Hughes and Cano Share the Spotlight in 9-1 Victory Over Baltimore

    Thursday, June 3, 2010, 8:30 AM [General]

    The Yankees sailed right past the Baltimore Orioles last night with Phil Hughes (7-1) in the driver’s seat.  Hughes had another stellar performance on this season going 7 innings, giving up six hits and one run, and striking out seven.  Hughes dropped his ERA to a 2.54 in this outing.  Yankees fans can thank last year’s move to the bullpen to help Hughes find this hidden confidence.  It is showing on the field this year.  Hughes gave most of the credit on last night’s win, however, to the Yankees offense.  He also credit’s it to helping him with his outings.

    “When we have the offense that we have, I know what I’m capable of doing,” Hughes said.  “I think there isn’t a reason why we shouldn’t win games.  I think that goes for everybody.  We have a really good team, and it’s fun to watch.”

    With his seventh win last night, Hughes has tied Andy Pettitte and Clay Buchholz for the second-most wins in the American League (David Price from Tampa Bay has eight).  “I don’t want to say he’s blowing people away, but I’m telling you, his stuff is electric,”  Nick Swisher said.  “Playing defense behind him kind of gets boring out there at times.  He’s really taken this opportunity and run with it.”

    Robinson Cano had another big night at the plate extending his hitting streak to sixteen games.  He went 3-for-4 with three runs, two RBI, and his 12th homerun of the season.  What’s so amazing about his hitting streak is that he is batting .471 and has gone 32-for-68 in his ABs.

    Cano said, “It’s patience and swinging at strikes.  I’m not chasing pitches like it used to before.  Now if I see a ball I just let it go.  It’s been working good.”  While Cano continues to be modest, his teammates are doing all the talking for him.

    “I think we’re all just trying to keep pace with him,” said Nick Swisher.  “He’s been special to watch.  Guys are looking at each other in the dugout now and saying, ‘Man, let’s see how hard he hits this one.’  He’s on a roll right now, and nobody in this room is going to be messing with him.”

    Other Yankees also had great great nights at the plate.  Curtis Granderson went 3-for-4 with two RBI.  Nick Swisher went 3-for-5 with three RBI.  Francisco Cervelli went 0-for-3, but did hit a sacrfice fly to extend the Yankees lead.

    Yankees fans were also happy to see the returns of Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada.  Teix had left the previous game early after fouling a ball off his left foot in his first AB of the game.  X-rays were thankfully negative and he expected to return to the lineup tonight.

    “It’s better–I should be fine,”  said Teix.  “Just walking around on it and standing on one foot, doing some push-offs, it was sore, but not to the point where I couldn’t do it.”  Fans expected Teixeira to be back in the lineup when the news of Juan Miranda being optioned to AAA surfaced.

    Jorge Posada was taken off the DL after missing games since May 16.  He was the DH last night with a special pad on his right foot for extra protection.  The big question now is how often Posada will be the Yankees DH.

    “There’s going to be a time where you’re not an everyday catcher and that’s fine,”  said Posada.  “If I’m able to help the team as a DH I would like to do that.”  Joe Girardi is waiting for furthur medical papers before he starts trying to catch Posada everyday.  Meanwhile, Posada is confident with Francisco Cervelli behind the plate.

    Posada said of Cervelli, “He’s done a great job.  We obvoiously know we have a catcher here in the future, and he’s going to be the future of this team.  I’m  happy for him.  He has stepped up and has done real well.”

    The Yankees now have a four game winning streak since the returnings of Curtis Granderson over the weekend and Jorge Posada last night.  The Yankees hope to continue that streak and get back on track for the rest of this season.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Vazquez Come out on Top in Pitcher's Duel

    Wednesday, June 2, 2010, 5:52 AM [General]

    Javier Vazquez (4-5) pleased a lot of Yankees fans tonight in a pitcher’s duel against Brian Matusz (2-6).

    Vazquez pitched seven innings and gave up four hits and just one run which was a homerun to right field off the bat of Corey Patterson (3).  Vazquez could not agree on a sign from Francisco Cervelli which resulted in a mistake pitch.  Vazquez also struck out five hitters on the night.  Matusz was not too far off from Vazquez.  He pitched 6.2 innings and gave up six hits and three runs.  Only one of those runs was earned because of a throwing error off Miguel Tejada in the sixth inning off the bat of Alex Rodriguez.

    Alex hit a sharp ground ball to Tejada at third.  His throw bounced in the dirt and Ty Wigginton was not able to handle it.  This error allowed Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to score when the ball rolled away from Wigginton.  The earned run of the night was a solo homerun off Curtis Granderson in the 5th inning (his first homerun in pinstripes at home).

    The bombers may have managed to get the win tonight, but the bats really struggled tonight.  The team went 1-for-9 with RISP and left eight runners stranded on base throughout the game.  Nick Swisher and Francisco Cervelli both did not get hits tonight and Mark Teixeira exited the game early due to a bruising on his left foot.

    Teixeira fouled a ball off his foot in his first AB of the game.  In his second AB he hit a grounder and winced as he was jogging to first base. to first base.  To be safe, Joe Girardi took Teixeira out of the game to have his foot examined.  Fortunately, the X-rays came back negative and all it was was some bruising.  His replacement was Juan Miranda who also did not get a hit tonight.  Teix is day-to-day but expects to play tomorrow.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    A-Rod Hits an A-Bomb to Move up the List

    Tuesday, June 1, 2010, 1:00 PM [General]

    Memorial Day was a big day for Alex Rodriguez.  With his recent struggles at the plate, Alex needed to find a way to get his groove going again and be the RBI hitter he is.  He broke out huge today going 3 for 4 with six RBI on the day.  He also left no runners stranded on base which is a stat that would make him happy.

    What’s interesting about the grand slam is the way it came about.  Yesterday was not the first time where Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked to load the bases to get to Alex.  So far in those situations Alex is 5 for 5 with three homeruns and 18 RBI in seven plate appearances.  This was the third consecutive time Alex has hit a grand slam in this situation.

    That grand slam has also moved Alex up the list for all time grand slams.  This was Alex’s 20th career grand slam which moves him past Eddie Murray and places him in third behind Manny Ramirez (21) and Lou Gehrig (23).  When asked about moving up the list, Alex said, “It just means I’m old.  I’ve been playing for a long time.”

    “He’s in a certain zone when it comes to things like that,” said Curtis Granderson.  “When he comes up, everyone’s on their feet, everyone’s looking for something big to happen.  Sure enough, he delivered again today.”

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Mark Teixeira's Big Homerun Gives the Yankees the Win

    Sunday, May 30, 2010, 4:56 PM [General]

    It was a hot 80 degrees at Yankees Stadium today as the Yankees come from behind to beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3.  The Indians were held to a short amount of runs because of stellar pitching by AJ Burnett and some great defensive plays by Nick Swisher.

    AJ Burnett picked up his sixth win of the season by completing eight innings and gave up five hits and struck out eight.  The Indians had three runs, but only one was earned.  This is also the first game AJ has pitched in pinstripes where he hasn’t given up a walk. 

    It was important for AJ to go deep into this game.  He said, “My main goal coming into the game was to get the ball to Mo in the ninth and give those guys a break.”  Those guys he’s referring to are the guys in the bullpen who have been overworked lately.  When asked about the importance of winning this game after yesterday’s loss, Burnett said it was important.  “That’s what’s good about his club.  We turn the page.” 

    Mariano Rivera closed in the ninth inning and gave his usual God-like performance by striking out two of the three hitters he faced.  Mo also made a very athletic play when leaping from a shattered bat to retrieve the ball to get the final out.

    Nick Swisher made some amazing plays out in right field.  In the first inning he tracked down a long line drive to right by Hafner.  He played to ball so well he was able to get it to Cano quick enough so Hafner would be held to a single.  In the fourth inning he made a leaping catch that could have been an off the wall double.  What impressed me about Swisher on this play was that he wasn’t paying attention to how many outs there were.  That was the final out of the inning and he played it back to the infield as if it was only the first out.  Props to you Swish for playing the game hard and with heart.

    Swish wouldn’t admit,  however, whether or not he forgot how many outs there were.  He laughed and told the media, “I told Robbie (Cano) that I just wanted to get the ball to him as quick as I can so he can give it to a kid in the stands.”

    Swisher gave us a scare in the seventh inning when trying to make a catch at the wall.  He crashed into the wall and was lying on the ground for a few seconds.  The wall may be padded, but there’s hard concrete right behind it.  Swish had the wind knocked out of him but he seemed okay after.  You could tell his arm was sore when he was running because he wasn’t pumping his right arm.  A little bit of ice and he should be in tip-top shape for tomorrow.

    “I met the fiberglass today and we said hi,” says Swisher.  When asked about his arm he said, “Still a little tight, but tomorrow is a new day.”

    The seventh inning was a huge inning for the Yankees.  Swisher singled to center and moved to second on a Juan Miranda groundout.  Brett Gardner then singles up center to move Swish to thrid.  Derek Jeter comes up with two outs and, thanks to Gardner’s speed, was able to get a two RBI single to make the score 3-2 Cleveland.  Curtis Granderson comes up with a two out double moving Jeter to third.  Next batter:  Mark Teixeira.  He SMASHED a three-run homerun into the left field bleachers for his eight of the year and 250th of his career.  Hopefully this will be an AB that helps Teixeira get back on track to being the RBI hitter he is.

    “I haven’t worried about Teix one bit,” says Nick Swisher.  “Just look at the back of his baseball card.”

    In the eight inning, Juan Miranda hit an RBI double and Francisco Cervelli hit a sacrific fly to extend the Yankee lead 7-3.

    On Cleveland’s side, Justin Masterson pitched very well this afternoon.  He pitched 6.2 innings, gave up seven hits and three runs and struck out eight.  He was taken out of the game after giving up two runs in the sixth inning.  Tony Sipp came in to relief Masterson but continued to struggle.  He gave up two hits and a three-run HR that put the Yankees ahead.  They Yankees never looked back.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Swisher, Cano, and Teixeira Come up Huge in 8-2 Victory Over Cleveland

    Friday, May 28, 2010, 11:19 PM [General]

    Friday, May 28, 2010 continues to be a happy day for the Yankees.  It seems the return of Curtis Granderson sparked something in the Yankees 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians tonight.  A number of Yankees came through in different ways.

    Phil Hughes took the mound tonight looking for his sixth win of the season.  He started the game off red hot striking out the first five batters he faced.  He pitched 7 innings and allowed only five hits and two runs and struck out eight.  One of the runs was a long homerun by Branyan into right center in the 7th inning.  Sergio Mitre relieved Hughes in the 8th inning giving up no hits and striking out one in a 1-2-3 inning.  Despite Chan Ho Park's recent woes, he pulled through in the 9th inning only allowing one hit and striking out two to close the game.

    On the other side, Carmona's pitching was not so hot.  He pitched 6 innings allowing seven hits, four runs, three walks, and only striking out three.  His relief pitching was no help either, giving up five hits, four runs and only striking out one between the three of them.

    For the Yankees offense it was a huge night.  Newly engaged Nick Swisher came up huge in the 2nd inning smashing a two run homerun.  If it weren't for the foul pole that ball could have made the terrace or even the grandstand seats.

    The 6th and 7th innings were big innings for the Yankee bats.  Nick Swisher loaded the bases in the 6th inning and Juan Miranda followed with a walk to force in Teixeira.  Brett Gardner then followed with a sac fly to bring home Cano.  In the 7th inning, with Jeter at thrid, Granderson at second, and Teixeira at first, Robinson Cano smashed a grand slam into right to blow open the Yankees lead from 4-2 to 8-2.

    Mark Teixeira has a good night at the plate, but had an even better night at first base.  Just when I thought this guy couldn't get any better at first base he does just that.  He caught a hard line drive to end the third inning, saved two possible doubles in the fourth inning, and makes a diving stop in the 7th for another final out.  He really is the best firstbaseman I have ever seen and I don't know if there will be another one like him.  Props to Teixeira, my favorite player, for never letting your defense die.  As an athlete, I can speak for all when I say that defense wins games.

    Curtis Granderson put on a show in centerfield today running after fly balls.  He made a lot of long runs to make plays all with a sore groin.  It is great to see you back Curtis.  No more groin injuries please.  Thank you.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    Yankees with a Tough Loss as Vazquez gives up 5 Runs

    Friday, May 28, 2010, 10:13 AM [General]

    After great starts in Detroit and Citi Field and getting a relief win against the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium, I was looking forward to this start for Javier Vazquez.  I had a lot of faith that he would work forward to excelling in pinstripes.  Unfortunately, this was not the case last night in Minnesota.

    Javy (3-5) pitched 5.2 innings, allowed 8 hits and gave up 5 runs (all earned; one a HR), allowed 3 walks and only struck out 2.  Watching him pitch was a lot worse than looking at these numbers.  Even Francisco Cervelli seemed a little frustrated behind the plate when Vazquez was constantly missing his targets.

    The star player for the Twins last night was Jason Kubel.  Kubel blasted a solo HR and a three run HR and had an RBI double driving in five runs altogether.  This ended a long skid for Kubel.  “It just hasn’t been consistent,” said Kubel.  ”Hopefully I can keep this feeling.”

    Nick Blackburn pitched 7 innings, allowed 9 hits but only 2 runs.

    On the Yankees side, the bats are still having trouble driving in runs with RISP leaving 13 base runners stranded.  Mark Teixeira is very slowly getting out of a slump going 2 for 4 last night.  Though his bat may be up and down, his defense never changes.  Teixeira made some incredible plays at first base including a line drive and a double play that kept Minnesota from scoring many more runs.

    Alex Rodriguez is still struggling at the plate as of late.  He went 1 for 4 last night, getting that one hit in his last AB of the game.  He left four base runners stranded on the night.  Robinson Cano had the best night at the plate going 2-4 driving both of the Yankees runs.

    Since coming off the DL, Chan Ho Park has struggled.  He pitched just a third of an inning and allowed two hits and two runs.  Damaso Marte came in and got the job done by getting the next out.  Chad Gaudin came into the game after making his first appearance in pinstripes since the 2009 postseason.  He pitched very well giving up just one unfortunate mistake which was the three run homerun to Kubel.  Other than the homerun he struck out 3 in 1.2 innings.

    Despite the loss, the Yankees look to move forward by coming home to face the Clevland Indians in a four game set.  Curtis Granderson is expected to be back today in the opening game of the series which is good news for the Yankees and the fans.  Phil Hughes is pitching tonight looking for his sixth win of the season.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Keep Russo, DFA Winn

    Thursday, May 27, 2010, 7:21 PM [General]

    Curtis Granderson is expected to be back playing centerfield on Friday against the Clevland Indians at Yankee Stadium.  By bringing him home and off the DL, a player has to be taken off the roster.  Talks of circulated about whether such an honor (I guess) would be given to either Kevin Russo or Randy Winn.  To me this is a no-brainer:  Russo should stay, Winn should go.

    Kevin Russo has been up in the big leagues very briefly.  He has played nine games and has come through for the Yankees in a huge way.  He's 7 for 17 with 2 doubles, 4 RBI, 1 walk and 4 strikeouts.  His BA is at a pretty high .294.  What impresses me about Russo is that all of his 7 hits have been huge ones.  They have been game deciding hits and RBI.

    Russo has also come through huge on the field.  He is a natural and very skilled infielder, but Joe Girardi has been using him lately in left field.  He has been making huge plays out there as well, including a leaping catch where he dove into the wall at Target Field in Minnesota.  He looks very natural out there and it's not even a position he normally plays.

    Randy Winn seems to be the complete opposite of Russo.  He is batting .213 and is 13 for 61 on the season.  He had to two big offensive plays (a game deciding home run and a triple) on the season while Russo so far has seven.  Randy Winn is a natural outfielder and is playing it like an amateur.  We all understand that he is not a homerun hitter, but he is not getting any other hits.  I've grown a little impatient and have had enough of Winn not coming through.

    DFA Winn.  Keep Russo.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Chad Gaudin is back in pinstripes and the Yankees have a dramatic win

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 11:33 PM [General]

    Before the scheduled 7:00 game tonight on May 26 the Yankees must have recieved some upsetting news on Alfredo Aceves.  I say "must have" because there hasn't been any official announcement on Aceves' back injury.  I'm guessing it must be bad enough that Brian Cashman brought back Chad Gaudin to give our bullpen another long inning guy.  By bringing back Gaudin, Boone Logan was thankfully demoted off the roster.

    Chad Gaudin was brought to the Yankees toward the end of last season and has put up pretty decent numbers.  In six starts he went 2-0 with a 3.43 ERA.  In 42 IP he has given up 41 hits and 16 runs (all earned), walked 20 and struck out 34.  Even though he only had two wins, the Yankees had won all six games he started even though he didn't get all the official wins.  Gaudin was released from the Yankees after his dreadful spring training this year, but I know he will bounce back from his woes.

    Tonight's win against the Twins was HUGE for us.  The Yankees figured out how to regain the magic of coming from behind to win.  There were four big stars for us tonight:  Andy Pettitte, Kevin Russo, Francisco Cervelli, and Nick Swisher.

    Andy Pettitte most definitly had his best start of the year so far.  He pitched 8 innings, gave up 8 hits and 2 runs and struck out 4.  He probably could have pitched the 9th inning, but because the score was very close it was understandable going to Mo.  What stood out with Pettitte's performance tonight was his defense.  He made a lot of leaps and even caught up a runner trying to get to third.  Pettitte was running around the field like he was 20 years old again.

    Kevin Russo is this year's shining rookie for sure.  Tonight he went 2-4 with a huge RBI scoring Cervelli to tie the game.  Russo then scored the then go ahead run off the Gardner triple.  Teixeira is starting to get it together and ARod is still struggling, so Russo is finding a way to pick these guys up.  Hopefully he inspires them.

    Francisco Cervelli may not have the numbers some of the other guys have put up in this game, but what impresses me the most is his enthusiasm and it really stood out tonight.  He's the first catcher I've seen in a loooong time that gets that excited behind the plate and on offensive plays.  He carries his enthusiasm to his teammates and brings out the best in them.  Props to Cervelli.

    And finally the reason why we won this game in the end:  Nick Swisher.  Swish went 2-5 tonight with a run and an RBI, both coming off a HUGE homerun in the top of the 9th inning for the go ahead run.  The other hit he had tonight was a ripped double.  Swish has been hurting lately with that left biceps and this is exactly what he needed to get going again.  Congrats to Nick Swisher on that homerun! Glad to see you're feeling well.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    It's not the injuries....It's our hitting

    Wednesday, May 26, 2010, 10:43 AM [General]

    Injuries are out of anyone's control.  They happen and you have to work past them.  Unfortunately throughout the start of this season, the Mets' injury bug has traveled six miles to the Bronx over the offseason and bitten the Yankees.  Injuries happen and a true athlete works as fast as they can to get treated and get back on the field.

    Curtis Granderson was bitten with a groin injury about a month ago.  Alfredo Aceves' back tweaked again and he's been out for about two weeks.  Nick Swisher's left biceps was strained and we missed him for about a week until it healed.  Nick Johnson was placed on the DL with a wrist injury and he's not expected to be back until July.  Jorge Posada strangely developed a hairline fracture on the bottom of his foot that no one expected to happen.  He'll be out 4-6 weeks.  A few weeks ago we were missing both Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera with pains that have hurt them in the past.  Because of that Mo was out for a good two weeks and Pettitte was skipped in the rotation.

    With these incidents it is vital that our hitters step up and and help our team get ahead in games.  However, they haven't.  Derek Jeter is in a slump that he's very slowly getting out of.  Brett Gardner started off great and has hit a skid.  The middle (and most important part) of our lineup, however, has REALLY struggled recently. I'm basing my stats on the past two weeks from May 9-23.

    Robinson Cano has the best batting average, but that success has come from the beginning of the season.  In these two weeks his BA has dropped from .353 to .335...not terrible, but the rest of his numbers tell you why.  In 61 AB he has 19 hits, 7 RBI, and has left 25 runners on base.  It's noticable that even though he's not doing terrible, he is struggling to drive in base runners.

    Our cleanup hitter Alex Rodriguez has some of the better numbers.  He raised his BA from .278 to .291.  But like Cano, he is having trouble driving in base runners.  He had 19 hits in 60 AB leaving 23 runners on base.

    It hurts to read numbers that my favorite player has put up the past two weeks.  It's not easy to say that our number three hitter Mark Teixeira is only struggling because it's early in the season.  It's the end of May.  He was heating up for a little bit the the beginning of the month, especially after those three home runs against Boston, the first Yankee to do that at Fenway since Lou Gehrig.

    Since May 9, Mark has really struggled, quite possibly his worst struggle of his career so far.  In 62 AB he has 13 hits, 10 RBI, 15 strike outs, and has left 36 runners on base.  His BA is sitting at .209 on the verge of dropping below .200.  Usually at this point he is smashing HRs but he only has 7 so far.

    I'm not saying I'm worried about the end of the season.  I'm not.  It is still early and we can pull this together.  What bothers me about these numbers is the fact that our guys are rushing their ABs rather than being patient like they usually are.  Teixeira especially is a guy who usually takes his time and works a pitch count on the opposing pitcher, but lately I've noticed he's been swinging at the first pitch in almost all of his ABs.  If I had the opportunity to ask them, I would as them all why they are doing this.  What's the rush?  They need to regain their patience and then I think they will be more successful in the next few weeks.  We have a month every season where we struggle.  Hopefully May is our month this year so we can get it out of the way.

    0 (0 Ratings)

    Key Double Header

    Wednesday, May 12, 2010, 12:13 PM [General]

    Today is very important.  Javy Vazquez needs to put himself together today to help keep the bullpen from being overworked.  He needs to give us a lot of innings.  The problem is he's not proving that he's capable of doing that which puts more pressure on Phil Hughes.  I don't have anything to worry about Hughes because I know he can definitly give us at least 7 or 8 innings, but we also have to worry about using our bullpen for tomorrow's game as well.  If Javy can show today that he's capable of throwing 6 or 7 innings, I'll back off of him.  But for right now I'll stay nervous.


    3.7 (1 Ratings)

    No sympathy for Javy

    Tuesday, May 11, 2010, 9:33 AM [General]

    Before the start of the season, I really thought Javier Vazquez would do better than he did in 2004 and I had confidence in him.  Now that he's 1-3 with a 9.78 ERA, I can't feel sorry for the guy even when he's booed.  He has good stuff and he's not showing it.  Where is his command?  Where is his velocity?  He's letting his bad memories of pitching for us in 2004 get the best of him and that's unacceptable.  If he doesn't get it together by mid-season we should consider trading him.  What do you guys think?

    4.1 (2 Ratings)

    Teix and Jeter are Gold Glovers

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009, 2:19 PM [General]

    It's no surprise to me that Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter won Gold Gloves.  I said to myself all season that this was to be the case.  Yankees made their best move in years by signing Mark Teixeira.  I can't wait to see what he brings our team next season.

    3.7 (1 Ratings)

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