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Yankees win thriller in extra-innings to extend streak to 8

Yankees 1B Mark Teixeira plates 2 in the 14th inning in the Yankees 5-3 win over the Nationals

The Yankees were in a back and forth thriller with the Nationals all throughout the afternoon but in the end of the 4 hour game, the Yankees came out on top (and won their first game without hitting a HR).

The Nationals scored first off of starter Andy Pettitte when Jesus Flores doubled which sent home Michael Morse & Tyler Moore. The Yankees were able to get one of the runs back on an error that let Eric Chavez go to first and let Nick Swisher score. Swisher later left the game with a left calf contusion. The Yankees got their 2nd and 3rd runs during the 6th inning when Raul Ibanez plated Robinson Cano on an RBI ground out and when Eric Chavez doubled off the right field wall which plated Russell Martin.

The Yankees were in line to win in the 8th and Andy Pettitte was slated to get the win–until Cory Wade gave up a HR to Ian Desmond which had the Yankees in a back and forth battle with the Nationals until the 14th inning when Mark Teixeira hit a double which plated both Jason Nix & Derek Jeter. Rafael Soriano got the save and Freddy Garcia received the win.

Tomorrow Ivan Nova takes the mound for the Yankees as the Yanks (once again) tries to sweep the series. The Yankees have already swept the New York Mets & the Atlanta Braves.

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

Freddy Garcia goes to bullpen

By Delia E.

Freddy Garcia’s tenure in the Yankees rotation is officially over as of today. No, he wasn’t released from the team but he was added to the Yankees bullpen. Yankees called up D.J. Mitchell earlier today to add depth to the Yankees bullpen and though not official, it looks as if David Phelps will get to keep the rotation spot warm–until Andy Pettitte comes back.

There is still one issue though; the Yankees still have 26 men on the roster meaning someone has to be sent down to make room for Mitchell. This also isn’t official but it could be Cody Eppley that gets sent down.

Update: Cody Eppley was just optioned to Scranton to make room for Mitchell.

Morning Bits: Garcia, Gardner, Phelps

Good morning everyone and a Happy Sunday to you all. Yankees are going to try to win the rubber match of a three game set with CC Sabathia on the mound. Here are your morning links.

Freddy Garcia‘s struggles are a mystery to Joe Girardi and when asked if Garcia will make his next start, Girardi said, “I’ll sleep on it.” Stop sleeping on it. Garcia needs to go.

Brett Gardner admits after taking 10 dry swings & 15 off the tee, he was nervous to take  batting practice. Well, didn’t it work out well where there was no pain Gardy? Gardy will be just fine. I bet on it.

— I bet when David Phelps found out he made the team coming out of Spring Training, he had no idea that he was going to be used so much coming out of the bullpen. The Daily News believes that David Phelps has earned the right to start a game since Freddy Garcia continues to be ineffective.  In my honest opinion, I think Phelps should have been the 5th starter 2 weeks ago. Did you see how he tamed those Tigers?

Ay Garcia! Garcia implodes as Yanks fall 7-5 to Tigers

NEW YORK – The story tonight wasn’t about the Yankees (11-9) bats falling silent. The story wasn’t even about Nick Swisher hitting 2 HR’s in the game. The story was more about Freddy Garcia imploding once again, as the Yankees fell to the Detroit Tigers (11-10) 7-5 after the Yankees tried to cap a rally in the 9th.

GARCIA IMPLODES–AGAIN: This is not the first time that Freddy Garcia imploded. It’s not the second time that Garcia imploded. It’s not even the third time that Garcia imploded. This is the fourth start in a row that Freddy Garcia imploded. Garcia gave up 6 runs in 1 2/3 innings making it the second time that Garcia was pulled in the 2nd inning. Garcia has struggled mightily and this may be the time to talk about taking Freddy Garcia from the rotation in favor of someone who has been pitching well–maybe–David Phelps. Anyway, Girardi said that he wasn’t going to judge until after 4 starts. I think it’s time to pull the plug Girardi.

BULLPEN WAS FANTASTIC: Clay Rapada, David Phelps & Cody Eppley came out of the bullpen after Garcia was lifted and all 3 of them pitched a terrific job. The bullpen pitched 7 1/3 innings and only allowed 1 run. The most impressive? David Phelps. He pitched 3 scoreless innings, walked no one and gave up no hits. I think it’s time for the David Phelps experiment. Just saying.

GARDNER CLOSE TO COMEBACK: Brett Gardner took batting practice for the first time since injuring his elbow. He had 10 dry swings and 15 swings on the tee. Gardner felt no pain at all in his elbow which is fantastic news for Yankees fans. Gardner thinks that he could do full on batting practice on Monday.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees turn to their ace CC Sabathia in hopes that he could be his regular self and bear down the Tigers. The first pitch is at 1:05pm on YES Network.

Morning Bits: Walk-Off Pie, Garcia, Chamberlain, Nova

Good morning everyone and a Happy Saturday to you all. Last night’s game was wild, so let’s hope that Freddy Garcia can get it together and have a good outing for us. Onto the morning links!

— Now that A.J Burnett is gone–did the Yankees put an end to the pie celebration? If that’s the case, then Brett Gardner is lucky. He had the last pie to the face by A.J.

— Is Freddy Garcia ready to finally have a good outing? If not…”Paging Mr. Phelps.”

— There was a nice surprise for the Yankees last night as Joba Chamberlain was in the clubhouse. There’s good news for him. One is that he says his arm feels 100% and the second thing is that the boot on his foot will come back in a week.  He anticipates being back in 2012.

— Ivan Nova missed his chance to finally beat Justin Verlander. Don’t beat yourself up Nova. The only American League park that Justin Verlander has not won in is Yankee Stadium.

What a wild one! Yanks win 7-6 on wild pitch in 9th inning

NEW YORK– As if things couldn’t get any worse for the Detroit Tigers (10-10). After not having Delmon Young for tonight’s game (he was stuck in court after being arrested), Justin Verlander struggled, Yankees tied the game and the Detroit bullpen let them down as the Yankees (11-8) won 7-6 on a wild pitch.

BABY, IT’S COLD OUTSIDE: Ivan Nova didn’t look very comfortable on the mound today but it might have something to do with the cold weather. Game time temperature during first pitch was 45 degrees and it didn’t get any warmer from there. Nova struggled a bit as he gave up 6 runs on 11 hits with 3 walks & 5 strikeouts. It shouldn’t be cold for long, but I bet the Yankees are wishing for 70 degree weather.

Not only did the cold affect Ivan Nova, but Nova felt that he was being squeezed by home plate umpire Joe West. When asked about the squeezed strike zone,  Nova said that he felt that he had balls for strikes but wasn’t getting the calls because of the zone. “At the end of the day it’s the us vs. Verlander. It’s not about me. You’ll see me in 5 days.”

Russell Martin somewhat blames himself for not adjusting his calls due to the squeezed zone. “If I had told him to throw more fastballs, then it could have been a lot different.”

A-ROD HITS 633: Alex Rodriguez had an insane day at the plate, going 3 for 4 with a HR. That homer was #633. A-Rod was also at the plate when the wild pitch went past him and scored Jeter.

JETER SNAPS HIT STREAK: Derek Jeter couldn’t get a hit today which snapped his 15 game hit streak. Jeter did get on base in the 9th inning and scored the winning run on a wild pitch. His average dropped from .420 to .400.

IT’S HOUDINI, THE MAGNIFICENT: David Robertson once again had a scoreless inning and even had a runner on base. Robertson is the only pitcher in the Yankees bullpen (aside from Cody Eppley) who has a 0.00 ERA. Robertson also has 24 scoreless innings, dating back to September of last year.

YOUR OUTTA HERE: This has been an interesting game for Joe Girardi. For the 13th time in his Yankees career, Girardi was ejected in the 7th inning. If you didn’t see Girardi’s ejection during the 7th inning then you missed an interesting intermission. Girardi jumped over the Yankees dugout fence to get to home plate umpire Joe West before commencing his argument.

GARDNER TAKES (BUNTING) BP: Brett Gardner was back on the field before the game today taking batting practice, but he wasn’t swinging for the fences. Gardner was cleared to do hitting drills and one of them was bunting. Gardner was only allowed to bunt and do running drills today. If everything goes well, then Gardner will come off the DL next Thursday vs. the Royals.

WHAT’S NEXT: Freddy Garcia will take the mound for the Yankees as the Yankees face a pitcher that they have never seen before; Drew Smyly and once you see his pitches when he’s on track, there is nothing to smile about. The game will start at 4:05pm.

Cautiously waiting on Pettitte’s return

March 16th, 2012 seems like decades ago. Out of absolutely nowhere, Andy Pettitte un-retired and signed a non-guaranteed contract with the Yankees. The saying “you can’t have enough pitching” applied nicely to the deal, as the Yankees already had six formidable starters fighting for five spots. And come on, it’s Andy Pettitte – how could the Yanks say no?

Well here we are, amazingly nearly a month into the season, and surprise! Things aren’t working out as planned. Michael Pineda is done for the year with a torn labrum in one of the most catastrophic starts to a Yankee career to date. CC Sabathia and Ivan Nova have pitched well, but not up to their capability. Hiroki Kuroda is throwing either gems or getting knocked out before the 5th inning. But most importantly, Phil Hughes and Freddy Garcia have been absolutely terrible, posting a 7.88 and 9.75 ERA respectively.

Fans have been calling for their heads, as have I, but hold up – the Yankees aren’t in trouble quite yet. They’re the Bronx Bombers, and the offense has clearly carried them directly to this good start in 2012. But eventually, when good hitters meet struggling pitchers, things can and will get messy.

And heres’ where the irony kicks in – suddenly, we are relying on Andy Pettitte once again to be our savior and carry this pitching staff. Where have we heard that before?

In all seriousness, Pettitte will be a very important piece to the Yanks’ puzzle now. However, he is turning 40 and hasn’t pitched in a year and a half. Now I do think he can pitch close to what he was before, but not totally. And even that may not be enough to get the Yankees to where they want to be – in City Hall receiving their 28th Championship rings.

Right now with the current rotation, I’d have to say the Yanks have a decent shot at making the playoffs. But to go far and win the World Series, they’ll need all they can get out of Andy Pettitte, as well as Hughes and Garcia to step it up big time.

Though it’s pretty much May and I’m pulling my hair out as I watch Phil and Freddy continuously get smacked around, I’m not panicking. But in the end, these two starters won’t get the Yankees anywhere come October. So here’s to Andy coming back soon and pitching like he never left, because without this insurance policy, the Yanks would be in serious trouble right now.

How Aw-Phil! Yanks fall to Rangers 7-3 in series finale

Tonight’s story before the game may have been about Michael Pineda, who will be out for the rest of the 2012 season. Tonight’s story after the game was Phil Hughes’s horrid outing as the Yanks fell to the Rangers 7-3 in the final game of a 3 game set.

HUGHES WAS AW-PHIL: This was supposed to be a game that could have spelled ‘redemption’ for Hughes. Instead, Hughes went 2.2 IP giving up 4 runs on 5 hits and allowing 1 HR. Hughes had issues with getting hitters out when he let them reach on base. It looks like Phil Hughes is in the same boat as Freddy Garcia at this point; both of them are pitching badly for the Yanks.

EL CAPITAN HITS AGAIN: Derek Jeter is an unstoppable force offensively. Jeter was 2 for 4 and his average reached a whopping .420. It looks like Jeter is not going to stop hitting, no matter whose on the mound. That sounds like a good idea Jeet. As a matter of fact, why don’t you spread it over to some of your teammates. They can use the hits more than you can.

ANDY PETTITTE’S FINAL LINE: Andy Pettitte pitched for the Trenton Thunder and his final line looked like this: 5 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 7 H, 1BB, 3K. Pettitte was credited with the loss but the numbers aren’t important. Pettitte still feels that his legs are a bit weak so Cashman will have Pettitte pitch 2 or 3 more minor league games before he is called up to the Majors. The question when Pettitte returns; whose spot is he going to take?

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees have a day-off tomorrow while they prepare for the Tigers series. Joe Girardi released his rotation for the Tigers series and it looks a little like this:

1. On Friday, Ivan Nova will get the ball and face the Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander.

2. On Saturday, Freddy Garcia (no, they aren’t skipping his turn) will face the Detroit Tigers rookie Drew Smyly.

3. On Sunday, the Yankees ace CC Sabathia will face Max Scherzer.

SIDE NOTE: For all you fans with Brett Gardner in your fantasy leagues, expect him to come off the DL on May 3 during the Kansas City series if everything goes well the next couple of days. Gardner most likely won’t take batting practice until early next week since he doesn’t want to rush the elbow and make things worse.

Rotation has been glaring weakness thus far

Freddy has stunk up the joint

The Yanks are off to a solid start at 9-6 but they still have much to be concerned about.  Their offense continues to be a bit streaky but they still lead MLB averaging 6.0 runs per game. Mariano blew the Save on Opening Day but the bullpen has been lights out otherwise, leading all of baseball with a 2.14 ERA.  Defense you ask? The Yanks have a MLB-low 4 errors through 15 games for a league best .993 Fielding %.

So with a League-best Offense, Bullpen & Defense, why is the team only 9-6? Well, the starting pitching has not done the job.  They have the 2nd worst ERA in all of baseball – even worse than the brutal Red Sox staff.   The Yankee starters have a combined ERA of 5.84, allowing Hits and Baserunners more than any staff in baseball. They’ve allowed a WHIP of 1.59, allowing 107 Hits in 81.2 IP.  The starting rotation was the main focus of the offseason and was supposed to be a team strength.  Obviously, it’s too early to draw any conclusions as we are not even 10% into the long season yet.  However, let’s take a look at where each starter is after 3 turns through the rotation.

CC Sabathia

1-0 5.59 ERA – 1.34 WHIP – 19.1 ip – 10.3 k/9 – 2.8 bb/9 – 9.3 h/9 – 1.4 HR/9 – .716 OPS against

CC has had trouble with his Fastball command in the early going which has led to more hits and runs.  However, all of his supporting numbers are strong – his Strikeout & BB rates are fine which point towards a 3.02 xFIP which is exactly the same as 2011.  His last start vs MIN was his best as he pitched into the 8th inning and got his 1st win.  Stuff-wise, his Velocity is down.  CC has always been a slow starter and takes a while for his velocity to build to his peak levels.  However, he is a little bit lower than where he usually starts averaging a mere 91.5 MPH.  I’m not concerned but it is something to keep an eye on to see if it climbs to his standard 93-95. So overall, I’d say CC is fine and just off to his annual slow start.

Hiroki Kuroda

1-2 5.00 ERA – 1.61 WHIP – 18.0 ip – 6.0 k/9 – 3.0 bb/9 – 11.5 h/9 – 1.5 HR/9 – .876 OPS against

Kuroda has been an enigma with 1 absolute gem and 2 terrible outings. Obviously the real Kuroda will fall somewhere in between. Thus far, he’s been getting hit much harder than usual but it looks like he has enough stuff to be successful in the tougher AL lineups.  I imagine it will take him a while to find out what works best for him.  As a veteran pitcher with multiple pitches, I believe Kuroda will eventually find the right mix to be a successful mid-rotation starter for the team,

Phil Hughes

1-2 6.75 ERA – 1.88 WHIP – 13.1 ip – 10.1 k/9 – 4.1 bb/9 – 12.8 h/9 – 2.7 HR/9 – 1.012 OPS against

Hughes has shown a better Fastball than all of last year but continues to throw too many pitches as he just can’t seem to put batters away without max effort.  He doesn’t have a pitch to get easy outs and it’s led to him averaging 21.5 pitchers per inning.  Phil needs to conserve pitches so he can go deeper into games otherwise he won’t last as a starter. None of his secondary pitches have been successful as he tends to leave them all up and in the hitting zone. His FB is hard to hit when he commands it and moves it around but without a good secondary pitch he may be best served in the pen where he can let loose for 1 or 2 IP.

Ivan Nova

3-0 3.79 ERA – 1.42 WHIP – 19 ip – 9.5 k/9 –  0.9 bb/9 – 11.8 h/9 – 1.9 HR/9 – .987 OPS against

Nova has won all 3 of his starts and 15 in a row dating back to last yr.  He has also gotten great run support in each of his 3 outings which helps.  With the exception of Nova’s sterling Walk rates, his supporting numbers are not too far different from Hughes’. Nova has allowed a lot of hits but he gets away with it by getting double plays and Strikeouts when he needs to and  by limiting walks.  He usually limits HRs too but this yr has been an exception so far. Nova does a fine job of pitching deep into games and has 4 solid pitches to go through a lineup multiple times. He’s a strong #3 starter.

Freddy Garcia

0-1 9.75 ERA – 1.92 WHIP – 12ip – 6.0 k/9 – 2.3 bb/9 – 15.0 h/9 – 1.5 HR/9 – 1.094 OPS against

Garcia has been downright awful.  All of his rates are in line with last year but he has gotten hit much harder.  36% of his batted balls have been hit for line drives as he has left a lot of Splitters and Curveballs up and in the middle of the plate.  One has to think that Garcia can adjust and pitch better but can the Yankees afford to keep throwing him out there to get beat up and eat up the bullpen?

Help on the Way?

Andy Pettitte is only a few weeks away as he’s scheduled to throw 80-85 pitches in Double A Trenton this week. Michael Pineda had a setback and is nowhere near returning.  David Phelps has been excellent in long relief for the Yanks while DJ Mitchell and Adam Warren are ready and able in AAA.  Right now, I would make no immediate moves.  Obviously Hughes and Garcia are on the hot seat but no move needs to be made just yet. When Andy is ready I’d make my moves. If Hughes cannot show improvement, Andy & Phelps go in the rotation with Hughes to the pen.  If Garcia is still struggling, I’d like to send him to AAA but he’d likely request his release.

Morning Bits: Garcia, Pettitte, Valentine, All-Star Game

Good morning and a Happy Sunday to you all! Tonight (if they play) is an ESPN game at 8:05pm with CC Sabathia on the mound. Here are your morning links!

— After coming off another horrible start, what will the Yankees do with Freddy Garcia? Here’s a suggestion: Let David Phelps get a crack at the starting rotation for the time being.

— Andy Pettitte will pitch for Double A-Trenton on Wednesday. He’s slated to throw 80-85 pitches. Good. Hurry back Andy…soon.

— Two games vs. the Yankees and Bobby Valentine looks to be the face of failure for the Red Sox. Well, when your at a game and the Red Sox are chanting “We Want Tito” and the Red Sox players don’t like you then you are pretty much being set up for failure.

— Voting has commenced for the 2012 All-Star game, so vote for your favorite Yankees players to make it to Kansas City on July 10!

Teixeira, Swisher, Yanks stun Red Sox with 15-9 victory after being down 9-0 in 6th

The way that the game looked going into the 6th inning was absolutely brutal. The Boston Red Sox had a 9-0 lead and Felix Doubront was dealing. Then, Mark Teixeira had a homer which made the game 9-1 and from there–the Yankees banded together and rallied to stun the Red Sox and Bobby Valentine with a 15-9 win.

GARCIA STRUGGLES ONCE AGAIN: Even though the game ended well for the Yankees, the game didn’t start well for them at all as Freddy Garcia gave up 5 runs and didn’t fool a single Red Sox batter. That forced Girardi to once again go to the bullpen early in Garcia’s starts, this time turning to Clay Rapada. Honestly, I don’t see Garcia being in the rotation much longer after that fiasco that he pulled.

PHELPS PITCHES WELL–AGAIN: David Phelps once again pitched well for the Yankees although he gave up 3 runs. What impressed me the most about Phelps was that he looked unfazed while facing the Boston Red Sox and he was able to not let the lead the Red Sox had at the time get out of control. If Phelps started the game, the Yankees would have probably won 15-3 instead of 15-9. Oh well.

THE RALLY: It all started in the 6th inning when Mark Teixeira hit a solo HR to give the Yankees their first run of the ball game. The Yankees got to the shaky Red Sox bullpen and scored 7 runs in the 7th and 7 runs in the 8th. Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher were the main hitters for the Yankees. Teixeira had a 2 run double, a 3 run homer and a solo homer all in the 7th and 8th innings. Nick Swisher had a Grand Slam and a 2 run double. After Doubront, the Red Sox used 6 pitchers (Padilla, Albers, Morales, Aceves, Thomas & Tazawa). Alfredo Aceves received the loss while Rafael Soriano for the Yankees received the win.

WHAT’S NEXT: According to it is slated to rain heavily in Boston tomorrow night, so it might be hard to get the game in. If the Yankees get the game in then it will be CC Sabathia on the mound facing former Red Sox set-up man Daniel Bard as a starter. The game will be televised on ESPN if  the game happens. If the game is rained out then it will be an off-day where the Yankees can rest the bullpen and their starters.

FORMER YANKEES ALERT: A.J Burnett made his Pittsburgh Pirates debut and pitched–like the Pirates ace starter. He went 7 innings with no runs, 3 hits and 7 strikeouts. He ended his night only throwing 71 pitches. It’s a shame that Burnett isn’t with the Yankees anymore–or its a shame that he didn’t pitch that way when he was on the Yankees. I guess some guys can’t handle the New York pressure.

Garcia struggles once again as Yanks fall to Twins 7-3

This seems to be an ongoing pattern for Freddy Garcia & the Yankees. After a start where he threw 5 Wild Pitches, Garcia kept giving up runs. Lots and lots of runs in a 7-3 loss to the Twins.

GARCIA: THE ODD MAN OUT?: Freddy Garcia just didn’t have it. He gave up 2 runs in the first inning before settling down until the fifth. Then Garcia gave up another 2 runs in the fifth and another run in the 6th before he was lifted in favor of Boone Logan. The way that Freddy Garcia (and Phil Hughes) are pitching, it looks as if the rotation will shape itself up as soon as Michael Pineda & Andy Pettitte return.

OFFENSE STARTED…THEN STOPPED: The Yankees easily came back from their first inning deficit with 2 back to back homers from Derek Jeter & Curtis Granderson but after the Yankees scored 3 runs in the first…the offense just stopped. The Yankees bats were shut down by Carl Pavano (really Yankees?) and the Twins bullpen (again…really Yankees?).

GRANDY FLASHES SOME LEATHER: Curtis Granderson didn’t just have a HR. He also made some flashy plays in the outfield. Then again, when your left field teammate is as fast as you are, you end up feeling like a daredevil going after baseballs when you know he has your back.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will try round 2 with CC Sabathia on the mound. Francisco Liriano will pitch for the Twins. The game is on YES Network and first pitch is at 7:05pm.

Yankees outslug Angels and take series win with 11-5 victory

Ivan Nova wasn’t lights out, but he didn’t implode. All and all, Nova performed well and held the Angels to 4 runs in an 11-5 victory to give the Yankees the series win.

NOVA PITCHES WELL: Ivan Nova pitched well for the Yankees but threw a lot of pitches. He ended up being lifted after 6 innings, but Nova only allowed 4 runs on his behalf. He also had 8 strikeouts in 6 innings. Nova has 13 consecutive decisions where he has won a game, which makes him tied for second on the all-time list.

IBANEZ FLEXES MUSCLES FOR POWER: There are home runs that make you go “wow” and then there are HR’s that make you go “WOW!” The HR that Raul Ibanez hit for the Yankees was a monster shot that went into the upperdeck. The only other hitter that hit a HR into the upper deck was Russell Branyan (who ironically signed with the Yankees). Well, then there were two.

JETER & GARDNER CONTINUE TO BE HOT: Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner are the only ones hitting above .300 on the team and each of them played a key part in the victory. Derek Jeter had a 3 run homer while Brett Gardner walked, singled and scored 2 runs on the day. Derek Jeter was 2 for 5 with a .366 AVG while Brett Gardner was 1 for 3 (with a walk) with a .318 AVG.

MARK TEIXEIRA…BASE STEALER?: Mark Teixeira is known to be a power hitter and an RBI machine but tonight, Mark Teixeira can put ‘base stealing’ on his resume. He stole his first base of the season while no one on the Angels paid attention to him. Someone apparently told Teixeira it’s not April anymore because he’s playing like it’s May.

SORIANO GETS IN A JAM, ROBERTSON GETS OUT: Rafael Soriano was slated to pitch the 7th inning in an 8-4 contest at the time, but was unable to complete the inning as he allowed a run. The bases were loaded when Soriano was lifted and Girardi put a player that loves to pitch in bases loaded jams; David Robertson. Robertson made Girardi look like a genius by getting Mark Trumbo out on a fly out near the foul line.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees will send Freddy Garcia on the mound tomorrow for the series premiere vs. the Twins. The Yankees will face their good friend Carl Pavano. The game will start at 7:05pm on YES Network.

YANKEES NOTE: The only Yankee that did not have a hit vs. the Angels was Russell Martin. He was 0 for 2, but he did get on base with 2 walks.

Yankees rally, beat Orioles 5-4 in 12 innings

In a 4 hour and 38 minute game, it seemed that the Yankees (2-3) were hopeless early on. Freddy Garcia pitched atrociously in his first start of the season, throwing 5 wild pitches which gave the Orioles (3-2) 3 of the 4 runs. The Yankees were 4-1 going into the 6th inning until a small rally got the Yankees 3 runs to tie the game at 4, and the game stayed that way for 6 innings when the Yankees scored the game winning run courtesy of Raul Ibanez.

GARCIA HAD AN ‘OH NO’: In his first start of the season, Freddy Garcia did not pitch well at all. He had no control, he got behind hitters and he threw too many wild pitches. Girardi eventually lifted Garcia in the 5th inning, which allowed the Yankees to start their rally to an eventual victory.

PHELPS HAS DAZZLING APPEARANCE: David Phelps came out of the bullpen today and pitched 2.1 innings, retiring all seven men that he faced; four of them on strike outs. If Phelps is trying to keep his spot on the team, then by golly it’s working.

AN ‘EL CAPITAN’ MONSTER SHOT: The first inning didn’t go the way Derek Jeter planned it; it was better. He sent a monster shot to center field which made the game 1-0 at the time. Jeter was 2 for 6 in the 12 inning game.

GARDNER HITS vs. LHP: If I’m Brett Gardner, I would be feeling pretty good right now. Gardner had 2 hits off of a left handed pitcher and set himself up for good  night at the plate. Gardy was 2 for 4 with an RBI, his second of the season. Joe might want to pencil him in more often.

IBANEZ DELIVERS: Raul Ibanez was regularly not in the lineup tonight, but it was a good thing Girardi put him in or else the Yankees probably wouldn’t have won without him. Ibanez had a double in the 12th inning which plated Robinson Cano for the go ahead run. Ibanez isn’t looking like that player that he was in Spring Training. He seems to be a dominant force all on his own.

WHAT’S NEXT: Yankees will try for the series sweep tomorrow as CC Sabathia will take the mound. The game will be on YES Network at 7:05pm. Let’s hope that this time, his outing is much more dominant. Yankees could use it.

Super Nova makes dazzling debut as Yankees beat Orioles 6-2

The Yankees (1-3) knew that it wasn’t a time to panic when they entered Camden Yards. The Yankees had been 0-3 before in 1998 which led them to the World Series later that year. Tonight as they faced Brian Matusz on the mound, the Yankees bats were alive and Ivan Nova dazzled as the Yankees defeated the Orioles (3-1) 6-2.

SUPER NOVA DAZZLED: Ivan Nova had all of his pitches working for him. He had the dancing slider, the dancing curveball and he was able to spot his fastball on both sides of the strike zone. Although Nova gave up 10 hits, the 10 hits didn’t matter since all the Orioles were able to get were a measly 2 runs.

JETER GOES 4-4: Derek Jeter continues his hot hitting for the Yankees, going 4-4 in the game. Jeter raised his batting average to .412 and Jeter doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.

GARDNER MAKES A CASE: Brett Gardner wasn’t originally in the Yankees lineup vs. Brian Matusz but he came in the game in the bottom of the 6th inning as a defensive replacement. His offense and defense was impressive today as he went 1 for 2 with a SB and an RBI. Gardner also made a catch that not many other outfielders in the game could have made to end the game for Mariano Rivera. Maybe Girardi might want to reconsider having him in the lineup more often.

ROBERTSON GETS A BIRTHDAY APPEARANCE: On David Robertson‘s 26th Birthday last year, he was able to get the relief win for the Yankees. On David Robertson‘s 27th Birthday, he made an 8th inning relief appearance and although Robertson was in a little jam, he was able to get out of it with 2 strikeouts and a ground ball. (Oh, and the fact that he was able to make Nick Markakis argue with the home plate umpire was an amusing bonus for Yankees fans.)

GRANDERSON’S BAT IS ICE COLD: Curtis Granderson started last season with red hot hitting, but this season started out with an ice cold bat. Granderson was 1 for 4 with a BB but his overall average is .188. We all know Granderson is better than this. All he has to do is figure out how to not hit into the shift and everything will work out fine.

PETTITTE HAS ANOTHER OUTING: No, Andy Pettitte isn’t in the Bronx, but he made an outing for the Tampa Yankees and I must say it was quite impressive. His final line was: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 K, 0 BB. Looks like Andy Pettitte will be in the Bronx before we know it. No word when his next start is.

WHAT’S NEXT: Game 2 in Camden Yards will have Freddy Garcia on the mound making his season debut! Hopefully the Yankees can continue their hitting and get another win vs. the Orioles! The game is on MY9 tomorrow at 7:05pm.

YANKEES FACT: After tonight’s win, the Yankees are 101-55 in Camden Yards.

Yanks get swept in Opening Series for first time since ’98 in 3-0 loss vs. Rays

The last time the Yankees were swept during an Opening Series, it was the year 1998 otherwise known as the year that the Yankees won the World Series. The Yankees are hoping that fate is repeating itself in 2012 as the Yanks were swept by the Rays following today’s game.

HUGHES PITCHED WELL: The Yankees were hoping to get a good outing from Phil Hughes. They did (somewhat). Although Hughes only gave up 2 earned runs (one of them was not supposed to happen), he was taken out by the fifth inning because he threw too many pitches.

PHELPS MADE DEBUT: David Phelps made his Major League debut today and was absolutely flawless, getting his first Major League strikeout and a ground ball to get the Yankees out of a small jam. Phelps had family members in the stands watching him which would give any person butterflies, but Phelps looked calm and collected.

OFFENSE WENT COLD: After scoring 12 runs combined in the first 2 games, the Yankees offense went silent. I bet the Yanks are glad that they can finally get out of Florida and head on to Baltimore where they could (finally) get a win.

WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees are done in Florida (thank goodness, I thought the sun was frying their brains) and they will head out to Baltimore to take on the Orioles in a 3 game set in Camden Yards. Ivan Nova is scheduled to pitch tomorrow’s game, Freddy Garcia is scheduled to pitch Tuesday’s game and CC Sabathia is slated to pitch Wednesday’s game. All games will begin at 7:05pm.