Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Yankees Head to The Fens

So the Yankees head into Fenway again to face the Red Sox. Coming off a split against the O's, the Yankees have some momentum going into the series, but let's not forget the Yankees are just 2-10 (2-4 in Fenway)against the Sox this year. Yankees rotation is lined up for CC, Hughes, and I believe Burnett. CC is 0-4 with a 7.22 ERA against Boston. AJ is 0-1 with an ERA over 11, and it doesn't get better with Hughes, 0-1 ERA over 27! As bad as that is, it's going to be a little worse with Boston throwing Lackey, Beckett, and Lester. Somehow the Yankees always get there top 3. Yankees need to take this series. The offense needs to carry it. Jeter, Granderson, Cano, and Swisher have been hot. Hope Jeter continues to hit after a couple days off with a bruised leg.

This series could keep the Yankees in contention or firmly plant them as the wild card.

Later this week we hit Spetember 1. That means call ups. Montero will certainly get a look, Neosi will be recalled. Girardi and Cashman have been more hesitant about Betances and Baneulos. We will probably see David Phelps and Adam Warren before Betances, Baneulos, or Brackman. We should also see Dickerson recalled and probably Laird. Girardi didn't rule out Romine either.


old professor said...

This series with Boston is shaping up to be a disaster. CC is 0-4 against the sox this year; you already stated the issue with Hughes and why they keep running AJ out to the mound is beyond me. Mentally this guy is a mess. He is in his 30s and is acting like an 18 year old.

Things could get worse for the Yankees. Following the sox are the Orioles for a three game set, but then the team goes to Tampa to face the rays. If the Yankees get swept by Boston (which is a real possibility, they will be out of the division race, but worse probably will have let the Rays or Angels or both back into the wild card race.

Crash said...

I think the Yankees have a lock on the wild card even if they get swept in Boston. Tampa has 2 series against the Rangers this week. Rays have not done well against the Rangers at all recently. Angels aren't going anywhere either. There once powerful pitching staff with Weaver, Haren, and Santana is struggling a little bit. Weaver has only 1 win in his last 6 starts, and Haren and Santana have begun giving up runs in their last several starts. The Angels offense is terrible.

CJ Wilson is a free agent this offseason. Do you think the Yankees go after him? He doesn't have a lot of innings on his arm because he was recent reliever converted to starter, he's a lefty, he has post-season experience, and he has great numbers against the Red Sox, including in Fenway. I don't think he's a HUGE $$ deal (>$100MM like CC or Lee) but it may take $75MM. I'm thinking 5 years at $15?

Crash said...

A lot of pitches last night for CC, but he and the Yankees get the W. Just a half game back now.

Cervelli acts like a child and I can't stand it. He should have been drilled a lot harder than what he got. He needs to do 1 of 2 things there. Shut his mouth and take first base (the obvious choice) or rush the mound and wipe out Lackey. The only thing he shouldn't do is chirp, act tough, while the other catcher is in between him and Lackey. As a result of Cervelli's action, or lack there of, both benches and bullpens clear, and the game, which took 4 hours to complete, stalls another 10 minutes. Put my suggested rule in place and that doesn't happen.

The 3B umpire, I think it was Mike Wegner, was absolutely terrible last night. MLB should start publishing umpiring "grades" or score cards, along with publicly releasing their disciplinary action (fines and/or suspensions) for terrible games. Start holding these guys publicly accountable and you'll start to see them shape up.

Crash said...

Oh and the Rays lose in Texas last night, so the Yankees gain a game toward the division and the Wild Card standings.

old professor said...

As for Wilson as a free agent - depends how well he likes Texas. The Yankees do not need another free agent pitcher - time to rely on the farm and begin bringing the kids up. Realistically - CC, Hughes, Nova are in the rotation. Colon or Garcia will be brought back (more likely Garcia because he has been more consistent and is younger). That leaves one spot for Burnett, Banuelos, Batances, Brackman, Phelps, Kontos, and Warren to fight for one spot in the rotation. Burnett has proven he can't pitch in NY, Kontos will be a rule 5 and the Yankees have already indicated they have no desire to lose him again, so he will find his way into the pen for next year. Phelps will be given every opportunity to make the rotation. Did I mention they need to get rid of Burnett??

So before I bore you further, I can't see them going after a free agent lefty and offering five years. There are two questions that need to be answered: (a) Will CC opt out of his contract in an attempt to land more years and (b) Will Soriano opt out and will Joba be ready to replace him (okay actually two and a half questions).

My guess is Joba won't be ready until August at the earliest and the team won't miss Soriano.

As for Cervelli, he hit the homerun, ran the bases and stomped on home plate. The one who acted like a child is Lackey. The guy decides to drill Cervelli when he is down 5-2 in the game. Great team work there John.

Crash said...

Joel Sherman reporting Montero is getting the call up tomorrow, not Banuelos or Betances.

Here's the problem with all the kids you mentioned...they're all right handed except for Banuelos. Yankees need a second lefty.

Soriano does not opt out simply because he didn't prove anything this year and he killed his value. He may get a closers job somewhere, but he will not make that kind of money anywhere else. So he has to decide if the closer role is more important or is winning and getting paid more important.

Yankees may be able to trade him IF they agree to take on >50% of remaining $$.

Crash said...

Talk about eating $$, the SF Giants cut Miguel Tejada and Aaron Rowand, eating $14.8MM. If the Yankees are willing to eat that much of AJ's contract, might as well try and trade him and get something in return.

Crash said...

That game absolutely sucked last night. Every time the Yankees took the lead Hughes gave it right back. Then Logan gives up a HR to lefty-hitting Ellsbury. Just when I thought Logan turned his season around he does that. Logan is the perfect synopsis of the Yankee season this year. Does great against everyone accept when it matters the most.

More proof...the Yankees MVP Curtis Granderson has suddenly disappeared going 0-6 with 4 strikeouts in the 2 games so far. Teixeira is 0-7. When your 3 & 4 hitters are combined 0-13 you won't win a lot of games. I'm getting really tired of Teixeira. He has turned into Jason Giambi, just with a better glove. He's a career .282 hitter, he batted .283 in Texas, .295 in Atlanta, and .358 for the Angels...he's batting .267 for the Yankees over 3 seasons. How is that possible??? I would take that if his power numbers were up but they're not, his HR and RBI totals are right at his career average levels for those categories. Not acceptable. If the Boss was still with us, he would lay into these guys right about now and would call out Teixeira, Granderson, and A-Rod who is sitting on the bench with hurt thumb. Give me a break. I remember in 2004 when Nomar was sitting the bench while Jeter was making that running catch into the stands...A-Rod reminds me of Nomar right now. Just sitting there uninterested in helping his team just riding the pine.

old professor said...

Crash, don't forget, the Yankees will maintain CC - even if they redo his contract. That means the Yankees would have two lefties to be in the rotation. In addition they only have one leftie in the rotation now and are 1 1/2 games out of first.

If a pitcher is effective it doesn't matter when they throw with the right or left hand.

Last night has to be layed on Girardi. Hughes was struggling at the end of the fifth inning. He should not have been brought out after the Yankees took the lead at 5-4.

Crash said...

Bold Prediction of the day: AJ throws a gem tonight shutting down Boston. It's going to be his best game as a Yankee...

...Or he lasts about 2 innings and gives up 7ER.

Crash said...

Here is the September 1st callups so far: Montero, Laird, Dickerson, Pendelton (not really any surprises here)...Raul Valdes (lefty from Trenton) and Scott Proctor makes his Yankee return. Yankees also DFA'd Ryan Pope (Trenton RHP).

Crash said...

Saturdays probables: Ricky Romaro v. Bartolo Colon.

old professor said...

The lefty Valdez pitched for the Mets. Justin Maxwell gets called up and then placed on the 60 day DL to make room for Proctor. Still no Mark Prior sighting.

Burnett looked sharp. A lot of chatter from the box regarding the fact that Burnett has to learn to pitch versus being a thrower. Apparently he has lost three to four miles per hour off his fastball which now averages 93-94. When are people going to get away from worrying about velocity versus location. Mike Mussina won twenty games throwing a fastball at 88-89. The other issue with Burnett is his inability to throw the curve for strikes. If he gets two strikes on a batter, most people assume he is going to throw the curve which bounces in the dirt - this leads to a hitable fastball down the middle on the next pitch.

Impressed with Montero. Even though he did not get a hit last night he put good wood on the ball and protected the plate. Posada has to be dreading the last 27 games. It is hard to watch a long time veteran lose the ability to be an everyday player.

Crash said...

Yanks finally take a series from Boston move to half game back. Very happy to have the win but the Yankees made far too many mistakes. AJ nearly pitched the gem I thought he would, but he was still missing in the zone. The one mistake fastball to Pedrioa nearly cost him the game until Martin finally came through with a clutch hit.

Yankees left a ton of runners on base last night. Lester throws 40+ pitches in the first inning, Yankees send 7 men to the plate and score 1. Not acceptable. The left the bases loaded twice and 2 runners on twice. Nick Swisher bunting with 1 out is inexcusable. But that's not only on Nick...after the first attempt any and all of the coaches should have been reminding him how many outs there were.

Bullpen was on the edge too. Soriano was good, but Robertson was missing spots, though throwing hard, and Mo definitely is not right. His cutter looks very flat. He was lucky to get out of that jam. Reddick missed a HR by an inch, if that ball was 1 inch up on the barrel it's a HR in the 9th and Mo blows the save. Mo made 1 great pitch to A-Gon (and yes it was a strike) when it matter the most though.

Hopefully Texas comes in to Boston and takes a couple games and the Yankees can regain first place this weekend. Can't wait for Saturday's game.

Crash said...

I agree about Montero, even though he didn't get a hit, he didn't look overmatched at the plate in any at bat. His fist AB you could tell he was a little nervous, swinging at a first FB above his head. But he battled after that.

AJ's curveball was better last night. But you're right and that's why he needs to keep throwing and develop that changeup. He needs something that hitters can't just sit for the fastball.

old professor said...

Yankees take two of three from Boston and sweep the Jays. Yankees are now 1.5 up on Boston two on the loss column.

Enjoyed game at the stadium on Saturday. Great seats and great time.

Crash said...

Boston loses in extra innings to Jays...Yankees now have 2.5 game lead.

Montero blasts 2 HR. We did get to see his first career hit which was pretty cool.

Girardi deciding to continue with the 6 man rotation for at least one more pass. This allows CC an extra days rest. Girardi has always been good at managing the workload in the bullpen, the month will be HUGE for that. With only one off day, it's going to be real tough to keep guys fresh so there not tired and overworked come October. September call ups should help in that regard but I'm more concerned about MO, Robertson, Soriano, and Logan. I think Cory Wade, Luis Ayala, and even Noesi could prove real valuable down the stretch and in October.

Yankees will most likely get rained out tomorrow. Suppose to rain all day down in the city because of the tropical storm that hit the south is finally here. We've had rain pretty much all day.

old professor said...

Yankees now 2.5 games up in the division. Has to be frustrating for Boston - no runs through 11 innings.

Garcia did not look sharp at all. It seemed everything hung in the middle of the plate begging to be hit.

A rain out will cloud the six man rotation even more.

Crash said...

I occassionally browse through some of the Yankee related links that pop up off the pinstripe postings home page. Usually it's a small article from yahoo sports, or maybe a local link from NY Post or the NY Times. But I'm kind of floored by this one. The headline reads: "Yanks' Hughes Toes Rubber vs. Baltimore"...it's from the LA Times. Hello, LA has 2 teams already, one is out of the playoff race but incredibly hot winning 11 of their last 14 and face Strausberg in his MLB return tonight. And the other LA team is rapidly closing in on the lead for the AL West. Yet they run a story about the Yankees #6 starter??? I don't get that at all.

Crash said...

Look for Betances to get a call up soon. Cashman is discussing the move with Girardi. Betances is already on the 40 man roster so no other changes are really needed. He probably won't see significant playing time, maybe an inning or 2 in mop up duty.

old professor said...

Now I know why J.C. Romero was never called up - he is now pitching for the Colorado Rockies. Missed his being released by the Yankees.

Reason for Hughes making the news in LA - he is a southern california kid. Odd that Betances is the last of the two big prospects to get called up to Triple A and he will be added to the roster. Yankees have a lot of adjusting to do. George Kontos has also been promoted. Kontos has had a decent year. Was selected by the Padres in the rule 5 draft - he was returned to the Yankees and they have elevated him in an attempt to keep him in the organization.

Crash said...

Here's confirmation on Kontos call up and a couple others. According to Bryan Hoch: "Brackman, Golson, Kontos and Noesi are in Yankees clubhouse"

Brackman had a terrible season surprised he got a call. Probably just because he's already on the 40-man.

old professor said...

Crash, there is a nice piece on Brackman on the Yankees MLB site. Apparently, he hit rock bottom against Durham in late June early July. Changed his mechanics and was shifted to the pen. He went 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA from that point on - he indicated he was about to call it quits changed his mechanics slightly and the rest was an uphill climb. Maybe he has found himself in the pen.

Kontos is another case of apparently getting better with age. The team has been waiting for him to meet his potential and apparently he finally has.

MLB should have their collective heads cut off after making both teams play in the conditions they were forced to play in last night. Those conditions beg for players to be injured. The only postive outcome was the win and keeping Boston 2.5 out (after they score 14 runs against Toronto).

Giants lose another starter to an ACL - this is the third ACL injury for the defense this season. Is it the turf at the stadium??

Crash said...

The conditions of last night's game were atrocious. Not that I wish serious injury on any player, but I would have liked to see someone go down and heard MLB's explanation on it. They put players in harms way because of scheduling problems. Well MLB...you want to start the season earlier and end in November that's what you're going to get with teams in the North East. A ton of rain outs that clog up the rest of the schedule and present opportunities in September.

And just to make stuff worse it's a 1:05 game today, and faces more weather problems. You have to figure the game got done last night around 2:18, players probably were out of the stadium by 4am? They have to be there 3 hours before today's game, so they maybe got 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Not optimal for a professional athlete, but hey they make decent $$ so I don't want to hear anyone complaining. We've all had to put in some OT once in a while right?

old professor said...

Be prepared to have today's game delayed until 8pm tonight. Once the game is finished, the Yankees will fly to the west coast to begin games in California. Yep that makes a lot of sense. Apparently MLB refuses to take the scheduling responsibility away from the two individuals that live in Boston (actually true).

It is time to move away from the three divisions and go back to two leagues and go back to a 154 game schedule. I realize this would mean four less home games for teams like Tampa which draws 10,000 a game, but more importantly it would allow for consideration to balance out the schedule allow for easier scheduling of spring games in good weather and aleviate the issue of three division champions one or two of whom may actually have a worse record than the wild card team.

Go back to American League and National League. Top six teams make the playoffs with the league winner and number two getting a bye in the first round (3 vs 5 and 4 vs 6. The league winner gets the winner of 4/6 and number 2 gets the winner of 3/5. Winners play for the championship and represents the league in the World Series. The first and second rounds best of five series league championship best of seven.

In addition the 154 game schedule would finally cause some teams to fold due to lack of finances and allow baseball to contract which it should have done years ago - no reason to have a team in Tampa or Toronto. Houston is also on the edge of financial issues.

Crash said...

No financial danger in Houston, that team just sold recently. New owner = new money.

Tampa will not be contracted, they want a downtown stadium in Tampa. This would certainly help draw some more fans to the park but not a ton.

Crash said...

Essentially a Scranton lineup on the field for the Yankees this afternoon...only A-Rod, Martin and Swisher are everyday players. No Gardner, Jeter, Tex, Granderson, or Cano.

Montero continues to be hot.

Oh and before the Yankees head to California they head to Baltimore for a make up game.

Crash said...

Can't believe Girardi brings out AJ for the 7th. Girardi giving AJ every chance to get a W in this game.

old professor said...

When you field a triple a team, the results are predictable. Four errors including the costly one in the 11th inning sealed Yankees' fate. The only positives out of yesterday: (a) AJ was effective (b) Boston lost to Toronto. And I do believe AJ was effective. The errors didn't help him and he was throwing strikes consistently.

Too bad that Posada is now relegated to being a cheerleader. While I admit he is not the offensive threat he once was, as a veteran leader of the team, he is due some respect.

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