When the Yankees were playing horrible baseball in the month of May, you would have thought Brett Gardner‘s prediction of the Yankees winning 100 games in the season was complete hogwash. Now as the Yankees are about to close the door on June, Gardner’s prediction seems a little more believable as the Yankees have now notched 41 wins this season. The ironic part of all this though is that Gardner has not played in a game since April 17 when he injured his arm while making a diving catch. With Gardner out of the lineup, more players have stepped up and some have…well…faltered.
Derek Jeter (COOL): When Derek Jeter first started the season he was getting base hit after base hit; he was even as far as .400 in the beginning of May. Since then, Jeter’s average has cooled down to where his average is close to .300. Derek Jeter’s baseball lately…he looks like the Derek Jeter in the beginning of the 2011 season (you know, before the 3,000 hits).
Curtis Granderson (HOT): Curtis Granderson’s batting average I admit isn’t the greatest average in the world, but he already has 20 HR’s and the first half of the season isn’t over yet! Granderson is on pace to hit 40 HR’s but he continues to consider himself a non home run hitter. Curtis, you’re not fooling us. That bat of yours is H-O-T!
Mark Teixeira (COOL): Mark Teixeira’s bat in the beginning of the season was…eh. Teixeira seems to be getting his bat together now and is getting key hits when the Yankees rely on it. Teixeira is still working on the RISP hitting, but he seems to have no trouble hitting the ball out of the park.
Alex Rodriguez (COOL): Alex Rodriguez’s bat has also been pretty cool to begin the first half of the season. In April, A-Rod had a .244 average which followed a .314 average in May. However in June A-Rod seems to have cooled down again, in which he’s only hitting .214. A-Rod’s bat better heat up soon or else…
Robinson Cano (HOT): Robinson Cano was off to an odd slow start for the Yankees but he seemed to have picked it up as he is now hitting close to.300. Cano’s power is still there since so far this season he has hit 14 HR’s. Hopefully Cano can show some more power towards July and August.
Nick Swisher (COOL): Nick Swisher has been on an up and down ride this season. In this case, he can’t seem to keep himself healthy. Swisher had 3 calf issues, the latter coming from last week in the Nationals series. Number wise, Swisher has been driving guys home. He has 42 RBI’s so far in the season.
Russell Martin (COLD): How do I put this nicely about a great defensive catcher that knows how to call games? Well, Russell Martin is struggling; BADLY! Russell Martin is BARELY above the Mendonza line with a .205 batting average, however lately he has been driving the ball for power. 3 HR’s in 3 games isn’t bad. He does however have to get his act together.
Raul Ibanez (WARM) : Raul Ibanez has done a great job for the Yankees so far this season. Ibanez wasn’t supposed to play a lot of left field this season but since Gardner got hurt, he had done great. Is he a defender in LF like Gardner? No. But his bat makes up for it.
Andruw Jones (COLD): When Andruw Jones platoons with Raul Ibanez, it drives me insane. With his bat…he has done very little. He like Russell Martin has a .206 average but we have to take into account that Martin has more at bats than Jones. But for a platoon power player on the bench…it seems Jones is either a hit it out or out kind of player.
Brett Gardner (MHP): MHP meaning missing his playing. Gardner only played 9 games this season for the Yankees but he had a hot bat coming into the season with a .321 average. I’m somewhat hoping that when he returns he does what A-Rod did in 2009; a first at bat, first pitch homer into the left field seats for 3 runs. What? I can dream can’t I?
It will be very interesting to see how the Yankees team will play out for the rest of the season but we all know that the work isn’t over until the Yankees reach the ultimate prize; a World Series ring.
Baseball officials often say they like to break the season down into one- thirds. The first third is to evaluate your team’s strengths and weaknesses. The middle third is to look for solutions to your problems and to make changes – and the final third is to make a push with the new/improved team you’ve assembled. The Yankees are in that middle phase now and have gone through a lot in the season so far. They struggled for the first 42 games and had a .500 record on May 21st. They then went on an amazing 20-4 run that just ended with back to back losses to Atlanta. Now that we’ve seen their worst and their best baseball, I think it’s a good time to evaluate what this team needs to make a push for their 28th Championship.
The pen has been their strong point all season. Even after surviving the loss of 2 All-Stars in Mariano Rivera and David Robertson they still have kept it together. They are 3rd in MLB in bullpen ERA with a 2.73 mark and have blown a league-low 4 saves in 24 opportunities. With Rafael Soriano looking comfortable in the Closer’s role and Robertson returning healthy, the Yankee bullpen is set. Boone Logan & Clay Rapada have been absolutely excellent vs LH hitters and Cody Eppley and Cory Wade are serviceable in their roles. There may even be a chance that Joba and/or David Aardsma come back at some point this year so there is no need for them to look outside of the organization for relief help.
The starters have been pitching tremendously in June and on the season they are 5th in the A.L. with a 4.14 ERA. The one disturbing trend is that they lead all of baseball in HRs allowed with 65 and are 27th overall in opposing hitters OPS at .780. However, all the starters are pitching better as of late and right now the top 3 of C.C., Andy Pettitte & Ivan Nova look pretty strong. Kuroda is solid as a #4 and Hughes is OK as the #5 man. So the question is, can anyone out there help them? Read the rest of this entry
You had to figure coming into tonight that the Yankees were going to have a tough match-up with David Price on the mound, and that was exactly what David Price gave the Yankees; a tough match-up. The Yankees were only able to muster 1 run off of Price but it could have been more if the Yankees hadn’t blown their chances.
In the 5th inning the Yankees had a great chance to get back into the game when it was 5-1 at the time with the bases loaded and one out, but Alex Rodriguez & Robinson Cano didn’t get the job done which sealed the Yankees fate. An Alex Rodriguez error also played a big part of the night which allowed a runner to score early. A Nick Swisher error in the top of the 9th gave the Rays a chance to seal the deal and finish the night scoring 7 runs. Curtis Granderson had an abysmal day at the plate going 0 for 5 with 4 K’s & a ground ball out to the pitcher. Yep, the Rays made the Yankees look like the way the Rays were playing when they entered Yankee Stadium.
Chris Stewart (who is not “CC’s personal catcher”) grounded out to bring home one run, Raul Ibanez (who pinch hit for Andruw Jones) lined a base hit to get another run home and Russell Martin (who pinch hit for Chris Stewart) hit a HR in the 9th and was able to keep the Yankees record of not hitting HR’s in a game to 0-12.
The crosstown rival New York Mets come to the Bronx tomorrow to kick off interleague play in the month of June (still don’t really consider it a “road ” game for the Mets since they are in New York after all.) Tomorrow’s match-up is Johan Santana vs. Hiroki Kuroda and first pitch (weather barring) is at 7:05pm.
The Yankees and Tigers were on a back and forth see-saw throughout the whole entire game, but in the end it was the Tigers that were to prevail and get the victory in walk-off fashion.
The Yankees scored their 3 runs without hitting a home run but they weren’t exactly hitting the ball for power. Raul Ibanez received an RBI on a groundout, Nick Swisher hit an RBI single and Mark Teixeira had a bases loaded walk which rounded out the Yankees 3 runs. The Yankees were 1 for 12 with RISP and are now 0-12 in games when they don’t hit a HR.
In the 7th inning, Bob Davidson ( an umpire who has abused his power before and received a 1 game suspension already this year) ejected Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long although he did not issue a warming to the Yankees dugout. It also looked as if Davidson was instigating which made manager Joe Girardi lose his cool. Girardi was also ejected during the game.
The Yankees made one minor mistake in the bottom of the 9th inning when the game was still tied at 3: Where in the world was Rafael Soriano. Pena brought in the rookie David Phelps in a nerve-wracking spot in the 9th inning. Phelps allowed 2 singles before being lifted for Boone Logan. Logan walked Ramon Santiago before allowing the game winning SAC fly off the bat of Omir Santos.
INJURY UPDATE: Brett Gardner hit in the indoor cages again and continues to say that his elbow feels fine. Joba Chamberlain threw off a half-mound today in his road back to the Yankees. David Robertson threw a bullpen session today but the Yankees are not going to rush back Robertson. Gardner however could be ready by the Subway Series if there isn’t another set-back.
Let’s face it: right now the Yankees look flat out terrible. All faith was put on Hiroki Kuroda in tonight’s series debut but Kuroda gave up 3 runs in 5.1 IP. The ball was handed to Cody Eppley who faced one batter and Clay Rapada who faced 3 batters. Rapada started the 7th inning but was taken out due to a right hander coming to bat. That was when everything went wrong and the Yankees put in Freddy Garcia.
Garcia on the second pitch gave up a 2 run HR on a hanging curveball which sealed the deal and sent the Yankees to their third straight loss. But it wasn’t all Garcia’s fault. Once again, the Yankees couldn’t figure out a way to hit with runners in scoring position. The Yankees had a great chance in the third inning with bases loaded and no one out, until Robinson Cano & Alex Rodriguez struck out and Raul Ibanez hit a long fly ball that was caught at the warning track.
One thing crossed my mind while watching the game tonight; the Yankees sorely need Brett Gardner back. I’m not saying that it’s because of Brett Gardner that the Yankees are struggling mightily but ever since Gardner was placed on the DL, the Yankees are 15-16 without him. That’s not a good number. Well the Yankees will have to be with Gardner for a little while longer. While the Yankees go on a West Coast swing, Brett Gardner & David Robertson will head to Tampa, Florida to rehab themselves back into playing shape. Gardner had the MRI today on his elbow while David Robertson said he no longer feels the oblique injury. Unfortunately there might have been no need for Robertson this whole time since the Yankees haven’t seemed to been able to get it together and get a lead. Here’s another disturbing stat for the Yankees: Yankees are 6 for 69 with runners in scoring position. You would have to think this is going to end soon, right?
Tomorrow Phil Hughes will get the start for the Yankees as the Yanks try to stop their 3 game skid and find a way to get out of last place. Did I forget to mention they were in last place? It must have slipped my mind. Well, back to work the Yankees go.
From the 1st to 6th inning, it looked as if CC Sabathia was cruising along. The Yankees had the lead in the 6th inning on a Raul Ibanez two run home run, but all it took was 1 inning. 1 inning for things to unravel. 1 inning for things to get bad. 1 inning to give up the Yankees lead for good.
CC gave up 2 HR’s in the 7th inning to tie the game at 2. There was an infield single which followed with 3 walks in a row; the third walk bringing home the 3rd run for the Reds.
The Yankees wanted to hold the Reds at 3 runs so Joe Girardi brought out Rafael Soriano. Soriano disappointed by giving up 2 runs in the 9th inning (both runs were charged to Boone Logan.)
There is no question right now that the Yankees are struggling. The Yankees can’t hit with runners in scoring position, the Yankees are only 1 game above last place and the Yankees will have to be without their best outfielder Brett Gardner until probably sometime late next week. With the season already a quarter over, is it too early for the Yankees to be worried or is this the perfect time to panic?
If you didn’t watch today’s Yankees game, you might want to find a way to watch it again. Yes, the Yankees didn’t win, but today’s game was one of the oddest game of the year. Why I mention that? Ivan Nova gave up 5 runs, but still managed to strike out 12 of the Reds hitters.
The big blow came in the 5th inning when Joey Votto hit a 3 run homer off of Nova. The Yankees tried to rally in the 9th after Raul Ibanez hit a double, Nick Swisher doubled to bring him home and Jayson Nix brought Swisher home. The game ended with the same problem that the Yankees have had all season: not being able to hit with runners in scoring position. Curtis Granderson grounded out with a runner at third base.
The New York Yankees have a lot of nicknames: “The Evil Empire”, “The Yanks” and “The Bronx Zoo.” All great nicknames that describe our Yankees, but to me there is one that describes the Yankees all too well: “The Bronx Bombers.” The Yankees are a team that is equipped with power. From the #1-#8 hitters in the lineup (sorry Brett Gardner), the Yankees have the ability to hit baseballs out of the park. But do the Yankees abuse their home run power to rely on winning games?
Curtis Granderson: 11 HR’s, 20 RBI’s
Robinson Cano: 3 HR’s, 11 RBI’s
Alex Rodriguez: 5 HR’s, 14 RBI’s
Mark Teixeira: 4 HR’s, 17 RBI’s
Derek Jeter: 5 HR’s, 15 RBI’s
Raul Ibanez: 7 HR’s, 21 RBI’s
Here are a couple of Yankees that are on the team with HR power. As you noticed, the Yankees RBI numbers are either close to 20 or over 20. The reason? Take a look at the HR numbers. Curtis Granderson has 11 and it’s only May. Raul Ibanez has 7. Both Mark Teixeira & Derek Jeter have 5. A-Rod has 4. And Robbie has 3.
Here’s an interesting stat about the Yankees and HR’s: The game on Sunday was the 7th game that the Yankees did not hit a HR this season. What is the Yankees record when they don’t hit a HR in a game? 0-7. Not only do the Yankees rely on the HR ball but they aren’t specialized in clutch hitting unless they are leading by 5 runs for example (after the Yankees get 5 runs off of HR’s).
Hitting HR’s once in a while is fine. Sure, who wouldn’t get excited to see a ball go out the park and watching one of the Yankees circle around the bases. But when you find yourself every game saying,: “If we get [Insert number here] more runners on base then [Insert player here] could try to get it out so we can get the lead/tie the game”, then we have a serious problem.
One of the Yankees best players at playing ABC baseball Brett Gardner is currently is still on the disabled list, so until he comes back the Yankees better learn how to get clutch hits when needed. In the playoffs, starting pitching and offense is what wins you games, so don’t expect players like Justin Verlander or James Shields to throw a ball down the middle, because the HR supply will be limited. Very limited.
Time to check out all the Yankee Blogs around the web. Give them all a read. Enjoy.
* An A-blog for A-Rod is looking at a brighter turn through the rotation.
* Bleeding Yankee Blue looks at the future shortstop Eduardo Nunez.
* Bronx Baseball Daily has the details of Pettitte’s contract.
* It’s about the Money Stupid asks if where Tex hits in the order actually matters?
* Lady Loves Pinstripes writes that the Yankees are wounded but are still winning.
* NYY Universe writs about the Yankee closer Dilemma.
* Pinstripe Alley is giving some credit to unappreciated Yankees.
* River Ave Blues writes RISP: Where Yanks big guns go to die.
* The Captain’s Blog has a write up about Ibanez making an early Impact with his bat.
* The Greedy Pinstripes are taking a look at Yankee prospect Angelo Gumbs.
* The Yankee Analysts take a look at Hiroki and the lack of strikeouts.
It was a joyous day in Yankee Stadium on an early Sunday afternoon as Andy Pettitte made his way to the mound. He knew that he was ready to take on the Seattle Mariners lineup and start his 2012 season on the right foot. Although he didn’t walk away with the win, Andy did walk away (somewhat) on the right foot. Pettitte had given up 4 runs in 6+ innings pitched but received the loss because the Yankees offense couldn’t get the clutch hit.
The Yankees had plenty of opportunities to score, especially in the 5th & the 8th inning. They started both those innings with the bases loaded and no one out, but all the Yanks could do was get 2 runs; both on walks. Derek Jeter grounded into a double play in the 5th and Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play in the 8th thus ending the Yankees rally.
Nick Swisher raised some eyebrows in the 9th inning when he tried to stretch a double into a triple and was gunned down at third. Swisher ended the rally in the 9th as Raul Ibanez and Eric Chavez both flew out to end the game.
WHAT’S NEXT: The Yankees head to Camden Yards for 2 games in which I like to call “their home away from home”. Ivan Nova will pitch tomorrow and CC Sabathia will pitch on Tuesday before the Yanks pack it up and head to Toronto.
Unlike the last 2 weeks it was not very hard to find 4 worthy candidates for Yankees player of the week this week. The Yankees were one David Robertson save away from a perfect week but they will settle for 5-1. There were good moments from Robinson Cano’s grand slam in Kansas City, to wins over stud pitchers like James Shields, David Price, and Felix Hernandez, to the first saves post Mariano Rivera, and Jesus Montero’s return to the Bronx. The nominees for Week 5 Yankees Player of the Week are CC Sabathia, Raul Ibanez, Phil Hughes, and Robinson Cano.
The Case For Sabathia – CC Sabathia came up huge for the Yankees in the biggest game of the week. Sabathia was pitching the rubber game of the series vs.Tampa Bay against Tampa’s lefty ace David Price. After getting swept by Tampa in the opening series of the year it was important for the Yankees to take the series at home. 2 early errors by Eduardo Nunez put Sabathia in an early 2-0 hole. A lot of pitchers would have lost their cool and imploded but Sabathia is to much of a professional and a leader to allow that to happen. He shut down Tampa Bay for the rest of the night. Sabathia pitched 8 innings, giving up 7 hits, 0 earned runs, and struck out 10 batters.
The Case For Ibanez – Raul Ibanez was a much maligned signing by the Yankees this offseason. His awful spring training did not help his case and many fans wanted him cut already. He has been proving people wrong ever since. On the week Ibanez hit .444, with 4 HR’s, and 9 RBI. Ibanez’ 2 HR’s on Tuesday vs.Tampa Bay were the difference in a 5-3 win. His 3 run homer Friday vs.Seattlegave the Yankees the lead for good after the Yankees were down 2-1. Also, Ibanez started the scoring yesterday vs.Seattle with an RBI double and added another home run for good measure.
The Case For Hughes – Hughes has really seemed to turn a corner this week. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for the upcoming season and not another tease. Hughes had 2 wins for Yankees this week on Sunday at Kansas City and yesterday vs.Seattle. He got solid run support in both games but that should not diminish what he did. On Sunday at Kansas City Hughes pitched 6.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 3 earned runs, and struck out 7. Yesterday vs. Seattle Hughes pitched 7.2 innings, allowing 6 hits, 1 earned run, and struck out 4. Hughes has thrown harder, finally scratched his cutter for the most part, and has been mixing his pitches better with 2 strikes.
The Case for Cano – If you would have told me that week 5 would be the first week Cano was a nominee for Yankees player of the week I would have laughed. It took Cano awhile to get here but he has arrived with a big bang. Cano batted an incredible .500 on the week with 2 HR and 9 RBI. Cano finally made his presence felt on the 2012 season with grand slam on Sunday in Kansas City. It was big home run for him and the Yankees because loosing 3 out of 4 to a team that had not won a home game all year prior to the series would have been brutal. Cano’s HR on Thursday vs.Tampa Bay gave the Yankees the lead for good in the rubber match game. He had 3 hits that night and followed that up by going 4-4 Friday vs.Seattle.
It was very tough to pick a winner this week. On most weeks Cano and Ibanez would be runaway winners and Sabathia and Hughes are deserving as well. I am going to give it to Cano over Ibanez since I do not think it is a coincidence the moment he gets hot the Yankees started rolling. Ibanez might have had more big hits than Cano this week so I could have easily given it to him as well. Vote in the poll and discuss in the comments who you guys think the Week 5 Yankees Player of the Week is.
Phil Hughes was looking to build on his last 2 outings. Hughes looked somewhat like the early season 2010 Hughes in the previous outing, but today it looked like a carbon copy of the fabulous Hughes, going 7.2 IP giving up only 1 run as the Yanks were able to take game 2 of the 3 game set with a score of 6-2.
HUGHES LOOKS LIKE 2010: Phil Hughes looked absolutely flawless today, going 7.2, with 1 run on 6 hits while striking out 4. His ERA coming into the game was 6.61 but with a brilliant performance, Hughes was able to lower his ERA to 5.50. Yep, Hughes has looked fantastic so far. It looks like he has finally turned the corner.
JAYSON NIX SHOWS POWER: Jayson Nix started at SS today while Derek Jeter hit in the DH spot and Nix did not disappoint. Nix hit his first HR of the season which at the time gave the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
‘RAUL’ BE LOOKING AT MONUMENT PARK: Raul Ibanez hit a solo shot today in the Yankees 6-2 win and the ball went all the way to monument park. An interesting story about Ibanez: Joe Girardi was so concerned with his hitting during Spring Training, that called all of the scouts that have seen Ibanez before. It turns out him not hitting in ST is normal. Well, Ibanez seems to be a good signing–now.
WHAT’S NEXT: Tomorrow it’s Mother’s Day in Major League Baseball! The Yankees will wear pink cleats, carry pink bats and will have pink wristbands. But that is not the best part. Tomorrow, Andy Pettitte will make his Season debut. Keep in mind though…Pettitte has not pitched in 573 games after he ‘retired’ after the 2010 season. The game will be on YES Network and the start time is at 1:o5pm.
Hiroki Kuroda desperately needed a good outing for the Yankees. The Yankees desperately needed to hit Felix Hernandez who had been pitching almost flawlessly since the season began. The Yankees, with help from Raul Ibanez were able to stun the Mariners with a 6-2 victory in the home opener.
KURODA SHINES FOR THE YANKEES: Despite giving up 2 homeruns, Kuroda outshined Felix Hernandez by going7 innings giving up 2 runs on 6 hits and 2K’s. Kuroda advances to 3-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.56. That’s better than a 4 ERA right?
RAUL, SO COOL: Raul Ibanez opened the game up in the 6th inning with a 2 out, 3 run homer. At the time the Yankees were trailing the Mariners with a score of 2-1. I guess now the only way that the Yankees really score runs is by the longball. Oh well. Besides rings, chicks also dig the long ball.
ROBBIE CANO IS PERFECT: Robinso Cano was absolutely perfect today and no I am not just giving my opinion. Robinson Cano was 4 for 4 with 1 RBI all while raising his average to .308. And then there were 3 hitting over .300…
WHAT’S NEXT: Phil Hughes will take the mound for the Yankees as the Yankees also attempt to win game 2 of the 3 game set. Now that the Yankees have gotten King Felix out of the way, it should be a somewhat easier series. First pitch is at 4:05pm.
Eduardo Nunez‘ bat has seemed to have taken another step forward this year. Nunez is hitting .385 on the year with an .856 OPS. I saw this potential in Nunez’s bat last year, but he has taken it up even another level so far this year. Despite all of this Nunez still receives criticism for his shaky defense. Nunez is an adventure out there and you have no idea what he is going to do out there. While Brett Gardner is on the DL I think the Yankees should give Nunez a chance to play left field.
I still think Nunez has the tools to be a good defensive infielder. He has good range and a very strong arm. So why is he struggling so much defensively now? Maybe it is because he is playing 3 infield positions or it still may be in his head. People forget even Derek Jeter made 22 errors in his rookie year and it is not uncommon for young players to make these mistakes. It is part of their growth. I think a move to left field for the short term while Gardner is on the DL makes plenty of sense. Nunez has skills that make you think he could play the outfield. He has the speed and a very strong arm. He has a wider margin for error with his throws in the outfield than he does in the infield. Read the rest of this entry