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Game 117 Lineup: Rangers vs. Yankees

Lineup vs. Yankees:

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Eric Chavez 3B
Raul Ibanez LF
Russell Martin C
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Jayson Nix 2B

Freddy Garcia RHP

Pregame Notes:

— A lot has happened in Major League Baseball today but let’s start with the Yankees. Robinson Cano was scratched from the lineup with a stiff neck and now Jayson Nix will play 2nd base.

Melky Cabrera‘s 50 game suspension for using PED’s took the Yankees by surprise. Here was what Joe Girardi, Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano all had to say about Melky’s suspension:

Joe Girardi: “Anger doesn’t come to my mind. Disappointment comes to my mind because Melky meant a lot to us and we all enjoyed being around him. We know he’s going to miss 50 games and it’s before his free agent year. It’s unfortunate.”

Robinson Cano: “Oh, 100 percent surprised, I was just here in my chair when I was watching the news. … I don’t know man, I never used any of those. I don’t know any details about it. I just see the news. I’m just sad about it, and I’m going to be there for him.”

Derek Jeter: “I don’t know if you can be more surprised. I don’t know if you can measure it, more surprised for him as opposed to somebody (else). It’s just surprising in general. … I played with Melky, so I always thought he was a good player. I know Melky’s very talented. He has a lot of great tools. He played well for us when he was here. He played well in Kansas City when he went to Kansas City. And he’s played well in San Francisco. Melky’s always been talented.”

Alex Rodriguez: “From my experience, I saw where he made a statement, that’s always a good first step. And sometimes the hardest. But I think he has an opportunity, being a young player. But with that said, it’s also going to be a challenge. I hope he takes the bull by the horns and does some great things, and I’m a believer. I’m a friend. And at times like this, I’m not going to turn my back, I’m 100 percent here to support him.”

— I was around the computer all afternoon but the lineup wasn’t posted sooner because there was something a little more interesting on television: The Rays and Mariners. The surprising part that it was the Mariners that I was looking out for. Felix Hernandez threw his first perfect game against the Rays and a 1-0 victory. Jesus Montero scored the only run in the game with a base hit. So congratulations King Felix.

— And on a final note, it’s raining cats and dogs. I seriously doubt the Yankees are starting the game on time.

UPDATE

— It’s not as big news as Melky Cabrera or King Felix but Brett Gardner will get his Staten Island Yankee jersey retired. The ceremony will be at the Staten Island Yankees home ballpark and Gardner will be in attendance on August 23. Congratulations are in order for Brett Gardner!

Morning Bits: King Felix, Rodriguez, Sabathia

Good morning everyone and a happy Sunday to you all! It’s get away day for the Yankees so first pitch is at 1:05pm! Here are your morning links.

— ESPN New York has some fun imagining if Felix Hernandez was a New York Yankee after he threw a complete game shutout vs. the Yankees.

— Alex Rodriguez continued his rehab yesterday at Yankee Stadium and one of the drills A-Rod did has him relieving his days as a quarterback.

— CC Sabathia loves watching the Olympic games, but did you know that CC was almost on the Olympic baseball team in the Sydney Games in 2000 just before he started his baseball career?

King Felix shuts out Yankees in 1-0 loss to Mariners

When you look at the final box score, you can come up with this assumption: Hiroki Kuroda was good. Felix Hernandez was better. The Yankees weren’t able to do anything off of Hernandez as the Yankees fell to the Mariners to even the series 1-0.

Hiroki Kuroda did his job this afternoon going 6 innings and only giving up 1 run, but the Yankees haven’t been able to come up with almost any hits. The Yankees were held by King Felix with a 2 hit shut out through 9 innings. Ichiro Suzuki had one of the Yankees 2 hits now giving him a hit in every game since his Yankee debut. Boone Logan, David Robertson and Clay Rapada all pitched for the Yankees after Kuroda departed–all of them putting up zeros.

Tomorrow the Yankees will play a get away day game as they try to take the series from the Mariners. If the Yankees want to win tomorrow, then they have to since Friday night they are facing the Tigers best pitcher–Justin Verlander. First pitch for the Yankees is at 1:05pm.

Evening Notes & Links: Trade Talks, Soler, Noesi, Joba-Lin

Good evening everybody. Here are a few notes & links to cap the day….

— Although we heard the Yankees and Pirates were at stand still for most of the day, things appear to have changed, says Newsday’s David Waldstein. Progress has been made today with the Yankees and both the Pirates and the “mystery team”, yet to be identified. The Yankees will probably strike a deal with whichever team provides the better offer.

Kevin Kernan of the NY Daily News talked to Joba Chamberlain about “Linsanity” and the similarities he and Jeremy Lin share.

— Now that Yoenis Cespedes has signed with the Oakland Athletics, the attention is turning to fellow Cuban OF Jorge Soler. The 19 year old is drawing heavy interest from the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins in addition to many other teams like the Yankees, Red Sox, and Phillies. Ken Rosenthal writes that the bidding figures to be broader than for Cespedes. I’m sure the Yanks will be large participants in the bidding as Soler would be a terrific signing for them.

— Via Chad Jennings, Hector Noesi (the secondary piece sent to the Mariners in the Montero trade) expressed that he is happy to be on the Seattle Mariners now. He also marvels over the accomplishments of ace Felix Hernandez, saying that he “is someone all Latin Americans can be proud of, with what he’s done.”

Have a great night!

Morning Bits: Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Darvish, Beltran

Good morning! Have a happy Saturday and enjoy your weekend! Here are today’s morning links

Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com talks about how it is unusual to see the Yankees & Red Sox quiet during the off-season

Andrew Marchand of ESPNNY.com talks about the chances for the Blue Jays to land Yu Darvish, Carlos Beltran and the chances the Blue Jays have of becoming a serious postseason contender

— This isn’t exactly a new link but Andrew Marchand talks about how the Yankees could land King Felix via trade.

What I’d Do If I Were Cashman

We know that it is not possible for a team to win the World Series during the offseason due to all the acquisition & trades to make their team better on paper, but the Yankees have done close to nothing. The Yankees have gotten some small players here and there, but if George Steinbrenner was alive today, he would probably be shocked that the Yankees haven’t gotten anyone big. During the Winter Meetings the Yankees picked up 2 Rule 5 Drafts while the Marlins and Angels picked up Jose Reyes, Mark Buerhle, Albert Pujols & C.J Wilson, four big names that were on the FA list when the season ended. I understand that Brian Cashman wasn’t interested in players since they would cost so high or because they get injured but just sitting around not doing anything will not get you Championships.

There were rumors last week that Cashman said that his rotation was as good as it is. Well what I say is that is complete nonsense. The Yankees were good enough to win the AL East Division, and if the bats were alive they may have been well enough to get through the playoffs, but the World Series? I wouldn’t think so. The World Series is the big stage and if you look at the names that aren’t CC Sabathia & Ivan Nova. You have inconsistent A.J Burnett, and okay pitchers like Freddy Garcia and Phil Hughes. Garcia & Hughes are good, but if the Yankees were to win the WS, they need the 1-2 punch in their rotation. I would not put Nova as a #2 starter as that would be too much pressure, but having Burnett as your #2 starter? No way. I hate to do Brian Cashman’s job for him, but here are some things I would do if I was Cashman this offseason (you might want to take notes):

1. Sign Roy Oswalt to a 1 year deal: It would have been Mark Buerhle,

Roy Oswalt could be the answer to the Yankees problems, if he could stay healthy.

but Buerhle packed his bags and went to Miami because Cashman didn’t want to sign him. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that Roy Oswalt is injury prone, but his manager Bob Garber insists that Oswalt is fine and that there are no back problems. When Roy Oswalt is healthy he is quite impressive. While Oswalt had a 9-10 record, he had a 3.63 ERA which isn’t bad at all. He doesn’t walk a lot of batters (33 batters in 2011 to be exact; 2.14 BB/9) and struck out 93 (6.02 K/9). He only gave up 10 HR’s in 2011 (0.65 HR/9, which is fantastic). Does Roy Oswalt get injured a lot? Yes. But when he’s healthy does he show that he’s very effective? Yes. Also another hint to Cashman if you are thinking of signing Roy Oswalt. Don’t give him a lot of money. You don’t want that on your shoulder if Oswalt should get injured at any time during the season.

2. Trade for Gio Gonzalez: No, I am not going to propose the trade that was rumored around that would have sent Brett Gardner to the A’s. I was thinking someone more like Eduardo Nunez to the A’s. I wouldn’t send Nunez alone of course. Nunez would go with some nice prospects to sweeten the deal such as Adam Warren or Dellin Betances. If the A’s don’t like it (which is 100% inevitable) then a 3 way trade might do the trick. The A’s see players that they like from the Royals and we see players that we like from the A’s, so a 3 way trade with Oakland, Kansas City and the Yankees could do nicely. I know the A’s might be interested in young outfielders, but I think that Nunez could learn the OF. It should be almost impossible to commit 20+ errors out there like it is at shortstop (Nunez, just don’t slide).

3. Ask the Nationals for a trade: I wouldn’t expect the Nationals to help us out, seeing that we won’t give them Brett Gardner but what if we were able to entice the deal with Nick Swisher & Nunez (if the Gio Gonzalez trade doesn’t work). I don’t dislike Nick Swisher, but let’s face it- he sucks in the postseason. And would the Nationals rather have Nick Swisher in the RF vicinity than Jayson Werth, who they unfortunately nicknamed “Jayson Werth-less” due to his contract? Unfortunately, despite the Nationals’ interest in some Yankees players, they don’t have a whole lot to offer as far as the Yankees’ needs go. Stephen Strasburg or Jordan Zimmerman would certainly be nice to acquire, but there’s no way Washington is making them available.

A trade for Felix Hernandez is as unlikely as ever, but if he becomes even slightly available, Cashman will inevitably pounce.

4. Trade for King Felix: The Seattle Mariners may have said that Felix Hernandez is off the market, but if the Yankee were serious about getting starting pitching, then they could try and trade for Felix Hernandez. During the “Yankees Talk” live chat, someone asked me if the Yankees would consider trading Brett Gardner for Felix Hernandez. A point was brought up to me by Matthew B. (Writer for Yankee Fans Unite) that if the Yankees offered just Gardner for Hernandez, the Mariners would laugh in our faces. I would hate to trade Brett Gardner to any team (and I am trying to keep a neutral opinion) but if it is to get Felix Hernandez, I would do it. The Mariners want someone who can entice people into the stadium and Gardner does just that for the Yankees. If you haven’t noticed, there are a bunch of girls who sit in the LF part of the stadium. Do you really think that they are there just for baseball or more to see Brett Gardner make fantastic plays in the OF? That is the type of energy that the Mariners could be looking for in a player. The only issue with giving up Gardner is that there is no given in who will be the next LF who is as versatile as he is. I would only go to this step if all else fails and if the Yankees are getting desperate.

Not sure if Brian Cashman would want to do ANY of these things but it is getting late(r) into the off season and he has so much to do. So Cashman- now is the time to act! What are you going to do this offseason?

Yanks Beat in Extras by Mariners, 5-4

From MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch:

SEATTLE — The losses that come with Mariano Rivera walking off the mound often go down this way, with a ball hit just well enough that it finds a safe patch of outfield grass to land on.

Adam Kennedy was the one providing the ending on Saturday, knocking in pinch-runner Luis Rodriguez with the winning run in the 12th inning to lift the Mariners to a 5-4 victory over the Yankees at Safeco Field.

“It was the game,” Rivera said. “I made good pitches and the ball found places. You can’t do [anything]. I wish we’d still be playing, but it’s done.”

The loss resides next to Rivera’s name in the box score, but the Yankees knew better.

After wrestling a lead away from Felix Hernandez in the seventh inning, four Seattle relievers silenced their bats until the end of a four-hour, 18-minute grind that ended well after most New Yorkers had retired to bed.

“They’ve been throwing a lot of strikes,” said Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano. “They’ve been pitching really well. You can see their ERAs. They’re really good and you’ve got to give them some credit.”

In the decisive 12th, Justin Smoak got aboard with a one-out single before leaving for the pinch-runner, and Jack Cust followed with a well-hit double into the left-field corner.

“You can’t defend that. There’s no excuses,” Rivera said.

An intentional walk loaded the bases for Kennedy, who won it with a shallow looper to center field.

“I’m trying to survive,” Kennedy said. “You know what’s coming. That’s my second hit off him ever and the other one was just the same. It’s not easy.”

David Pauley was the last of Seattle’s relievers on Saturday, hurling two scoreless innings for the win. The Yankees have gone quietly over nine frames against the Mariners’ bullpen in the series.

“It’s been two nights in a row we haven’t scored on them,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “I thought we had a couple of chances, we hit some balls hard. We just didn’t score.”

Hernandez struggled early, serving up a solo homer to Cano in the second inning and a two-run shot to Mark Teixeira in the third.

“They were waiting a little bit, but after the third they started hacking,” Hernandez said. “I made two mistakes with fastballs to Cano. That was right in the middle. And Teixeira, too. I fell behind and you pay.”

He settled in, but the Yankees were able to get him to cough up a one-run lead in the seventh.

With Derek Jeter aboard, Granderson belted a drive to right field that Ichiro Suzuki pursued oddly, leaping on the warning track and missing the ball entirely. Granderson charged to third base as Jeter scored the tying run easily.

It was an interesting night for Jeter, who had two hits and is now 21 away from becoming the first player in a Yankees uniform to reach the 3,000-hit plateau.

Jeter also used the evening to reach another statistical milestone, logging his 327th career stolen base in the third inning, surpassing Rickey Henderson for the most in franchise history.

That was all book-keeping in the end. As he watched from the clubhouse, Ivan Nova took responsibility.

Down, 3-1, after three innings, the Mariners took the lead with three runs in the fourth, knocking Nova out.

“I feel bad about that,” Nova said. “I had the lead twice in the game and I can’t hold on. I don’t feel happy with that.”

Franklin Gutierrez started the fourth with a bad-hop single that ate up Jeter, and Kennedy doubled to set up Miguel Olivo’s game-tying, two-run double.

Nova also uncorked a wild pitch and allowed the go-ahead hit, a Brendan Ryan RBI single, before leaving.

“I don’t have really good command today, but I’ve got to find another way to fight and stay in the game,” Nova said. “I’ll try to do better next time.”

Girardi said that he would have liked to see Nova challenge hitters more. The righty allowed five hits in 3 2/3 innings, walking three and fanning one.

“You have to be able to throw strikes,” Girardi said. “This is a ballpark where there aren’t a lot of home runs hit. I think you can be more aggressive in this ballpark and attack the strike zone. That’s what he has to do.”

You couldn’t pin it on the Yankees’ bullpen. Hector Noesi performed admirably in relief, holding the Mariners scoreless over 2 1/3 innings of two-hit ball.

Dave Robertson struck out the side in the seventh. Joba Chamberlain hurled two scoreless innings and Boone Logan faced the minimum in the 10th before Luis Ayala set the Mariners down in the 11th.

Ultimately, even as Kennedy’s humpback off Rivera rolled past Granderson and was abandoned in center field, the Yankees had to look back at the early innings as the turning point.

“It’s frustrating,” Girardi said. “We had leads in both of the games and weren’t able to hold them. We gave free baserunners and it hurt us.”

Boxscore:

NY Yankees AB R H RBI BB SO LOB AVG
Jeter, SS 5 1 2 0 1 0 1 .257
Granderson, CF 6 1 1 1 0 1 2 .274
Teixeira, 1B 3 1 1 2 3 0 0 .259
Rodriguez, Al, 3B 6 0 1 0 0 1 5 .284
Cano, 2B 5 1 3 1 0 1 0 .281
Martin, C 4 0 0 0 1 2 3 .253
Posada, DH 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 .174
a-Jones, An, PH-DH 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 .231
Swisher, RF 5 0 1 0 0 1 1 .206
1-Dickerson, PR-RF 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 .308
Gardner, LF 5 0 0 0 0 0 3 .253
Totals 44 4 9 4 5 7 16 .252
NY Yankees IP H R ER BB SO HR ERA
Nova 3.2 5 4 4 3 1 0 4.67
Noesi 2.1 2 0 0 0 1 0 0.96
Robertson 1.1 1 0 0 0 3 0 1.27
Chamberlain 1.2 0 0 0 1 2 0 3.12
Logan 1.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 4.15
Ayala 1.0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1.80
Rivera, Ma(L, 1-1) 0.1 3 1 1 1 0 0 2.11
Totals 11.1 13 5 5 5 8 0 3.68

NYY @ SEA – 5/28/11

Lineup:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Jorge Posada DH
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner LF

Pitchers:

Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)

Series Preview: NYY @ SEA ~ 5/2711-5/29/11

Friday ~ 5/27/11 ~ 10:10 PM EST

A.J. Burnett (5-3, 4.02) vs. Michael Pineda (6-2, 2.16)

Burnett settled down Saturday after a 29-pitch, two-run first inning against the Mets to come out with the win, his third quality start in his last four outings. He is 2-2 with a 3.83 ERA in six career starts against the Mariners.

The big 22-year-old ranks first among AL rookies in wins (6), strikeouts (61) and opponents avg. (.194). He’s riding a 14-inning scoreless streak, during which he’s allowed five hits and one walk with 16 strikeouts.

Saturday ~ 5/28/11 ~ 10:10 PM EST

Ivan Nova (4-3, 4.29) vs. Felix Hernandez (5-4, 3.01)

Nova was unfazed by the stage of the Subway Series, giving up just three runs in 6 2/3 innings Sunday against the Mets. Late run support gave him a no-decision. He has never faced Seattle.

Hernandez tied his career-high with 13 strikeouts in an eight-inning gem against the Padres Sunday, allowing six hits in a 6-1 win. He’s 5-3 with a 2.73 ERA in eight career starts against the Yankees.

Sunday ~ 5/29/11 ~ 4:10 PM EST

C.C. Sabathia (5-3, 3.17) vs. TBA

Sabathia pitched his first complete game of the year on Tuesday, giving up four runs in a win against the Blue Jays. He yielded eight hits, but pounded the strike zone, issuing one walk and using 103 pitches (77 strikes) to finish the game.

Pitcher Probables from MLB.com’s Gameday Preview