Daily Archives: July 6, 2012

Game 82 Lineup: Yankees vs. Red Sox

Lineup vs. Red Sox

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

Hiroki Kuroda RHP


Halfway Home: A Look At The First Half Of The Yankee 2012 Season

On the 4th of July, at 6:57 PM EDT, Rafael Soriano induced Carlos Pena to pop up to first base and seal a 4-3 comeback victory over the Rays.  That popup marked not only the end of the game, but also the first half of the 2012 Yankee season.

Each regular season seems to have its own flavor or theme, something that makes it unique from recent seasons.  The conclusion of the first half of the 2012 season finds the Yankees in first place in the AL East, exactly where they were at end of 81 games in the 2011 season.   So what’s been different about the 2012 Yankees season? Plenty!  Today we’ll take a look back at the events that shaped the first half of the 2012 season as well as the emotions those events inspired.

Spring Training- A Comeback And Setbacks

The Yankees took to Legends Field for spring training following a busy offseason by GM Brian Cashman.  On January 13th, Cashman traded  catcher/DH Jesus Montero and pitcher Hector Noesi to the Seattle Mariners for pitcher Michael Pineda and minor league pitching prospect Jose Campos.  On that same day, Cashman signed free agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to one year, ten million dollar contract.  Those moves by Cashman would serve as catalysts for signing DH Raul Ibanez and trading pitcher A.J. Burnett to the Pirates.

These transactions were viewed very favorably by many fans and media members and as a result, the bar had been raised even higher on the expectations of the 2012 Yankee season.

There was a buzz surrounding the beginning of spring training that rivaled that of 2009, the year that Cashman had added the free agent trio of C.C. Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and the aforementioned A.J. Burnett.  Those additions had played a huge role in the eventual World Series victory of that year and fans and management were hopeful that the additions of Pineda and Kuroda would help lead to the same outcome.

On March 16th, one of the most beloved Yankees of all time announced his return to baseball and sent Yankee fans into a fever pitch.  Andy Pettitte, who had retired at the end of the 2010 season, announced that he still had a desire to play the game of baseball and signed a one year deal with the Yankees for the 2012 season. Pettitte, who was 39 at the time, looked to be giving the Yankees an eventual problem of “too much pitching” upon his projected arrival to the team in May. Pettitte also gave fans another link to the beloved Yankee dynasty teams as a member of the core four. With Jorge Posada‘s retirement following the 2011 season, only Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera remained as active Yankees from those teams who won 4 titles in 5 years.  The idea of Pettitte rejoining his old teammates brought a smile to many fans’ faces.

Most baseball fans realize that the outcome of spring training games is meaningless. A good won-lost record in spring training and a dollar will you get you a cup of coffee. When the Yankees went on a spring training losing streak, the headlines calling for concern were as comical as they were misguided.  Apparently Derek Jeter couldn’t hit anymore and Ivan Nova couldn’t pitch anymore.

While most fans were rational enough not to get taken in by those headlines, there were some serious concerns about pitcher Michael Pineda that were troubling.  Pineda had taken being traded to the most franchise in professional sports so seriously that he had come to camp at anywhere from 290-305 pounds, depending on what source you trusted.  You didn’t need a scale to see that he was out shape and Pineda himself said he needed to lose weight. Pineda was ineffective in his spring training starts, the biggest concern being a diminished velocity on his fastball.

On March 30th, Pineda felt some discomfort in the back of his right shoulder in a spring training start.  Pineda was given an MRI and diagnosed with tendon inflammation in his right shoulder.  Pineda was shut down until further notice, causing panic in those who had seen him as the number two starter the Yankees had needed.

Read the rest of this entry

Series Preview: Yankees at Red Sox | 7/6/12-7/8/12

Pitching Matchups

Friday, 7/6/12, 7:10pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Last Appearance: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 11 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 8-7, 3.17 ERA / 4.00 FIP / 3.86 xFIP, 7.04 K/9, 2.73 BB/9 in 102.1 IP

Pitching for the Red Sox: Josh Beckett, RHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 4 K, 3 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 4-7, 4.06 ERA / 3.75 FIP / 3.99 xFIP, 6.40 K/9, 2.13 BB/9 in 84.1 IP

Saturday, 7/7/12, 12:35pm ET (Double-Header Game 1; makeup of PPD game on 4/22)

Pitching for the Yankees: Phil Hughes, RHP
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 8 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 9-6, 4.29 ERA / 4.60 FIP / 4.15 xFIP, 8.49 K/9, 2.10 BB/9 in 94.1 IP

Pitching for the Red Sox: Franklin Morales, LHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 7 K, 2 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 1-1, 2.51 ERA / 2.59 FIP / 3.61 xFIP, 9.63 K/9, 2.30 BB/9 in 43.0 IP

Saturday, 7/7/12, 7:15pm ET (Double-Header Game 2)

Pitching for the Yankees: Freddy Garcia, RHP
Last Appearance: 5.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 0 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 2-2, 5.94 ERA / 4.48 FIP / 3.98 xFIP, 6.69 K/9, 1.98 BB/9 in 36.1 IP

Pitching for the Red Sox: Felix Doubront, LHP
Last Start: 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 4 K, 5 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 8-4, 4.42 ERA / 4.20 FIP / 3.78 xFIP, 9.13 K/9, 3.41 BB/9 in 89.2 IP

Sunday, 7/8/12, 8:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova, RHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 3 ER, 7 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 9-3, 4.05 ERA / 4.53 FIP / 3.91 xFIP, 7.76 K/9, 2.67 BB/9 in 104.1 IP

Pitching for the Red Sox: Jon Lester, LHP
Last Start: 6.2 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 9 K, 1 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 5-5, 4.33 ERA / 3.63 FIP / 3.59 xFIP, 7.33 K/9, 2.33 BB/9 in 108.0 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

Robinson Cano – 11 for 26 with 2 HR, 8 RBI in the last 7 days

Andruw Jones – 4 for 11 with 2 doubles, 2 RBI in the last 7 days

Eric Chavez – 3 for 10 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

Russell Martin – 0 for 15 with 4 K in the last 7 days

Nick Swisher – 4 for 21 with 2 BB, 9 K in the last 7 days

BOS Offense

Who’s Hot:

Adrian Gonzalez – 9 for 26 with 1 RBI in the last 7 days

Who’s Not:

Nick Punto – 1 for 13 with 1 BB, 2 K in the last 7 days

Daniel Nava – 3 for 23 with 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K in the last 7 days

— Jarrod Saltalamacchia – 3 for 20 with 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K in the last 7 days

Mike Aviles – 3 for 18 with 1 double, 1 BB, 4 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series everyone!

Morning Bits: Phelps, Reggie Jackson’s thoughts on A-Rod

Good morning all.  The weekend is here and on top of that a series with the Red Sox.  Can the Yankees end with a strong series?  Can Martin actually hit the ball?  Will they score with RISP?  Kuroda vs Beckett on the mound today.

Let’s get to some links…..

John Nalbone of The Star Ledger writes that David Phleps has been sent to the Trenton Thunder (AA) to make room for McDonald.   Don’t let the AA thing bother you.  It’s just is the perfect fit to keep Phelps going to start on normal rest.   This is a good idea to get him stretched out in case the Yankees need him again.

— By now I’m sure you heard that Reggie Jackson had a lot to say about A-Rod.  Here is the story from Mark Feinsand of The Daily News.

— Bleeding Yankee Blue has a good article about Cole Hamels.  Check it out.