Game 2: Yankees at Red Sox

After losing the first game of the year on Opening Night to the Red Sox, the Yankees will take on Boston again tonight hoping for a better outcome. Here is tonight’s starting lineup for the Yankees via Chad Jennings

SS Derek Jeter

DH Nick Johnson

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

RF Nick Swisher

LF Marcus Thames

CF Curtis Granderson

RHP A.J. Burnett


A Few Changes To The Lineup

With Jon Lester, an elite lefty, toeing the rubber for the Red Sox, Joe Girardi has made a few lineup changes today. Most notably, Marcus Thames is playing left field instead of Brett Gardner. Marcus Thames doesn’t necessarily hit for a better average against lefties (.256 career AVG against lefties, .234 career AVG against righties) but he does for more power against lefties. However, Thames has to prove that his bat upgrade is worth the defense downgrade vs Gardner. Anyway, the other lineup change is that with Lester pitching, Girardi has moved Curtis Granderson to the 9th spot in the lineup.

Hughes Excels in Extended Spring Game

Yesterday Phil Hughes threw the equivalent of 8 and 1/3 innings in a simulated Spring Training game. Hughes allowed 3 hits to assorted Yankee prospects and struck out 12 while throwing 70 strikes and only 30 balls. Now what does this mean? Well nothing really, the only purpose the game was to keep Hughes fresh and allow him to work on a few things if he needs to.

“Zen Baseball”

Benjamin Kabak over at RAB wrote a nice article about what he calls “Zen Baseball”. Basically, what he is saying is that we as fans need to relax and enjoy baseball instead of worrying over it too much. I highly suggest reading the full post, maybe it will help you gain a better perspective.

Link Fiesta: Montero, Gardner, Thames…

On this Saturday after a snow filled week here in New York, here are some links to keep your mind entertained:

Jesus Montero and his unique throwing technique

We’ve all heard about Montero and how his bat is other-worldly but his defense needs work. While his defense may need work he has always been blessed with a powerful arm, and supposedly in order to make up for his big body he makes his throws in a way most catchers do not. “Instead of popping up onto the front of both feet and firing to second, Montero kept his right foot anchored in place after catching the pitch; he took a short stride with his left foot and threw to second base.” (If any of you have ESPN Insider access you can click on the link and read the rest of the article, but I don’t have the access.)

Montero impressing many during spring training

With his bat of course…

Sticking with the Montero theme…

Just a nice article about Montero for those of you wishing to learn more about him.

Brett Gardner a 5 win player in 2010?

Fangraphs has a nice article saying how Gardner could be the 2010 version of Nyjer Morgan and have a 5 WAR. I wouldn’t expect it, but there is a chance.

Andrew Brackman working to get back on track.

Brackman is working hard and has been impressing during spring training this year.

Thames has an opt-out clause.

If he doesn’t make the team out of spring training he can become a free agent if he wishes, so basically it is a competition between Thames and Jamie Hoffmann and whoever doesn’t make the team is gone. I’m going to say Hoffmann makes the team.

Granderson gets contacts.

Hey, it can’t hurt.

Former Yankees…

Two things you need to know about them: They stick together, and they usually end up in Pittsburgh. (H/T to RAB)

Former Yankees, Melky and Coke breaking the Yankees facial hair code…

Will Damon bring back the Jesus look? (Click on Melky and Coke’s name to see a picture)

Link Stampede: Nady, Marlins, Gardner, Damon…

It’s been quite a while since I last posted, and it would be tough to write a full post on each story that emerged since the last time I posted, so I’ll just throw a bunch of links at you guys to sum everything up.

Xavier Nady the Yankees top target?

According to Joel Sherman, Nady is the Yankees top target for left field. “The player that most entices the Yankees is Xavier Nady, who, like Damon, is represented by Scott Boras. As long as they are comfortable Nady is playable in left field after a second Tommy John surgery then the Yanks would love how his right-center power projects to their park.” Sherman does mention that other teams are likely interested in Nady as well, and that he may end up being too expensive for the Yankees, but I his price would be too big of an issue. I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing the Yankees signing Nady, but I’m still dreaming that Johnny Damon and the Yankees will come to an agreement.

Only 2 million left to spend?

Joel Sherman also said the Yankees are telling agents that they only have 2 million dollars left to spend this off season. While it is unlikely the ceiling is at 2 million for the Yankees, they could very well only have around 4 million (just a number I picked) left to spend. Let this be a reminder that the Yankees, like all other teams, do have a budget and can’t just go out there and sign anyone us as fans want them to sign.

Dreaming of Damon…

I know many Yankee fans, myself included, would love to see Damon resign with the Yankees. While this seems unlikely with the way things are going, I still can’t see how it doesn’t make sense for Damon and the Yankees to re-up with each other. To me it makes sense for both sides. It looks like the only other team that Damon has a shot at signing with is the Braves, and they might want to save the money for the future, leaving the Yankees as Damon’s only option. According to Mike Silva, Damon could return to the Yankees at 5-7 million, I don’t know where he got those numbers from, but they seem plausible. The only question is do the Yankees have 5-7 million left to spend?

Nick Carfado of the Boston Globe has two worthwhile quotes from Damon. Talking about the free agent market Damon said, “Well, I knew I’d have to wait until some of the bigger hitters like Jason Bay and Matt Holliday went places , and now I’m just waiting to see what’s in store for me. I knew I’d probably have to take a pay cut, just based on the way the economy is in this country and baseball, but I thought I had a productive season and I think I showed people I can play and still do something at a high level.’’ When asked about returning to the Yankees Damon said, “I don’t know. I haven’t had any conversations with them recently. Nothing would surprise me, but there’s nothing there right now.”

Is Gardner really that disciplined?

Throughout Gardner’s short career, he has been criticized for his offense, and rightfully so. However, one thing he has been praised for is his discipline. People tend to think that Brett has a very good eye, and without really analyzing him, it appears that he does. However, Joseph Pawlikowski asked an excellent question today, “Is Brett Gardner disciplined, or does he just not swing at pitches?” This is something I’ve always though about myself, to me it seems like Gardner takes way too many pitches, and many of them for strikes. If a batter takes a very large amount of pitches, he’s bound to take a lot of balls early in his career until he is figured out by the league. Is this the case with Brett Gardner? I believe it is, how about you? Make sure you head on over to River Ave Blues to read the full story.

Marlins told to spend more money

It’s about time! However, there could be some negatives to this involving the Yankees and every other team. If the Marlins have to spend X amount of money, and they just decide to overpay one player to meet X, then they are raising the price tag for all players, making all free agents, etcetera more costly which would hurt all 30 teams.

Stop knocking the strikeout!

Many people critize players who strike out a lot, but I’ve never really understood this. Joseph Pawlikowski wrote a great post about this basically saying that strike outs are just like any other out. Sure you can argue that strikeouts never can advance a runner, but then you can counter-argue that strikeouts do not cause double plays. Make sure you check out the full post.

McGwire admits to using steroids

What? This can’t be true! Next you’re going to tell me Barry Bonds or Sammy Sosa took steroids! On a serious note, sure it’s sad to see another player fall but in my mind he didn’t fall he was already down, there was no way you could believe this guy was innocent. Whatever, I don’t like to dwell on this topic.

Only 36 more days until pitchers and catchers report!

Yankees even the series backed by Burnett

Last night the Yankees took game 2 of the World Series by the score of 3-1. The Yankees were opposed by Pedro Martinez, and while he pitched well, he did not pitch as well as Burnett did for the Yankees. A.J. went 7 strong innings allowing only 1 run, while striking out 9 and only walking 2 batters. A.J. really showed his worth last night, and depending on the situations the Yankees may consider starting him on short rest for game 5. On the offensive side Mark Teixeira got the Yankees on the board by hitting a solo homer in the 4th inning, then in the 6th Hideki Matsui hit another solo homer to give the Yankees 2 runs, and that’s all they would need. However, the Yankees picked up an insurance run in the 7th when Jorge Posada (pinch hitting for Jose Molina) singled to score Brett Gardner (pinch running for Jerry Hairston Jr.). Mariano Rivera came in for the 8th and 9th, and shut the down, albeit with some difficulty. Still, the Yankees won, and evened out the series 1-1 going into Philadelphia for 2 games.

Side Note

As you already know, Joe Girardi opted to put Jerry Hairston Jr. in right field last night in place for the slumping Nick Swisher (4-35 this postseason, a .114 average). I don’t disagree with the move to sit Swisher, but I’m not sure I think Hairston was the best replacement. I understand Jerry had good numbers against Pedro (1o-27), but Eric Hinske is 8-30 against Pedro, and Hinske is generally considered the better hitter out of the duo of Hairston and Hinkse. And if Girardi didn’t want to play Hinske, Gardner was an option as well, but I too probably would have chose Hairston over Gardner. What’s your take?

Game 138 and 139: Rays at Yankees

Today, Labor Day, which looks to be a very nice day, the Yankees will play a day night double header against the Rays. I’m really looking forward to it because it means twice as much Yankee baseball as usual. Hopefully the Yankees can win the first game, which would take the pressure off AJ Burnett in the second game, plus it is rare for a team to win both games of a double header. Anyway, here are the lineups via Pete Abe:

Game 1 – 1:05pm

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Eric Hinske

LF Melky Cabrera

CF Brett Gardner – Welcome back!

And on the mound, CC Sabathia

Game 2 – 7:05pm

TBA

The boys are back in town

Brett Gardner is back with the big team, and Shelley Duncan will be too according to Pete Abe Duncan has been recalled.

A couple videos to pass the time

Sorry for the shortage of posts lately, with the summer ending and school starting I’ve been a bit busy lately, hopefully when things settle down I’ll be able to provide regular posts.

Game 82: Blue Jays at Yankees

As the Yankees look for the sweep of this 4 game series against the Jays, they send out the following lineup via PeteAbe to face the rookie Ricky Romero:

SS Derek Jeter

1B Nick Swisher

DH Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

LF Melky Cabrera

RF Eric Hinske - making his first appearance as a Yankee

Brett Gardner

And on the mound, Andy Pettitte


“Sorry, but you’re still a bad hitter”

Since going 5-6 against the Mets, Brett Gardner is 0-14. Those 5 hits were the worst thing that could happen to him, now he thinks he is a hitter. He needs to be bunting every time he gets up. He can’t consistently get on base without bunting. It makes no sense to me that he goes to the plate with the intention of driving the ball, he just can’t do it.

‘Further exploring the options for the 5th starter”

Check out my previous post about who should take Chien-Ming Wang’s spot in the rotation. In it I had an unorthodox plan to put Hughes into the rotation, and another idea that I won’t spoil right now. While the Yankees have not announced who will start on Thursday, they have announced that it won’t be Hughes, but that doesn’t mean Hughes won’t take the spot after the All Star Break.

Congratulations Mark, Derek, and Mariano!

If you haven’t heard the news, Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter are starting the All Star game at first and short, respectively. And the great Mariano Rivera also made the team. Oh, and Teixeira will not be participating in the home run derby, that’s a relief.

What’s up with Joba?

Mike Axisa over at River Ave Blues, suggests that Joba was rushed to the big leagues, and did not get to mature mentally as a result of that. He brings up the possibility of sending Joba to AAA to develop further instead of pitch in the spotlight. While I agree that Joba is a bit immature, I’m not sure now is the right time to send him down, maybe if the rotation wasn’t already missing it’s 5th starter I’d do it, but I’m not so sure right now. Anyway, go check out the full post by Mike Axisa, it’s very interesting.

Game 71: Yankees 8, Braves 4

Tonight the Yankees defeated the Braves by the score of 8 to 4. While it may look like an ordinary win, it was not quite. Through 5 innings the Yankees did not have a single base runner, and it looked like another night of losing to Cy Young. However, the story changed in the 6th inning. Brett Gardner led off the inning with a walk (the Yankees first base runner), then he got called out on a pick off on first. Joe Girardi immediately came out to argue. Gardner was clearly safe as seen on the replays, but from Girardi’s view he probably couldn’t really tell. Still, Girardi gave the first base umpire his money’s worth and was ejected. Seeing the manager ejected always seems to get a team fired up. Anyway, the next batter was Francisco Cervelli who hit a solo home run to tie the game at one (his first career home run). From there on almost everything went the Yankee’s way. They went on to score two more runs in the 6th, one in the 7th, two in the 8th, and then 2 in the 9th.

Girardi Argue

On the pitching side things also went well for the Yanks. Joba Chamberlain went 6.1 innings allowing 3 runs, 2 earned. Phil Coke came in to finish the 7th after Joba got in a bit of trouble. Then Bruney came into the 8th inning and right from the get go he didn’t look right, to me his fastball wasn’t there. Bruney allowed a run and could not finish the 8th after getting 2 outs. Enter sandman who stroke out the first batter he faced to end the 8th. Mo actually batted in the top of the ninth, he came up with the bases loaded and two outs and he actually hit a hard liner to center. In the bottom of the 9th Mo was smoking. He faced three batters, and struck out all three. So for the night Mo faced a total of 4 batters and stuck them all out. Vintage Mariano. So the Yankees won the game 8 to 4.

Side Notes

  • The Yankees held a closed door meeting after last night’s game. Supposedly it was basically a pep talk. Jeter and Teixeira were the two guys to step up and talk during the meeting.
  • Brian Cashman unexpectedly was in Atlanta tonight. He also had a little closed door meeting in Girardi’s office with Nick Swisher and Girardi himself. The original lineup posted tonight had Swisher on the bench and Melky in right field. After that little meeting with Cashman, Swisher was in the lineup and Melky was on the bench. The Yankees did not really comment on the situation, so we’re just left to speculate. All I could think off would be that Cashman and Girardi wanted to let Swisher know what the situation would be once Xavier Nady returns (which should be soon, he actually played right field tonight for Scranton). Maybe they told Swisher that he would become a bench player once Nady comes back. I really don’t know, but I would think there was more to Brian Cashman being with the Yankees on the road than just to tell Swisher something. But you know the Yankees, they are quite secretive.
  • Cody Ransom is back with the team, Angel Berroa was DFA’d.
  • Jose Veras was traded to the Indians for “cash considerations.”

Game 69: Happy Father’s Day as the Yankees take on the Marlins in Florida

That's little Mark Teixeira driving a boat with his dad and his sister.

That's little Mark Teixeira driving a boat with his dad and his sister.

As the Yankees take the field at 5:05 this evening, they send the following lineup via PeteAbe out to face Chris Volstad:

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

1B Mark Teixeira

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

LF Melky Cabrera

CF Brett Gardner

LHP Carsten Charles Sabathia (who happens to be a decent hitter with a lifetime .261 AVG with 3 home runs and 13 RBI’s)

Mark Teixeira signs his first professional contract in 2001 as his father proudly looks on.

Mark Teixeira signs his first professional contract in 2001 as his father proudly looks on.

Burnett’s suspension lowered

A.J. Burnett’s suspension has been reduced to 5 games, and he started serving it today.

Damon out of the lineup

I haven’t seen any stories yet, but I get the feeling his headaches and fluttering eyes have not gone away. The dropped fly ball last night only further supports my theory.

The boys are back in town

Well, they never really left town, and they came in late last night during the game, but whatever. Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner are back in the starting lineup. Obviously Brett won’t be there every day, unless there is something wrong with Damon.

Happy Father’s Day! Make sure you talk to your dad today.

Update 5:45
Oh no. CC out of the game in the 2nd inning. He was getting pounded but only gave up 1 run. He left with an injury but it was not clear what was wrong.

Update 6:18
CC has left bicep tightness. No tests scheduled. Let’s hope he’s okay.

Game 67: Yankees at Marlins

Tonight the Yankees take on another young pitcher they have never faced before, Sean West. I don’t know what it is with the Yankees not hitting pitcher’s they have never faced, maybe they’re not watching enough video, maybe they’re watching too much video, who knows. Anyway, this is the starting lineup via PeteAbe they send out in an attempt to score runs:

SS Derek Jeter

LF Johnny Damon

1B Mark Teixeira

C Jorge Posada

2B Robinson Cano

RF Nick Swisher

CF Melky Cabrera

3B Angel Berroa

LHP Andy Pettitte, who obviously is on the mound as well

The Stare

The Stare

A-Rod out of the lineup via PeteAbe

Alex is out of the lineup tonight, and will be out tomorrow. Alex was originally in the lineup today, but it was decided he was “fatigued” and needed two days off. Supposedly he asked Girardi yesterday after the game for a day or two off, so I don’t understand why he was originally in the lineup today. In my opinion this move should have been made a long time ago, when your superstar player shows signs of fatigue after coming off hip surgery only a few months ago, its pretty safe to say that you sit him immediately. Alex knows he needs the days off, but this is not the place he wants to have them. Many of his friends and family were planning to watch him in this three game series in Miami, his home town. However, Alex knows he needs to take a break.

Brett seems okay

Gardner is still “woozy with a headache” but considering he has been speaking with reporters, I think he will be okay, that’s a relief because it looked real bad last night when he slammed his head into the plexiglass.

Land Shark?

The name of the Marlin’s  stadium is Land Shark Stadium. Yep, Land Shark, I know it is a weird name. Its not too appealing, it’s probably part of some sponsorship program…yes it is. The name is part of a sponsorship deal with Jimmy Buffett, according to Reuters. Eww, I already have a headache.

Yakkin’ About The Staten Island Yankees

Make sure you check out the new blog about the Staten Island Yankees written by frequent commentator, Riz. It should be pretty cool.

Game 61: Mets at Yankees

PLASMA YANKS METS

subwayseriesLast night the Yankees lost the 3rd and final game of a series against the Red Sox. It was a game that could have easily been managed better, Mo should have came into the 8th when the game was on the line. However, he didn’t, and the Yankees ended up losing. Some fans were fuming, saying that Girardi should be fired, the whole team should be traded, the Yankees will never win a game again, and so on. Some fans go overboard, and while I’m not too fond of the job Girardi has done lately, he has done some good things. The book is not closed yet on him, at this point in my book he is neutral, maybe a bit on the negative side (bit I’m not saying Torre should be here). Still, I can’t knock all fans in general. There are many fans who, like me, realize that what has happened…happened, and there’s no way of changing that. Sure, if some dumb decisions weren’t made the Yankees could possibly have one a couple of those games, but they didn’t. That doesn’t mean that the Yankees are done. Let’s put all the negativity away, and have a fun, enjoyable series against the New York Mets. For me, things like the first 8 games are easy to put behind, yes they were extremely frustrating, but now they are over. Let’s hope the Yankees go out and fun against the Mets tonight. Oh, I almost forgot, here’s just a little reminder…

I'm just kidding...all fans are welcome and thier opinions are highly appreciated.

I'm just kidding...all fans are welcome and thier opinions are highly appreciated.

In the first game of the 2009 Subway Series, the Yankees send out the following lineup via PeteAbe at home in the Bronx:

SS Derek Jeter

RF Nick Swisher

1B Mark Teixeria

3B Alex Rodriguez

2B Robinson Cano

C Jorge Posada

DH Hideki Matsui (Who turns 35 today)

LF Melky Cabrera

CF Melky Cabrera

And on the mound, Joba Chamberlain

Where’s Johnny?

Something tells me Johnny Damon is not feeling well. He did not look well when he dropped that fly ball last night, he stayed in the game. but to me he looked a little sluggish. If I see anything, I’ll let you know, but I doubt the Yankees will say anything besides “he’s just getting a day off.”

Series Preview

The first two pitching match-ups look promising for the Yanks. Livan at Joba. (insert call up player here because John Maine went on the DL) at Pettitte. Then the third game doesn’t look as good, Johan at Burnett. Two out of three ain’t bad. Head on over to River Avenue Blues for a more complete Subway Series Preview.

Great Story

You may have heard the story about Brett Gardner and Alyssa Esposito, but if you haven’t  it is really an incredible one. Do you remember the night when Brett hit an inside the park home run? Well, before that game Brett went to go visit patients at a hospital, and Alyssa Espositio who at the time was waiting for a heart transplant made Brett a bracelet and she told him that when he wears it he will hit a home run. Anyway, that night Brett wore the bracelet and hit an unconventional home run. However, there’s more to it. That same night, Alyssa learned that she would be recieving a heart donation. Well, today Brett visited Alyssa and she is doing well after recieving her heart transplant. Great story, here is the full story over at MLB.COM.

Bruney, we need you!

According to PeteAbe, Bruney could be activated tomorrow. Good news, please don’t just hide your injury Brian.

Update 6:28

Damon is out of the lineup with “fluttering eyes.’ He also said he felt like he would pass out last night. Let’s just hope this is not linked to the concussion he suffered a few years ago. Get well, Johnny.