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Archive for the ‘Yankees Game Recap’ Category

  Cliff Lee #33 Of The Texas Rangers Looks On In The Dugout In The Ninth Inning Against The New York Yankees  In Game

As much has been made of the Yanks starting pitcher’s inability to get past the National Anthem without surrendering multiple runs, an even bigger question is burning in the Bronx: why is the offense suddenly MIA?

Consider: thus far, the Yankees have scored in 4 of 27 innings. In three of those innings, only one run crossed the plate – and two of those were courtesy of Robinson Cano solo homers. As memorable as the 5 run outburst in the 7th inning of game 1 may be for the dramatics, it stands in danger of being memorable simply because it is the only time all series the Yankees managed to tack multiple runs on the board. Compare that to the Rangers, who have scored in 8 of their 27 innings – and scored multiple runs in 7 of them. Granted, Cliff Lee may be the best big-game pitcher in the game today (which is a BIG reason he’ll be welcomed in the Bronx next year), but even removing last night’s game shows the Yankees are being outslugged by the Rangers.

Outslugged by the Rangers? Yep. Take away last night’s game and the aggregate score is Rangers 12, Yankees 8.

The key to winning this series now may very well be the Yankees ability to win the next three straight. As well as Lee is pitching right now, the idea of facing him in a game 7 should fill every fan with dread. Can the Yankees win three straight? Certainly, especially with the next two at Yankee Stadium. But they need to get the bats off their shoulders and start scoring, preferably early and often. Otherwise, it won’t matter that Lee is lined up for game 7.

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During and after yet another playoff victory for the Yankees over the Twins, the main story line for TBS and ESPN wasn’t Andy Pettitte’s terrific pitching performance or Berkman and Granderson’s offensive production…no, instead it was the strike called ball to Berkman in the 7th inning before his go-ahead double. What TBS and most other media outlets failed to report is during that at bat, the first pitch called a strike was actually a ball and for most of the night Pavano benefited from a very friendly strike zone. Below is the strike zone from tonight’s game (via Brooksbaseball.net):

 

Hunter Wendelstedt had a bad night

 

(Each pitch is represented by a single dot. Green dots are balls and red dots are strikes. Pitches marked as belonging to a particular team (for example “min” or “nya”) are designated with different shapes. These teams represent the pitching team, not the batting team. So, a pitch marked “nya-Called Strike” was thrown by a Yankees pitcher)

  • Twins pitchers had 14 balls called strikes
  • Yankee pitchers had 2 balls called strikes
  • Twins pitchers had 6 strikes called balls
  • Yankees pitchers had 5 strikes called balls

So while the media won’t let the facts get in the way of a good story, its clear the Yankees and not the Twins got the short-end of the strike zone stick last night.

Follow me on Twitter @eddieperez23

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As we prepare for tonight’s tilt with the Rays, there are numerous questions surrounding the Yankees. Will Andy Pettites groin be fully healed before the playoffs? Will Phil Hughesinnings limit result in him being ineffective? Who will be the fourth starter? Will the offense ever remember how to hit? Can Derek Jeter regain the form that made him a Yankee icon?

But the biggest question of all has to be this: Why is Joe Girardi still the manager?

Yes, I realize Girardi was the manager last year for #27. But many observers, myself included, felt the team won despite his managerial hijinx, not because of them. And the job he’s done this year – well, this current road trip pretty much sums up his season.

A manager’s job is two-fold: one, to put his players in the best position to do their job; and two, to motivate and inspire his squad to shine. Girardi consistently fails to do either. He insists on putting in line-ups where there are as many reserves as regulars. (How else do you explain bench players accounting for 21% of the teams plate appearances this season?). Quite frankly, I’m getting tired of seeing a bottom of the order consisting of Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. (That particular duo has started together an incredible 15 times this season – better than 10% of the season). It’s nothing against either of those guys, but this is supposed to be the Yankees, not the Orioles. Or the Cubs.

Girardi over-relies on the bullpen; the Yankees only have 3 complete games as a staff – 11th best in the AL. Don’t forget; this is the same guy who was run out of the Marlins clubhouse largely because he burned his bullpen so badly in 2006, they fell out of contention. It makes you wonder if Alfredo Aceves‘ workload contributed to his (possibly career-threatening) injury.

He also rubbed that clubhouse the wrong way, as the players simply got tired of his act. I doubt we’ll ever hear anyone on this team complain about the skipper – they’re all too professional for it – but I defy anyone to tell me this team actually wants to win for Girardi. To be blunt, lately the Yankees look as though they would rather be taking a nap than playing baseball. That type of lethargy is direct reflection on Girardi’s leadership -or lack thereof.

Last night’s game – with the odd bullpen choices (Kerry Wood and Boone Logan combined to throw fewer pitches in 1 1/3 innings than Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre did in 2/3 of an inning), lackadaisical hitting, base running blunders – was a microcosm of the season thus far. Lost in all the noise about the bullpen maneuvering and Brett Gardner’s inexplicable attempted steal of third were two other moves that make absolutely no sense. In the 5th, Jorge Posada was caught stealing. On a straight steal. With two out. Later, in the 11th, after Austin Kearns led off with a sharp single, Girardi had Curtis Granderson bunt. If you have the heart of the order coming up, that makes sense. But not when the next hitter is Colin Curtis.

I’m sure the infamous binder had all kinds of percentages for each of the weird moves we saw. But games aren’t won in a computer model; they’re won by players on the field. Speaking of computer models, the Pythagorean prediction says the Yankees should be 89-55 or two games better than they’ve played. Why do you suppose that is?

Managers can rarely win a game. But when they insist on managing like the league idiot, they can certainly lose them. For that reason, Joe Must Go.

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Courtesy: Newark Star-Ledger

One of the downsides to all of the day games the Yankees have been playing lately is that I don’t get to watch them. I try to keep up by following on Twitter and sneaking a peek via MLB.com every so often, but we all know it’s not the same as actually watching the game. I feel almost disconnected from my favorite team. I can get the final score, of course, but it’s just not the same. And lately, the scores have been mostly pretty good, but I feel as if I’m missing out on something special. After all, the team has increased their lead over Tampa Bay over the last two weeks, somehow weathering the injury to A-Rod remarkably well.

But some days are better than others, even if I can’t watch. Some days popping open the final box or game recap are almost as thrilling as watching live. It brings back memories of my youth, when I would grab the morning paper after a midweek night game to find out if the Yankees won. To find out if Reggie or Thurman or Catfish had done something incredible.

Today is one of those days. Nick Swisher, all I can say is THANK YOU for bringing a smile to my face (and a very loud cheer to my coworkers’ ears) during the afternoon grind. Thank you for doing something incredible.

Oh, and thank you for giving me a great excuse to grab a slice of pie on my way home!

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As we get ready for tonight’s tilt with the Blue Jays, a few thoughts from last night’s game:

  • If Ivan Nova was brought up with the idea of resting the pitching staff, it seems somebody forgot to tell Joe Girardi. Nova only pitched 5 1/3 innings, throwing 73 pitches. After a rough 1st inning, he settled in nicely. Other than a poorly located pitch to Jose Bautista, he didn’t give the Jays anything. I’m still scratching my head over Girardi’s decision to yank Nova in the 6th and use 3 relievers last night, particularly with Dustin Moseley (averaging 5 2/3 innings per start) and Phil Hughes (he of the innings limit) coming up next. Assuming Nova maintained his 14 pitch/inning rate (not improbable), he wouldn’t have hit 100 pitches until the 9th inning. Strange, but I’m sure Girardi had his reasons.
  • What was with that line-up? I understand Derek Jeter needed a night off. But by putting Jorge Posada in the DH role, that left the bottom of the Yankees line-up looking more like the bottom of the line-up for Scranton-Wilkes Barre. A better option would have been to start Posada behind the plate and pencil in Austin Kearns (who’s been hitting pretty well, btw) into the DH role. I also would have batted Curtis Granderson 2nd and Nick Swisher 6th, since Swish is a far better run producer than Granderson. That would have left the Yankees with

Gardner LF; Granderson CF; Teixeira 1B; Cano 2B; Posada C; Swisher RF; Kearns DH; Pena 3B; Nunez  SS

Then, tonight you could have DH’d Posada and an 8-9 of Francisco Cervelli and Pena. As it was, the Yankees got exactly the kind offense you could expect from the line-up Girardi put out there.

  • Speaking of Bautista, two questions come to mind: First, why are the Yankees still throwing him fastballs? Second, is anyone else just a little suspicious that Bautista has nearly tripled his career high for home-runs while playing in the same town that Anthony Galea calls home?
  • Finally, I can’t wait to see what the umpires have in store for us tonight. MLB sent what might be the worst umpiring crew I’ve seen all season to work this series – and that’s really saying something. The HP ump couldn’t find the strike zone, leaving both teams hollering at him. The first base ump blew a call that obviously cost the Yankees a run. You also have to wonder if that call might have caused just a moment’s loss of concentration for Nova, since it was the following AB that Bautista did his best Barry Bonds act.

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Carl Crawford

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
N.Y. Yankees 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 0
Tampa Bay « 0 1 2 0 0 0 0 0 x 3 9 1
W: J. Shields (10-9) L: C. Sabathia (13-5)
S: R. Soriano (30)
HR: NYY – None   TB – None

Game Summary –  (Box Scores Courtesy of CBS Sports)  (more…)

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This just in: Javier Vazquez must be the most hated man in the clubhouse. Why? Because the Yankees simply refuse to score whenever he starts.

You could forgive the man if he is starting to feel that way. As the chart below shows, Javy not only doesn’t get run support – the Yankees bats virtually go into hibernation on days he starts. For the season, the team scores an average of 5.47 runs per game. Yet when Javy gets the ball, they only score 3.71. In case you’re wondering, in all games not started by Vazquez, the average runs per game scored jumps to 5.87 – so, the team scores more than 2 runs per game more, on average, for everyone else.

Talk about your red-headed step-children (apologies to anyone who happens to be a red-headed step-child)!

Look, I’m hardly a Javier Vazquez fan. His ERA is about where I expected it would be, in the mid-4’s, and he certainly has thrown some awful ballgames this year. But when you look at the numbers objectively, you begin to wonder how he managed to win half of his starts. The generally accepted adage is that a quality start – one where the pitcher gives his team a good chance of winning – is 6 innings of three run ball. Yet in Javy’s case, the Yankees have failed to score more than three runs 11 times in his 18 starts. Of the 4 times the offense has been shut out this year, 3 of them have come in games started by him. You put all of this together, and the Yankees offense is twice as likely to go in the tank when Vazquez pitches as any other starter.

You could expect those types of results if Vazquez were going up against other team’s aces. But, as the nominal #4 starter, he doesn’t. Last night is a prime example: Javy pitched about as well as you can expect, allowing 2 runs over 7 innings. The only problem was the Yanks made Jake Westbrook (he of the 4.74 ERA entering last night’s game) look like an ace, only managing 4 hits off the righty.

I’m not certain what the reason is for this, other than every year there seems to be one guy on a pitching staff who could sue his teammates for run support. This year, that guy is Javy.

Pitcher

Avg Runs/gm

3r or less/Gm

Times Team  Shutout

Starts

ERA

% starts under 3R scored

W-L

Vazquez

3.71

11

3

18

4.56

61.1

9-7

Hughes

7.59

3

0

18

4.04

16.7

12-3

Sabathia

6.41

3

1

21

3.18

14.3

13-3

Pettite

6.13

5

0

18

2.88

27.8

11-2

Burnett

4.63

6

0

20

4.77

30

8-8

Mitre

3.67

1

0

3

5.93

33.3

0-2

Totals

5.47

29

4

98

3.84

29.6

53-25

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Kansasa City Royals' Scott Podsednik

Final 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Kansas City « 2 0 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 7 8 0
N.Y. Yankees 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0 0 4 9 1
W: K. Davies (5-6) L: S. Mitre (0-2)
S: J. Soria (27)
HR: KC – J. Guillen (16)   NYY – M. Teixeira (19),J. Posada (12),M. Teixeira (20)
 

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The Pitching:

Javier Vazquez hurled a quality start today, bringing his season recover over the .500 mark. Javy’s ERA has gone down a lot over the past few weeks,  from 9.78 on May 1st to 5.43 today. His pitching line was: (W, 6-5) 7.0IP 6H 3R 3ER 0BB 6K (95 Pitches, 58 for Strikes). In Javier’s last 6 starts, he is (W-L) 5-1 with a 3.00 ERA. Robertson took the 8th, Gaudin the 9th, and they both posted up scoreless frames.

The Offense:

Jorge Posada broke out of his recent funk, going 2-for-3 on the game and knocked in 4RBI’s. He hit a grand slam off of Wandy Rodriguez in the 3rd inning. Derek Jeter hit two home runs in today’s game. One off Rodriguez in the 1st inning, and the other in the 6th innning off Fulchino. It was Jeter’s 9th career multi-homer game. The last one he had was on August 27, 2006. Nick Swisher went 1-for-5, picking up a run and an RBI.

The Yankees will wrap up this three-game series tomorrow, as they face the Astros at 1:05PM ET at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. They’ll be going  for the sweep. The pitching matchup is RHP Phil Hughes vs RHP Brian Moehler. (more…)

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After a rough patch, the Yankees this past week pounded on the Twins and for a few games on the Cleveland Indians. Overall they went 4-2 in their 6 games and look to continue the momentum going into week 9 of the season.
The Good

Outside of the overall picture of the Yankees offense coming back to what it should be, the Yankees are enjoying a resurgence of Robinson Cano. Over the past week he has hit .536 (15-30) with 6 extra base hits and 12 RBI’s. Also fueling the fire is Nick Swisher who is having his best year to date. Over the past week he has hit .400 (10-25) with 6 extra base hits and 4 RBI’s to his name.

The Bad

After hurting his back early in May, Al Aceves received a second epidural in his back and it didn’t do much for Aceves. If Aceves is out for anymore significant time (some would say he already is), the Yankees really don’t need to worry too much. While yes, when Aceves is on he’s good, the Yankees brought back Chad Gaudin and sent down Boone Logan. While Gaudin and Aceves are not necessarily equals, it works for now.

The Joba & Girardi

The Yankees were only a few more outs away from finishing off an impressive win against the Cleveland Indians when Joba came in to shut the door in the 7th, or atleast try to. Instead he opened the door wide, for the second time this season, and allowed 4 runs to cross the plate before getting the final out of the inning. This could have been avoided if Girardi didn’t feel the inherent need to put Joba in with one out to go. Damaso Marte could have handled the last out, but Joe felt like mixing and matching in a blow out is necessary. Do we really want Joba to be the heir to Mariano?

Looking Ahead: The Yankees continue to face the soft underbelly of their schedule as they have a 3 game series against the Baltimore Orioles before they head to Canada for a series against the Blue Jays. Look for the Yankees to beat up on the Orioles before a tough series starts in Toronto.

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The Pitching:

Phil Hughes wasn’t the same pitcher we saw in previous starts this year. He was striking to strike every hitter out, wasn’t able to finish off hitters and ran up his pitch count pretty quickly. Phil’s pitching line was: 5.0IP 6H 5R 5ER 1BB 3K (104 Pitches, 74 for Strikes). Boone Logan came on in relief, allowing a run on two hits. Chan Ho Park was handed the ball in the 7th inning, and made a diarrhea all over the mound. He might as well have done that, because he was horrible. Park gave up three runs on four hits (two home runs). His ERA now stands at 8.10. Damaso Marte entered the game in the 8th inning, and wound up tossing 1.2 innings of scoreless ball. Vazquez came out of the bullpen and recorded the last out of the 9th. Javy picked up the win, improving his record to (W, 2-4).

The Offense:

Brett Gardner went 2-for-4 on the game, and picked up three runs. Mark Teixeira went 1-for-4, and collected a run and an RBI. Cervelli had another big night, going 2-for-4, collecting 3 runs and an RBI. A-Rod went 2-for-5 tonight, picking up 2 runs and 4RBI’s. He smoked a home run in the bottom of the 9th inning to tie the game up. Marcus Thames went 2-for-4 on the game, with a run and 4RBI’s (Home Run, Double). He hit a two-run walk off home run to win the game.

Final Score: Yankees 11, Red Sox 9

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The Pitching:

A.J. Burnett wasn’t very sharp last night, but he got the job done. He ran into a jam in the 2nd inning, with the bases loaded and no outs, and went virtually unscathed by giving up only one run. It could’ve been a lot worse. Burnett pitching 6 2/3 innings giving up 3 runs (2ER) on 7 hits. His final pitching line was: 6.2IP 7H 3R 2ER 4BB 4K (100 Pitches, 50 for Strikes).

Damaso Marte came on in relief, and gave up a run instantly, which took the win away from Burnett. He is the “lefty specialist” on this team, and he couldn’t get the lefty hitters out. Marte wound up recording the last out of the inning, but it stinks that Burnett couldn’t get the win after battling through the game.

Joba Chamberlain entered the game in the 8th inning, and he struck out the side. He picked up the win, moving his record to (W, 1-1) on the season. This guy is really starting to look like the Joba of old. Mariano Rivera came on in the 9th inning, even though it wasn’t a save situation and he closed the door, maintaining his 0.00ERA.

The Offense:

A-Rod was easily the offensive player of the game. He launched a grand slam in the bottom of the 7th inning off Matt Guerrier to put the Yankees up 7-4. It was hit 587th HR of his career, giving him sole possession of 7th place on the all-time list.

Brett Gardner went 2-for-5, picking up two runs and an RBI. Gardy launched a home run (2nd of the season) off of Scott Baker in the bottom of the 4th inning. Mark Teixeira went 2-for-3, and collected two runs and an RBI. Francisco Cervelli continued his hot hitting, going 2-for-4 on the game, collecting a run and an RBI. He hit a triple (2nd of the season)  in the bottom of the 8th inning.

Final Score: Yankees 8, Twins 4

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