July 2009

Debut Goes Well for Mitre as Yankees Lead the Division

Sergio Mitre Pitches Solidly as Yankees Win and are Alone in First

Last night was another victory for the Yankees, and another loss for the Red Sox. Now the Yankees are in sole possession of first place! The Yankees beat the Orioles last night by the score of 6-4. Sergio Mitre made his Yankee debut last night and did well, which is good because he is going to stay here for a long time since Wang had a setback with his injury.

Pitching Analysis: Sergio Mitre pitched 5 & 2/3 innings while allowing 4 runs, 3 which were earned, and striking out 4. Mitre surrendered a run in the first, probably a bit nervous in front of a large crowd in Yankee Stadium for the first time. He settled down in the second, and gave up a hit but nothing else. He had a little trouble holding on baserunners.

But Brian Roberts is not your average baserunner. In the top of the third, Roberts led of with a single and then stole second. As Roberts is doing his customary dance off second, Mitre has him picked off, and throws to Cano, who boots the ball. Roberts wound up at third. With no one out, Adam Jones grounded out, scoring Roberts. I’m sure Mitre didn’t want to give up the run, but I know he was glad to have Roberts off the basepaths! He got out of the inning wihtout any more trouble.

Mitre then had a nice 12 pitch 1-2-3 4th, and a quick 5th with the help of a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning.

In the 6th, Markakis led off with a single, followed by a single from Huff. Luke Scott then grounded out to Tex, and the runners advanced. With second and third and 1 out, Mitre surrendered a 2 run single to Melvin Mora, bringing the score to 6-4 Yanks. He then got Nolan Reimold to strike out. On that positive note, Girardi pulled out Mitre, who got a very nice hand, and brought in Aceves who got Wieters to pop up for out number 3.

                             Sergio Mitre gets his first win since 2007.

Aceves pitched the 7th also, and Coke pitched the 8th. Mariano nailed down his 27th save of the year. Nice pitching today. I’m proud of Mitre for throwing strikes, inducing double plays when he had to, and for giving a solid start to give the Yankees the chance to win. Nice job!

Defensive Analysis: It was pretty solid, accept for Cano booting the pickoff throw. The Yankees turned some nice double plays, and Cano was the centerpiece of many, making up fot that misplay. There was a really nice double play in the top of the 8th where there was a sharp liner hit right at Tex, who then stepped on first to double up Markakis. He is so smooth at first!

Offensive Analysis: There were more runs last night. I liked how the Yankees scored their runs in many different ways: a homer, sac fly, and a clutch single.

In the bottom of the second, Arod built a run for the Yankees. He led off with a walk, then stole second, moved to third on a fly to right by Posada, and scored on a sac fly by Swish to tie the score at 1. They didn’t get a hit that inning, but they got a run!

In the bottom of the 3rd, Cody Ransom walked with 1 out. With Jeter up, they did a run-and-hit, and Jeter singled, moving Ransom to third. Then on the first pitch to Damon, Jeter stole second. Damon made out and then Tex walked. With the bases loaded and 2 out, Arod proved he is clutch again, and singled to left bring 2 runs home and giving the Yankees a 3-2 lead.

In the bottom of the 4th, Swisher lead off with a walk, and Cano hit a monster 2 run homer into the Yankee bullpen in right. After Melky grounded out, Ransom walked and stole second, Jeter walked, and Damon singled to drive Ransom home.

           

The Yankees played very well last night. I liked how they were aggresive on the basepaths. I wish Joe Girardi would do that every night. The Yankees have a lot of guys who can run. Anyway, the heroes last night were Sergio Mitre for having a successful debut and picking up his first win as a Yankee, Robinson Cano for his homer, and the Texas Rangers for beating the Red Sox and helping us get into first place! Thanks Rangers! We love you!

  

 

Thanks to Matsui, Red Sox Say “Sayonara” to Sole Possession of First Place

Matsui Hits Walkoff Homer as Yankees Beat Orioles and Tie Red Sox for First

Last night, the Yankees beat the Orioles in dramatic fashion by the score of 2-1 for the third game in a row. And thanks to the Texas Rangers, the Red Sox lost and have to share first with the Yankees; for now. But aside from Matsui’s big fly, there were many other things that led to the Yankee victory last night.

Pitching analysis: Andy Pettitte took the hill last night in search of his first win of the second half, and a confidence booster for himself. I’d say he has a lot to be proud of after his performance yesterday. 7 & 1/3 innings of 1 run ball is pretty fantastic!

In the first inning, leadoff man Brian Roberts drove a ball deep to left field, and I thought it was a homer for sure. But Damon caught it on the warning track. Then, Nick Markakis hit a home run to right center, and I was thinking, oh boy. This is how it’s gonna be.

But Andy settled down nicely, and that homer was the only run he gave up. There were a few other jams, though. In the top of the 3rd, Andy walked Matt Wieters to lead off the inning. Then Jose Molina let a ball get past him, allowing Wieters to go to second. Then I started thinkning about Cervelli again….Anyway, with a man on second, Izturis struck out, then so did Roberts, and Markakis flew out. So, Pettitte squeezed himself out of this jam.

In the top of the 5th, Nolan Reimold walked. Then Wieters got a hit, and Reimold went to third. But Andy got Cesar Izturis to strikeout for out #2, and Brian Roberts then flew out to Melky for the final out. Andy got out of it again!

     

Phil Coke came in to get the final two outs in the 8th, and did so with the help of incredible defense. Alfredo Aceves pitched the 9th and got himself a win.

Defensive analysis: This game was probably the best defensively played game I have seen in a lon while for the Yankees. The top of the 8th inning was just unbelievable. With runners on the corners and 1 out, the Yankees played the infield back, willing to give up the run for the out. Teixeira didn’t think so. Nick Markakis hit a hot-shot to Tex, and Izturis was breaking for home. Tex fired off balance a strike to Molina, who caught the ball snowcone style and held it for the tag. Izturis was out. Phil Coke was fired up!

He might have been too fired up. With Roberts at the plate, Coke threw a wild pitch, and this time Adam Jones tried to score. He was probably thinking that everything woud’nt go right for the Yankees again. Wrong! Molina made an excellent play as he retrieved the ball and threw it to Coke, who also did a great job of holding the ball and tagging out Jones. Out! Inning over! Talk about a momentum shifter!

              

Aside from the 8th, there was a lot of good defense for the Yanks last night. Jeter made a nice play in the 4th to get Mora out to end the inning. In the 6th, Andy induced a double play that Tex handled beautifully, doing something Giambi never could do. The 3-6-3 double play ended the inning. There was also a nice 6-4-3 double play in the bottom of the 6th.

Offensive analysis: The Yankees wer actually out hit by the O’s 6-4 last night. But the Yankee’s hits were bigger. In the bottom of the 4th, Eric Hinske hit a bomb off the facing of the second deck in right to tie the score at 1. And in the bottom of the 9th, Hideki Matsui came through for a walkoff home run off of Jim Johnson. Yankees win! I think the play of the game was A.J. pieing (is that a word?) Matsui.

                                   ... as Hideki Matsui takes a pie to the face for his game-winning efforts.

The heroes last night were Andy Pettitte for his great job on the mound, Tex and Molina for their game-saving plays, and, oh yeah! Hideki Matsui for winning the game! Now tied for first, the Yankees are looking hot and feeling good. Let’s go get the Sox! Hurraaah!

 

In Joba We Trust!

 
On Old Timer’s Day, Yankees Get Fabulous Performance From Joba

Yesterday, the Yankees beat the Tigers for the three game sweep, the second game in a row with the score 2-1. They did it with good pitching, and timely homers from their big sluggers.

Pitching Analysis: Joba Chamberlain was fantastic yesterday. I was wrong, and I admit it. I never thought he would pitch so well yesterday, coming off two bad starts against the Angels and Mariners, and because he had 9 days off! I’m glad I was wrong!

In the first inning, Joba struggled a bit. He got himself into a first and second jam with 1 out thanks to Polanco and Cabrera, but came out of the inning without giving up a run due to a Clete Thomas stirkeout. But it took 23 pitches to do so.

In the top of the third, Joba gave up a leadoff walk to Granderson. Granderson tried to steal second, and Posada flung the ball into centerfield, allowing Granderson to advance to third. This made me go on a rant about how the Yankees need Cervelli. (A lot of things make me do that! I love that man!) I was also thinking Joba would get all freaked out and give up a bunch of runs, like that time Ransom made an error and Joba gave up like 5 unearned runs. But this time, Joba managed to get out of the inning without giving up anything! WOW!

In the top of the 4th, Clete Thomas hit a monster solo shot into the right field bleachers. But Joba remained composed and did not let it go to his head. He got out of that inning having given up just that run.

The top of the 5th was the biggest jam for Joba. Granderson hit a hot-shot to Swisher, who let the ball go through his legs, and Granderson wound up at third. Then he plunks Polanco later on. Unbelievably, Joba struck out Marcus Thames with a 97 mph fastball to get out of the jam without giving up any runs! Again!

Joba pitched 6 & 2/3 innings of 1 run ball. Job well done for Joba! The bullpen yesterday, the “Philthies” Phil Coke and Phil Hughes did great. And Mo closed out the series with his 26th save of the year.

                    

Defensive Analysis: A few stupid plays happened, like Jorge throwing the ball into center and Swish letting a tough hop get by him, but it didn’t cost anything. Overall, solid yesterday.

Offensive Analysis: Not much yesterday; Jackson pithced very well. There were only 5 hits, and 2 worth mentioning. In the bottom of the 4th, Arod hit a solo bomb that tied the game at one. Then in the bottom of the 6th, Big Tex launched a ball into the Teixeira’s Terrace in right to give the Yanks a lead that they never relinquished. Tex and Arod made up 80% of the Yankees hits, both going 2 for 4. Posada got the other hit, a nice double.

The heroes yesterday were Joba, Tex and Arod, and the Philthies. It is so great that the Yankees were able to sweep this series where all the games were close. Good pitching like the Tigers have is like what we may see in the postseason, and it is good to know the Yankees can handle it. And best of all, with the Red Sox loss, now the Yankees are 1 game out! Go get’m boys! Make me proud!  

CC Grinds out a Victory as the Yankees Roar Against the Tigers

CC Sabathia Recorded a Win Due to a Little Help From Arod

From the minute I saw the matchup I knew today’s game would be a pitcher’s duel. Luckily the Yankees came out on top as they beat the Tigers for the second straight game, by the score of 2-1.

Pitching Analysis: CC Sabathia did not have his best stuff today, but like A.J. last night, he hung in there with a chance for his team to win the game. Early on, his control was way off. He kept missing high and away with his fastball, and he struggled to get ahead in the count. Although he had little control, he did not give up any runs today. His first jam came in the first inning, where he had 2 men on. He got out of it, but threw 24 pitches to do so.

CC’s biggest jam came in the top of the 6th. First, he got the always-dangerous Miguel Cabrera to pop up to Cano. Then Marcus Thames grounded one to Jeter’s right. Jeter makes a great play to throw to first as he jumped, but Thames was safe with an infield single. I really thought he was out. Then Magglio Ordonez doubles, making it second and third with only one out. I was thinking that this was the inning where he would fold. But CC got Ryan Raburn to pop up to shallow left, and then Brandon Inge to pop to Cano. I could not believe he did it. CC pitched 7 scoreless innings and really put up a gutsy performance. Well done.

Alfredo Aceves pitched the 8th and gave up a solo homer to Thames. In the 9th Mariano picked up his 25th save of the year.

Defensive Analysis: The defense was very strong today. Early in the game, CC was laboring and I worried that the defense would lose focus, but they didn’t. Jeter started some nice 6-4-3 double plays in the 3rd and 4th to get CC out of some jams. It is so comforting to have guys that you know are going to make all the plays!

Offense Analysis: There was not much offense today, but Arod came through when he had to. In he bottom of the 7th, he hit an opposite field homer off Verlander which ended a streak of 13 scorless innings for Verlander against the Yankees. Later on, Cano singled, Swisher doubled, and Melky, the clutch machine, knocked in Cano with an infield single. Melky’s RBI turned out to be an important run after Thames hit his homer in the eigth. I should also give credit to Derek Jeter, who was the only one who hit Verlander before the 7th inning.

 

So, in this tight pitcher’s duel, the Yankee heroes for today are CC Sabathia for his exellent performance, Alex Rodriguez for the first knock on the scoreboard with his homer, and Melky Cabrera whose little infield single RBI wound up being the difference in the game. The Yankees already one this series against the Tigers due to today’s 2-1 win. Nice game today. It is really nice that the Red Sox lost, and the Yankees are only 2 games out of first place! I hope they continue playing this well.  

Yankees Start Off Second Half FuPHILing Expectations.

With the Help of Phil Hughes, Yankees Start Second Half with a Victory

Last night the Yankees got their first victory of the second half in its first game, bringing that streak to 8 straight years.

                                     A.J. Burnett allowed three runs on six hits in six innings of work.

Pitching Analysis: A.J. Burnett did not have much control early. He was all over the place, walking batters, hitting a batter, wild pitches, and a wild pickoff throw created jams for him. But he made it through 6 innings relatively unscathed, only giving up 3 runs. I thought he did a fine job last night. I like it when a pitcher knows he doesn’t have his best stuff and grinds out as much as he can. A.J. is a gamer and I admire him.

Phil Hughes got himself a win last night, and boy did he perform! He pitched the 7th and 8th, and struck out all 6 men he faced. He was throwing nasty gas, so nasty that I smelled here in Cold Spring! He reached 97 with his power fastball. When he got in a little jam with 2 on and 2 out, he remained composed and struck out Clete Thomas to end the inning. He really deserved that win! Great job!

And Mo got a save as usual!

Defensive Analysis: As always, Melky Cabrera flashed his stellar glove last night. In the top of the 5th inning after giving up a homer to Granderson, A.J. surrendered a hit to Miguel Cabrera, which looked like a sure double. But Melky didn’t think so. He fired to second and Miguel was out. Melky Cabrera got out Miguel Cabrera! But Melky wasn’t done yet.

In the top of the 6th, Melky caught a ball on the fly that I thought would drop in for sure. He caught it, and fired to first to doulbe up the runner. A.J. was pleased. Melky’s defense saved the game!

Offense Analysis: It was hard early for the Yankees. Matsui drove in a run early, but it was not until till the 5th that they scored again. In the bottom of the 5th, Tex drove a ball into left center, but it got through Josh Anderson’s legs, allowing Damon to score from first!

In the bottom of the 6th, the Yankees has 1st and 2nd with 2 out and Melky Cabrera was up. As he usually does in clutch situations, Melky came through. He drove a single into left, and Posada tried to score from second. He was out and the inning was over. At this time, I was ranting about how the Yankees need Cervelli because he can actually run. Whatever!

In the Bottom of the 7th, Joel Zumaya comes in. Jeter leads off. I had a feeling it would be a good matchup for Jeter, since he always goes the other way and Zumaya throws hard, it made it easier for Jeter to hit it to right. That is what he did. Jeter singled to right. Then Damon gets on, and brings Big Tex to th plate. He smashed a homer into the second deck! I was so happy for him!

The heros last night were Mark Teixeira, Melky Cabrera, and Phil Hughes. Great game! Yankees win 5-3.

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday Ramiro!!

Yankees Utility Man Celebrates his Birthday in Scranton

Tomorrow, July 18th is Ramiro Pena’s 24th birthday. I feel bad that he is celebrating it in Scranton. I’m sure that parties are better in NYC!

Ramiro played very well in his short 46 games as a Yankee, batting .267 with 23 hits, many which came in clutch situations. He also played very well defensively at third and short. I was very disappointed when he was sent down. Girardi said he needs to learn to play the outfield and that he will be back soon. I hope he does come back and they don’t be stupid and trade him. Ramiro said that he idolized Jeter, and he may be the Jeter of the future if the Yankeed be smart and keep him.

Sometimes I don’t understand the moves the Yankees make. I know they moved Pena to make room for Hinske, but why is Ransom the utility man? No offense, but he cannot catch the ball and is not to swift with the bat. I think that New York is too much pressure for Cody Ransom and I think he should be traded. Ramiro Pena should be the super utility man for the Yankees. I think this is what they are going to do since he is learning to play the outfield.

Well, hopefully Ramiro Pena is in the Bronx in Sepember, and next July, he can have a special New York City birthday party!

 

Isn’t Ramiro adorable? I sure think so!

Doc’s in the House

What is a fair package for the Yankees to give up to acquire Roy Halladay?

The Yankees have many talented prospects that can be fair game for trading. Austin Jackson, Jesus Montero, and Andrew Brackman, Ramiro Pena, and Francisco Cervelli, just to name a few. They also major leaguers that could go. Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, Melky Cabrera, Brett Gardner, and Jose Molina are all quality baseball players that may be helpful for the Jays. But are they expendable for the Yankees?

The Blue Jays want A LOT for the best pitcher in baseball. And a select few, the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Cardinals, and maybe the Angels, can afford him. The Yankees should get Halladay to keep him away from the already-strong Red Sox. But the problem with the Yankees giving up there prospects for the Doc is that at the end of the 2010 season, Halladay is a free agent and may not want to return to the Yankees. That means the Yankees wasted the future of their franchise for an immediate contributor, which they have done too many times before. 

But saying Halladay wants to remain a Yankee, which prospects should the Yankees trade? I really hate to say it, but I think Joba Chamberlain should be considered. So far this year, he has not adapted to his a role as a starter; too many pitches (balls) too little innings, too low velocity on his once overpowering fastball. Even if the Yankees tried to put him back in the bullpen, he may that dominant guy of 2007. He is still a good pitcher, and still has a high trade value, and with work can be great again. Maybe the Jays are up for that.

Aside from Joba, I think the Yankees should trade star catching prospect Jesus Montero. The Yankees already have a very suprisingly good young catcher in Francisco Cervelli. Montero is still a few years aways from the big leagues. His primary skill is his bat, where he has Mike Piazza potential. But I think the Yankees need a strong defender and great game caller behind the plate, and that is what Cervelli brings to the table. He can also perform with the bat by doing the little things like bunting. He is not an automatic out. So although Montero is surely a great hitter, I think the Yankees have enough in their lineup and Cervelli is more valuable to the team. And besides, it would be hard for the Blue Jays to turn down an offer with such a talented prospect like that in it!

I’m sure Brian Cashman is working on putting Halladay in pinstripes. I hope he doesn’t do anything stupid by trading away somebody very valuable to the future of the Yankees. So Joba Chamberlain, Jesus Montero, and maybe others will bring the Doc to the Bronx. We can only hope.

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