Yankees drop opener to Jays

Today the Yankees lost an 11 inning affair by the score of 6-1 to the Toronto Blue Jays. Here’s MLB’s boxscore and here’s Fangraph’s version. Coming off a streak of bad games, A.J. Burnett started for the Yankees and he pitched great. Unfortunately nothing else went in the Yankees favor. Going into the eight inning the Yankees led 1-0 on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rodriguez, however, Joba Chamberlain surrender the lead making it a 1-1 game. The score remained tied until the 11th inning when the Yankees bullpen imploded. David Robertson and Chan Ho Park combined to give up 5 runs and the Yankees went on to lose by the score of 6-1.

Many people are ready to blame this loss on the bullpen, and while Yankee relievers (aside for Rivera) certainly didn’t pitch well today (and for most of the season for that matter), this loss falls on the offense. The Yankees offense has been dreadful as of late but great starting pitching has covered it up at times. However, something needs to be done to wake this offense up, the team cannot rely on pitching every day.

Photo Credit: Getty Images via Yahoo Sports

On the “Bright Side”

  • A.J. Burnett pitched very well today and could be back into a groove. If the Yankees can get Burnett to be consistently good, their rotation would be awfully impressive.
  • Both Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner made fabulous catches today.
  • The Yankees have called up Dustin Mosely and optioned Boone Logan down to Scranton. What’s so great about that you ask? Well I guess it’s more of a personal thing. I’ve always been a fan of Moseley and never been a big fan of Logan. Also, there is a slight chance that Moseley could turn out to be a valuable bullpen arm, but don’t count on it.

"The former Angel is now in the Bronx." Photo Credit: Donnie Collins of the Times Tribune

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.

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.

Yankees Open Up Home for 2010

Earlier today the Yankees opened up Yankee Stadium for the 2010 season as they defeated the Angels 7-5. It was an enjoyable game, but I don’t know what was the bigger story: the pregame ceremonies or the actual game. Here are some pictures  from today’s event in the House That George Built…

To me the highlight of the day was when trainer Gene Monahan, who has been away from the team battling cancer, received his ring before everyone else got their rings.

Another incredible moment was when Hideki Matsui joined the present-day Yankees on the field and received his ring. Once a Yankee, always a Yankee.

The entire ring ceremony was great, including this handshake Jeter and Yogi have created.

It was also great to see A-Rod finally get his long deserved World Series ring.

I could post pictures all day of all the great moments created today, but since that is unpractical, I’ll just leave you with a picture of the man who put the time and effort, selflessly poured his money into the team, and has been the most dedicated owner in all of sports. Without this man, today would not have happened.

CC comes close to a no-no

CC Sabathia came extremely close to a no-hitter this afternoon, but with two outs in the eight inning Sabathia gave up a single to former teamate Kelly Shoppach. Nevertheless, CC was absolutely great today and the offense was pretty good too scoring 10 runs. Let’s not forget the defense either. A-Rod, Teixeira, and Cano all made outstanding plays which at the time kept CC’s no-hitter intact. Overall, it was a great game.

Your Opinion

Joe Girardi said after the game that Shoppach was the last batter CC was going to face even if he got him out. I for one don’t believe this. Sabathia threw 111 pitches today, assuming he could have gotten through the 8th with those 111 pitches, how could you not let him go one more inning? What do you think, was Girardi really going to take CC out after the Shoppach at bat no matter what?

Pettitte flirts with perfection as the Yankees win 5-1

Andy Pettitte carried a perfect game into the 7th inning last night against the Baltimore Orioles, but with 2 outs in the 7th Jerry Hairston Jr. ,who was playing third base to give Alex Rodriguez a day off, allowed a ball to go through his legs for an error, ending the perfect game. The next batter, Nick Markakis, singled off Pettitte to end the no-hitter. Pettitte would go 8 innings and allow only 1 run. Brian Bruney came in to pitch the 9th, and while he got an out, he had to make way for Mariano Rivera because he allowed two base runners to get on. Rivera got the final two outs picking up his 37th save of the year.

The offense last night was led by Nick Swisher, who was a triple short of the cycle. Swisher hit a solo home run in the 3rd inning to put the Yankees up 1-0, then in the 5th he hit a double to score Robinson Cano, 2-0 Yankees. In the 8th inning Johnny Damon singled to right to score Derek Jeter, and later in the same inning Robinson Cano hit a two run double, scoring Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira. Yankees win 5-1.

Since the All Star Break, Andy is 7-2 with a 2.56 ERA.

Since the All Star Break, Andy is 7-2 with a 2.56 ERA.

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 

The Greatest Game of The Season

Last night Alex Rodriguez hit a walk off two run homer (the only runs of the game!) to defeat the Red Sox in 15 innings. Last night’s game was easily the biggest game of the season so far for the Yankees, their pitching dueled the Red Sox pitching for 15 innings in what would become an instant classic. If I didn’t mention everything that happened in this game, it wouldn’t be fair, so I am going to sum it up inning by inning. Here we go!

1st inning

Red Sox – Jacoby Ellsbury started off the game with a single past a diving Swisher, and then Dustin Pedroia walked. It looked like a bad way to start the game off for the Yankees, but little did we know that Burnett would not allow a hit for the rest of the game! Burnett would get Victor Martinez to ground out into a double play, and then he got David Ortiz to ground out after walking Kevin Youkilis.

Yankees – The Yankees would go 3 up 3 down against Beckett as Jeter lined out, Damon struck out looking, and Teixeira grounded out.

2nd inning

Red Sox – This time Burnett would look better as he got J.D. Drew to ground out, Jason Varitek to strike out, and Josh Reddick to fly out.

Yankees – The Yankees would go 3 up 3 down again as Rodriguez took strike 3, Matsui grounded out, and Posada struck out swinging.

3rd inning

Red Sox - Nick Green flies out, Ellsbury grounds out, Pedroia walks only to be caught stealing by Jorge Posada.

Yankees – The Yankees get their first base runner of the game as Robinson Cano doubles, then Swisher walked, but Melky grounded into a double play and Jeter grounded out to end the inning.

4th inning

Red Sox – Victor Martinez flew out to start the inning, then Youkilis walked, but David Ortiz hit into a double play to end the inning.

Yankees – Damon called out on strikes, Teixeira lines out, and Rodriguez flies out…3 up 3 down.

5th inning

Red Sox – J.D. Drew grounds out, Varitek lines out, and Reddick called out on strikes…3 up 3 down.

Yankees – They finnally got something going this inning…Hideki singled to start the inning, followed by a single by Posada, then Cano hit one as hard as you can but right at J.D. Drew for the first out of the inning, Matsui did not tag up. After Cano, Swisher was called out on strikes, 2 outs. Then Melky walked to load the bases for Jeter, who grounded out to end the inning, no runs score.

6th inning

Red Sox – The inning started out poorly for Burnett, he walked Nick Green to start the inning, then Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference by Posada. But then Burnett got Pedroia to fly out, Martinez to pop out, and then Youkilis struck out to end the inning.

Yankees – Damon led off the inning by popping out, followed by Teixeira who grounded out, then Rodriguez who also grounded out.

7th inning

Red Sox – David Ortiz struck out to lead off the inning, followed by Drew who grounded out, then Varitek who struck out to end the inning.

Yankees – Matsui singled to start the inning, but then Posada struck out, followed by Cano who struck out while Matsui was trying to steal second but was thrown out. End of inning.

8th inning

Red Sox – Reddick grounded out to lead off the inning, then Casey Kotchman pinch hit for Nick Green but he struck out, and then Burnett walked Ellsbury in what would be his final batter faced in the game. Burnett departed with 2 outs and a man on first, and he got a huge standing ovation from the crowd as he left. Phil Hughes came in to replace Burnett, and he got Pedroia to fly out for the 3rd out.

AJ ovation

Yankees – The Red Sox put in Hideki Okajima to replace Beckett. Swisher grounded out to lead off the inning, then Melky struck out and Jeter flew out.

9th inning

Red Sox – Mariano Rivera came in to replace Hughes, and Jerry Hairston Jr. took over in right field for defensive purposes. Victor Martinez struck out swinging to lead off the inning, then Youkilis took called strike three, then Ortiz hit a single, but J.D. Drew lined out to end the inning.

Yankees – Damon flew out to lead off the inning, then the Red Sox put in Daniel Bard to replace Okajima. Teixeira would strike out against Bard for the 2nd out, but then Rodriguez singled and stole second, followed by a walk by Matsui. Then with Posada batting, Bard balked which put runners at 2nd and 3rd but Posada would strike out to end the inning.

10th inning

Red Sox – Alfredo Aceves took over for Mariano to begin the 10th. Varitek and Reddick both grounded out to begin the inning, but then Chris Woodward walked and Ellsbury singled, but Pedroia flew out to end the inning.

Yankees - Ramon Ramirez replaced Bard. Cano flew out for the first out, then Eric Hinske who was batting for Hairston walked. With Melky batting a wild pitch put Hinske on 2nd, but Melky would ground out, and Papelbon would come in and get Jeter to strike out to end the inning.

11th inning

Red Sox – Aceves would retire the side 1-2-3 as Martinez struck out, Youkilis popped up, and Ortiz grounded out.

Yankees - Damon grounds out, Teixeira flies out, and Rodriguez strikes out…3 up 3 down.

12th inning

Red Sox – Drew and Varitek would start the inning by both striking out, followed by Reddick who grounded out…3 up 3 down.

Yankees – Manny Delcarmen replaces Papelbon. Matsui pops out, Posada walks, Cano pops out, Hinske walks, and then Melky pops out to end the inning. (funny pattern of pop outs followed by walks)

13th inning

Red Sox -Brian Bruney comes in to replace Alfredo Aceves, uh oh. Woodward strikes out, Ellsbury pops out, and Pedroia strikes out. Good Bruney.

Yankees – Takashi Saito replaces Delcarmen. Jeter grounds out, Damon pops out, Teixeira walks, but Rodriguez flies out.

14th inning

Red Sox – Martinez flies out for out number 1. Youkilis singles (bad Bruney), Ortiz grounds out (good Bruney) but no double play, Bruney intentionally walks Drew to face Varitek who grounds out for out number 3.

Yankees – The Red Sox put in Junich Tazawa to replace Saito. Tazawa makes his major league debut in the 14th inning of a 0-0 game at Yankee stadium, and the first batter that he faces is Hideki Matsui who he grew up watching, pretty crazy right? Anyway, Matsui lines out, Posada singles, Cano singles, now 1st and 2nd for Eric Hinske. Ramiro Pena pinch runs for Posada at 2nd, Hinske hits a sharp line drive to right which looked like it would end the game, but Drew makes a great play. 2 outs, still 1st and 2nd, Melky at the plate. Melky would end up striking out to end the inning, but in that at bat he hit a hard line drive to right field that missed being fair by an inch.

15th inning

Red Sox- Jose Molina takes over at catcher, Phil Coke replaces Brian Bruney. Reddick called out on strikes, Woodward flies out, Ellsbury flies out…3 up 3 down.

Yankees – Jeter singles to start the inning, then Damon bunt pops out on a very questionable play. Teixeira strikes out, 2 outs, man on first for Alex Rodriguez. Rodriguez took the first pitch for a ball, then the 2nd for a strike, and the 3rd for another strike…but then on the 4th pitch he hit a line drive home run left center to win the game 2-0!

Rodriguez walk off

Of course A-Rod got pied by AJ Burnett, although he didn’t get much in his face. I guess AJ was tired after pitching  such a great game, and then sticking around in the dugout to watch the rest.

AJ pie

I think the Red Sox are quite worried now that the Yankees have a 4.5 game lead in the AL East, and the Sox only have a 1 game lead in the wild card with Texas right behind them, and today the Yankees send CC to hill to oppose Clay Buchholz, it looks like this match up favors the Yankees who happen to have the best record in the Major Leagues right now at 67-42, the Dodgers have the second best at 67-43.

Arod pie

Game 85: Yankees 6, Twins 4

Bye Bye Metrodome. (Photo: The view from the press box, picture taken by Peter Abraham)

Bye Bye Metrodome. (Photo: The view from the press box, picture taken by Peter Abraham)

Earlier today the Yankees defeated the Twins, taking the season sweep versus Minnesota. It was also the Yankees last game ever to be played at the Metrodome (unless the two teams meet in the playoffs), and while the building won’t be dearly missed, I thought it had some charm. Anyway, on to the game recap.

On the offensive side Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner each had 2 RBI’s. Cody’s RBI’s came on a bases loaded walk in the 2nd, and and a single to drive in Posada in the 4th. Gardner’s RBI’s came on a force play in the 2nd, and a single to score Cano in the 4th. The other two runs that the Yankees scored came off a single by Jeter, and a solo home run by Teixeira (breaking his streak of 95 at bats without a homer).

On the pitching side, it wasn’t beautiful but it got the job done. Aceves started the game and went 3.1 innings allowing 4 runs, 3 earned. He would have done better if it weren’t for some shoddy defense. Anyway, Aceves gave way to David Robertson who actually was the one to allow two of Aceves to score, both on bases loaded walks. If you actually watched him pitch today, you would realize he was terrible, but from the box score he looked fine (going 1 inning allowing no runs). After D-Rob left, Albaladejo came in and went 1.2 innings and allowed no runs, he ended up with the win. Coke followed Albaladejo to get 2 outs and then give way to Hughes who finished off the 7th and pitched the 8th, once again Hughes did not allow a run.  Then who else but the great Mariano Rivera came in to save the game in the 9th. Here’s the full box score.

Tomorrow the Yankees send out Joba Chamberlain who looks to get his act together (*maybe he should try throwing strikes, I hear that works*) in Anaheim against the pesky Angels who always seem to be a good, solid team. The Yankees will be opposed by Joe Saunders. First pitch is scheduled for 10:05 pm Eastern time, and you can catch the game on YES or WCBS 880.

Peter Abraham’s photo

Game 81: Yankees 10, Blue Jays 8

The Mexican Gangster was amazing for the Yankees today.

The Mexican Gangster was amazing for the Yankees today.

I’m not going to have a long recap this time. The story of the game was Alfredo Aceves, but I’ll get to him a little later. As you know, Joba Chamberlain started this game, and through 2 innings he didn’t look that bad, although he was getting into deep counts. The third inning was a different story, he gave up 3 runs. Then things got even worse in the 4th, Joba gave up 5 runs and could not get out of the inning, making way for Jonathan Albaladejo who was recalled earlier today. Albaladejo went a scoreless 1.1 innings. Enter Alfredo Aceves. When Aceves came in the 6th, most people didn’t think he was going to finish off the game. But he proved them wrong, throwing shutout ball for 4 innings, and picking up the save as the Yankees won 10-8.

On the offensive side, the big hit was a 2 run home run by Derek Jeter which came at a time when the Yankees were down 8-7. Hideki Matsui also helped the offense, picking off 4 RBI’s, three coming off a homer. Jorge Posada had three RBI’s one day after his big walk-off hit.