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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

A look at the standings

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

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
84-51
--
Boston Red Sox
79-57
5.5
New York Yankees
72-64
12.5
Toronto Blue Jays
70-66
14.5
Baltimore Orioles
63-73
21.5

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
79-57
--
Minnesota Twins
77-60
2.5
New York Yankees
72-64
7.0
Toronto Blue Jays
70-66
9.0

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 2-4. They lost three games in the AL East standings and lost two games in the wild-card standings.

The Rays magic number to eliminate the Yankees in the AL East is 15. The Red Sox magic number to eliminate the Yankees in the wild-card is 20.

Moeller and Coke to be called up

Chad Moeller and Phil Coke will be called up tomorrow when teams can expand their major-league rosters, according to Chad Jennings.

Moeller appeared in 32 games with the Yankees this season.

Coke, a 26-year-old left-hander, was 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA in 14 games (one start) for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Jennings has Coke's reaction:

"I'm excited," Coke said. "I've been waiting for this since I was three years old so I've got to be excited. All my years of hard work coming back to me, I feel like I'm being reward for what I've done not just this season but in the past, working to get better every day. That wasn't something that I was expecting to hear today, that's for sure, but they told me. I'm sorry, I'm just all addlebrained right now. It's a little difficult trying to get my thoughts ordered at the moment."
Good for him.

On the other hand, one glaring omission with that of Melky Cabrera's. He is batting .333 (19-57) since being demoted. Only two of the 19 hits have gone for extra bases, however.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre will be in the International League playoffs, so expect more call-ups once their season is completed. Until then, it seems that only Coke and Moeller will be called up.

Tragic numbers

The Yankees' tragic numbers in the AL East and wild-card stand at 15 and 20, respectively.

This afternoon was more of the same for New York. Andy Pettitte put the Yankees in an early hole, rendering the eight hits and two runs they were able to scratch across Roy Halladay meaningless.

Pettitte, making a case to not be brought back next season, had a second straight outing of 10 hits and six earned runs allowed. His season ERA now stands at 4.52. The Yankees are 3-6 in Pettitte's starts since the All-Star break.

The only positive to take from this afternoon was Alfredo Aceves' debut. Wearing No. 91 in honor of Dennis Rodman, he struck out three batters in two perfect innings of work.

Game 136 Preview: Blue Jays at Yankees

Toronto Blue Jays (69-66)
New York Yankees (72-63)
Marco Scutaro 2B
Johnny Damon CF
David Eckstein DH
Derek Jeter SS
Alex Rios RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Vernon Wells CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Rod Barajas C
Jason Giambi 1B
Adam Lind LF
Xavier Nady LF
Jose Bautista 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Scott Rolen 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
John McDonald SS
Jose Molina C

Roy Halladay (16-9, 2.69 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (13-10, 4.37 ERA)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Blue Jays vs. Pettitte
  • Scutaro: 2-9, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Eckstein: 11-47, 2 2B, 4 RBI
  • Rios: 5-16, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Wells: 13-32, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Barajas: 2-11, 1 RBI
  • Lind: 2-7, 1 2B
  • Bautista: 5-13, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Rolen: 9-30, 3 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
  • McDonald: 5-14, 2 2B, 2 RBI
Yankees vs. Halladay
  • Damon: 25-75, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Jeter: 19-75, 4 2B, 4 RBI
  • Abreu: 4-24, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: 16-57, 5 2B, 10 RBI
  • Giambi: 20-64, 3 HR, 8 RBI
  • Nady: 2-6
  • Matsui: 10-43, 1 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
  • Cano: 6-24, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  • Molina: 1-11, 1 2B

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Yet another reason why this team won't make the playoffs

The Yankees blew a 6-2 lead this afternoon, eventually losing 7-6 to the Toronto Blue Jays with Roy Halladay on the mound tomorrow.

Alex Rodriguez, treating every remaining game like a playoff game, grounded into a clutch double play with runners on first and second with no outs in the ninth inning. For those scoring at home, that makes 11 double plays for Rodriguez......THIS MONTH! Robinson Cano threw a double play ball away which allowed the Blue Jays to get back into the game.

The Red Sox have a 21-year-old making his major-league debut tonight against the White Sox. Watch him throw a no-hitter.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ace Pavano improves to 2-0

That's right, Carl Pavano has won his second game in as many starts, as the Yankees were able to hold off the Toronto Blue Jays 2-1. It took him 72 pitches to get through six innings, giving up three hits and one earned run while walking one and striking out one. I'm sure he could've gone longer. With as little as he's pitched in his Yankees career, he owes the Yankees as much as possible.

Five relievers combined to pitch the final three innings, including five outs from Mariano Rivera for his 32nd save of the season.

A.J. Burnett defeated the Yankees by the same score earlier this month, as he struck out 13 batters in eight innings. This time, however, the Yankees were able to scratch across two runs in the fourth inning and hold off the Jays' offense.

The Red Sox won their game, so they maintain their six-game lead over New York in the wild-card standings. There are 28 games remaining.

Besides the Red Sox winning, another negative was Jose Veras' outing. On the heals of being charged with five earned runs against Boston on Wednesday, he allowed both of the batters he faced to reach base tonight. On the other hand, Edwar Ramirez redeemed himself with a big strikeout to help clear up Veras' mess.

My apologies to the Rays

I said this on May 15 after the Yankees lost three out of four to the Tampa Bay Rays:

Six runs in four games. That's really all there is to say.

The Rays' pitching isn't that good.
Little did we know four months later that the Rays would still be in first place by a considerable margin and that the Yankees would be in third place and most likely out of the playoffs.

The Rays' team ERA is 3.68, the second-best in the Majors (behind the Toronto Blue Jays, whom the Yankees face this weekend), by the way.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (71-62) begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays (68-65) at Yankee Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., YES
A.J. Burnett
- RHP (16-9, 4.58 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano - RHP (1-0, 5.40 ERA)

Tomorrow - 1:05 p.m., YES
John Parrish
- LHP (1-0, 4.05 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner - RHP (5-9, 5.03 ERA)

Sunday - 1:05 p.m., YES
Roy Halladay
- RHP (16-9, 2.69 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte - LHP (13-10, 4.37 ERA)

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Yankees win against Papelbon

Well, there will only be one final Yankees/Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees did the right thing and won.

It was even sweet that Jason Giambi's bases-loaded single came against Jonathan Papelbon. He also tied the game in the seventh inning with a two-run home run. He didn't start the game against lefty Jon Lester, but he certainly had a presence.

This win probably won't matter in regards to the standings, but it's important historically. Hopefully the Yankees can win on Sept. 21 as well.

Mike Mussina restored order to the pitching staff, pitching seven innings and allowing two earned runs. He got a no-decision, however, and remains at 16 victories on the season.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Game 133 Preview: Red Sox at Yankees

Boston Red Sox (77-55)
New York Yankees (70-62)
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Johnny Damon CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Derek Jeter SS
David Ortiz DH
Bobby Abreu RF
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Bay LF
Xavier Nady LF
Mark Kotsay RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Jed Lowrie 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Alex Cora SS
Cody Ransom 1B
Jason Varitek C
Jose Molina C

Jon Lester (12-5, 3.49 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (16-7, 3.45 ERA)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Red Sox vs. Mussina
  • Ellsbury: 3-6
  • Pedroia: 8-16, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Ortiz: 14-59, 3 HR, 7 RBI
  • Youkilis: 6-21, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Bay: 3-7, 1 2B
  • Kotsay: 6-27, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Lowrie: No experience
  • Cora: 0-4
  • Varitek: 11-66, 1 HR, 3 RBI
Yankees vs. Lester
  • Damon: 5-10, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Jeter: 2-10, 1 RBI
  • Abreu: 3-10, 2 2B, 3 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 1-8, 1 2B
  • Nady: 0-5
  • Cano: 3-8, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Matsui: No experience
  • Ransom: No experience
  • Molina: 3-5
Notes: David Robertson was sent down in favor of Alfredo Aceves.

Alfredo Aceves called up

The Yankees have called up RHP Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this morning, according to Ed Price.

Aceves is 2-3 with a 4.12 ERA for Scranton, striking out 42 and walking 13 in 43 2/3 innings. He posted better numbers for Double-A Trenton, walking only six batters in 50 innings, but his last two starts have shown improvement.

This seems to me that the Yankees are trying to see what they have in their system, especially because Aceves was signed out of the Mexican League before the season. It should also be noted that both Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes were passed over.

No corresponding roster move has been announced.

What to watch for

Now that the season is essentially over, there are still Yankee-related items to pay attention to. Sports is still entertainment, right?

  • For starters (see what I did there?), Mike Mussina has 16 wins thus far. He has never won 20 games in his career and needs to get rid of at least one of the "almosts" in his career. He has two seasons of 19 wins and three seasons of 18 wins. Mussina will start tonight and should have six starts in September if the Yankees stay on normal rotation.
  • Derek Jeter has 2504 career hits, all obviously occurring in a Yankees uniform. The great Babe Ruth has 2518 career hits as a Yankee. Jeter has been rather hot lately, so look for him to pass Ruth soon.
  • Johnny Damon ranks sixth in the American League in batting average. He trails leader Milton Bradley by .010 points (.323 to .313).

  • Alex Rodriguez has 28 home runs and 79 RBI. He has not had a season under 35 home runs and 100 RBI since 1997 when he played in 141 games. Rodriguez spent time on the disabled list this season and can only play in 142 games this season, also his lowest number of games played since 1997.

  • This can be the last go-around for players such as Jason Giambi, Bobby Abreu, fan-favorite Carl Pavano and Andy Pettitte. All are free agents (Giambi has a $22 million option or a $5 million buyout and Pavano has a $13 million club option as part of their contracts) and I doubt the Yankees will bring any of them back. If they do re-sign Abreu or Pettitte, it will certainly be for much less, as both are making $16 million this season.
Did I forget anything? Are these stories compelling enough to keep you watching? Let's hear it in the comments.

The season that was not meant to be: Part One

For a team with a payroll over $200 million, many things have to go wrong for it to fail. By the Yankees standards, the 2008 season has been a catastrophic one. With 30 games remaining and a seemingly insurmountable seven-game wild-card deficit ahead of us, it's about time to, for lack of a better phrase, put a bow on this season.

In this part of the miniseries entitled, "The Season That Was Not Meant to be," I will focus on how injuries to the starting pitching staff, ineffectiveness of its replacements and false hope have let the team down.

Whether or not you feel that Chien-Ming Wang is an ace, it's obvious that the first hit to the Yankees' playoff chances occurred when he injured his foot on the Minute Maid Park basepaths. Wang had a rough stretch at the end of May and beginning of June, going 0-1 with an 8.75 ERA in four starts. However, the Yankees only lost one of those starts and despite that run, Wang was 6-2. He turned it around after pitching 7 1/3 solid innings against Oakland and was pitching a five-inning shutout in Houston before reaching base on a fielder's choice. His season would soon be over after injuring his foot behind third base and home.

After winning that game 13-0, the Yankees were 37-33. They were six games behind the first-place Boston Red Sox. They are now 10.5 games behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays and seven games behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild-card standings.

The next blow came on August 4 when Joba Chamberlain left in the middle of his start against the Texas Rangers with a right shoulder injury. Phil Hughes injured his hamstring in the middle of a no-hit bid in the same park one year earlier. The Yankees were 10 games above .500 after losing to Texas on that night, 5.5 games behind the frontrunning Rays. They have since lost five games in the standings.

The Yankees went into this season expecting big things about of so-called "Big 3." Hughes is 0-4 with a 9.00 ERA and hasn't pitched since April 29. Ian Kennedy is 0-4 with an 8.17 ERA and has made one start in the Majors since May 27. For those scoring at home, Carl Pavano has won more games than both Kennedy and Hughes combined.

Replacing Wang and Chamberlain has been a tough task. You know it'll be hard to win games when Darrell Rasner has started the third-most games for the Yankees this season. After starting his season off 3-1 with a 1.80 ERA, Rasner has since gone 2-8 with a 6.08 ERA. The Yankees are 5-10 in those starts.

Sidney Ponson was also picked up off the scrap heap. The Yankees are somehow 6-5 in his starts, despite having a 5.64 ERA in his time with the team. If only the other starters got that kind of run support we may not be having this conversation.

The point is that it's hard to be a consistent team when you only have one reliable starter. Mike Mussina is 16-7 this season while Andy Pettitte, who is getting paid $16 million to blow leads, has 10 losses and a 4.37 ERA.

There is still plenty of blame to go around, and I'll get to the offense next. But for now let's reflect on the starting pitching. What has been your biggest disappointment regarding the starters?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Good night

Watching Sidney Ponson pitch meaningful games at the end of the season is making me scratch my head as well.

The Yankees are now seven games behind the Boston Red Sox in the wild-card race with 30 games remaining.

Uh oh.

The way the Yankees have performed in these two games makes it seem like they have given up. The offense has done nothing against mediocre pitching, and the pitching has given up 18 runs to a Manny Ramirez-less Red Sox lineup.

I can't wait until this roster is cleaned up.

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Game 132 Preview: Red Sox at Yankees

Boston Red Sox (76-55)
New York Yankees (70-61)
Jacoby Ellsbury RF
Johnny Damon CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Derek Jeter SS
David Ortiz DH
Bobby Abreu RF
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Bay LF
Jason Giambi 1B
Jed Lowrie 3B
Xavier Nady LF
Jason Varitek C
Hideki Matsui DH
Alex Cora SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Coco Crisp CF
Ivan Rodriguez C

Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Red Sox vs. Ponson
  • Ellsbury: 1-2, 1 2B
  • Pedroia: 5-5, 3 2B, 1 RBI
  • Ortiz: 18-39, 4 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
  • Youkilis: 4-12, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Bay: 1-5
  • Lowrie: No experience
  • Varitek: 14-43, 5 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI
  • Cora: 3-8
  • Crisp: 4-8, 1 RBI
Yankees vs. Byrd
  • Damon: 18-52, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 9 RBI
  • Jeter: 29-77, 3 2B, 5 HR, 12 RBI
  • Abreu: 9-22, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 13-69, 6 HR, 18 RBI
  • Giambi: 17-40, 2 HR, 8 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Matsui: 9-27, 2 2B, 2 HR, 9 RBI
  • Cano: 2-7, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 9-29, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI

The fallout

Sounds about right.

New York Daily News

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Want a laugh?

After a game like this, I figured Yankees fans out there need something to laugh at. Well, here goes:

In 34 Triple-A at-bats, Melky Cabrera has 13 hits (.382 batting average).

He has also walked six times. In the Majors, he had six walks since June 24 before being demoted after the August 13 game.

I love A-Rod's OPS

One of the arguments that is used to defend Alex Rodriguez is that his OPS is near 1.000.

That's all well and good.

However, it means nothing when his OPS with runners in scoring position is about .200 points lower.

0-for-5, two double plays, two strike outs and seven runners left on base tonight. The distractions, the failures...is he really worth it? All will be forgiven when he drives in 140 runs next year, right?

The rest of the team cannot escape criticism, however. Jason Giambi and Andy Pettitte are just as guilty as Rodriguez is.

My one wish is that the Yankees don't tease us during the final stretch of the season, because I can't handle a let down.

Thanks for showing up, Andy

In a series where he's needed most, Andy Pettitte can't even make it out of the fifth inning in the opener.

Pettitte, a traditionally second-half pitcher has actually been worse since the All-Star break this season. At this point, I'd say, "Thanks for the memories, Andy. Good luck helping someone else next year."

Game 131 Preview: Red Sox at Yankees

Boston Red Sox (75-55)
New York Yankees (70-60)
Jacoby Ellsbury RF
Johnny Damon CF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Derek Jeter SS
David Ortiz DH
Bobby Abreu RF
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Bay LF
Jason Giambi 1B
Jed Lowrie SS
Xavier Nady LF
Coco Crisp CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Jeff Bailey 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Cash C
Jose Molina C

Tim Wakefield (7-8, 3.67 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte (13-9, 4.17 ERA)

Time: 7:05 p.m.
TV: MY9
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Red Sox vs. Pettitte
  • Ellsbury: 3-5, 1 2B, 3 RBI
  • Pedroia: 6-23, 1 2B, 5 RBI
  • Ortiz: 15-42, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Youkilis: 8-18, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Bay: 8-19, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Lowrie: 0-2
  • Crisp: 6-21
  • Bailey: No experience
  • Cash: 1-2
Yankees vs. Wakefield
  • Damon: 17-57, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 7 RBI
  • Jeter: 30-96, 2 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
  • Abreu: 7-25, 2 2B, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 21-73, 1 2B, 7 HR, 10 RBI
  • Giambi: 15-87, 4 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • Nady: 0-3, 1 RBI
  • Matsui: 7-45, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Cano: 11-33, 3 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 9 RBI
  • Molina: 2-12, 1 RBI

Red Sox make final trip to the Bronx

Barring an unforeseen playoff run by the Yankees, the Boston Red Sox will be making their final trip to the current Yankee Stadium.

Ed Price of The Star-Ledger has a nice look back at some of the major battles in the rivalry games held at the Stadium.

Hopefully the Yankees celebrate this occasion by sweeping them, but that may be too much to ask. I'll settle for two out of three, judging by the pitching matchups.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (70-60) begin a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox (75-55) at Yankee Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:05 p.m., MY9
Tim Wakefield - RHP (7-8, 3.67 ERA) vs. Andy Pettitte - LHP (13-9, 4.17 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:05 p.m., YES/ESPN
Paul Byrd
- RHP (8-11, 4.61 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson - RHP (3-3, 5.46 ERA as a Yankee)

Thursday - 1:05 p.m., YES
Jon Lester
- LHP (12-5, 3.49 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina - RHP (16-7, 3.45 ERA)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kennedy fans nine Bisons

Ian Kennedy pitched six innings for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight, striking out nine Buffalo Bisons while giving up two earned runs and four hits.

From Chad Jennings:

“I felt like I was pitching instead of just working on things,” Kennedy said. “But at the same time, I was throwing my curveball for strikes... It felt really good tonight. I didn't feel like I babied any of them in there. And I have to give credit to Stew (Chris Stewart) because he made me throw it in counts where it couldn't hurt me."
Well, he's certainly pitched better than Phil Hughes has. Both pitchers still have much to prove.

A look at the standings

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

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
79-50
--
Boston Red Sox
75-55
4.5
New York Yankees
70-60
9.5
Toronto Blue Jays
67-63
12.5
Baltimore Orioles
61-68
18.0

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
75-55
--
Minnesota Twins
74-56
1.0
New York Yankees
70-60
5.0
Toronto Blue Jays
67-63
8.0

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 4-2. They lost a half-game in the AL East standings and neither gained nor lost ground in the Wild Card standings.

Good morning

Today is my first day of classes, so posting should become more regular, ironically enough. I've been working at camp all summer and did not have access to a computer all morning and afternoon. Thanks for sticking around, and let's go Yankees!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sweep success

None of the games were pretty, but the Yankees beat up on a lowly opponent, sweeping the Baltimore Orioles in their own building. The game took over four hours and the Yankees had a 7-2 lead, but I'll take it.

The Yankees survived a shortened outing by Darrell Rasner. He threw 98 pitches while only recording 10 outs. David Robertson, Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras all struggled out of the bullpen, but Robinson Cano hit the go-ahead solo home run in the seventh inning.

Cano finished the day going 4-for-5 with two RBI. Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez and Xavier Nady also had multiple hits.

Despite allowing the game-tying home run in the fifth inning, Ramirez "earned" his fourth victory of the season. Mariano Rivera recorded four outs for his 31st save of the season.

Next up for New York is a three-game home series against the Boston Red Sox that begins on Tuesday. Hopefully the Yankees can carry the momentum gained from this sweep forward.

Add Darrell Rasner and Edwar Ramirez to the "garbage" list

Darrell Rasner and Edwar Ramirez can now be considered 2008 Yankees trash.

The fact that Rasner is pitching meaningful games for a $200+ million team is a flat-out embarrassment. While no one could have predicted the problems of Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy this season, the Yankees do not have viable replacements.

Signing a top-flight starting pitcher like CC Sabathia for next season should be the No. 1 priority for whomever is in charge.

Regarding Ramirez: it's hard to fool batters with a mediocre fastball.

Game 130 Preview: Yankees at Orioles

New York Yankees (69-60)
Baltimore Orioles (61-67)
Johnny Damon CF
Brian Roberts 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Markakis RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Melvin Mora 3B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Aubrey Huff DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Kevin Millar 1B
Xavier Nady LF
Lou Montanez LF
Hideki Matsui DH
Jay Payton CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Guillermo Quiroz C
Ivan Rodriguez C
Juan Castro SS

Darrell Rasner (5-9, 4.93 ERA) vs. Daniel Cabrera (8-8, 4.98 ERA)

Time: 1:35 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Cabrera
  • Damon: 6-31, 5 RBI
  • Jeter: 8-35, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 9-27, 2 2B, 2 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 13-34, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI
  • Giambi: 5-16, 12 BB
  • Nady: No experience
  • Matsui: 12-34, 1 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI
  • Cano: 6-31, 4 2B, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 5-13, 2 2B, 1 RBI
Orioles vs. Rasner
  • Roberts: 2-14
  • Markakis: 10-13, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Mora: 1-11, 1 RBI
  • Huff: 3-11, 1 2B
  • Millar: 6-12, 1 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Montanez: No experience
  • Payton: No experience
  • Quiroz: No experience
  • Castro: 0-2

Saturday, August 23, 2008

This is not an illusion

Carl Pavano actually pitched tonight, and actually got the win!

His line: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K

The only thing special about the outing was the fact that Pavano took the mound. But a win is a win and the Yankees have taken the first two games of this series in Baltimore. They'll go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:35.

(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

This is the problem with wasting Ponson's starts

Because then you get starts like this one tonight.

In a game where giving up one run pretty much guarantees a loss, Sidney Ponson gave up seven runs.

With 35 games remaining, it's getting late early.

Game 127 Preview: Yankees at Blue Jays

New York Yankees (67-59)
Toronto Blue Jays (65-61)
Johnny Damon CF
Joe Inglett 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Marco Scutaro 3B
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rios RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vernon Wells CF
Jason Giambi 1B
Adam Lind LF
Xavier Nady LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Hideki Matsui DH
Matt Stairs DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Rod Barajas C
Ivan Rodriguez C
John McDonald SS

Sidney Ponson (7-3, 4.19 ERA) vs. Roy Halladay (14-9, 2.64 ERA)

Time: 7:07 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Halladay
  • Damon: 24-73, 4 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Jeter: 19-72, 4 2B, 4 RBI
  • Abreu: 4-21, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: 16-55, 5 2B, 10 RBI
  • Giambi: 18-61, 3 HR, 8 RBI
  • Nady: 2-3
  • Matsui: 9-40, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Cano: 6-21, 2 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 10-26, 2 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI
Blue Jays vs. Ponson
  • Inglett: No experience
  • Scutaro: 1-3
  • Rios: 4-9, 2 RBI
  • Wells: 9-30, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Lind: No experience
  • Overbay: 2-3
  • Stairs: 9-24, 1 2B, 4 HR, 7 RBI
  • Barajas: 1-3, 1 2B
  • McDonald: 0-1

Pavano to start Saturday

So much for that stiff neck.

Carl Pavano will make his first major-league appearance since April 9, 2007 on Saturday against the Baltimore Orioles.

I will certainly be interested to see how he performs, and you can't blame the Yankees for trying to get whatever they can out of him. If he can somehow win a couple of games and help the Yankees get closer to playoff contention, it will somewhat ease the embarrassment of his four-year contract.

Five bucks he gets injured between now and Saturday night, however.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Game 126 Preview: Yankees at Blue Jays

New York Yankees (66-59)
Toronto Blue Jays (65-60)
Johnny Damon LF
David Eckstein 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Marco Scutaro 3B
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rios RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vernon Wells CF
Jason Giambi 1B
Adam Lind LF
Xavier Nady LF
Rod Barajas C
Hideki Matsui DH
Lyle Overbay 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Mench DH
Jose Molina C
John McDonald SS

Andy Pettitte (12-9, 4.30 ERA) vs. David Purcey (2-3, 5.93 ERA)

Time: 7:07 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Purcey
  • No Yankees in the starting lineup have experience against Purcey
Blue Jays vs. Pettitte
  • Eckstein: 10-44, 2 2B, 4 RBI
  • Scutaro: 1-6, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Rios: 4-13, 1 2B
  • Wells: 12-29, 4 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Lind: 2-4, 1 2B
  • Barajas: 1-8, 1 RBI
  • Overbay: 2-21
  • Mench: 8-19, 3 2B, 2 RBI
  • McDonald: 5-12, 2 2B, 2 RBI

And now a word from our sponsors: SportsBlogNet.com Launches into Beta

You may have noticed that various ads have appeared on the blog over the last few months. That's because I joined a blog network called Sports Blog Net. They have launched today and I've been asked to pass along this notice:

We just wanted to let our readers know that we are apart of a new Sports Blog Network at SportsBlogNet.com. SportsBlogNet.com is a site that feeds in over 50 great sports blogs and links back out to all of them. They drive traffic to our site and also sell ads for all the blogs in the network.

At SportsBlogNet.com you can:

Currently SportsBlogNet.com has approximately 56 blogs in the network with a reach of approximately 200,000 unique visitors per month which is growing daily. Check it out. They are interested in hearing your feedback.
They have also started Union, a general sports blog.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cue the jokes: Pavano has a stiff neck

Add this to the litany of injuries: Carl Pavano, who could have possibly started on Saturday, apparently has a stiff neck, according to George King.

I seriously wonder if he's simply afraid to pitch and is looking for excuses to sit out while still collecting the remainder of his $40 million contract. Between the bruised ass, the mysterious car accident, etc., it seems he has no motivation whatsoever.

Add this embarrassment to the failure of this organization since Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS.

Garbage

Your 2008 New York Yankees, ladies and gentlemen.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (66-58) begin a three-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays (64-60) at Rogers Centre tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 7:07 p.m., YES
Darrell Rasner
- RHP (5-9, 5.19 ERA) vs. A.J. Burnett - RHP (15-9, 4.67 ERA)

Tomorrow - 7:07 p.m., YES
Andy Pettitte
- LHP (12-9, 4.30 ERA) vs. David Purcey - LHP (2-3, 5.93 ERA)

Thursday - 7:07 p.m., YES
Sidney Ponson
- RHP (3-2, 4.50 ERA as a Yankee) vs. Roy Halladay - RHP (14-9, 2.64 ERA)

Matsui activated

As expected, Hideki Matsui was activated from the 15-day disabled list this afternoon.

Justin Christian, who pretty much sealed his fate after getting picked off first base in the ninth inning, was optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Matsui instantly helps the languishing offense. His numbers with runners in scoring position (.338/.449/.462) are well above the team's average of .260/.348/.387.

The Yankees have already said that Matsui will serve as the designated hitter for the remainder of the season, so the Yankees have decisions to make. The outfield is rather crowded, as Xavier Nady, Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner and Bobby Abreu need playing time. Gardner would figure to be the odd-man out, but he has five hits in his last 10 at-bats.

It's a good problem to have, however. Hopefully Joe Girardi pushes the right buttons.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A look at the standings

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

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
75-48
--
Boston Red Sox
71-53
4.5
New York Yankees
66-58
9.0
Toronto Blue Jays
64-60
11.5
Baltimore Orioles
60-63
15.0

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
71-53
--
Chicago White Sox
70-53
0.5
Minnesota Twins
70-53
0.5
New York Yankees
66-58
5.0
Toronto Blue Jays
64-60
7.0

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 3-3. They lost a half-game in the AL East standings and lost one game in the Wild Card standings.

Hughes struggles, Pavano improves

Both Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano started in the minors leagues and turned in mixed results.

Hughes started for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. He gave up five earned runs and eight hits in 3 2/3 innings. He struck out four, walked none and gave up one home run. He also threw 63 of his 91 pitches for strikes, but 91 pitches over 3 2/3 innings won't cut it in the majors.

From Chad Jennings:

“I threw too many pitches over the plate,” Hughes said. “That pretty much sums it up. I was decent, but I left too many fastballs over the plate and they jumped all over them... Physically I felt fine. A little bit of a dead arm, but you're going to go through those days when you don't have your best stuff. You just try to compete and unfortunately I wasn't able to do that today."
Jennings says that his velocity was down to 91-93 mph while it had been higher in previous minor-league starts. Jennings also has comments from catcher Chad Moeller, saying that Hughes lacked command of his secondary pitches in addition to his fastball.

If Hughes turned in a good start tonight, he could have been in line to start for the big club this weekend. But now I'm not so sure. If I were in charge, I'd like to see another minor-league start from Hughes.

Onto Pavano: After giving up seven hits and five runs in 4 1/3 innings on Tuesday, Pavano scattered six hits and one earned run over six innings tonight. He struck out six and walked one as well. I have no idea where his velocity was tonight, but his line does show that he was successful. If healthy he could be a major-league option as well. That would be something, huh?

Oh, by the way, Melky Cabrera went 1-for-1 with four walks and two runs scored in his first Triple-A game in two years. With New York this season, Cabrera has walked 29 times in 440 plate appearances. Since July 27, Cabrera has only walked twice in 133 plate appearances. And this is yet another reason to not take minor-league stats seriously.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Now that's more like it

It took the lowly Kansas City Royals and Brian Bannister to get the Yankees back on track, but I'll take any series win at this point in the season.

The Yankees scored 15 runs on 17 hits, four of which left the park. 10 of those runs were charged to Bannister who only recorded three outs.

It wasn't pretty for the Yankees in the top of the first inning. Mike Mussina gave up three runs and four hits and didn't look to remain in the game long enough to even think about earning his 16th victory of the season. Things changed for the better in the bottom half of the frame, as the Yankees scored six runs and were off. They would go on to score five more runs in the next two innings while Mussina retired the final 15 batters he faced after a single in the second inning.

In total, Mussina (16-7) gave up three runs over six innings (a quality start!), striking out five and walking none. Billy Traber and Chris Britton gave up three runs, but that's why they're pitching in blowouts and not close games.

Don't look now, but Derek Jeter is approaching the .300 mark. His 4-for-4 afternoon puts him at .295 on the season. Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-3 with a three-run home run and 5 RBI. Jason Giambi hit a second-inning grand slam, and Xavier Nady and even Cody Ransom hit long balls.

After an off day tomorrow, the Yankees will begin a three-game series in Toronto on Tuesday.

(AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Game 124 Preview: Royals at Yankees

Kansas City Royals (55-68)
New York Yankees (65-58)
David DeJesus CF
Johnny Damon DH
Mike Aviles SS
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teahen LF
Bobby Abreu RF
Jose Guillen RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Billy Butler DH
Jason Giambi 1B
Alex Gordon 3B
Xavier Nady LF
Ross Gload 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
John Buck C
Jose Molina C
Esteban German 2B
Brett Gardner CF

Brian Bannister (7-11, 5.36 ERA) vs. Mike Mussina (15-7, 3.30 ERA)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Royals vs. Mussina
  • DeJesus: 2-20
  • Aviles: 2-3, 1 2B
  • Teahen: 1-13
  • Guillen: 7-22, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Butler: 0-3
  • Gordon: 3-8, 1 2B
  • Gload: 6-10, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Buck: 1-13
  • German: 3-6
Yankees vs. Bannister
  • Damon: 6-7, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Jeter: 0-4
  • Abreu: 2-8, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: 3-6, 2 HR, 3 RBI
  • Giambi: 1-2, 1 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Cano: 2-7, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Molina: No experience
  • Gardner: No experience

Matsui to be activated on Tuesday?

iNewsday's Mark Hermann says that Hideki Matsui could be activated as early as Tuesday, according to Joe Girardi.

Matsui took 15 at-bats in a simulated game today and will fly to New York for further evaluation. If he passes all of his remaining tests, he will be activated.

Matsui would add a much-need boost to the struggling offense. When Matsui went on the disabled list, he was batting .323/.404/.458 with seven home runs and 34 RBI in 285 plate appearances.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Game 123 Preview: Royals at Yankees

Kansas City Royals (55-67)
New York Yankees (64-58)
David DeJesus LF
Johnny Damon DH
Mike Aviles SS
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teahen RF
Bobby Abreu RF
Jose Guillen DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Alex Gordon 3B
Jason Giambi 1B
Ross Gload 1B
Xavier Nady LF
Esteban German 2B
Robinson Cano 2B
John Buck C
Ivan Rodriguez 3B
Mitch Maier CF
Brett Gardner CF

Zack Greinke (9-8, 4.09 ERA) vs. Sidney Ponson (3-2, 4.72 ERA as a Yankee)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Royals vs. Ponson
  • DeJesus: 12-19, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Aviles: No experience
  • Teahen: 4-14, 2 2B, 4 RBI
  • Guillen: 8-35, 1 RBI
  • Gordon: 0-7
  • Gload: 1-9, 3 RBI
  • German: 1-3
  • Buck: 4-13, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Maier: No experience
Yankees vs. Greinke
  • Damon: 5-14, 2 2B, 1 3B, 2 RBI
  • Jeter: 4-15, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 3-11, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 7-17, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Giambi: 4-14, 3 HR, 7 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Cano: 4-11
  • Rodriguez: 10-24, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Gardner: No experience

This is getting ridiculous

The Yankees have lost each of Andy Pettitte's last four starts. Mariano Rivera predictably gave up the go-ahead run in another tie game. What looked to be one of Rivera's finest seasons has quickly become a disaster. He only has one blown save, but these runs in tie games can negate that statistic.

The Yankees have lost six of their last seven and are approaching the .500 mark again. With only about 40 games left this season, the Yankees can't afford to lose to bad teams, even though they have become a bad team themselves.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Melky optioned

Melky Cabrera was put out of his misery and optioned to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this afternoon. After getting off to a nice start this season, Cabrera's OPS is down to .633. With the way the offense has been performing lately, the Yankees couldn't afford to have him in the lineup everyday.

1B Richie Sexson was also released. He was 7-28 with one home run and six RBI as a Yankee.

Brett Gardner and Cody Ransom were called up from Triple-A to take their roster spots.

First-round pick Cole chooses not to sign

The Yankees first-round draft pick Gerrit Cole has chosen to go to college instead of signing with the Yankees, according to Tyler Kepner.

According to a person involved in the negotiations, the Yankees have learned that Cole intends to go to college, no matter what they offer. The person was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly before Friday’s deadline for teams to sign drafted players.

Cole is represented by the agent Scott Boras, who is known for asking for lucrative bonuses. But the Yankees have reached deals with first-round Boras clients the last two seasons, and the person said the failure to sign Cole had nothing to do with him.

Instead, Cole and his father had a change of heart and decided to go to college rather than negotiate with the Yankees.

“It was not a negotiating issue,” the person said. “It was not a number issue.”
The deadline for signing Cole is at noon today, so anything can happen between now and then. That said, things in the Yankees Universe have not been going well the last couple of years. This is just par for the course.

The Yankees will receive a compensatory pick in next year's draft if they are unable to sign Cole.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Loss ends ugly road trip

The Yankees lost 4-2 this afternoon after winning an extra-inning thriller last night.

They went 3-7 on their 10-game road trip that took them to Texas, Anaheim and Minnesota. In the seven games they lost, they held the lead at one point or another in five of those games.

That, folks, is a sign of a bad baseball team.

The Yankees are only seven games above .500 and will begin a three-game home series against Kansas City on Friday. They will then embark on a six-game road trip.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Hank speaks, blames injuries

Hank Steinbrenner decided to open his mouth for the first time in a while. In this article, he blames injuries for the team's lack of success recently.

“I’m not writing off this season,” the team’s co-chairman said Tuesday. “They’re trying hard to win. There’s only so much you can do. They’re not supermen.”

“I think it’s very simple, we’ve been devastated by injuries. No team I’ve ever seen in baseball has been decimated like this. It would kill any team,” Steinbrenner said. “Imagine the Red Sox without (Josh) Beckett and (Jon) Lester. Pitching is 70 percent of the game. Wang won 19 games two straight years. Chamberlain became the most dominating pitcher in baseball. You can’t lose two guys like that.”
Pitching is 70 percent of the game, the other half is offense.

Matsui to begin rehab Thursday

Hideki Matsui is set to begin a minor-league rehab assignment on Thursday, according to Ed Price.

He will either play for the GCL Yankees or Class-A Tampa depending on the weather.

If he can get through the rehab process without re-aggravating his knee injury, his return would be an obvious boost to the lineup.

He could slide into the designated hitter role, allowing the ineffective Melky Cabrera to be benched and either Xavier Nady or Johnny Damon to play center field, with the other playing left field.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Losing streak hits 4

Justin Christian was tonight's leadoff hitter, as the American League leader in batting average sat on the bench.

Johnny Damon bats .296 against lefties, by the way.

It's getting late early.

Game 119 Preview: Yankees at Twins

New York Yankees (63-55)
Minnesota Twins (65-52)
Justin Christian LF
Denard Span RF
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Punto 2B
Bobby Abreu RF
Joe Mauer C
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Justin Morneau 1B
Xavier Nady DH
Jason Kubel DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Delmon Young LF
Richie Sexson 1B
Brian Buscher 3B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Adam Everett SS
Melky Cabrera CF
Carlos Gomez CF

Sidney Ponson (3-1, 4.72 ERA as a Yankee) vs. Glen Perkins (8-3, 4.38 ERA)

Time: 8:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Perkins
  • Christian: 1-2, 1 2B, 2 RBI
  • Jeter: 2-6, 1 2B
  • Abreu: 2-4, 1 3B
  • Rodriguez: 3-6, 2 2B, 4 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Cano: 3-5
  • Sexson: 0-2, 1 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 2-6
  • Cabrera: 4-5, 2 RBI
Twins vs. Ponson
  • Span: 2-3, 1 3B
  • Punto: 2-8
  • Mauer: 4-13, 1 RBI
  • Morneau: 3-16, 2 RBI
  • Kubel: 3-10, 2 RBI
  • Young: 5-12, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Buscher: 1-3
  • Everett: 2-8, 1 3B
  • Gomez: 1-8, 1 2B, 1 RBI

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (63-55) begin a three-game series against the Minnesota Twins (65-52) at the Metrodome tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 8:10 p.m., YES
Sidney Ponson
- RHP (3-1, 4.72 ERA as a Yankee) vs. Glen Perkins - LHP (8-3, 4.38 ERA)

Tomorrow - 8:10 p.m., YES
Mike Mussina
- RHP (15-7, 3.27 ERA) vs. Nate Blackburn - RHP (9-6, 3.60 ERA)

Wednesday - 1:10 p.m., YES
Darrell Rasner
- RHP (5-8, 5.28 ERA) vs. Kevin Slowey - RHP (8-8, 4.07 ERA)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

A look at the standings

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

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
71-46
--
Boston Red Sox
67-51
4.5
New York Yankees
63-55
8.5
Toronto Blue Jays
59-59
12.5
Baltimore Orioles
56-60
14.5

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
67-51
--
Minnesota Twins
65-52
1.5
New York Yankees
63-55
4.0
Texas Rangers
61-58
6.5

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 2-5. They lose three games in the AL East standings and lost 1.5 games in the Wild Card standings.

Sweep city

After winning eight games in a row start to begin the second half of the season, the Yankees are 5-10 in their last 15 games.

Damaso Marte picked a bad time to walk a batter and, for whatever reason, Wilson Betemit and Robinson Cano barely moved on the ground ball that eventually ended the game.

With the pitching staff in shambles, things aren't looking good. It may be time to start making plans for 2009 sooner rather than later.

Brian Cashman can start by getting rid of Betemit and not re-signing Bobby Abreu.

Kennedy optioned

The Yankees have optioned Ian Kennedy to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and have called up LHP Billy Traber, according to Peter Abraham.

Kennedy was sent down with instructions to work on his pitching, not work on throwing seven shutout innings. He has proven he can win in the International League. He need to work on specific things now like his two-seamer and curveball.
Kennedy looked lost on Friday night, so this is the right move no matter who they called up.

It really makes you wonder what they're teaching these "prospects" in the minor leagues. Hopefully they've realized what's wrong with Kennedy and can fix him because with each bad start, he is looking like a AAAA pitcher.

Game 117 Preview: Yankees at Angels

New York Yankees (63-54)
Los Angeles Angels (73-43)
Johnny Damon DH
Chone Figgins 3B
Derek Jeter SS
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vladimir Guerrero RF
Xavier Nady LF
Torii Hunter DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Garret Anderson LF
Richie Sexson 1B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Justin Christian CF
Gary Matthews Jr. CF
Jose Molina C
Mike Napoli C

Andy Pettitte (12-9, 4.34 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders (14-5, 3.03 ERA)

Time: 3:35 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Saunders
  • Damon: 1-4, 1 2B
  • Jeter: 2-5, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Abreu: 2-4
  • Rodriguez: 2-5
  • Nady: 0-3
  • Cano: 1-2, 2 RBI
  • Sexson: 4-12, 3 HR, 5 RBI
  • Christian: No experience
  • Molina: No experience
Angels vs. Pettitte
  • Figgins: 4-7, 2 RBI
  • Aybar: 0-3
  • Teixeira: 10-21, 3 2B, 1 RBI
  • Guerrero: 4-14, 2 2B
  • Hunter: 6-25, 1 2B, 1 HR, 9 RBI
  • Anderson: 29-74, 2 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI
  • Kendrick: 3-6
  • Matthews Jr.: 5-16, 3 2B, 2 RBI
  • Napoli: No experience

Saturday, August 9, 2008

I almost wish Giese got bombed

Dan Giese pitched a great six innings, leaving with a 2-1 lead. After the Yankees tacked on another run, it looked like smooth sailing.

Not so fast.

Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez have turned into Kyle Farnsworth Pt. 2 in the seventh and eighth innings, snatching defeat from the hands of victory.

As I've said with Sidney Ponson in the past, starts like these from Giese will most likely be few and far between, so it's best to take advantage of the good starts if and when you get them. Apparently the Yankees didn't get the memo.

It's looking more and more like no playoffs for this squad.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Kennedy makes Yankees fans look stupid

Wow, what a gutless performance by Ian Kennedy.

Instead of making opposing hitters look stupid, Kennedy made Yankees fans and the front office look stupid by believing he can contribute.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (63-52) begin a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (71-43) at Angel Stadium tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 10:05 p.m., YES
Ian Kennedy
- RHP (0-3, 7.41 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver - RHP (9-9, 4.37 ERA)

Tomorrow - 3:55 p.m., Fox
Dan Giese
- RHP (1-3, 2.51 ERA) vs. John Lackey - RHP (9-2, 3.10 ERA)

Sunday - 3:35 p.m., YES
Andy Pettitte
- LHP (12-9, 4.34 ERA) vs. Joe Saunders - RHP (14-5, 3.03 ERA)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Moose huge again

Every time Mike Mussina wins a game, I feel like typing, "Can you believe Mussina won his Xth game?"

Now that we're in the dog days of August and Mussina has continued to pitch well, it's become the norm.

Mussina scattered eight hits over seven shutout innings to win his 15th game of the season. He also lowered his ERA to 3.27 in the process.

Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano both went 3-for-4. Jeter hit a first inning home run and drove in two runs. On the negative side, Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-4 to finish up an 0-for-14 series against his former team.

Also of note: Melky Cabrera didn't start any of the four games this series. This will be something to keep an eye on as the rest of the season progresses.

The Yankees will travel to Anaheim to play three games against the Angles starting tomorrow night.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Updates on the rehabbers

Phil Hughes started for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre tonight. He allowed an earned run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out two and walked two as well.

Via Dan Graziano, here is what a scout on hand had to say:

A scout who's here tonight said the scoreboard radar gun at this park can fluctuate unreliably. According to this guy's gun, Hughes' fastball was in the 94-95 mph range in the first three innings and then in the 91-93 range thereafter. The scout also said Hughes' curveball looked good, and that his slider sometimes looked a little more like a cutter, which he speculated was probably unintentional and a result of rust.
Hughes threw 68 pitches (40 strikes) so he'll have to extend himself a little further before he can rejoin the Yankees.

Carl Pavano was also rehabbing tonight, making a start for Double-A Trenton. In 3 2/3 innings, Pavano allowed only one hit and no runs while striking out four and walking two.

Source: Pettitte may miss next start

Mark Feinsand is the bearer of bad news (but don't shoot the messenger!).

Feinsand, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, is reporting that Andy Pettitte has been experiencing left arm stiffness and may have to miss his scheduled start on Sunday.

This could explain why Pettitte has given up 14 earned runs in his last two starts (10 1/3 innings).

After getting off to a hot start right after the All-Star Break, the Yankees have been a disaster. If this injury turns out to be serious or if Joba Chamberlain's shoulder injury is more than the Yankees have led on, it'll be time to starting thinking about 2009.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Joba has rotator cuff tendinitis

Joba Chamberlain has been diagnosed with rotator cuff tendinitis and will rest for at least a week before throwing again. He has been placed on the 15-day disabled list, with Chris Britton taking his spot on the active roster.

Ian Kennedy is expected to take Chamberlain's place on Friday.

As a result of this injury, all three members of the so-called "Big 3" have spent at least some time on the disabled list.

It will be interesting to see how careful the Yankees are with Chamberlain's shoulder. He means a lot to the team this season, but he means even more to the team in the future.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Game 113 Preview: Yankees at Rangers

New York Yankees (61-51)
Texas Rangers (59-54)
Johnny Damon LF
Ian Kinsler 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Gerald Laird C
Bobby Abreu RF
Michael Young SS
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Josh Hamilton DH
Xavier Nady DH
Marlon Byrd CF
Robinson Cano 2B
David Murphy RF
Richie Sexson 1B
Brandon Boggs LF
Jose Molina C
Chris Davis 1B
Justin Christian CF
Travis Metcalf 3B

Andy Pettitte (12-8, 4.18 ERA) vs. Matt Harrison (2-2, 7.40 ERA)

Time: 8:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Harrison
  • No Yankees have experience against Harrison
Rangers vs. Pettitte
  • Kinsler: 2-6, 1 2B
  • Laird: 2-7, 1 2B, 1 RBI
  • Young: 6-21, 2 2B, 5 RBI
  • Hamilton: No experience
  • Byrd: 2-4, 1 3B, 1 HR, 1 RBI
  • Murphy: No experience
  • Boggs: No experience
  • Davis: No experience
  • Metcalf: No experience

Joba to see Dr. Andrews

Uh oh, that's never a good thing.

Joba Chamberlain had his MRI done today and will take those results with him to Alabama for a visit with Dr. James Andrews.

It is not known what the MRI revealed.

Giambi takes a seat

I caught my first glimpse of the lineup tonight and noticed that Jason Giambi is sitting against the lefty Matt Harrison. Who?

Harrison has had five career starts and lefties are batting a cool .500 against him.

Meanwhile, Giambi went 3-for-4 with a home run and two RBI last night. This snapped a 27-game long slump that saw his batting average fall from .268 to .249.

This season, Giambi is hitting .247/.402/.517 against lefties. That isn't far off from his numbers against righties: .259/.386/.509. In fact, his OBP and SLG are both higher when he is facing southpaws.

A bottom of the order comprised of Richie Sexson, Jose Molina and Justin Christian will surely terrify young Harrison.

Girardi on Joba

On the YES postgame show, Joe Girardi said that he's not concerned about Joba Chamberlain. He will fly back to New York tomorrow for tests, so we'll know more then. His status for his next start is up in the air.

This is good news, for now, but I'm reserving judgment until the tests come back. If the tests do show something serious, that would quite probably put the final nail in the 2008 coffin.

Monday, August 4, 2008

One Pirate helps, the other hurts

Xavier Nady tied the game with his fourth home run as a Yankee in the eighth.

On the other side of the ball, Damaso Marte walked three in the ninth inning leading up to a walk-off grand slam to Marlon Byrd. Why was Joe Girardi sitting on his hands, allowing Marte to walk the ballpark?

And I thought it couldn't get worse after watching the second Yankee pitcher in two years to leave the Texas mound due to injury.

What a terrible night to be a Yankee fan.

Oh, by the way, the Red Sox and Rays both lost, so tonight would have been a great opportunity to gain some ground.

Joba leaves with apparent shoulder injury

There's something about Rangers Ballpark. Phil Hughes severely injured his hamstring in the middle of a no-hit bid last season, and now phenom Joba Chamberlain left the game after pitching 4 2/3 innings tonight.

He pointed to his right shoulder, his throwing shoulder, during the mound visit.

Hopefully this is nothing serious, but it's never good if the shoulder is involved. I'll update more when I hear anything.

Update - 10:45 p.m.: It was just announced that Chamberlain has a "stiff right shoulder." That's all we have for now. I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure that's not good news.

Stacheless

It will be missed.

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Game 112 Preview: Yankees at Rangers

New York Yankees (61-50) Texas Rangers (58-54)
Johnny Damon DH
Ian Kinsler 2B
Derek Jeter SS
Gerald Laird C
Bobby Abreu RF
Michael Young SS
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Josh Hamilton CF
Jason Giambi 1B
Marlon Byrd RF
Xavier Nady LF
David Murphy LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Chris Davis 1B
Ivan Rodriguez C
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Justin Christian CF
Ramon Vazquez 3B

Joba Chamberlain (4-3, 2.24 ERA) vs. Vicente Padilla (12-5, 4.52 ERA)

Time: 8:05 p.m.
TV: YES
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Yankees vs. Padilla
  • Damon: 2-8, 1 RBI
  • Jeter: 1-5, 1 RBI
  • Abreu: No experience
  • Rodriguez: 2-7, 1 HR, 7 RBI
  • Giambi: 0-4, 1 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Cano: 2-5
  • Rodriguez: 5-20, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI
  • Christian: No experience
Rangers vs. Chamberlain
  • Kinsler: 1-2
  • Laird: No experience
  • Young: 1-3
  • Hamilton: 0-1
  • Byrd: 0-1
  • Murphy: 0-1
  • Davis: 1-2, 1 RBI
  • Saltalamacchia: 1-2, 1 RBI
  • Vazquez: No experience

Giese to start on Friday

Dan Giese will take Darrell Rasner's turn in the rotation on Friday, according to Ed Price. Rasner will move to the bullpen as a result.

Rasner is 2-8 with a 6.22 ERA in his last 12 starts, so a change was necessary. I wanted it to be Ian Kennedy, but Giese has been great save for one appearance (ironically enough, his only other start this season).

Hopefully his second start will be better than his first.

Melky takes a seat

Just had a chance to look at the lineup for the first time tonight, and there was a glaring omission. Melky Cabrera is absent from his usual center field spot, with one of the heroes from yesterday, Justin Christian, getting the starting nod in his place.

Frankly, it's about time. Cabrera's OBP went under .300 after yesterday's game for the first time this season and his OPS is a staggeringly terrible .638. Let's put it this way: Darrell Rasner has a higher OPS than Cabrera does.

What happened to the Cabrera who hit five home runs and drove in 12 runs in April? He looked like he was headed for his best offensive season yet. Instead, he's headed for his worst.

He will turn 24 in a week, but he has been around for three full seasons already. When will the "he's young" excuse not be enough anymore?

It's a shame Brett Gardner couldn't hit when he was up here. He'd fit like a glove.

Nady awarded for outstanding play

Xavier Nady was named American League co-Player of the Week, along with Kansas City's Mike Aviles, in his first full week as a New York Yankee.

After going 0-for-7 in his first two games as a Yankee, Nady went on a tear, going 10-for-19 with three home runs and 10 RBI.

According to the article, Nady, while a member of the Pirates, won National League Play of the Week for the first week of the season.

Nady has put together a nice little season thus far. Between his two teams, he is batting .334/.390/.558 with 16 home runs and 67 RBI.

The series ahead

The New York Yankees (61-50) will begin a four-game series against the Texas Rangers (58-54) at Rangers Ballpark tonight. The pitching matchups are:

Tonight - 8:05 p.m., YES
Joba Chamberlain
- RHP (4-3, 2.24 ERA) vs. Vicente Padilla - RHP (12-5, 4.52 ERA)

Tomorrow - 8:05 p.m., YES
Andy Pettitte
- LHP (12-8, 4.18 ERA) vs. Matt Harrison - LHP (2-2, 7.40 ERA)

Wednesday - 8:05 p.m., YES/ESPN
Sidney Ponson
- RHP (2-1, 4.81 ERA as a Yankee) vs. Tommy Hunter - RHP (0-0, 10.80 ERA)

Thursday - 8:05 p.m., YES
Mike Mussina
- RHP (14-7, 3.44 ERA) vs. Scott Feldman - RHP (4-4, 4.97 ERA)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

A look at the standings

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

AL East

Tampa Bay Rays
66-44
--
Boston Red Sox
64-48
3.0
New York Yankees
61-50
5.5
Toronto Blue Jays
55-55
11.0
Baltimore Orioles
53-57
13.0

Wild Card
Boston Red Sox
64-48
--
Chicago White Sox
61-49
2.0
New York Yankees
61-50
2.5

Since the last look at the standings, the Yankees went 3-4. They lost 2.5 games in the AL East standings and lost a half-game in the Wild Card standings.

Kennedy has earned a trip back to the bigs

Joe Girardi made it clear that a roster spot was not reserved for Ian Kennedy when he was finished rehabbing his injury - he would have to earn his way back to the big club.

Kennedy has since made seven appearances for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including one this afternoon. He went seven innings, allowing six hits and two earned runs while striking out six and throwing almost 70 percent of his pitches for strikes.

In those seven games for Scranton, Kennedy has pitched 38 innings and has allowed 11 earned runs (2.61 ERA). He has also walked 13 and struck out 30 over that time. However, he has walked five over his last 27 innings pitched.

His performance, as well as Darrell Rasner's ineffectiveness, should give the Yankees cause to make a change.

Since going 3-0 in his first three starts, Rasner is 2-8 in 12 starts (63 2/3 innings). That equates to a 6.22 ERA. The Yankees are 4-8 during these 12 starts as well.

Who knows if Kennedy will be any better, but it's time to give him a shot. We know what to expect from Rasner, but Kennedy was once a top prospect so he has some potential.

The two pitchers are on the same schedule, so the transition would be seamless. Since Dan Giese has seemed to embrace the long-relief role, Rasner could be optioned to Triple-A and return to the team when the rosters expand on Sept. 1.


What do you guys think? Has Kennedy officially earned his way back?

Old friend Farnsworth implodes

Kyle Farnsworth made his second appearance as a Tiger this afternoon against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it wasn't a pretty one.

He entered the game with a 3-1 lead in the eighth. When he left, it was a 4-3 deficit. In his one inning of work, he gave up three hits (two home runs) and three earned runs. The two home runs were his 12th and 13th allowed this season.

Meanwhile, Ivan Rodriguez is 3-for-9 with a home run and an RBI in three games as a Yankee.

The Tigers would go on to lose the game, meaning the Yankees remain six games behind Tampa Bay in the loss column.

(AP Photo/Steve Nesius)

Angels give game away

Despite Edwar Ramirez almost ruining a five-run comeback by himself Sunday afternoon, the Angels committed four errors en route to a 14-9 defeat.

The Yankees were trailing 5-0, but were able to score four runs against John Lackey in the fifth and sixth innings. After he exited, the Yankees scored four more to take an 8-5 going to the top of the eighth inning.

After getting two quick outs, Ramirez gave up a single sandwiched around two walks. He then gave up a grand slam to Mark Teixeira to give the Angels a 9-8 lead.

Things looked grim. However, Ivan Rodriguez led off the eighth with a single. Eventually, the Yankees would score six runs to give them their total of 14. However, the inning could've ended tied 9-9 if Chone Figgins was able to handle a sure double play ball off the bat of Alex Rodriguez.

Bobby Abreu continued his hot hitting, going 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Xavier Nady went 4-for-5 with a home run and six RBI.

Robinson Cano, nursing a sore left hand, came in for defense and went 1-for-1 with two RBI and a run scored.

Yankees pitchers weren't great, as you can tell by the score. Darrell Rasner only lasted four innings, and the Yankees walked seven Angels overall. Dan Giese was able to keep the score 5-0, as he pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only one hit.

The Yankees were able to split the four-game series despite losing the first two games. They will travel to Texas for four more starting tomorrow night.

Embarrassing inning

The bottom of the fourth inning this afternoon pretty much epitomized the 2008 Yankees thus far.

Here's the scene:

Trailing 5-0, Derek Jeter lead off with a walk. Bobby Abreu then scolded a single to right-center, allowing Jeter to take third. Alex Rodriguez was up next. He smacked the first pitch down the left field line, but it twisted foul. He eventually struck out swinging on three pitches.

After that, Jason Giambi walked on four pitches to load the bases with one out. Xavier Nady hit a deep enough fly ball to left fielder Garret Anderson. Jeter tagged, and while he was about to score, Abreu inexplicably tried to take third and was tagged out before Jeter could score.

Let me go back to the Rodriguez at-bat first. The announcers were saying how Rodriguez should look small in his situation, and just try to keep the line moving. Instead, he looked for the three-run home run and struck out to end a quick at-bat. It's time like these where it's hard to embrace Rodriguez. His numbers with runners in scoring position have been awful this season, especially when compared to last year's efforts.

Abreu's blunder is huge given the score and how the Yankees have played over their last eight games.

Game 111 Preview: Angels at Yankees

Los Angeles Angels (69-41)
New York Yankees (60-50)
Chone Figgins 3B
Johnny Damon DH
Erick Aybar SS
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Bobby Abreu RF
Garret Anderson LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Howie Kendrick 2B
Jason Giambi 1B
Juan Rivera DH
Xavier Nady LF
Gary Matthews Jr. CF
Wilson Betemit 2B
Jeff Mathis C
Ivan Rodriguez C
Reggie Willits RF
Melky Cabrera CF

John Lackey (9-2, 2.93 ERA) vs. Darrell Rasner (5-8, 4.92 ERA)

Time: 1:05 p.m.
TV: YES, TBS
Radio: WCBS-AM 880, XM Radio Channel 176

Angels vs. Rasner
  • No Angels except Torii Hunter (who is away from the team) have experience against Rasner
Yankees vs. Lackey
  • Damon: 13-41, 2 2B, 3 RBI
  • Jeter: 11-36, 6 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI
  • Abreu: 3-18, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI
  • Rodriguez: 8-42, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 5 RBI
  • Giambi: 12-30, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI
  • Nady: No experience
  • Betemit: 1-5, 1 2B
  • Rodriguez: 3-18, 1 2B
  • Cabrera: 6-17, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Pregame concerns: Robinson Cano is still out with the sore hand. Kat O'Brien says Cano will try to swing tomorrow in Texas.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Mussina helps Yankees bounce back

The Yankees had lost five of their last six before Mike Mussina shut down the Los Angeles Angels this afternoon on the last Old-Timers' Day in the current Stadium.

It didn't look good after 1 1/2 innings today, as Mussina fell behind 2-0 and had a relatively high pitch count. Everything seemed to change when Wilson Betemit hit a game-tying two-run home run off of Jered Weaver in the bottom of the second.

They would score two more in the third, including a Bobby Abreu solo home run, and that would be more than enough for Mussina.

He gave up two hits (both in the second inning) over seven innings while striking out five and walking two. He also retired the last 16 batters he faced. He is now 14-7 and has a 3.44 ERA after 23 starts this season.

In addition to Abreu's home run, Alex Rodriguez and Jose Molina (his first of the season) added solo home runs as well. Starting for the first time since the Yankees acquired Ivan Rodriguez, Molina went 3-for-3.

Darrell Rasner takes the hill for New York tomorrow afternoon as the Yankees look to split the four-game series against Los Angeles. John Lackey will oppose him.

(AP Photo/Ed Betz)