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.

Injury Bug Hitting Yanks Hard

Lately it seems like the Yankees can’t even go a game without someone getting injured. Building injuries like this can really hurt a team, but let’s hope the team pulls through them. Let’s take a look at each injured player.

Chan Ho Park

Park strained his right hamstring on April 15th and has been on the 15-day DL since then. Fortunately, it looks like he may not be there much longer. According to Chad Jennings, Park through 45 pitches in a bullpen session yesterday and is scheduled to do the same tomorrow. This is big step in his recovery, and if all goes well with Park I would expect him back in a week or so.

Curtis Granderson

Granderson was placed on the 15-day DL on May 1st with a grade 2 strain of his left groin. I’ll turn it over to Will Carroll of “Under The Knife” to describe Granderson’s injury…

The Yankees will be without Granderson for about a month with a Grade II groin strain. That’s a reasonable time frame no matter which way you go with the estimate. On one side, you could be optimistic and say that Granderson’s conditioning and strength will help him get back in two to four weeks. On the other hand, caution and some normal setbacks could push it to four to six weeks. There’s not really much more here to clarify; Granderson has a simple groin strain. Until he begins to jog or run, probably mid-month, we won’t know anything new.

I could see Granderson being out for quite a while because he is a player who really relies on his legs and the Yankees won’t want to rush him back and risk a much worse injury.

Jorge Posada

Posada has been staying on the bench lately with mild calf strain. According to Chad Jennings, Posada said yesterday that he expects to play today. However, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Yankees give some extra time to recover.

Mariano Rivera

Rivera has sat out since April 30th with stiffness in his left side, but he appears to be ready to return to action. He was available last night out of the bullpen, although he didn’t see any action. He did however throw in the bullpen during the game, so it seems as if he is not really an issue anymore.

Andy Pettitte

Pettitte last pitched May 5th before he had to prematurely leave that game with stiffness and mild inflammation in his left arm around his elbow. Whenever you hear news like this about a pitcher you have to be worried. Fortunately, the Yankees have so far deemed Pettitte healthy enough not to put him on the DL. Pettitte is scheduled to miss his next start and for now Sergio Mitre will take his spot in the rotation. Hopefully Mitre will only have to make one start and then Pettitte will go back into the rotation.

Nick Johnson

Johnson left last night’s game with a sore right wrist and is headed for the DL. Johnson is scheduled to undergo tests today in New York, and we will hopefully know more after then. Johnson’s right wrist is the same wrist that he injured in 2008 and kept him out for most of the season. Hopefully this isn’t as serious.

Robinson Cano

Cano was hit by a pitch from Josh Beckett on his left knee. Cano left the game shortly after with a bruise on his knee but is not scheduled for any further testing. Don’t expect Cano to play today, but for now it doesn’t look like he’ll be out for an extended period of time.

Roster Moves

With injuries usually come roster moves, and we should be seeing some moves today. While I can’t say for sure what the Yankees will do, I think they will call up Kevin Russo to be the backup infielder with Ramiro Pena as the starting second baseman for now. If the Yankees want to play it safe in the outfield they could recall Greg Golson who was sent down before yesterday’s game. While players usually have to wait 10 days in the minors before they can be called up again, with Nick Johnson going on the DL the Yankees can bring Golson right back up if they wish. If they decide to the call up Golson then he would take Johnson’s roster spot, and they could send Boone Logan or David Robertson down and use that spot to call up Kevin Russo.

"Call Doctor Robert, we need his help."

Update

Kevin Russo has indeed been called up. Robinson Cano is back in the lineup today as the DH according to Chad Jennings. Jennings also reports that Nick Johnson has a torn tendon in his wrist, I’m no doctor, but I’d expect him to be out for a few months if this is the case.

2nd Update

Looking back at Jennings’ post, it appears he has changed Nick Johnson’s torn tendon, to Nick Johnson’s inflamed tendon. That’s good news.

Goodbye Edwar, Hello Park

With Chan Ho Park arriving at Yankees camp today, the Yankees needed to clear a spot on the 40 man roster. Unsurprisingly, Edwar Ramirez was designated for assignment. Now the question is will he be claimed by a team? In my opinion, he will be claimed by some team out there, but there is always a chance he clears waivers and can go back to AAA Scranton for the Yankees. Anyway, according to Chad Jennings, Park will wear number 61, has been throwing in Korea, and he feels ready to pitch. The plan as of now is that he will do some long toss today and throw a bullpen tomorrow.

I would assume that Park cleaned his hair up, though he does look pretty cool like that.