Scattered thoughts after a walk off victory

As you know, last night the Yankees defeated the White Sox by the score of 5-2. Here is how it all went down. Derek Jeter homered to lead off the game, and Johnny Damon hit a home run in the 3rd inning to put the Yankees up 2-0. CC Sabathia pitched shut out the White Sox through 6 innings, though he ran into some trouble in the 7th as he allowed two runs. Luckily for the Yankees, Nick Swisher preserved the tie game in the 7th by throwing Ramon Castro out at the plate to end the inning. Phil Hughes (finally) came in to pitch the 8th, and he struck out the side. Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th, and the game went into the bottom of the ninth. At this time many Yankee fans were starting to smell a walk off, but the Yankees were unable to score in the 9th so the game went to extra innings. Brian Bruney who pitched a scoreless 10th. And then in the bottom of the 10th Robinson Cano hit a shot to the Yankees bullpen in right-center to give the Yankees the Yankees the win, and to put everybody but the White Sox into celebration mode.

Notes

Change of plans

The whole plan of giving Joba Chamberlain extra rest between starts to limit his innings limit has been scratched in favor of another plan. Now the Yankees plan to have Jobapitch every 5 days, but they will limit his innings. This means that we will see a lot of 5 or less inning starts, which the Yankees will be able to deal with because they can call up several bullpen arms to back up Joba once the rosters expand on September 1st. While I like the idea of getting Joba back in a starter’s regular routine, this plan only makes sense if the Yankees plan on starting him off a starts of say 4 innings and building up to starts of about 7 innings come playoff time, and I’m pretty sure this is the Yankees plan.

Brian Cashman throws a wrench in the Red Sox plans

Earlier this week when the Red Soxworked out a trade with the Metsto bring Billy Wagner to Boston, Chris Carter (current with the Red Sox AAA affiliate) was set to go to the Mets. However, in order for the Red Sox to be able to trade Carter to the Mets, Carter would first need to clear waivers, so Carter was publicly named as a player to be named later so that no teams (other than the Mets and the Red Sox themselves) would know that the Red Sox wanted to trade him and he would easily clear waivers. However, Brian Cashman realized that the Red Sox wanted to trade Carter and claimed him off waivers. The Red Sox immediately pulled Carter back for obvious reasons (why would they want to give a young player to their rivals & the Mets would be pretty upset if the Red Sox gave the player they wanted away to another team). The problem for the Red Soxnow is that they are stuck with Chris Carter for the rest of the season, and they have to use a 40 man spot on him, wasting a spot that the they wanted to use on another player such as Paul Byrd. I mention Paul Byrd because the Yankees had interest in him earlier this year, but Byrd wanted a guaranteed 40 man spot when rosters expand in September, and the Yankees were unwilling to meet his demands. If Byrd was asking for the guaranteed 40 man team from all teams that wanted to sign him, then the Red Sox have to call him up on September 1st, and are now short a 40 man spot because of Chris Carter. See it all comes together. Just another case of Brian Cashman making life hard for the Red Sox.

Evil Cashman 

Game 127: Rangers at Yankees

Last night Andy Pettitte and the Yankees defeated the Rangers by the score of 9-2, but don’t be deceived, it wasn’t a one-sided game, until the bottom of the 7th when the Yankees scored 5 runs, it was a 4-2 ballgame. Andy Pettitte was strong through 7 innings allowing only 2 runs and striking out 7, and Brian Bruney and Phil Coke came in the finish off the game. Today the Yankees have a quick turn-around as they play a day game. Here is the starting lineup:

SS Derek Jeter

LFJohnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

C Jose Molina

And on the mound, AJ Burnett

Injury Updates

  • Alex Rodriguez – Obviously he is okay as he is in the starting lineup, but as you may know he fouled a pitch off his left foot last night during the 8th inning and left the game in the 9th. However, he is okay, he just has a bruised foot.
  • Jorge Posada – In the 8th inning last night Posada was hit in the left ring finger by a foul ball, and immediately left the game. Supposedly, this re-aggravated an injury he suffered a couple weeks ago. Posada underwent x-rays which were negative, and he is day-to-day. Look for him to get a few days off since the Yankees have a 6 game lead and probably don’t want to risk further injuring Posada.

Is Phil Hughes still with the Yankees?

So far this month(which is now 26 days old) Phil Hughes has pitched a whopping 8 innings. I don’t really understand why the Yankees aren’t using him, but his innings limit is not the problem (he has plenty of innings left since the Yankees moved him to the bullpen). I understand the Yankees want to be careful with him, and they might not want to use him in unnecessary situations, but they have to if they want to keep  him loose and ready to pitch in a big spot.

Yankees lose a winnable game

Last night the Yankees lost to the Rangers by the score of 10-9. I happened to be at Yankee Stadium to witness the loss. For the most part, the game was not that enjoyable to watch, Joba was dreadful, and the Yankees let Kevin Millwood get away after scoring 4 runs against him in the 1st inning. But in the 9th inning, with the Yankees down 10-5, things got interesting. The Yankees brought the game to 10-9 and still had no outs and men on 1st and 2nd, but from there the rally died. Nick Swisher popped out on a questionable bunt attempt (River Avenue Blues has an interesting post about the bunt, and bunting in general), and then Melky hit a line drive to the Rangers’ shortstop and Jerry Hairston Jr. was doubled up at 2nd to end the game.

Quick Stadium Review

  • Last night was the first game at the stadium that I have been to since earlier in the season, and from the looks of it, the new Yankee Stadium is really the Yankees home now, instead of just an attractive new ballpark.
  • In the 9th inning during the Yankees rally, the stadium much louder than I’ve heard it all season (despite the fact that several fans had left). And I was at the game where Melky Cabrera got a walk off base hit against the Phillies, the stadium got load then, but not as loud as last night.
  • I finally got to visit the new Monument Park, and while it was very nice, I still don’t like how it is covered up by the Mohegan Sun sports bar.
The view from my seat.

The view from my seat.

Game 124: Yankees at Red Sox

Tonight’s game is the final game of this series, and happens to be a rubber match. All I can hope for is that tonight’s game is better than yesterday’s game. Here is the starting lineup via Peter Abraham:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon – After the way Damon has played left field this year, I shouldn’t be happy to see him out there, but I am because he is still better than Eric Hinske

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

C Jose Molina

And on the mound, CC Sabathia

“Why can’t we be friends?”

In yesterday’s game it was pretty clear that AJ Burnett and Jorge Posada where not on the same page. Peter Abraham seems to think the blame should go to Burnett, while I disagree, here is what Pete Abe had to say:

By no means do I think Posada and Burnett work particularly well together because they don’t. But when asked about pitch selection, Posada put it well.

“I just make suggestions,” he said. “It’s up to the pitcher to throw the pitch he wants. He’s the guy in charge.”

Look at Burnett’s history. This is a stubborn guy who tends to blow up at times and let games get away from him. That is who he is. He kept saying after the game how good he thought his curveball was. From what I saw, the Red Sox were hammering that pitch, just like they have all season.

Burnett’s a two-pitch guy with an occasional change-up. It’s not like any catcher has a lot to pick from.

Burnett may be a stubborn guy, but that is a good thing because you don’t want an indecisive pitcher on the mound for you. Posada on the other hand, can not be stubborn, which I think he is. If Burnett has his mind made up on a curveball, and Posada calls for a fastball and convinces Burnett to throw a fastball, Burnett is not going to throw that fastball with great confidence, which usually means it won’t be a good pitch. Obviously something needs to be fixed between these two guys. If I were Girardi, I would have them both sit down and discuss a game plan for how they are going to work together in the future, and Burnett should be in charge. The last thing Yankee fans want to see is Jose Molina catching game 2 of a playoff series because Burnett and Posada don’t get along. How do you feel about this? Do you think it is Burnett’s fault, Posada’s fault, or both? Please comment.

Comedic relief

An old friend gets another chance

Former Yankee Jason Giambi was recently inked by the Colorado Rockies after being released by the A’s earlier this month. Giambi was having an awful season in Oakland, and hasn’t played since July 19th, however his agent claims that “Jason is 100 percent healthy and definitely plans to continue playing.” Giambi will play for the Rockies Triple-A affiliate until September 1st when rosters expand. While Giambi will not be playing regularly with Colorado, he could get some meaningful pinch hit at bats during the remainder of the season, and the postseason if the Rockies make it. Good luck Jason.

Who could forget that mustache? Look even Johnny Damon was sporting one.

Who could forget that mustache? Look even Johnny Damon was sporting one.

A game to forget

Today the Yankees lost to the Red Sox by the score of 14-1. In my mind, this game didn’t happen, and that’s the best way for me to forget a game. Tomorrow the Yankees will go out and play a completely new ballgame. Hopefully, today’s game will be completely off their minds by then. Feel free to discuss whatever you want in the comments section, anything to get your mind off today’s game if necessary.

The sun will come out tomorrow.

The sun will come out tomorrow.

By the way, some websites are getting some ridiculous comments about how A.J. Burnett is a loser and how they would prefer to have Sergio Mitre pitch game 2 of a playoffs series of Burnett, and so on. If you have any comments to make like these , please take them elsewhere. But, I know the regular readers of this blog are rational and wouldn’t make comments like that, so please don’t be offended if you are one of the regular readers.

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Game 122: Yankees at Red Sox

2 weeks ago the Yankees began a 4 game series against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium with a small 2.5 game lead in the AL East, we all know how that ended. Tonight the Yankees begin a 3 game series against the Red Sox in Boston, but instead of a 2.5 game lead, the Yankees hold a 6.5 game lead.While no Yankee team has missed out on the playoffs with a lead this big, this late into the season, I don’t consider any lead safe in the monstrous AL East. Still, the Yankees are in a great position, and no matter what happens in this series, the Yankees will still walk away in first place. I think the best way to get my point across is through a famous Yogi-ism, “It ain’t over till it’s over.” I digress, here is tonight’s starting lineup via Peter Abraham:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

And on the mound, Andy Pettitte

Damaso who?

Yep, that’s right Damaso Marte has been recalled. I don’t expect you to remember the last time he pitched in a major league uniform (which happened to be April 25th in Boston), but you might remember that he recently reached the rehab deadline of 30 days where the Yankees had to bring him back up, of think of something else. Well, they decided to keep him down for so called “personal reasons”, at this point who knows if there is anything to that. Anyway, if Marte is truly healthy he could really be a huge addition to the Yankee bullpen, remember he was actually a very good pitcher. In case you are wondering, Ramiro Pena was optioned down to make room for Marte, now before you scratch your head or complain, consider this:

  1. There is nobody in the bullpen who deserves a demotion, Robertson has been great lately, Coke is still valuable, and Mitre and Gaudin are necessary to rest the other starters, especially Joba.
  2. With Jerry Hairston Jr. around, Ramiro Pena becomes unnecessary.
  3. It’s already August 21st, on September 1st when rosters expand, Pena and many others will return.
No Damaso, it is not the glove's fault that you have been injured all year.

No Damaso, it is not the glove's fault that you have been injured all year.

See, Joba is not babied.

Many people think Joba Chamberlain is babied, and they point to Nolan Ryan who is trying to change the way pitchers are handled. However, even Nolan Ryan’s organization (the Rangers) are being extra careful with one of their young pitchers. Neftali Feliz is being handled with the same rules as the Joba rules of 2007. Some people just don’t realize that orginazations need to be extra careful with their young pitchers, and not only think about the present, but think about the future.

Billy Wagner claimed by the Red Sox

You may or may not know that the Mets placed Billy Wagner on waivers, but anyway the important news is that the Red Sox claimed him. While Wagner is not young anymore, and is coming off a big injury, he could help a contender like the Red Sox or the Yankees. In case you are wondering the Yankees may have claimed Wagner as well, but the Red Sox get first dibs because the waiver system goes by record, meaning the teams with worse records gets a shot at a player before a team with a better record. Oh well, let’s just hope that either a)The Mets pull Wagner back and are stuck with him and his big contract or b)The Red Sox get Wagner and he stinks.

Game 121: Yankees at Athletics

Here’s tonight’s starting lineup via Pete Abe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

DH Hideki Matsui

RF Nick Swisher

2B Robinson Cano

CF Melky Cabrera

C Jose Molina

And on the mound (making his first start as a Yankee), Chad Gaudin

Ian Kennedy progressing

As you know Ian Kennedy had surgery to remove an an aneurysm in his arm, now Kennedy is back to throwing off a mound, albeit restricted to only fastballs and change ups. Kennedy will not return to pitching in the minors this year, but he will pitch in the Instructional League and the Arizona Fall League according to the AP. Good luck to him, he could be a valuable piece of the 2010 Yankees.

You didn't forget this face, did you?

You didn't forget this face, did you?

2009 draft a success

This past Tuesday (August 18th) was the deadline for signing draft picks, and when it was all said and done the Yankees were able to sign 13 out of their top 14 picks, including the two top picks Slade Heathcott  and JR Murphy. Slade Heathcott received a 2.2 million bonus, which double the recommended amount for his slot (29th overall) by the Commissioners office, good for him. JR Murphy received a 1.25 million bonus, his slot money is about $478,000, Bud Selig can’t be happy with this. Anyway, now that Heathcott and Murphy have officially joined the Yankees, I’m sure you are wondering when they will play. Well, according to Lane Meyer Slade Heathcott is currently in the Gulf Coast League with the Yankees affiliate and he hopes to play in a game tomorrow. And according to a blog from JR Murphy’s high school will also be playing immediately in the GCL. You can learn more about Slade Heathcott here.

Johnny Damon wants to stay, Yankees to comply?

We all know that Johnny Damon ,who is a free agent after the year, wants to remain a Yankee. And according to Tyler Kepner, the Yankees are willing to resign him.

Before the season, there was a sense that the Yankees would allow Damon to move on and turn over his left-field spot to a prospect like Austin Jackson or a younger free agent like Matt Holliday. But Yankees officials seem to understand Damon’s value on the field and in the clubhouse, and now they would like him to return. When the Yankees want to keep a player and the player wants to stay, that is usually what happens.

“I don’t know where else I would want to go to,” Damon said. “Obviously, that’s not the right thing to say when you’re about ready to approach free agency, but I’m very happy with playing in New York, and my family’s happy I play for New York. There’s no bigger place to go. If you play well here, you’re going to get paid. New York has the resources.

“But we also have the chance to win every year. I don’t want to attempt to go make more money elsewhere, for more years, with a chance to be out of the race by the first of June.”

If Damon will sign a cheaper contract than the one he currently has, I think he might be the best option for the Yankees going into next year. While his defense has deteriorated, his offense and his clubhouse influence remain strong, and he would much cheaper than other options such as Matt Holliday (who I think is probably overrated), Jason Bay (who the Red Sox will want to resign), and Carl Crawford (who the Rays have an option to keep him).

Is this possible?

If you haven’t realized the type of season Joe Mauer is having, you must live under a rock. He is hitting an astonishing .383 with 25 home runs and 77 RBI’s (all this on a not so great team!). The way he is hitting right now puts him up there statistic-wise with Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and other world class hitters. Lately there has been a lot of talk about how Mauer and Teixeira are the top two candidates for MVP, if you ask me, I don’t even think it is close. With all respect to Mark Teixeira, I think if Joe Mauer doesn’t win the MVP something is seriously wrong, who cares that he is not on a great team, what control does he have over that? Just look at these two stats…Joe Mauer’s batting average is .383 as a mentioned before, that is higher than Mark Teixeira’s OBP! That means Mauer gets a hit (not a walk or anything, just a hit) more often than Teixeira gets on base (including hits, walks, and everything)! That is just amazing. The other stat I’d like to point out is WAR (wins above replacement, basically how many wins a player was able to add to his team). Mark Teixeira’s WAR for the season is 3.8, which is very good. Joe Mauer’s WAR is 6.5! Oh, and he is a catcher, and a pretty good one. Enough said.

Look at that beautiful swing.

Look at that beautiful swing.

The real deal?

You may or may not know that the Yankees have a ambidextrous pitcher named Pat Venditte down in the minors. It is not clear whether he should be considered a real time prospect or just a novelty, but anyway here is a great video about Venditte:

Melky

Sorry Melky, I had to show this.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

No comment. I'll take the high road.

Major League Baseball’s Infinite Playlist

Just for fun I decided to compile some funny or interesting baseball related videos. I hope you enjoy them!

Ichiro’s favorite American expression

I never get tired of this video (okay maybe I do)

And speaking of Cole Hamels (one of my favorite non-Yankees)

Oh Nick Swisher I never get enough of you!

This one is still a classic

Sign her up!

I smell a bidding war between the Yankees and the Red Sox for this guy

If he can do it, so can I

For those of you who like fights

Melky representing New York

Well I hoped you liked this little post with some funny or interesting baseball related videos. Please leave your thoughts in the comment sections. I truly appreciate every comment.

Game 118: Yankees at Mariners

This afternoon the Yankees look for the sweep of the Mariners as they send out the following lineup via Pete Abe:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

DH Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

C Jorge Posada

1B Nick Swisher

RF Eric Hinske

CF Jerry Hairston Jr.

2B Ramiro Pena

And on the mound, Joba Chamberlain

Matsui’s knee acting up (again)

Hideki Matsui had fluid drained from his left knee and is day to day. What else is knew?

What’s going on here?

Damaso Marte’s (yeah he used to be a pitcher) 30 day rehab stint ended two days ago, and the Yankees either had to put him on the 25 man roster, or come up with some other excuse such as an injury to keep him in rehab. Well according to Pete Abe, the Yankees announced that he has been indefinitely excused from the team for “personal reasons.” This is very strange to me, I have to wonder if these personal reasons are real, or if the Yankees are just making random excuses. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if he does have some personal issues…hey…who knows?

Flashes of 1998

This current Yankee team is really reminding people of 1998, back when the Yankees won 114 games and went on to win the World Series. Anyway, according to Baseball Prospectus, the Yankees have a 99.1% chance of making the playoffs. That’s pretty damn good, but it ain’t over till it’s over.