Monthly Archives: September 2013
Hello everybody. Unfortunately, due to some people being busy with their personal lives we will no longer be posting on this site. Fortunately, we will be merging with Greedy Pinstripes to continue to give you great Yankees coverage. We hope to see all of our readers over there. Thank you for all your support over the last few years we could not have done it without you guys. It’s too bad that we could not keep up the momentum last year when we were doing so well and we apologize for that. However, this is a new beginning and I can’t wait to see you guys over at Greedy Pinstripes.
1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Alex Rodriguez 3B
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano LF
5. Curtis Granderson DH
6. Eduardo Nunez SS
7. Lyle Overbay 1B
8. Ichiro Suzuki RF
9. Austin Romine C
P- CC Sabathia
– A-Rod batting second is a great move by Girardi
1. Brett Gardner CF
2. Derek Jeter SS
3. Robinson Cano 2B
4. Alfonso Soriano LF
5. Curtis Granderson DH
6. Eduardo Nunez 3B
7. Lyle Overbay 1B
8. Ichiro Suzuki RF
9. Austin Romine C
David Huff P
– Relief pitcher Jim Miller has been called up to the Bronx.
David Robertson will be shut down 5-6 days with shoulder tendinitis and Boone Logan will be having an MRI on his biceps.
Shawn Kelley is throwing a bullpen today after being unavailable the last couple of days with a triceps issue. If all goes well he could be available tomorrow.
These injuries can be absolutely deadly for the Yankees as you saw in last night’s game. 5 or 6 days is a very long time to be without Robertson with all of these important September games. It seems odd that his shoulder is fatigued, as he is only 55th among MLB relievers with 58.1 innings and 37th in appearances with 61.
Hopefully, Kelley can return tomorrow so the Yankees can have some semblance of a setup man. If he had been available the last two nights things might have turned out differently. These injuries have really hit the Yankees at the worst possible time.
The Yankees begin a crucial four-game set with the Boston Red Sox tonight at the Stadium. While the division may be out of reach, this is still a must-win series, as is practically each one for the remainder of the season. After this, they play the Orioles for three games in Baltimore and then the Bo-Sox again for three games at Fenway. These next 11 games likely will decide the Yankees’ fate, so here’s hoping they win every one!
Anyway, here are the lineups for tonight…
#2 Jacoby Ellsbury CF
#18 Shane Victorino RF
#15 Dustin Pedroia 2B
#34 David Ortiz DH
#29 Daniel Nava LF
#12 Mike Napoli 1B
#7 Stephen Drew SS
#20 Ryan Lavarnway C
#16 Will Middlebrooks 3B
Pitching: #44 Jake Peavy
#11 Brett Gardner CF
#2 Derek Jeter SS
#24 Robinson Cano 2B
#12 Alfonso Soriano LF
#14 Curtis Granderson DH
#13 Alex Rodriguez 3B
#55 Lyle Overbay 1B
#31 Ichiro Suzuki RF
#19 Chris Stewart C
Pitching: #47 Ivan Nova
Game time: 7:05pm
TV: YES Network
Radio: WCBS 880
Despite going up against arguably the best pitcher in baseball in White Sox ace Chris Sale, it still would’ve been a disappointment had the Yankees lost last night. There’s no need to explain that the team has to go on a 2011 Cardinals-esque run to even have a shot at the playoffs in a few weeks, so any loss against a lesser team is simply unacceptable.
Unfortunately, it looked like the Yanks had accepted their fate in last night’s game, as Sale had gone out and completely dominated the lineup. If it weren’t for yet another defensive miscue by Chicago that allowed Vernon Wells to steal home in the 2nd inning, the 24-year old lefty would’ve been working on a shutout as he started the 8th inning after allowing just three hits.
After recording an out, Sale surrendered a single to Derek Jeter and a double to Robinson Cano that put runners on second and third. Manager Robin Ventura elected to bring in Nate Jones to face Alfonso Soriano with Chicago’s 4-1 lead still in-tact.
But, it probably shocked no one who was on the field when Soriano poked a single into center field, scoring Jeter and Cano to make it a 4-3 game. Even on nights when he may not have his A-game, Sori just keeps on producing and coming through in the clutch. It’s pretty remarkable.
Anyway, Jones stayed in there to face Alex Rodriguez who singled to center as well, putting runners at the corners. As Joe Girardi went to his bench and pinch-hit Curtis Granderson for Vernon Wells, Ventura did some match-making of his own by bringing in Donnie Veal.
Yet, it was Joe who won this battle of the skippers as Grandy picked up the Yankees’ fifth straight hit of the inning with an RBI single. The game was now tied up at 4, and fans who were watching could swear a DeLorean picked them up and brought them back to 2009. It was that magical of a comeback, and the best part was that it was far from over.
Mark Reynolds struck out, but Ventura again went to the bullpen, bringing in Matt Lindstrom. Although it really didn’t matter who was on the mound, because the momentum had shifted completely. People knew that the Yanks were going to find a way to get it done no matter what.
So when Eduardo Nunez laced a two-run double down the left field line, the Yankees had a 6-4 lead and it was time to “put it on the left side”, as Michael Kay once said. In came Mariano Rivera and in a matter of minutes the ballgame was over, as Mo racked up his 40th save of the season.
While the Yanks may not have gained any ground as the Rays defeated the Angels, they luckily did not lose any. The team was well on its way to a well-deserved loss through the first 7 1/2 innings, but luckily they found a way to claw back in what may turn out to be their best game of the season.
But as is the case during a playoff chase like this, last night’s likely Yankee Classic is exactly that – in the past – and the Yanks have to focus on winning TODAY. It’ll be our former ace CC Sabathia going up against right-hander Erik Johnson, who is making his Major League debut. Game time is 7:05pm, and it’s can’t-miss television, folks. Now is the time to be fully invested in this Yankee team. It’s got talent, it’s got heart, it’s got pride, and it’s got the mentality Mariano Duncan and the 1996 world championship team had – that “We play today, we win today, das it!”
The New York Yankees catching situation has been a travesty for the majority of the season.
It started out wrong last winter when Brian Cashman wanted to match the measly two-year, $17 million offer Martin got from Pittsburgh, but ownership did not want to give out multi-year deals last offseason. Martin has had a solid season with the Pirates with a slash line of .240/.342/.398/.740 with 13 home runs and has been one of the catalysts for their great season.
The Yankees neglected to sign a real MLB caliber catcher and went into the season with Francisco Cervelli and Chris Stewart. Cervelli had a great month of April (probably HGH induced) before he got injured and has not seen the field since. Stewart took over as the everyday catcher with Austin Romine as the backup.
It has been clear all season that Stewart is not a starting caliber catcher. However, Romine got off to such a terrible start (.158/.179/.211/.390 in the first half) that Stewart was playing every day.
Now the tables have completely turned, as Romine has taken off, and Stewart has hit the wall. Stewart has been egregious in the second half of the season with a slash line of .169/.237.236/.473. Meanwhile, Romine has been absolutely stellar in the second half hitting .340/.418/.511/.929.
Joe Girardi has done an awesome job managing the Yankees this year, but one thing that he has dropped the ball on is not making Romine the everyday catcher earlier and he still hasn’t really done it. He probably does not entirely trust the young catcher, but at 24 years old and playing really well he should be getting the majority of the playing time. Stewart has 99 second half at-bats compared to Romine’s 56, which is really unacceptable.
It will be very interesting to see if Romine will be able to continue his hot hitting in September. If he does the Yankees will have a very interesting decision to make at catcher in the offseason.
If Alex Rodriguez’s suspension holds up, the Yankees would have more money to spend this offseason and a free agency run at Brian McCann makes sense. McCann has had a great season for the Braves with 133 wRC+, a .364 wOBA, a .843 OPS and 19 home runs in a pitchers home park and is still in his prime. However, if Romine and J.R. Murphy continue to develop then the Yankees may feel a lot better about their catching situation than they did before.
Murphy got his name in the Yankees record book yesterday by becoming the 52nd player used this year, which is the most ever for the Yankees. He did a nice job of working the count to 3-1 before hitting a rocket down the third base line for a single. It will be interesting to see how much playing time he gets down the stretch.
Murphy has had a great season in the minors that has gotten him to the Bronx for September. Between Double-A and Triple-A this season Murphy has a .269/.347/.426/.773 slash line with 12 home runs and 29 doubles. These are very good numbers for a 22 year old catcher. Murphy has also performed behind the dish with a 37% CS rate.
Murphy is not one of the more hyped prospects in the Yankees system, but a 22-year old catcher posting these kind of hitting numbers should be getting more attention. If the Yankees do sign McCann, or Romine continues to take off, Murphy could be trade bait, because the Yankees’ best prospect is also a catcher in Gary Sanchez. Either way, Murphy is working his way into the plans for next year as a cheap and talented catching option.
Obviously, the number one goal for the Yankees this September would be to finish off what would be one of their most miraculous comebacks ever to make the postseason. However, how Romine and Murphy perform down the stretch will have a big impact on the plans for next year, which is very important as well.
2013 will rightfully be remembered as Mariano Rivera’s final season. He announced his intent to “hang ’em up” at a press conference during spring training, and has not backed down from those statements. This truly is it for the greatest relief pitcher in baseball history.
So, as the calendar flips to September, all eyes will be on Mo as he and the Yankees try to will their way into the playoffs. It will take a big, and possibly historic run for the team to do so, but no matter how far the Yanks go, we are all experiencing the final weeks of Rivera’s legendary career.
Two players who have been through it all with him are of course Derek Jeter and Andy Pettitte. Aside from Andy’s three-year stint with the Houston Astros, the trio have been together for their entire adult lives. Starting out as fresh-faced minor leaguers who became fan-favorite youngsters of the late-90’s dynasty, the “Core Three” are now grizzled, battle-tested veterans in the twilight of their careers.
While Rivera has made it clear that his future in baseball extends no further than this fall, and Jeter seems intent on at least playing one more season, Andy Pettitte appears very uncertain if his days in pinstripes are numbered.
Or, if he wants them to be, that is.
Andy has had quite a frustrating 2013 season. Pettitte picked up right where he left off in 2012 by having a strong start in April until back issues forced him to go on the disabled list and miss two weeks. When he returned, he was not the same pitcher, allowing 38 runs in 68.1 innings in June and July. Many people believed he was done, some suggesting he should be removed from the rotation. He has since rebounded with four straight quality starts, but certainly cost the Yankees and himself a fair share of wins during the dog days of summer.
When he came out of retirement last year, it wasn’t just because he got the “itch” to go back out and play. Pettitte has always been a competitor and his sole focus is winning. Had he not been effective in 2012, it’s likely he wouldn’t have come back. But, thanks to his injury-shortened season and glimpses of ace-like performances, Andy decided to give it another go this year.
Even though he has rebounded, he still isn’t the same. He runs out of gas very quickly once he hits 85 pitches, and has gotten extremely lucky with players popping up or completely whiffing on easily hittable breaking pitches left up in the zone. Yet, (and though it has almost become a cliche) it is true that 85 quality pitches from Pettitte is better than what they’ve gotten out of Phil Hughes, CC Sabathia, and even Hiroki Kuroda as of late.
Still, Andy will turn 42 years old next June, and he is one awkward delivery away from another injury. He is that fragile. Does he really want to return next year, knowing he will be extremely limited as far as the leash he is given in each start? And, to ask the even bigger question – is it worth it? The Yankees are no where near World Series contention, even if they do make it to October or come into next season with a somewhat formidable team. And surely all that is on Pettitte’s agenda at this point is winning it all. He has come back, he has pitched well for the most part, and certainly has assessed any regrets he had about retiring back in 2011.
That’s why I just can’t see any reason for Andy to want to pitch in 2014, and right now I don’t think he will. He has a had a long, successful Major League career, and his comeback has been better than I think any of us expected. But at some point, every player eventually comes to the realization that it is time to walk away. Andy thought he had after the 2010 season, but I think this winter he truly will “hang ’em up” for good.
So, while we all relish each time Mariano Rivera jogs in from the bullpen to “Enter Sandman”, we should also take pleasure in watching the final starts that ol’ number 46 makes this season. Because like Mo, he is almost certainly in his final weeks with the New York Yankees.
Good morning Yankees fans! I am back with another Wild Card Watch! Yesterday the Yankees were 3.5 games back and needed to gain some ground. Did they? Here’s the results from last night along with the final scores of our Wild Card contending teams:
Wild Card Final Scores (WC Teams are in BOLD):
White Sox 1, Yankees 9: David Huff pitched 5.1 IP of one run ball, Derek Jeter drove in two runs and the Yankees scored a season high 8 runs in the 4th inning as they demolished the White Sox 9-1 to take game one of the three game set. Tonight’s pitching match-up: Chris Sale (10-12, 2.99 ERA) vs. Hiroki Kuroda (11-10, 2.89 ERA)
Rays 2, Angels 11: Erick Aybar had a big night for the Angels, hitting a two-run homer and a two-run triple, Grant Green had his first MLB home run and Garret Richards navigated after a shaky start as the Angels hand the Rays their fifth straight loss with a 11-2 victory. Tonight’s pitching match-up: Matt Moore (14-3, 3.41 ERA) vs. Jason Vargas (8-5, 3.54 ERA).
Orioles 7, Indians 2: Nate McLouth and Matt Weiters both hit two-run HR’s and Bud Norris pitched seven innings of one run ball as the Orioles beat the Indians 7-2. Tonight’s pitching match-up: Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.61 ERA) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (9-9, 3.95 ERA).
Rangers 2, Athletics 4: Coco Crisp hit the game deciding home run and Yoenis Cespedes HR’d as the A’s win 4-2. The Rangers and Angels are now tied for first in the AL West (which is why the Rangers are in the Wild Card standings. Tonight’s match-up: Martin Perez (8-3, 3.58 ERA) vs. Bartolo Colon (14-5, 2.94 ERA).
Royals 3, Mariners 1: Royals reliever Will Smith tossed 4.1 IP after starter Danny Duffy left the game in the fourth inning and the Royals got to King Felix, scoring three runs including a Mike Moustakas single as the Royals beat the Mariners 3-1. Tonight’s pitching match-up: Erasmo Ramirez (5-1, 5.18 ERA) vs. Bruce Chen (6-2, 2.79 ERA).
Come back tomorrow for another Wild Card Update!
It’s a brand new series…let’s just forget about yesterday. Here’s the lineup
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Vernon Wells DH
Curtis Granderson RF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Austin Romine C
Phil Hughes RHP
— The Yankees have called up Preston Claiborne from High A Tampa. Joe Girardi said there shouldn’t be anymore call-ups September. Aside from Preston Claiborne, don’t expect the other call ups to be used. Girardi says they are more here for the experience.
Last night on Twitter I asked my followers if they would prefer that I placed the Wild Card standings on my Twitter account and I got a huge response. All of the answers were yes. So I decided why not do a Wild Card Watch on Yankees Fans Unite as well? That way we can keep tabs on where the Yankees are for the rest of the month, dissecting what the Yankees have to do in order to get the second Wild Card spot. Here was the Wild Card standings from last night, since all the teams that are in the Wild Card race played afternoon games.
The good news is, the Yankees didn’t lose any ground for the second Wild Card spot. The Tampa Bay Rays lost so the Yankees are still 3.5 in the race. The bad news (for now) is that Baltimore and Cleveland leapfrogged over the Yankees for the other two spots. Now, the reason I say it was bad news for now is because a brand new series means brand new teams play against one another. Yankees will host the Chicago White Sox for three games and the Cleveland Indians will host–the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees have a chance to once again leapfrog over Baltimore and Cleveland since one of those teams in the Wild Card race would have to lose the games and the series. Now, the White Sox are no pushovers for the Yankees since they have Jose Quintana, Chris Sale and Hector Santiago going in that series, but the Yankees have a slightly different team and the offense clicked as of late. What will happen on Labor Day? Hopefully the Yankees labor their way to a victory, then hold their breath to hope either Baltimore or Cleveland lose the game, then hold their breath and hope the Rays lose their game. Yankees can’t fall backwards. It’s only going forwards from here. Come back to the blog tomorrow for another Wild Card Watch.
Yankees go for the series sweep vs. the Orioles today (and there are some September Call-Ups)! Here is your starting lineup!
LHP Andy Pettitte
— Catcher J.R. Murphy
— Infielder David Adams
— Right Hand Pitcher Brett Marshall
— Right Hand Pitcher Dellin Betances
— Left Hand Pitcher Cesar Cabral
(Preston Claiborne will be another call-up but the season for the Tampa Yankees finishes on Monday, so he could either come back tomorrow or most likely Tuesday).
All right, let’s play a quick game. Raise your hand if on May 1st you thought this team was going to be in a position to take the second Wild Card spot in September with a lineup that didn’t have Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson or Mark Teixeira. Be honest, because from Twitter from May-July there were some pessimistic tweets about them.
It is September 1st. The Yankees are 3.5 games back for the second Wild Card spot entering play today and they have 27 games remaining. The Tampa Bay Rays have been fading recently, going 3-7 in their last ten games, playing the first Wild Card spot team the Oakland Athletics. The Yankees in their last 10 games are 7-3. The team the Yankees need to keep below them in the Wild Card, the Baltimore Orioles are 4-6 in their last 10 games. Yes, the Yankees have been playing with the cards that have been dealt to them but it’s easier now, considering the Yankees have some power in the lineup.
Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter have returned. The Yankees have traded for Alfonso Soriano. They claimed Mark Reynolds off waivers. The world (and the season) no longer falls on Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Ichiro Suzuki‘s shoulders. They are now a small (but important) part of a large puzzle. The rotation has been getting quality work from Ivan Nova and Andy Pettitte. Hiroki Kuroda is expected to turn it around after a dismal August, which could be because of fatigue. The bullpen has been flawless this year (well, majority of the bullpen). The Yankees pieces are all clicking together at the right time and if they keep playing the way they are playing, they have a legitimate chance to knock Tampa Bay out of the second spot and claim it for themselves.
Two weeks ago, the Yankees chances seemed slim. They had to hop over three teams to even get behind the Rays. Going into September…the Yankees hope to pass the Rays and get into postseason contention and prove all the naysayers wrong. This team could be good enough to get into the playoffs, but how far could they possibly go?