 innings.

Some notes from the game:

  • Alex Rodriguez hit career home run No. 499 off Meche in the eighth inning. Jorge De La Rosa starts for Kansas City tomorrow. Why is that significant? Rodriguez hit home run No. 400 off of him in 2005.
  • The Yankees recorded 13 hits. This is the fifth-straight game they have recorded double-digit hits.
  • Hideki Matsui homered in the eighth inning. He now has hit 10 home runs in July and has a six-game hitting streak as well.
  • Robinson Cano is on the verge of .300. His 3-4 night left him a .299 on the season. He is now 17 for his last 28.
  • Every Yankee starter had at least one hit for the fourth time in the last five games.
  • Cabrera had three RBIs from the ninth spot in the order tonight.
  • Derek Jeter was hit by an Octavio Dotel pitch in the ninth and left the game.
  • The Yankees' bullpen gave up two hits in 3 1-3 innings. They also didn't walk a batter.
The Red Sox lost to Cleveland tonight. The Yankees remain 4.5 games behind Cleveland in the Wild Card. The Yankees now trail Boston by 6.5 games in the AL East.

The Yankees have won six-straight games and improve to a season-high eight games over .500 at 54-46.

Kei Igawa will face De La Rosa tomorrow night.

Reuters Photo

Breaking news: Rodriguez hits 499

Alex Rodriguez has hit career home run No. 499 in the eighth inning tonight.

With this home run, he also has 35 on the season. Rodriguez hit 35 home runs in 154 games in 2006. This season, he has 35 home runs in only 100 games.

Cue the Seinfeld jokes

The Yankees traveling secretary is being investigated.

Yankees traveling secretary David Szen is involved in a tax investigation and is taking a leave of absence.

Szen was the Yankees' media relations director in 1982, later worked for the Seattle Mariners and returned to the Yankees in the 1990s as traveling secretary.

"We understand that the government is investigating personal tax issues regarding David Szen," Yankees spokesman Howard Rubenstein said Wednesday. "The Yankees have cooperated with that inquiry. David Szen has requested and has been granted administrative leave."

Ben Tuliebitz, the Yankees' assistant media relations director, is taking over Szen's duties (source).

George Costanza missed his big break by about 10 years.

Chamberlain in Scranton

Joba Chamberlain made his AAA debut tonight against the Louisville Bats.

His line: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K, 88 pitches for 57 strikes

Phil Hughes and Chamberlain will be very fun to watch next year.

Game preview: Yankees at Royals 7/25/07

Lineups

New York Yankees (53-46)
Kansas City Royals (43-56)
Johnny Damon LF
David DeJesus CF
Derek Jeter SS
Esteban German 2B
Bobby Abreu RF
Mark Teahan RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Billy Butler DH
Hideki Matsui DH
Ross Gload 1B
Jorge Posada C
Reggie Sanders LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Gordon 3B
Andy Phillips 1B
John Buck C
Melky Cabrera CF
Tony Pena SS
Mike Mussina (4-7, 4.97)
Gil Meche (7-6, 3.63)

Time: 8:10 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: I guess Joe Torre has forgotten that Shelley Duncan is on the roster. ... This is probably Mussina's biggest start of the season. The Yankees have won five in a row and it is time for Mussina to step up this season. ... He is 15-7 with a 3.02 ERA in 31 career starts against Kansas City. ... Meche is 3-2 with a 3.88 ERA in nine career starts against New York. ... Rodriguez is 8-20 with three home runs and six RBIs against Meche. ... Matsui is 4-14 with one home run and four RBIs against Meche.

Giambi on the comeback trail

New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi is set to start a minor league rehab assignment Friday night with Class A Tampa and hopes to rejoin the team next week.

The designated hitter, who has been sidelined since May 30 after tearing tissue in his left foot, said he will play two games with the Yankees' Florida State League team before he is re-evaluated Sunday.

"I'm to that point where I really can't do anymore working out, taking BP and running," Giambi said. "Now it's going to be more game activity. I think that will be a gauge to see how I do" (source).

Yay.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City
Game 14 - July 24: Win (9-4) vs. Kansas City

The Yankees are 11-3 (53-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Game 100 notes: Yankees win 9-4

The Yankees scored seven runs in the first two innings behind Chien-Ming Wang (11-5) and won by a score of 9-4.

Johnny Damon led off with a walk to start the first inning threat. Derek Jeter then singled Damon to third, who later scored on a Bobby Abreu sacrifice fly. After a hit-by-pitch and a walk, Hideki Matsui singled home two. Robinson Cano kept the line moving with an RBI double to drive in the team's fourth run.

They scored three runs in the top of the second. The runs came on an Abreu single, a Matsui single and an Andy Phillips bases loaded walk.

Wang pitched like a pitcher with a large lead. He gave up four runs in six innings. Mike Myers, Kyle Farnsworth and Brian Bruney all pitched one scoreless inning each to finish the game.

Scott Elarton (2-4) came off the disabled list to start for Kansas City. He wasn't around long, as he pitched 1 2-3 innings and gave up seven runs.

Some notes from the game:

  • Damon went 2-5 and has now hit in five-straight games.
  • Jeter went 4-6 to raise his batting average to a team-high .335.
  • Matsui's added to his hot July numbers. He went 2-5 with one RBI tonight.
  • Alex Rodriguez and Melky Cabrera went hitless tonight, snapping the Yankees' streak of every starter recording at least one hit at three games.
  • The Yankees have scored 56 runs and have 71 hits in their last four games.
  • The Yankees had a streak of not going down in order for 23 innings. It was snapped in the top of the eighth inning.
  • The game was over four hours long.
The Red Sox beat Cleveland again tonight. With the Yankees' win, they are now 4.5 games behind Cleveland in the Wild Card race.

The Yankees have won five-straight games to improve to a record of 53-46.

Mike Mussina will match up against Gil Meche tomorrow night.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The braintrust gathers in Tampa

Yankees owner George Steinbrenner met with his top advisers for 90 minutes Tuesday, discussing potential moves before the July 31 deadline for trades without waivers.

General partner Hal Steinbrenner, general manager Brian Cashman, team president Randy Levine and chief operating officer Lonn Trost attended the session along with senior vice president Felix Lopez, special adviser Gene Michael, senior vice president of baseball operations Mark Newman and vice president of amateur scouting Damon Oppenheimer.

The team officials met for two hours at Legends Field, the Yankees spring training home, before being joined by Steinbrenner.

The group also discussed potential help from the Yankees' minor league system. Pitchers Phil Hughes (sprained ankle) and Jeff Karstens (broken leg) are on minor league rehab assignments and could be ready to rejoin the team within the next two weeks (source).

Sounds like a riveting meeting. I can't see the Yankees making any major trades. They seem reluctant to trade their highly-touted prospects, and the team is finally starting to show that they can play together. I can see trades involving bullpen help, but that is pretty much it.

Also, does anyone else find the following Joe Torre quote (from the same article) as absolutely hilarious as I do? NoMaas does.
Manager Joe Torre did not rule out a bullpen assignment in the majors for Joba Chamberlain, who has been a starter this season.

"If that is the case, we would take care of him," Torre said before Tuesday night's game against the Royals in Kansas City.

"We'll make sure we don't abuse him," Torre said. "Not that we willfully abuse people, but you know, when panic sets in during a game, man, throw them all out there."

Glad to know that at least Chamberlain would be taken care of. The same can't be said about Scott Proctor and Luis Vizcaino.

Hughes in Scranton

Phil Hughes started for AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight after last night's scheduled start was rained out.

His line: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 73 pitches for 54 strikes

If I had to guess, I'd say he'll be starting for the Yankees within the next week.

Game preview: Yankees at Royals 7/24/07

I will be covering today's game at The Bronx Block.

The matchup is Chien-Ming Wang (10-5, 3.44 ERA) vs. Scott Elarton (2-3, 9.17 ERA)

Chamberlain and Kennedy promoted to AAA

The Yankees last night promoted right-handers Ian Kennedy and Joba Chamberlain -- their top two draft picks last year -- from Double-A Trenton to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Both started the season with Class A Tampa.

There is some thought in the organization that Chamberlain could help the big-league team this year out of the bullpen.

Lefty Chase Wright and right-hander Tyler Clippard, both of whom made starts for the Yankees this year, were demoted from Scranton to Trenton (source).
Both promotions seem deserved. Kennedy is 5-1 with a 2.59 ERA in 48 2-3 innings pitched in AA Trenton. He has struck out 57 and walked 17. Chamberlain is 4-2 with a 3.43 ERA in 39 1-3 innings pitched in Trenton as well. He has struck out 64 and walked 15.

It's also interesting to see Wright and Clippard demoted. It really shows how their promotions to the Majors earlier this season were panic moves.

I'd prefer that they don't call up Chamberlain this season to be used in the bullpen, and it looks like they won't.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Game 99 notes: Yankees win 9-2

The Yankees scored early and never looked back in beating the Kansas City Royals by a score of 9-2 Monday night. They scored two runs in each of the first two innings, and Roger Clemens (3-4) was able to keep the Royals' offense at bay. Clemens gave up two runs in seven innings of work. He only gave up four hits and struck out three batters in the process.

Odalis Perez (5-9) pitched well for the Royals. He gave up four runs in seven innings, as he settled down after the rough start.

Ryan Braun's relief outing was nothing to write home about, however. He gave up three runs in 1 1-3 innings pitched to break the game open.

Some notes from the game:

  • Johnny Damon went 3-5 with two RBIs. He has now hit in four straight games to raise his batting average to .244.
  • Alex Rodriguez collected RBI No. 100 on the season with an RBI single in the ninth. That is 100 RBIs in 99 team games.
  • All of the Yankees' starters had at least one hit for the third consecutive game.
  • Luis Vizcaino pitched a 1-2-3 eighth when the score was 4-2. His success is making him appear more and more trustworthy.
  • Hideki Matsui went 1-4 and has now hit safely in 18 of his last 19 games.
  • Andy Phillips went 1-5 and has now hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games.
The Red Sox beat Cleveland tonight, so the Yankees didn't gain any ground in the AL East. However, the Indians' lead over the Yankees in the Wild Card race is now down to 5.5 games with the Yankees' victory.

The Yankees now stand at 52-46 and have won 10 of their first 13 games after the All-Star break.

Chien-Ming Wang will go against Scott Elarton tomorrow night.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 13 - July 23: Win (9-2) vs. Kansas City

The Yankees are 10-3 (52-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

Congratulations to the Proctor family

Carrie Proctor had a baby today, a boy who was named Cooper. Scott Proctor will be away from the team until Wednesday (source).
Guess that means more Kyle Farnsworth!

Cleveland vs. Boston

As the Yankees begin a four-game series against Kansas City, Cleveland begins a four-game series against Boston at Cleveland.

The Yankees trail Boston by 7.5 games in the AL East and trail Cleveland by 6.5 games in the Wild Card.

So, what should the Yankees hope for in these next four days? Any win by the Yankees guarantees gaining ground on one of them, so winning three of the four games at a minimum is crucial.

With the difference only being one game between Cleveland and Boston, Yankee fans should root for the Indians, so long as the Yankees continue to win. Getting within 5.5 games before the end of July could set off panic in the streets of Boston.

Game preview: Yankees at Royals 7/23/07

I will be covering today's game at The Bronx Block.

The matchup is Roger Clemens (2-4, 3.88 ERA) vs. Odalis Perez (5-8, 5.84 ERA).

New York Yankees Mambo #5

This should put a smile on everyone's faces. From YouTube:

A look at the standings

I delve into the standings after all of the Sunday games have been completed to track the Yankees' progress over the week that just ended.

Here is an updated look at the American League East standings and the American League Wild Card standings:

AL East

Boston Red Sox
59-39
--
New York Yankees
51-46
7.5
Toronto Blue Jays
48-5011.0
Baltimore Orioles
44-53
14.5
Tampa Bay Devil Rays
38-60
21.0

Wild Card
Cleveland Indians
58-40--
Seattle Mariners
54-411.5
New York Yankees
51-46
6.5
Minnesota Twins51-477.0
Toronto Blue Jays 48-50
10.0

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees have gone 6-2 and gained 1.5 games in the AL East. The Red Sox went 4-3 over that same period.

In the Wild Card standings, the Yankees gained 1.5 games. The Indians went 4-3.

The Red Sox magic number to eliminate the Yankees is 58 (down six from last week).

The Indians magic number to eliminate the Yankees is 59 (down six from last week).

Giambi's return could hurt the surging Yankees

I just finished up a column on The Bronx Block on how the return of Jason Giambi could throw off the rhythm of the lineup, unfortunately.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 12 - July 22: Win (21-4) vs. Tampa Bay

The Yankees are 9-3 (51-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

The series ahead

The Yankees will begin yet another four-game series, this time against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium tomorrow night. The pitching matchups are:

Monday, 7/23/07, 8:10 p.m., YES
Roger Clemens - RHP (2-4, 3.88 ERA) vs. Odalis Perez - LHP (5-8, 5.84 ERA)

Tuesday, 7/24/07, 8:10 p.m., YES
Chien-Ming Wang - RHP (10-5, 3.44 ERA) vs. Scott Elarton - RHP (2-3, 9.17 ERA)

Wednesday, 7/25/07, 8:10 p.m., YES
Mike Mussina - RHP (4-7, 4.97 ERA) vs. Gil Meche - RHP (7-5, 3.63 ERA)

Thursday, 7/26/07, 8:10 p.m., YES
Kei Igawa - LHP (2-2, 6.67 ERA) vs. Jorge De La Rose - LHP (7-10, 5.61 ERA)

Game 98 notes: Yankees win 21-4

Wow, happy birthday to me indeed. The Yankees, knowing that it was my 19th birthday, pounded out 25 hits and scored 21 runs to beat the Tampa Bay Devil Rays to win another four-game series.

Shelley Duncan hit two home runs and Alex Rodriguez hit his 34th home run of the season, as the Yankees hit six home runs overall. Hideki Matsui added five hits as well.

The Yankees' pitchers pitched well overall. Andy Pettitte (6-6) gave up three runs over six innings and struck out eight. Sean Henn and Mike Myers pitched the final three innings and only gave up one unearned run overall.

James Shields (8-6) was terrible for Tampa Bay. In 3 1-3 innings, he gave up 10 hits and 10 earned runs. Casey Fossum, Shawn Camp and Scott Dohmann didn't fare much better. They gave up three, five and three earned runs, respectively.

Some notes from the game:

  • For the second game in a row, all the Yankees' starters had at least one hit. Also, all of the starters had at least one RBI.
  • Duncan now has three home runs in 12 career at-bats. He also has seven RBIs.
  • Rodriguez's home run was his 498th of his career. His three RBIs give him 99 on the season in only 98 games played.
  • Matsui has nine home runs in the month of July.
  • Johnny Damon didn't start, but went 1-2 with a double and an RBI. He also played right field when he pinch-hit for Bobby Abreu.
  • The Yankees scored 10 runs in the fourth inning.
  • After scoring four runs in the first game of this series, the Yankees scored 45 runs in the final three games.
(AP Photo/ Ed Betz)

Happy birthday to me

Today is my 19th birthday. It is strange to see the Yankees only four games above .500 on July 22. Things are usually much different when my birthday rolls around in the middle of the baseball season.

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 10 - July 21: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 11 - July 21: Win (17-5) vs. Tampa Bay

The Yankees are 8-3 (50-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

A little update:

Cleveland lost tonight, so the Yankees are 6.5 games back in the Wild Card.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Henn up, DeSalvo down

Peter Abraham is reporting the LHP Sean Henn has been called up and Matt DeSalvo was demoted after starting the second game of today's doubleheader.

This season, Henn is 2-0 with a 4.66 ERA in 17 relief appearances. He has struck out 13 and walked 13 in 19 1-3 innings. In AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, Henn is 1-2 with a 3.00 ERA. In 27 innings, he has struck out 21 and walked seven.

Apparently Chris Britton is on the Minor League disabled list.

Game 97 notes: Yankees win 17-5

If you told me that the Yankees would sweep a doubleheader with Kei Igawa and Matt DeSalvo starting both games, I would've said you were crazy. However, that is exactly what the Yankees did today, as they won the night cap by a score of 17-5. Luis Vizcaino won both games to improve to 8-2.

DeSalvo wasn't around long. He pitched 4 2-3 innings, gave up four runs, and struck out four. Brian Bruney then came in and gave up a run. The bats, not the pitching, carried the Yankees today. They pounded out 20 hits, including three each from Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera.

Johnny Damon and Rodriguez each had four RBIs, and Bobby Abreu and Hideki Matsui added three each.

J.P. Howell started for Tampa Bay and didn't fare well. In five innings, he gave up 10 hits and seven runs. Jay Witasick followed him and gave up four earned runs in one inning of work. Brian Stokes then relieved Witasick and gave up five runs himself.

Some notes from the game:

  • Rodriguez's home run in the sixth gave him 33 on the season and 497 for his career. He has 35 all of last year. He also has 96 RBIs.
  • All of the Yankees' starters had at least one hit. In fact, all of the had at least two hits each except for Hideki Matsui.
  • Wil Nieves went 2-3 with two doubles and two RBIs in what is likely his last game as a Yankee. He is now batting .164.
  • The Yankees hit eight doubles and two home runs.
  • Matsui homered in both games of the doubleheader.
  • Vizcaino's eight wins are second most on the Yankees behind Chien-Ming Wang's 10.
  • Andy Phillips added two more hits and is now batting .312.
  • The Yankees scored five runs in the sixth and seventh innings.
  • The Yankees scored 24 runs in today's doubleheader.
The Yankees now have 50 wins. They have also cut the Red Sox lead to 7.5 games. As I'm writing this, Cleveland is losing 8-4 to the Texas Rangers in the bottom of the eighth. If Cleveland loses, the Yankees will have gained 1.5 games in the Wild Card.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Yankees trade for Jose Molina

Looking to bolster their bench, the New York Yankees acquired catcher Jose Molina from the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday night for minor league reliever Jeff Kennard.

Molina, a defensive specialist, was batting .228 with no homers and 10 RBIs in 123 at-bats for the AL West-leading Angels, who have a surplus of catchers (source).

Wil Nieves will be with the team until Molina arrives. He will then be designated for assignment. It'll be very awkward if Nieves has to play tomorrow.

It's funny that Nieves went 2-3 with two RBIs tonight.

Giambi starting to take batting practice

New York Yankees slugger Jason Giambi took batting practice Saturday for the first time since hurting his left foot and is hoping to rejoin the team by early next month.

"Maybe a little sooner just depending on how fast things go," Giambi said after a two-hour workout. "I have no pain. That's going to be the biggest part. Everything is great so far" (source).

It'll be interesting to see how the lineup is affected/screwed up when Giambi returns.

Game preview: Devil Rays at Yankees (Game 2) 7/21/07

Lineups

Tampa Bay Devil Rays (38-58)
New York Yankees (49-46)
Akinori Iwamura 3B
Johnny Damon LF
Brendan Harris SS
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Delmon Young RF
Hideki Matsui DH
Ty Wigginton DH
Andy Phillips 1B
Johnny Gomes LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Dioner Navarro C
Melky Cabrera CF
Josh Wilson 2B
Wil Nieves C
J.P Howell (1-3, 6.62)
Matt DeSalvo (1-3, 5.87)

Time:
7:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Ramirez down

In calling up Matt DeSalvo for tonight's start, Edwar Ramirez was optioned out.

He didn't make a great case to stay after his 19-pitch, 2 strike outing last night.

From Peter Abraham:

The Yankees optioned Edwar Ramirez down to to Scranton after the game. Torre said Igawa was staying in the rotation so presumably DeSalvo will be sent back after the game. No word on who would replace him (source).
I wonder if it'll be Chris Britton.

Game 96 notes: Yankees win 7-3

The Yankees were able to win despite another shaky start by Kei Igawa. He gave up two solo home runs and allowed seven hits over five innings. He struck out six batters and walked three, throwing 94 pitches in the Yankees' 7-3 victory of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays in game one of the day-night doubleheader.

Luis Vizcaino got his seventh win in relief when the Yankees broke the 2-2 tie in the sixth inning by scoring five runs.

Jason Hammell pitched well over four innings, allowing only two runs and three hits for the Devil Rays. However, this was his first start of the season, and his 68 pitches were his most since June 13.

Some notes from the game:

  • B.J. Upton homered for the third time in two games with a solo home run in the first inning.
  • Igawa's two home runs allowed gives him 15 home runs allowed in 56 1-3 innings pitched.
  • Vizcaino got his third win in his last five appearances. He hasn't allowed an earned run since July 1 (10 appearances, 10 2-3 innings pitched).
  • Shelley Duncan hit his first career home run in the sixth inning. He now has two hits and three RBIs in two career games.
  • Andy Phillips is proving that the Yankees don't need to trade for a first baseman. He got another two hits and two RBIs today, giving him a .307 batting average and 14 RBIs in 25 games this season.
  • Scott Proctor's struggles continued. In one inning, he gave up three hits and a solo home run. He has given up seven home runs in 53 innings this season.
  • Kyle Farnsworth pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out two.
  • Jae Kuk Ryu got the loss. He gave up five earned runs in 1 2-3 innings.
Matt DeSalvo will pitched the second game of the doubleheader, which should start in a couple of minutes. Boston won 11-2 today, so the best the Yankees can do is pick up a half-game on the Red Sox if they win the night cap.

One home run every four innings

That is Kei Igawa's calling card.

In the first inning of game one of the doubleheader, Igawa gave up a solo shot to B.J. Upton. Upton now has three home runs in 10 innings in this series.

Igawa has given up 14 home runs in 52 2-3 innings pitched this season. He'll at least be in the game for a couple of more innings, so look to see that number increase.

UPDATE: 1:40 p.m.: 15 home runs in 53 2-3 innings pitched.

Game preview: Devil Rays at Yankees (Game 1) 7/21/07

Lineups

Tampa Bay Devil Rays (38-57)
New York Yankees (48-46)
Brendan Harris SS
Melky Cabrera CF
Carl Crawford LF
Derek Jeter SS
B.J. Upton CF
Bobby Abreu RF
Carlos Pena 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Delmon Young RF
Hideki Matsui LF
Ty Wigginton 3B
Jorge Posada C
Johnny Gomes DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Raul Cassanova C
Andy Phillips 1B
Josh Wilson 2B
Shelley Duncan DH
Jason Hammell (1-0, 6.11)
Kei Igawa (2-2, 6.97)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880

Pregame concerns: Igawa is pitching. That's a pretty big thing to be concerned about. ... In one start against Tampa Bay, Igawa went 4 1-3 innings and gave up seven earned runs. That equates to a 14.54 ERA. ... Upton went 1-2 with one home run against Igawa in that game. ... Hammell is 0-1 in three career appearances (one start) against New York with an ERA of 9.53. ... Cano is 1-2 with one home run and three RBIs against Hammell. .... Rodriguez is 2-3 with one home run and two RBIs against Hammell.

Save Scott Proctor again

From the New York Post:

Earlier this week the Devil Rays believed it would take more than Scott Proctor for the Yankees to pry utility man Ty Wigginton away from them. Now, according to multiple sources, the Devil Rays would make the trade. And though it's not clear if the Yankees have made an offer, they have been talking to the Devil Rays and have discussed converting stud prospect Joba Chamberlain from Double-A starter to big-league reliever to take Proctor's place.

"They don't want anything else of significance," a source said of the Devil Rays' plans. "They are ready to make the deal" (source).

Wigginton is a good player, but Proctor is too valuable in the bullpen to be traded for a position player. While he has been struggling lately, he provides this team innings out of the bullpen, which is something not many of them can say.

Also, I feel that promoting Chamberlain to the Majors right away to be a set-up man would severely inhibit his development.

Replacing Proctor for Chamberlain has the potential to be disastrous.

Friday, July 20, 2007

The 28.75 games

The Yankees open up the second half of the season with 28.75 games (the 0.75 being the pending completion of the suspended game) against teams currently under .500.

At SPA, I will track the Yankees' progress over these 28.75 games.

Game 1 - July 12: Win (7-3) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 2 - July 13: Loss (4-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 3 - July 14: Win (6-4) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 4 - July 15: Win (7-6) vs. Tampa Bay
Game 5 - July 16: Win (6-4) vs. Toronto
Game 6 - July 17: Win (3-2) vs. Toronto
Game 7 - July 18: Win (6-1) vs. Toronto
Game 8 - July 19: Loss (2-3) vs. Toronto
Game 9 - July 20: Loss (4-14) vs. Tampa Bay

The Yankees are 6-3 (48-46 overall) in this crucial stretch of the season.

The era of good feeling is looking like it's coming to an end.

Game 95 notes: Yankees lose 14-4

As you can tell by the 14-4 score, today was not a good day for the Yankees' pitchers. Mike Mussina couldn't get out of the fifth inning and Edwar Ramirez couldn't retire a batter. Mussina gave up six earned runs over 4 2-3 innings. He walked three and struck out five. Ramirez gave up three earned runs and walked four.

B.J. Upton hit two home runs for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, including one that went into the left field upper deck. Dioner Navarro hit a grand slam off Ramirez in the fifth inning. In total, the Devil Rays had 13 hits against the Yankees' pitching.

Edwin Jackson, who came into the game with a 1-9 record and a 7.14 ERA shut out the Yankees over six innings of work.

Some notes from the game:

  • Ramirez threw 19 pitches. Only two of those 19 pitches went for strikes. He hadn't pitched since July 6.
  • After Mussina gave up three runs in the top of the third inning, the Yankees only saw five pitches in the bottom of that inning.
  • Andy Phillips hit a home run and a double tonight. He has two home runs and 12 RBIs this season.
  • Shelley Duncan was called up before the game and was the night's starting designated hitter. He got his first career hit and RBI in the eighth. Kevin Thompson was optioned out and Doug Mientkiewicz was transferred to the 60-day disabled list.
  • Brian Bruney did not make a case to regain his old spot in the bullpen. He gave up three runs and two walks in his 1-3 inning of work.
  • Scott Proctor gave up a solo home run to Upton in the ninth inning.
  • Hideki Matsui went 0-5, snapping his 14-game hitting streak.
  • Johnny Damon was 0 for his last 20 before he singled in the ninth inning.
  • Mussina was undefeated as a Yankee against Tampa Bay at home before tonight's game.
The Yankees have now lost two games in a row following their five-game winning streak. Their record stands at 48-46.

The Boston Red Sox beat the Chicago White Sox by a score of 10-3 tonight. Their lead over the Yankees in the AL East is now at eight game.

The Yankees have a doubleheader tomorrow. Game one begins at 1:00, as Matt DeSalvo will take the hill. Kei Igawa will start game two. It is not outrageous to think that the Yankees could be back at .500 after tomorrow's games.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)