Game 51: Memorial Day Matinée

After taking 2 out of 3 from the Indians at home, the Yankees look to make it 3 out 4 today against Mitch Talbot. Anyway, today is Memorial Day. Most people think of Memorial Day as a day when people get together and barbeque, and that’s great. But, let’s not forget what this holiday is really about. Memorial Day is about honoring and remembering all the people who have served the United States. I digress, here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

CF Curtis Granderson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

DH Juan Miranda

C Francisco Cervelli

LF Brett Gardner

LHP Andy Pettitte

"Go get them Andy!" Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Miranda’s long journey

Chad Jennings had a great feature with Juan Miranda and how he got to where he is today. Originally from Cuba, he escaped to the Dominican Republic on his seventh attempt. Check out the article, it is just a great story.

Posada recovering

Jorge Posada seems to be quickly recovering from a hariline fracture in his foot. Everyday the Yankees seem more and more optimistic about Posada’s return. Here’s what Girardi had to say yesterday:

“If he feels good tomorrow you might even see him run on the field. If he’s OK to do that, we could have a player fairly soon.”

Has Teixeira really been that bad?

Obviously Teixeira had a poor April, but we just chalked that up to early season struggles. But now as we near the end of May, Teixeira’s average still sits at  .221 and the general feeling is that he has been pretty bad in May as well. However, that may not be the case. Take a minute to guess what his numbers are this month. Do you have something in your head? Okay.

In the month of May this year Teixeira has put up the following line:

AVG: .281 OBP: .364 HR: 6 RBI: 25

While those numbers are quite his normal numbers, they certainly aren’t bad. In addition, Teixeira has a .233 BABIP this season compared to his career .305 BABIP. If you are familiar with batting average on balls in play (BABIP) you know that when a player hits way under his career BABIP, he is usually experiencing bad luck.

Alex Rodriguez: “One class act.”

Because I know the media and many people will quickly forget this, I wanted to bring it up. After the game in which A-Rod lined a ball up the middle that hit Indians pitcher David Huff on the head causing him to go the hospital, A-Rod went to go visit Huff in the hospital but since he was already released A-Rod called Huff to check up on him. Huff really appreciated A-Rod kindness and had this to say:

“I’d like to thank the Yankees team doctors and our training for making sure i was ok. I’d also like to thank the NY Yankees security staff for taking care of my family, they were amazing. finally, to A Rod for contacting me on his way to the hospital, one class act. Everything is good. It was a little scary but I’m out of the hospital now and with my family. Thank you all for you concern and support.”

But we all know most people will forget this in a few days but if A-Rod steps on a bug it will be talked about for months.

May 22-29 In Review

This past week I’ve been away from blogging because I haven’t found the time. Anyway, I wanted to take a quick look at what has happened in Yankee land lately.

May 22nd 3-5 loss to the Mets

May 23rd 4-6 loss to the Mets

May 24th Off day

May 25th Game pushed back in Minnesota to the next day

May 26th 1-0 win against the Twins in completion of suspended game; 3-2 win against the Twins

May 27th 2-8 loss to the Twins

May 28th 8-2 win versus the Indians

Notes

  • Curtis Granderson was activated yesterday after being on the DL since May 1st. He played yesterday but Girardi is trying to ease him back in so he is getting today off.
  • Randy Winn was designated for assignment to make room for Granderson on the roster. Was it the right move? I expected Kevin Russo to be sent down to AAA. I’m not saying it was a bad move, I just was surprised by it.
  • Jorge Posada is ready to begin movement exercises and could be hitting off a tee in a few days.
  • Chad Gaudin is back, and making room for him on roster is Boone Logan who was sent down to Scranton. I for one I happy to see Gaudin back with the Yankees and happy to see Logan out of the major league bullpen.

It's great to have Granderson back in center.

Game 43: Yankees at Mets

After winning game 1 of the Subway Series last night, the Yankees will take on the Mets once again tonight. Here is the starting lineup the Yankees will send out to face Mike Pelfrey via Rick Carpiniello

SS Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

C Francisco Cervelli

LF Randy Winn

P Phil Hughes

I am excited yet apprehensive to see Hughes hit tonight. Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Fate of the Empire State Building

According to Sam Borden, the winner of this series will determine what color lights the Empire State Building will display (blue and white for the Yankees, blue and orange for the Mets). As of now the north and south side of the building are Yankee themed while the east and west are Mets themed. I really hope the Yankees win, not only because I’m a Yankee fan, but because the Empire State Building with blue and orange lights would be quite the eyesore.

The state of Javy

Last night Javier Vazquez was one hitting the Mets through six innings. Unfortunately in the top of the seventh Javy got nicked on his right index finger as he fouled a bunt off. Vazquez did lay down a beautiful sacrifice bunt on the next pitch, but he would not go out to pitch another inning. Javy wasn’t in much pain and he didn’t even realize his finger was bleeding until he took off his batting gloves. The Yankees expect to know more tomorrow on whether he can make his next start. Here are some of the things Vazquez had to say after the game.

“I feel so embarrassed because I’ve been doing this so many years in the National League and this has never happened to me.” [When asked about getting hit by the pitch on a bunt].

“I’m pretty sure I’m going to make my next start.”

Jeremy Bleich to undergo surgery

According to Tim Bontemps, Jeremy Bleich is probably going to need shoulder surgery. Bleich is a left-handed pitcher and one of the Yankees top prospects. Let’s just hope the surgery is successful and he comes back true to form because shoulder surgery is a scary thing.

Granderson progressing

Last night Curtis Granderson who is currently on the 15-day DL left the team to join the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees for a rehab assignment. Granderson is expected to play 5-6 games with Scranton and if all goes well he could be back with New York at the end of next week. Great news!

A-Rod and Thames save Yanks from loss

Last night the Yankees defeated the Red Sox in a very exhilarating game. While I don’t want to waste all my time analyzing the entire game, I’ll try to break it down a bit.

This graph really shows how the momentum of the game really changed last night. First it was all Yankees, then all Red Sox, and then obviously back to the Yankees favor.

Pitching

If I had to sum the Yankees pitching last night up in three words, I’d say “not very good.” Fortunately, I’m not limited to three words.

Phil Hughes started last night’s game and only lasted 5 innings while giving up 5 runs and 2 home runs. He simply wasn’t very sharp. Although he threw a lot of strikes, they weren’t necessarily good strikes. In addition, it’s possible he didn’t have his best stuff. In the end, he didn’t pitch well, but he battled and that builds character and perhaps allows a pitcher to mature more than a dominating game does. I wouldn’t worry about Hughes yet, and remember young pitchers struggle.

Boone Logan followed Hughes and in one inning of work he allowed a home run to Victor Martinez. Logan may impress people with his velocity, but upon further look it’s clear his control is awful. There are tons of people who throw hard, but unless they can control the ball they aren’t very valuable. So far, Logan has fallen into that category. In addition, Logan (a lefty) has actually been worse against lefty batters this year than righties (not to say he has been good against righties). In my opinion the Yankees would be better off having Mark Melancon in the bullpen instead of Logan.

Chan Ho Park came in after Logan. Fresh off the DL Park looked good in his first inning of work. However, in the eight inning Park allowed 3 runs on 2 home runs. He looked very fatigued, and this was expected considering he hasn’t pitched multiple innings in over a month. I think in normal circumstances with the bullpen more deep, Girardi wouldn’t have turned to Park for two innings. I wouldn’t worry about this appearance at all, just remember his stamina is low coming of the DL and it certainly showed last night. Once he gets built back up he should return to form.

Damaso Marte took over for Park in the eight and got good results. In 1.2 innings of work Marte allowed no runs on 1 hit and 1 walk.

Javier Vazquez came in to get the last out in the ninth as it appeared Marte was tiring. Javy did the job, and actually picked up the win. Considering he only threw 4 pitches, Javy is still in line for his Friday start.

Offense

The Yankees scored 5 runs of Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first inning of last night’s ballgame, but they cooled down after that. Through the second to eight inning the Yankees only picked up 2 more runs. Going into the ninth inning the Yankees trailed 9-7. Would there be any late inning heroics like there were in 2009? Yes. With a man on and facing Jonathan Papelbon, Alex Rodriguez crushed one to left field to tie up the game. Then with Francisco Cervelli on base, Marcus Thames came up to the plate looking dead red. And he got red and took it deep to left for a walkoff home run. Ballgame over, time for pie! I don’t know about you but I never get tired of these unreal endings.

"A-Rod watches his home run leave the park." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

"The look of pure happiness on Marcus Thames' face last night has to make you smile." Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

“Catching up with the blogging world”

Check out Matt Vereb’s exclusive interview with Nick Swisher. You can really see how nice a person Swisher is, plus Matt asks some good questions like “Who’s your best friend on the team?” I won’t spoil the answer, go check it out!

P.S. If there is a game tonight, you’re welcome to use this post to discuss it.

Game 38: Red Sox at Yankees

Tonight, the Boston Red Sox come to town. After making to trips to Boston, the Yankees will now take on Boston at home. However, this is only a two game series. Anyway, here is the starting lineup the Yankees will send out to face Daisuke Matsuzaka via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

DH Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Francisco Cervelli

RF Marcus Thames

LF Randy Winn

3B Ramiro Pena

RHP Philip Joseph Hughes

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

Johnson to undergo surgery

As I mentioned the other day, there was a chance that Nick Johnson would have to undergo surgery to repair his right wrist. Unfortunately, that chance has become reality. Johnson will most likely have the surgery tomorrow and miss 4-6 weeks. While this is certainly not good news, it is better that the Yankees decided quickly that surgery is necessary rather than waiting it out and further delaying the inevitable. With Johnson out for the foreseeable future the Yankees may look for a more permanent DH while Johnson is out. In my opinion, I’d stick with Juan Miranda in the DH spot and Jorge Posada when he’s not catching or sitting out. If that really seems to not work out, I might look into pursuing Jermaine Dye. Once again, just my opinion.

Why was Javy skipped again?

As you may know, the Yankees have opted to skip Javier Vazquez’s start and push him back to Friday. At first I really questioned the move. He is coming off a very good start and he needs to build on that, so why skip him? Well, Benjamin Kabak of RAB analyzed the situation well. Among his many points, one was that by skipping Vazquez the rotation is lined up well. I recommend reading Ben’s write-up for a good take on the situation.

Curtis is feeling better

As you know Curtis Granderson is on the 15-day DL. Fortunately, it looks like he is making good progress. Yesterday he performed eight 60 yard runs and said he was at about 75%. He also hit balls off a tee. Today he took some fly balls in center field during the Yankees batting practice and in Chad Jennings’ opinion Granderson looked “pretty comfortable” and he moved “better than expected.” Hopefully Granderson can get in some rehab games not far from now, although he went on the DL just 17 days ago it feels like a lot longer.

CHoP Returns

Earlier today the Yankees activated reliever Chan Ho Park off the DL and sent starting pitcher Ivan Nova down to Scranton. I’m really glad that Park is back as he has the ability to create some stability in a somewhat unstable bullpen. As far as Ivan Nova goes, I’m sure there is a less valuable bullpen arm that could have been sent down instead (*cough*cough*Boone Logan*), but in the end this was the smart decision. Why? Simply because Ivan Nova is a starter and he needs to be racking up as many innings as possible, not being used sparingly in the major league bullpen. Sorry Boone, I know my dislike is a bit uncredited.

Game 36: Twins at Yankees

Last night the Yankees won the first game of this series in dramatic fashion. If you want to see the story of the game check out my game recap. Anyway, today the Yankees look to secure a series win on this fine Saturday afternoon. Here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings…

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher – I’m shocked that he is back in the lineup so soon.

1B Mark Teixiera

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

DH Jorge Posada

LF Marcus Thames

C Francisco Cervelli

CF Brett Gardner

LHP Andrew Eugene Pettitte

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports.

Injury Updates

  • Obviously Nick Swisher is back in the lineup today after leaving yesterday’s game early with a strain in his left biceps. Jennings reports that Swisher only feels pain when he hits left-handed, and since today’s starter for the Twins, Francisco Liriano, is left-handed Swisher will be batting right-handed.
  • Chan Ho Park will likely return to the bullpen tomorrow which is really good news.
  • Curtis Granderson ran a bit this morning according to Jennings, and he felt fine. That is a step in the right direction.

Nick Johnson still waiting

Chad Jennings has the latest news on Nick Johnson. Reportedly, after Johnson went on the DL he received a cortisone shot in his wrist and the Yankees are still waiting to see if it works.

    “We’re hoping that works,” Brian Cashman said. “But if it doesn’t, we’ll have to take other avenues.”

If it does work Johnson could be back in about three weeks. If it doesn’t he will probably need some type of surgery and it will be at least 4-6 weeks before he returns.

The Field of Dreams for sale

If you have a few million dollars to spend, you can purchase the Field of Dreams. I think I’ll pass on the offer.

A-Rod leads Yankees to 8-4 Victory

After losing four out of their last five games, The Yankees defeated The Minnesota Twins tonight with the help of Alex Rodriguez. Let’s break it down…

Pitching

Allan James Burnett started tonight for the Yankees and he went 6.2 innings while only allowing 3 runs (2 earned). He wasn’t great as he walked 4 batters and only struck out 4 batters, but he held the damage to a minimum. Damaso Marte followed Burnett with two outs in the 7th inning, and with the Yankees leading 3-2 Marte gave up an RBI single to Joe Mauer and an RBI double to Justin Morneau. Marte did manage to escape the 7th inning, however. Joba Chamberlain came in to pitch the eight with the Yankees leading 7-4 and he struck out the side. PitchFX clocked Joba’s fastball in at an average of 95 MPH tonight with the high at 96, for those of you wondering. Chamberlain was awarded the winning pitcher for his effort. In the ninth, some guy named Mariano Rivera pitched a 1-2-3 inning and that was the end of the story.

Hitting

The Yankees offense had been kind of stagnant lately, but it seemed to awaken tonight. In the bottom of the 4th, with the Yankees down 1-0, Brett Gardner hit a solo home run. Later in the inning Robinson Cano doubled to score Mark Teixeira. In the bottom of the fifth Mark Teixeira doubled to score Brett Gardner. Then the big blow came in the bottom of the seventh when Alex Rodriguez came up to the plate with the bases loaded and The Twins leading 4-3. On the second pitch of the at bat Matt Guerrier gave Alex a pitch to hit and A-Rod took advantage of it depositing it into left field for a grand slam. The Yankees then led 7-4 and would never look back, but Francisco Cervelli tripled in the eight to score Juan Miranda just for fun.

Here's one of those cool Win Probability graphs for you.

Swisher ailing

Nick Swisher left today’s game with a strain in his left biceps which has been bothering him lately. fortunately, according to Chad Jennings the MRI came back negative.

New Look

So, as you can see 161st Street looks a little different, haha! This design obviously isn’t set in stone, I just didn’t feel like working on it anymore today, so please any suggestions to make it better would be great. By the way, I’ve noticed that depending on the size of your computer screen you may or may not see the full background image. Larger screens will display the blue background with pinstripes running down it, smaller screens will only display the blue background (because the pinstripes are cut off). Either way, let me know what you think about it.

161st Street Under Construction

As of now I am working on changing a few layout and design structures here at 161st Street. If you notice a lot of differences, don’t worry I’m just playing around and nothing is a finished product right now. You should still be able to visit all old and new posts and comment as you wish, it just may look different for now. Thank you.

Game 33: Yankees at Tigers

Earlier today the Yankees lost to the Tigerrs and Rick Porcello by the score of 2-0. While it is no fun to see the team lose, I can’t help but not feel too bad about the game, and I’m sure you know why. Javier Vazquez, after starting the year off poorly pitched very well earlier. He went seven innings and only allowed two runs while striking out seven and only walking two batters. Another good sign was that hitters swung and missed sixteen times against Javy. “Nice to Javier you back, Javier” Tonight the Yankees will play again in the second of game of this doubleheader. Here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings

DH Derek Jeter

CF Brett Gardner

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

LF Marcus Thames

C Francisco Cervelli

SS Ramiro Pena

RHP Phil Hughes

"Go out and end this losing streak, Phil. Do it for Javy"

Aceves to the DL

Earlier today the Yankees placed Alfredo Aceves on the 15-day DL with a bulging disc in his back. Back issues can be quite problematic, and considering Aceves has had back issues in the past, I wouldn’t expect him back soon. The Yankees may want to find out why Aceves keeps hurting his back and try to fix the problem instead of just having him rest until he feels better.

Golson back

With Aceves hitting the DL, the Yankees called up speedy outfielder Greg Golson. In the ninth inning of today’s game, Kevin Russo pinch ran for Jorge Posada. Not to knock Russo’s speed or anything, but I have no clue why Golson wasn’t running in that spot. Oh well, it doesn’t matter now. We’ve seen a lot of roster moves lately, and there will be more to come. Supposedly the Yankees have a mystery pitcher (probably Albaladejo) waiting at the hotel in Detroit just in case he is needed to be called up. Also, I would expect to see Juan Miranda called up sooner than later.

Game 31: Yankees at Tigers

After coming off yet another series win yesterday, the Yankees will begin a four game series in Detroit today. Here is the starting lineup via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Marcus Thames - it’s a good thing he’s not in left field

CF Brett Gardner

LF Randy Winn

RHP Sergio Mitre – starting for Andy Pettitte

Not everybody is a fan of this guy, but you've got to admit he does have a pretty cool name.

Ivan Nova Called Up

Photo credit: Mike Ashmore

Earlier today the Yankees called up starting pitcher Ivan Nova. Nova will be in the bullpen for the time being. I was thinking that the Yankees should start Nova tonight and have Mitre in the bullpen, but Chad Jennings reported that Nova would arrive just before the game starts, so I guess my idea wouldn’t work anyway. To make room on the active roster, Romulo Sanchez, who pitched last night, was sent down.

Chan Ho Park on his way back

Park threw a 45 pitch bullpen session today and will throw a rehab session in extended Spring Training on Wednesday. From there he will most likely see one or two rehab games and should then return to the major league bullpen.

Dallas Braden

Yesterday Braden pitched a perfect game, and I congratulate him for that, and I thank him for beating the Rays. I have tried to stay away from writing about him, but for those of you who want to discuss his antics I recommend checking out Matthew Vereb’s of take on Braden.