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Wild Card Watch: September 3, 2013

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:

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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!

Wild Card Watch: September 2, 2013

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.

BTHeQjaIcAAc33tThe 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 Road Through September (and maybe the playoffs)?

Robinson Cano and the Yankees have a tough task in September--get into the wild card race anyway they can

Robinson Cano and the Yankees have a tough task in September–get into the wild card race anyway they can

The Yankees have 29 games left this season, and they gained a half game yesterday without playing a game (thanks Angels and Tigers). As the Baltimore Orioles come into town this weekend, the schedule for the Yankees in September will tell them just how much of a playoff contending team they are. Here’s a preview of the September calendar, and where the Yankees could stand at the end of the month.

August 30 – September 1

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles pitching is a bit sketchy, but they can survive sketchy pitching with their lineup. With the power bat of Chris Davis and the ability for the rest of team to scratch out runs, the Yankees are in for the fight of their life this weekend. This series won’t be easy but the Yankees have added Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano should he be well enough to play at some point this weekend. The Yankees need to at least take two out of three in this series, which means that CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova need to step up and pitch well (Nova has done that this season, the sentence was more for Hughes and Sabathia). Also a word of advice, if the Yankees want a chance to take the series, I’d suggest taking Hughes out of the rotation and put David Huff to start instead. Just because David Huff combined with his last two outings had pitched a full game giving up no runs and one hit. I’d sign up for that instead of home runs and runs from Hughes.

September 2 – September 4

Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees

The last time these two teams faced one another, the White Sox swept the Yankees in three games. This time it should be a bit different since we didn’t have any power bats in our lineup at the time (minus Robinson Cano). This White Sox team is a bit different since they gave up a lot of their key players during the season to contending teams, so it should be an easier battle this time around. If all goes according to plan, the best case scenario would be to take two out of three. I’d be greedy saying I want the sweep, but hey…don’t we all?

September 5 – September 8

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

The Red Sox and Yankees were the highlight of ESPN baseball two weeks ago when the Red Sox woke up the Yankees after an intentionally pitch to Alex Rodriguez hit him in his ribs. This time it’s a four game set at Yankee Stadium and the Red Sox will have to face off against the Yankees once again. The Yankees took two out of three last time due to great pitching and timely hitting. The Yankees need to have the same formula coming into the series. The keys to this series: keep Jacoby Ellsbury off base since he’s the Red Sox version of Brett Gardner and find a way to get David Ortiz out anyway they can. (As of the morning of August 30, Ortiz has been in a slump going 0 for his last 23). This series is crucial. The Yankees need to at least take two out of the four games.

September 9 – September 12

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

The Yankees go from one four game series to another four game series, this time traveling to Camden Yards for this four game set vs. the Orioles. Keys to the rest of the Orioles series is simple: Don’t give them anything to hit, especially Chris Davis. One mistake and it could go out to Eutaw street faster than you can say “Mariano Rivera“. Which means I strongly advise Joe Girardi to again not play Phil Hughes. Don’t know how many times I’m going to have to say this.

September 13 – September 15

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

After the Orioles series, the Yankees go to Boston and play another series at Fenway. Yep, same old same old Yankees vs. Red Sox. But this has more on the line for the Yankees than it does for the Red Sox. Let’s just say find a way to stop the Red Sox bats, score some runs, take two out of three and get the heck out of there? Sound good? Good.

September 17 – September 19

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The Yankees go to Canada to play the Toronto Blue Jays in their final showdown this season. The Yankees have owned the Blue Jays this season, minus the most recent series where the Blue Jays took two out of three from the Yankees. Well, the Yankees will be looking for a vengeance. Key to this series: Keep the power hitters at bay, don’t walk Jose Reyes and Rajai Davis–and try to get to the Blue Jays pitching. The Yankees have the discipline to do so and have proved it in the past.

September 20 – September 22

San Francisco Giants vs. New York Yankees

All right, who made this schedule? An interleague game at the end of the year? Anyway, back to the topic at hand: The Giants this year–aren’t very good (and that’s an understatement). The Yankees could have themselves a two out of three series (or maybe a sweep) if the Yankees run into bad pitching, which the Giants have had this season. Well, we don’t know when the Giants will come back to Yankee Stadium so we might as well enjoy this series (that and we could see how starstruck the players get when they run into Mariano Rivera).

September 24 – September 26

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

The final series at Yankee Stadium for the 2013 season is against the Tampa Bay Rays who have the pitching to get them where they need to be if they make the first wild card spot. The keys to this series is simple: Don’t give any of the power hitters (and there are some power hitters) anything good to hit. That includes Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Matt Joyce…you get the picture. It’s also important to stay patient with the pitchers.  You never know when you can get into their bullpen which has had an up and down year.

September 27 – September 29

New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

The final series of the season takes the Yankees to Texas, but not to face the Rangers. Instead, they will face the Houston Astros. Honestly, if the Yankees can’t sweep the Astros, then we don’t deserve to be contending. The Houston Astros are a minor league team in the Major Leagues, and that’s me putting it as nicely as I can. Depending where the Yankees are in the wild card standings at this point in the season, this series is important. This series could make or break the chances of getting into the playoffs if the race is that close in the end.

Morning Bits: Game Time!, Robinson Cano, Orioles = Red Sox???

Good morning everyone and a happy Sunday to you all!! Tonight CC Sabathia takes the hill in Game 1 of the 2012 ALDS vs. the Baltimore Orioles. Jason Hammel will pitch for the Orioles. First pitch is at 6:15pm! Stay tuned to the blog today where I will post the postseason 25 man roster and the lineup for Game 1. Until then, here are the morning bits!

— Welcome to October! On paper tonight the Yankees have the advantage vs. Jason Hammel but let’s see how this all plays out.

— In 2009, Alex Rodriguez was the Yankees lead man in the postseason. Not this year. This year it’s the best 2nd baseman in the gameRobinson Cano!

— According to Mike Lupica of the Daily News, the Orioles are the Yankees new Red Sox. If you mean annoying to the point where they won’t go away kind of like the pre-2011 & 2012 Red Sox then he’s exactly right.

Morning Bits: Soriano = Mariano?, Orioles, Ichiro, Teixeira, Gehrig

Good morning everyone and a happy Saturday to you all! The Yankees finally have a play-off opponent and it’s a very familiar AL East foe–it’s the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees will fly down to Baltimore today and continue workouts there before tomorrow’s Game 1 of the ALDS. Here are the morning links for the day. 

— With no Mariano Rivera in the play-offs for the first time in a long time, can Rafael Soriano fill Mo’s shoes and give the Yankees victories?

— Looks like the Yankees and Orioles aren’t done yet. The Yankees start the ALDS at Camden Yards (where they had a 6-3 record in 2012) and will continue for 3* (if necessary) games in Yankee Stadium.

Ichiro Suzuki hasn’t been to the play-offs in 11 years–yes, I said 11. So to finally be able to play in a meaningful game means a lot to the ex-Mariner.

— The Yankees are looking for some Tex supportMark Teixeira support that is. Teixeira is determined to get out of his postseason rut and help the Yankees defeat the Orioles.

— A group of legislators want to investigate if Lou Gehrig’s disease is what actually killed Lou Gehrig.

Yankees Off-Day Notes: 25 Man Roster, Sabathia, McGehee, Nix, Jeter, Rangers or Orioles?

Good evening everyone. The Yankees don’t play again tonight but there was baseball to be played since the 2 Wild Card games were on TBS. The Cardinals (controversially) won the NL Wild Card game which sent the Braves packing and the Cardinals to the NLDS. Tonight the Yankees will find out whether they are heading to Baltimore or whether they are heading down to Texas. While we wait for that, here are some notes from today.

— The Yankees won’t release the 25 man roster until tomorrow but the Yankees did reveal that Casey McGehee did not make the postseason roster. He reportedly took it hard.

— Joe Girardi confirmed that CC Sabathia would pitch Game 1 of the ALDS but he didn’t say who he was going to pitch in Game 2.

Jayson Nix says that he feels he’s well enough to make the postseason roster but he’s not sure whether he will make the roster.

— I wrote an article for Yahoo! about why I believe Derek Jeter is a Fall Classic legend by becoming “Mr. November” in 2001.

— While watching tonight’s Orioles and Rangers game, who would you rather see play the Yankees in the ALDS: The Orioles or the Rangers?

Morning Bits: Cano hurt or giving up?, A.L. East Race, Jeter & More…

Well the Yankee ship is in some rough waters.  Do they make it out of the storm or will the ship sink?  The Yankees are now only 1 game up on the O’s and 2.5 games up on the Rays.  Tonight’s matchup is Garcia vs Cobb and first pitch is scheduled for 7PM EST.

Enjoy.  Now for some links….

Wallace Matthews asks – Did Cano hurt himself or give up on Monday’s biggest play?  What do you guys think?

Wallace Mattthews also has an article with some quotes from Jeter who is not panicking just yet.

Hal Bodley of MLB.com writes that the A.L. race is September baseball at it’s best.

SWB Yankees have won the division title for the 5th time in 6 years.

— The Trenton Thunder when the Finale. They will face the Reading Phillies in the playoffs.

Morning Bits: Joba, Swisher, O’s

Good Morning.  The weekend is here and so is a new series for the Bombers.   The O’s are in town and this is the chance for the Yankees to separate themselves from them and make the push for the playoffs.  On the mound tonight is Gonzalez vs Kuroda.  First pitch is scheduled for 7:05PM Est.

Enjoy the day.  Now for some links…

Ian Begely of ESPN NY asks what to do about Joba.

—  Zack Meisel of MLB.com has a nice write about Nick Swisher.

Marc Carig of The Star Ledger writes about how important this series with the O’s.

Morning Bits: Kuroda, Jeter

Good morning everyone and a happy Saturday to everyone. Yankees finally were able to stop their 3 game halt with CC Sabathia on the mound. Hiroki Kuroda takes the ball tonight as the Yankees try to take the series. Here are your morning links.

— Speaking of Hiroki Kuroda, could he possibly win the Cy Young award? While ESPN says he has good numbers–that’s a negative.

— We all saw Derek Jeter get hit in the head last night with a pitch and as expected, he isn’t happy about it.

— With the final month of the regular season rapidly approaching, the Yankees have a chance to once again pad their lead against the Rays and the Orioles.

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Orioles | 7/30/12-8/1/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 7/30/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Freddy Garcia, RHP
Last Start: 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 8 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 4-4, 5.16 ERA / 4.02 FIP / 3.98 xFIP, 7.38 K/9, 2.51 BB/9 in 61.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Miguel Gonzalez, RHP
Last Start: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 7 H, 2 K, 2 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 2-2, 4.28 ERA / 5.50 FIP / 5.20 xFIP, 7.49 K/9, 4.28 BB/9 in 33.2 IP

Tuesday, 7/31/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova, RHP
Last Start: 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 5 K, 6 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 10-4, 4.08 ERA / 4.44 FIP / 3.98 xFIP, 8.02 K/9, 2.95 BB/9 in 128.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Chris Tillman, RHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 4 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-1, 1.66 ERA / 3.34 FIP / 4.65 xFIP, 7.06 K/9, 3.74 BB/9 in 21.2 IP

Wednesday, 8/1/12, 1:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Phil Hughes, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 3 HR On the Season: 10-8, 4.08 ERA / 4.77 FIP / 4.30 xFIP, 7.94 K/9, 2.15 BB/9 in 121.1 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Zach Britton, LHP
Last Start: 5.2 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 2 K, 3 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 1-0, 5.74 ERA / 5.81 FIP / 5.28 xFIP, 4.60 K/9, 6.32 BB/9 in 15.2 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

Russell Martin – 5 for 13 with 2 HR, 5 RBI, 5 BB in the last 7 days

Mark Teixeira – 6 for 22 with 2 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

Eric Chavez – 0 for 12 with 2 BB, 3 K in the last 7 days

Andruw Jones – 3 for 17 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K in the last 7 days

BAL Offense

Who’s Hot:

Omar Quintanilla – 11 for 26 with 3 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBI in the last 7 days

Nick Markakis – 9 for 29 with 1 double, 1 HR, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Chris Davis – 7 for 23 with 1 double, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

Matt Wieters – 1 for 19 with 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 9 K in the last 7 days

Taylor Teagarden – 1 for 12 with 7 K in the last 7 days

Mark Reynolds – 3 for 21 with 3 BB, 9 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series everyone!

Series Preview: Yankees at Orioles | 5/14/12-5/15/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 5/14/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 8 K, 2 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 4-1, 5.02 ERA / 4.84 FIP / 3.67 xFIP, 8.60 K/9, 2.63 BB/9 in 37.2 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jason Hammel, RHP
Last Start: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 4-1, 2.09 ERA / 2.51 FIP / 2.76 xFIP, 8.84 K/9, 2.56 BB/9 in 38.2 IP

Tuesday, 5/15/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: C.C. Sabathia, LHP
Last Start: 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 7 H, 10 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 5-0, 3.51 ERA / 2.79 FIP / 2.67 xFIP, 9.29 K/9, 1.75 BB/9 in 51.1 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen, LHP
Last Start: 7.2 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 5 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-0, 2.68 ERA / 3.19 FIP / 4.45 xFIP, 6.81 K/9, 2.92 BB/9 in 37.0 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

— Robinson Cano – 11 for 22 with 3 doubles, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

— Raul Ibanez – 6 for 17 with 1 double, 4 HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Curtis Granderson – 3 for 23 with 2 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K in the last 7 days

— Russell Martin – 2 for 15 with 1 double, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K in the last 7 days

— Mark Teixeira – 5 for 22 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K in the last 7 days

BAL Offense

Who’s Hot:

— J.J. Hardy – 9 for 27 with 3 doubles, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB in the last 7 days

— Nick Markakis – 8 for 24 with 2 doubles, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 5 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Matt Wieters – 4 for 24 with 1 double, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K in the last 7 days

— Chris Davis – 3 for 16 with 1 RBI, 7 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series everyone!

Series Preview: Yankees vs. Orioles | 4/27/12-4/29/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 4/30/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Hiroki Kuroda, RHP
Last Start: 6.2 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 5 K, 2 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 1-3, 4.38 ERA / 4.65 FIP / 3.87 xFIP, 6.20 K/9, 2.92 BB/9 in 24.2 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jason Hammel, RHP
Last Start: 7.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 7 K, 1 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-0, 1.73 ERA / 2.45 FIP / 2.79 xFIP, 8.65 K/9, 2.77 BB/9 in 26.0 IP

Tuesday, 5/1/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Phil Hughes, RHP
Last Start: 2.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 0 BB, 1 HR
On the Season: 1-3, 7.88 ERA / 6.39 FIP / 4.71 xFIP, 9.56 K/9, 3.38 BB/9 in 16.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Brian Matusz, LHP
Last Start: 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 0-3, 5.66 ERA / 4.74 FIP / 5.53 xFIP, 6.10 K/9, 5.66 BB/9 in 20.2 IP

Wednesday, 5/2/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova, RHP
Last Start: 5.1 IP, 6 ER, 11 H, 5 K, 3 BB, 0 HR
On the Season: 3-0, 5.18 ERA / 3.77 FIP / 3.15 xFIP, 9.25 K/9, 1.85 BB/9 in 24.1 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jake Arrieta, RHP
Last Start: 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 3 K, 2 BB, 2 HR
On the Season: 1-2, 4.45 ERA / 4.07 FIP / 3.80 xFIP, 7.12 K/9, 2.67 BB/9 in 30.1 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot

— Derek Jeter – 10 for 23 with 2 doubles, 1 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

— Robinson Cano – 8 for 25 with 1 double and 1 RBI in the last 7 days

— Alex Rodriguez – 6 for 21 with 2 HR, 7 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— Mark Teixeira – 2 for 24 with 1 RBI and 3 K in the last 7 days

— Russell Martin – 2 for 12 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, and 2 K in the last 7 days

BAL Offense

Who’s Hot

— Adam Jones – 9 for 22 with 1 double, 1 HR, 4 RBI, and 1 BB in the last 7 days

— Chris Davis – 7 for 18 with 1 double, 3 HR, 7 RBI, and 4 BB in the last 7 days

— Wilson Betemit – 5 for 13 with 1 double, 2 HR, 5 RBI, and 1 BB in the last 7 days

Who’s Not

— J.J. Hardy – 4 for 22 with 3 doubles, 1 RBI, 1 BB, and 4 K in the last 7 days

— Ryan Flaherty – 3 for 15 with 1 RBI, 1 BB, and 3 K in the last 7 days

Enjoy the series!

Series Preview: Yankees at Orioles | 4/9/12-4/11/12

Pitching Matchups

Monday, 4/9/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Ivan Nova
Spring Training Numbers: 1-2, 8.06 ERA, 17 K, 31 H in 22.1 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Brian Matusz
Spring Training Numbers: 1-1, 3.65 ERA, 22 K, 29 H in 24.2 IP

Tuesday, 4/10/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: Freddy Garcia
Spring Training Numbers: 1-1, 3.71 ERA, 15 K, 14 H in 17.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Wei-Yin Chen
Spring Training Numbers: 2-2, 3.60 ERA, 9 K, 19 H in 20.0 IP

Wednesday, 4/11/12, 7:05pm ET

Pitching for the Yankees: C.C. Sabathia
Regular Season (Last Start): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 2 HR
Spring Training Numbers: 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 13 K, 21 H in 18.0 IP

Pitching for the Orioles: Jake Arrieta
Regular Season (Last Start): 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 0 HR
Spring Training Numbers: 1-0, 6.14 ERA, 12 K, 17 H in 14.2 IP

NYY Offense

Who’s Hot:

— Alex Rodriguez – 3 for 10 with 4 BB and 2 doubles so far

— Nick Swisher – 3 for 11 with 1 HR, 1 double, 3 BB and 4 RBI so far

Who’s Not:

— Mark Teixeira – 1 for 9 with 1 double, 3 BB and 2 K so far

— Curtis Granderson – 2 for 12 with 1 triple, 1 BB and 4 K so far

BAL Offense

Who’s Hot:

— Nick Markakis – 5 for 9 with 1 triple, 2 HR, 3 BB, and 4 RBI so far

— Adam Jones – 4 for 12 with 1 double, 1 HR, 1 SB, and 1 RBI so far

Who’s Not:

— Nolan Reimold – 2 for 9 with 1 RBI and 2 K so far

— Matt Wieters – 1 for 9 with 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB and 1 K so far

Enjoy the series!

Comparing the AL East Outfielders Defensively

The American League East is one of the toughest and fastest paced divisions in Baseball. Almost all of these teams have the potential to be American League East Champions in order to advance to the newly complicated playoffs. But just like it is fast paced and complicated for the offense, it is also fast paced and complicated for the defense, mostly the outfield. As an outfielder, you can’t second guess yourself when taking a direct route to the ball. Chances are if you second guess yourself, the chances are that the ball will drop in the outfield. When it comes to the American League East, there are a lot of Gold Glove worthy contenders, but who has the best Outfield in the AL East?

Boston Red Sox

Carl Crawford, LF: Carl Crawford is a very talented left fielder for sure, but his fielding isn’t used to the fullest of his potential because of one little flaw in Fenway Park; The Green Monster. What would normally be a HR in Yankee Stadium for example would go off the high wall and end up a double, and because of the angle the Green Monster makes, it makes fielding more difficult for Crawford. In 2010 with the Rays he had 7 assists and 2 errors. In 2011 with the Red Sox, he had 1 assist and 3 errors. Different ballparks make a difference, don’t they?

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF: I don’t usually offer much praise to the Red Sox, but when Jacoby Ellsbury is in CF it is a complete delight to watch what he’s going to do next. Ellsbury is a Gold Glove contender for sure, after all in 2011 he had 6 assists, 3 Double Plays and no errors. Ellsbury is what makes the Red Sox have a good outfield. Without him, there wouldn’t even be consideration as to who would have the best outfield in the AL East.

Darnell McDonald, RF: Typically a center fielder, McDonald played everywhere in the 2011 season but he mostly played right field. While he was a right fielder, he only had 1 assist and 1 error which isn’t a bad number at all. McDonald for the Red Sox would have been more of a utility outfielder. He was good at fielding, but with Cody Ross now in the picture, McDonald’s playing time might soon be lessened.

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Previewing The Yankees 2012 Season: April

 

Spring Training will come and go before we know it and once Spring Training is over, that is when the Yankees have to focus on their Chase for 28. In April 2012, the Yankees will face 7 teams and all of them will be pretty tough to beat (well, except for a selected few), but the Yankees will have to face them nonetheless to get one step closer to the playoffs.

April 6, 2012 – April 8, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Tampa Bay Rays 2011 Record: 91-71
Stadium: Tropicana Field

Preview: If we have learned anything in the 2011 season about the Tampa Bay Rays, it’s that they don’t give up so easily. Sure, like the Yankees they were a first round knockout from the play-offs but the Rays had overcome the odds while digging the Boston Red Sox into a hole. In the 2012 season, the Rays have made slight changes to their lineup. There is no Johnny Damon and Carlos Pena has decided to re-join them. The Rays pitching rotation is a bit threatening as well with David Price, James Shields, Wade Davis, Jeff Niemann & ROY winner Jeremy Hellickson but the Yankees bats have been able to rock around this rotation a few times before. I would expect close games between these two teams and since the Yankees have Michael Pineda & Hiroki Kuroda, I would expect the Yankees to win the series in 2 games.

April 9, 2012 – April 11, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Baltimore Orioles 2011 Record: 69-93
Stadium: Camden Yards

Preview: So the 2011 record says it all that the Baltimore Orioles aren’t exactly going to be a playoff contending team anytime soon, but they do hit the Yankees when they have to. The Yankees could defeat the Orioles in all 3 games since the Yankees have more bat power and the starting pitching has improved dramatically, but the Baltimore Orioles might not make it so easy. The Orioles after all signed FA Wilson Betemit and they do have the young catcher Matt Weiters (who makes everything impossible for the Yankees). At the end of the day, pitching is what counts. The Orioles pitching is notoriously know for giving up a lot of runs to the Yankees. This is one of the series that I am looking foreward to. It should be interesting…as long as the Orioles don’t intentionally hit anyone.

April 12, 2012: OFF DAY

April 13, 2012 – April 15, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Los Angeles Angels 2011 Record: 86-76
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

Preview: In this series, the Angels have the upper hand after making a huge splash during the Winter Meetings in December, inking Albert Pujols & C.J Wilson. The Angels offense had gotten more potent with Albert Pujols and the Angels have seriously become contenders. Taking what the Yankees have and what the Angels have, I would say that the Angels will win this series in 2 games for 2 obvious reasons. One is the Yankees RARELY play well vs. the Angels & two is the new additions to the team. I believe most people would go to the home opener series to see Albert Pujols & C.J Wilson in an Angels uniform.

April 16, 2012 – April 19, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Minnesota Twins 2011 Record: 63-99
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

Preview: The 2011 Twins were plagued with injuries, which is what caused their spiraling downfall. During the offseason the Twins lost Michael Cuddyer to the Colorado Rockies and Jim Thome has gone to the Phillies. Since this series is a 4 game series, I see the Yankees and the Twins splitting it 2 games a piece. (Oh, come on. The Yankees can’t win every series.) In the long run the Twins would have to stay healthy if they hope to make it to the ALDS. But for now, this ca be the 2010 ALDS rematch and the outcome can be the same.

April 20, 2012 – April 22, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Boston Red Sox 2011 Record: 90-72
Stadium: Fenway Park

Preview: We all remember what happened to the Red Sox last September where they had that horrific collapse, made Terry Francona the scapegoat and hired a former Mets manager to attempt to take them to the World Series. Well, things for the Red Sox had gone bad to worse. Jonathan Papelbon is a Philadelphia Phillie, Marco Scutaro packed his bags (via trade) and headed to Colorado and the Red Sox are rumored to make their set-up man Daniel Bard into a starter? During the offseason, (and I’m not sure this is possible) the Red Sox were more quiet than the Yankees. In this series, I can see the Yankees taking 2 out of 3 here but I wouldn’t expect any flashy leather in left field due to the Green Monster (which really limits Yankees OF Brett Gardner‘s fielding abilities). The Red Sox might make it to the playoffs this year…if they don’t have a horrific collapse to start the season and to end it. (Oh wait, that happened already; 2011.)

April 23, 2012 – April 25, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Texas Rangers 2011 Record: 96-66
Stadium: The Ballpark In Arlington

Preview: The Texas Rangers lost starter C.J Wilson to the L.A Angels, but they did get something in return; Yu Darvish. This is one of the series that I look forward to since it would be interesting to see Darvish pitch in a MLB environment. The only issue with Darvish is that the Yankees hitters have never faced him and it could be tough to pick up his pitches when he’s pitchig well. If Darvish is pitching in the series, I would say the Yankees would take 2 out of 3, but it won’t be easy with Josh Hamilton, Michael Young and Nelson Cruz in the way. The Rangers have the players and staff to go to the World Series…they just need to win a World Series.

April 26, 2012: OFF DAY

April 27, 2012 – April 29, 2012:

New York Yankees 2011 Record: 97-65
Detroit Tigers 2011 Record: 95-67
Stadium: Yankee Stadium

Preview: To round off April, the Yankees are faced in a 2011 ALDS re-match with the Detroit Tigers. There are just a few changes to the Tigers. Since Victor Martinez is out or the whole year after injuring his knee, the Tigers decided to act fast and get a hitter that could help them go above and beyond. The hitter is Prince Fielder. The Yankees have seen Fielder before when he was with the Brewers last year during interleague, but Fielder could find a way to mash the Yankees since he will be in the American League for the next 9 years. To end April, I would say that the Tigers will take 2 out of 3 with Prince Fielder, Miguel Cabrera and CY Young & AL MVP winner Justin Verlander leading the pack. The Tigers are only going to get more dangerous. When Victor Martinez comes back, he’ll bat in between Cabrera & Fielder. Now that’s a deadly combination.

Where the Yankees stand today 9/22/11

The Yankees have clinched the AL East yesterday with both their wins and with the Boston lost against B’more.  Now the Yankees are 3 games away from clinching the best record in the American League.  This is very important because the more games you have at home the better your chances.   The team that is behind the Yankees for the best record is the Tigers.  Baltimore helped the Yankees by beating Boston now we are focusing on them again as they open up a series tonight against the Tigers.

Tonight the Yankees have Colon on the mound against the Rays who have their Rookie phenom Moore making the start.

Baltimore starts Britton tonight against Turner for the Tigers.

Here are the Current standings for the best record for the American League.

American League
AMERICAN W L PCT GB HOME ROAD RS RA DIFF STRK L10 POFF
x-NY Yankees 95 60 .613 50-27 45-33 828 614 +214 Won 4 7-3 100.0
x-Detroit 90 65 .581 5 45-29 45-36 735 680 +55 Won 1 7-3 100.0
Texas 90 65 .581 5 49-29 41-36 811 655 +156 Won 4 8-2 99.3
Boston 88 68 .564 7.5 45-36 43-32 851 701 +150 Lost 2 3-7 87.3
Tampa Bay 85 70 .548 10 42-33 43-37 662 585 +77 Lost 3 4-6 4.5
LA Angels 85 70 .548 10 44-31 41-39 647 601 +46 Won 2 5-5 8.8