Daily Archives: May 21, 2012

Game 42 Lineup: Royals vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Royals:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Raul Ibanez LF
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C

Hiroki Kuroda RHP






Travel Day

25% of the MLB season is in the books.  Disgraceful umpiring and serious problems for one of MLB’s perennial playoff teams are the stories that dominated the past week in MLB.

I’m Mad As Hell And I’m Not Going To Take This Anymore!

Any serious fan of baseball has observed the umpiring in MLB head downhill the last few years.  While fans, players, and managers of any team are prone to arguing that their team got the shaft from the men in blue in a given game, this problem has gotten completely out of hand and is threatening the credibility of the sport.

Bud Selig’s outright refusal to expand instant replay is puzzling, irrational, and the product of an antiquated mind.  The NFL, NBA, NHL, NCAA Football and professional tennis all use replay. Of the major sports, MLB stands alone in placing no priority on getting the calls right.

The arguments for not expanding replay are weak. As far as I can tell, the only major argument against expanded replay is the lengthening of games.  That argument is flawed in its very nature. Apparently those who are against expanded replay feel that saving a few minutes outweighs results that fans, players and managers can accept as valid.  At the end of the day, what people want are legitimacy and the feeling that the best team on a given day won a game. I was always under the assumption that was the reason that people watched sporting events.

Let’s take a look at this year’s Super Bowl between the Giants and Patriots. The Giants key play on the game winning drive was a long pass from Eli Manning to Mario Manningham, who somehow managed to gain possession of the football and stay in bounds.  That completed pass lead to a Giants touchdown that turned out to be the deciding score and the referees working that game correctly ruled it a completion. Replay confirmed that miraculously, Manningham had indeed controlled the ball and gotten both feet down.  One of the men calling that game for NBC, former NFL wide receiver Chris Collinsworth, initially said that he thought the ball was not controlled inbounds and that the play would be overturned on replay.  Collinsworth was wrong, but suppose he wasn’t? For the sake of argument, let us assume that Collinsworth was right, that the wrong call was made. Let us also assume that the NFL did not utilize instant replay.  We would have had an incorrect call ultimately deciding the Super Bowl. Would that victory be accepted as valid? Would fans of the Giants proudly wear their World Champion hats and jackets commemorating the victory? Would the Giants proudly accept and wear their rings?  I suppose some would. They would trot out the tired old clichés like “those are the breaks”, “one play doesn’t decide a game”, and “they would have won anyway”, but we would all know that wasn’t true.  What you’d likely have right now would be the Patriots claiming that they were robbed, taunting the Giants as phony champions, and fans screaming in outrage that something had to be done to insure the integrity of the game.  How satisfying would  that be for anyone?

Read the rest of this entry

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Royals | 5/21/12-5/23/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 5/21/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Last Start: 5.0 IP, 7 ER, 8 H, 6 K, 2 BB, 3 HR
On the Season: 3-5, 4.50 ERA / 5.28 FIP / 4.19 xFIP, 5.63 K/9, 3.19 BB/9 in 48.0 IP

Pitching for the Royals: Felipe Paulino, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 5 H, 9 K, 2 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 1-1, 1.93 ERA / 2.22 FIP / 2.77 xFIP, 10.13 K/9, 2.41 BB/9 in 18.2 IP

Tuesday, 5/22/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Phil Hughes, RHP
Last Start: 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 3-5, 5.23 ERA / 5.24 FIP / 4.42 xFIP, 8.49 K/9, 2.40 BB/9 in 41.1 IP

Pitching for the Royals: Luke Hochevar, RHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 6 K, 1 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 3-4, 7.02 ERA / 3.68 FIP / 4.20 xFIP, 6.37 K/9, 3.07 BB/9 in 41.0 IP

Wednesday, 5/23/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Andy Pettitte, LHP
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 9 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 1-1, 2.51 ERA / 4.08 FIP / 3.32 xFIP, 6.91 K/9, 2.51 BB/9 in 14.1 IP

Pitching for the Royals: Luis Mendoza, RHP
Last Start: 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 2-2, 5.03 ERA / 4.59 FIP / 4.87 xFIP, 4.50 K/9, 5.56 BB/9 in 34.0 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

— Robinson Cano – 9 for 25 with 5 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 BB in the last 7 days

— Raul Ibanez – 6 for 22 with 2 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Russell Martin – 1 for 13 with 1 HR, 1 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K in the last 7 days

— Nick Swisher – 4 for 26 with 1 double, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K in the last 7 days

— Derek Jeter – 5 for 25 with 1 BB, 2 K in the last 7 days

You could also throw in Andruw Jones and Alex Rodriguez, along with several others into this category.

KC Offense

Who’s Hot:

— Billy Butler – 9 for 25 with 2 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB in the last 7 days

— Jeff Francoeur – 9 for 28 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Alex Gordon – 4 for 31 with 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K in the last 7 days

— Eric Hosmer – 3 for 23 with 1 double, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series everyone!

Morning Bits: A-Rod, Kuroda, Red Sox & Yankees

Good morning all.   Not a good weekend for Yankee baseball as the team is not playing so well this year.  We could all blame injuries but we still have big contract players in the lineup not producing.

Let’s get right to the links…..

Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY writes that A-Rod’s power seems to be long gone.  So much for that trip to Germany for the blood spinning.

David Schoenfield of ESPN writes that the Yankees are in as much trouble as the Red Sox.

Paul Casella writes that Kuroda will look for consistency tonight against Kansas City.

CC falters in 7th inning, Yanks drop series finale with 5-2 loss over Reds

From the 1st to 6th inning, it looked as if CC Sabathia was cruising along. The Yankees had the lead in the 6th inning on a Raul Ibanez two run home run, but all it took was 1 inning. 1 inning for things to unravel. 1 inning for things to get bad. 1 inning to give up the Yankees lead for good.

CC gave up 2 HR’s in the 7th inning to tie the game at 2. There was an infield single which followed with 3 walks in a row; the third walk bringing home the 3rd run for the Reds.

The Yankees wanted to hold the Reds at 3 runs so Joe Girardi brought out Rafael Soriano. Soriano disappointed by giving up 2 runs in the 9th inning (both runs were charged to Boone Logan.)

There is no question right now that the Yankees are struggling. The Yankees can’t hit with runners in scoring position, the Yankees are only 1 game above last place and the Yankees will have to be without their best outfielder Brett Gardner until probably sometime late next week. With the season already a quarter over, is it too early for the Yankees to be worried or is this the perfect time to panic?

Minor Recap: Big season debut for Rutckyj

Triple A – Empire State L 4-1

RHP Dellin Betances had another subpar outing: 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4K, 1 HBP, 1 WP – only 47 strikes out of 87 pitches

RF/IF Ronnie Mustelier continues to hit: 1-4, HR (3)

Comments: Mustelier deserves a shot in the Bronx. He’s not a kid – he’s a soon to be 28-yr-old Cuban defector who has hit at every level since signing last June.  He hit .356/.397/.527 last yr and this yr between AA & AAA, he’s hit a combined .348 with 8 HRs and a .985 OPS.  He plays 2B, 3B and all 3 OF positions although I must admit I don’t know much about his defense.

AA Trenton W 8-3

CF Abe Almonte  2-5, SB(15) – .278

2B Corban Joseph 2-5, 2 2B’s – .373

LHP Shaeffer Hall  8.2 IP, 7H, 3 ER,  0 Walks, 3 Ks, 2 HRs – Now 4-4, 3.51 era, only 8 bb & 29 K in 56 ip

Comments:  Hall is having another solid yr repeating AA and could be promoted by mid-season.  Joseph has been limited to 13 games due to injury but he’s smoking the ball with 19 hits in those 13 games with a 1.024 OPS.  He may be the team’s best pure hitting prospect above A-ball so let’s hope he stays healthy.

High A Tampa W 3-2

CF Ramon Flores 1-3, BB, SB (5) – .253

RF Rob Segedin 1-4, 2B (14) – .294

RHP Sean Black – 5ip, 2h, 1er, 0 bb, 5K

RHP Mark Montgomery W (3-1) 2ip, 0 h, 0r, 0 bb, 6 K – 1.31 era

Comments: Montgomery continues to dominate the Florida St Lg like he dominated last yr.  He has 34 Ks and has allowed just 11 h in 20.2 ip. in 49 career ip, he has allowed 31 hits and struck out 85 batters! They need to challenge him at a higher level right away.  His Slider overmatches young hitters and he could be in AAA by the end of the yr.

Low A Charleston W 6-1

CF Mason Williams 1-5, 2B (9) – .299

SS Cito Culver 1-3, 2 SBs (11) – .217

RF Tyler Austin 1-3, R, 2 SBs (8) – .288

DH Gary Sanchez 1-3, 2B (14), RBI – .314

2B Angelo Gumbs 2-4, R, 2B (6)

LHP Evan Rutckyj 5 ip, 2h, 0 r, 0 bb, 8 k W (1-0) Rutckyj was dazzling in his debut in full-season ball and is a big 20-yr old 6’6″ lefty with big potential – def someone to watch.

Comments: Austin didn’t go yard today but managed to get a hit and steal 2 bases (8 for 9 on the yr).  Gumbs hit just .208 in April but is hitting .325 in May and is 2nd in the league with 19 SBs.