I was supposed to be at today’s game but I didn’t feel like sitting in a rainy Yankee Stadium while the powers that be do the ‘will they or won’t they?’ game.
If the game is played, here are the lineups:
Reid Brignac is making his Yankees debut, if the rain doesn’t wash away the day.
UPDATE (12:34 P.M.) The game has been postponed.
If you want to make this into an open thread where we discuss current events, other baseball games or exchange recipes, feel free.
As I mentioned in my David Wells perfect game post on Friday, I graduated from college in upstate New York in the Spring of 1998 so the first game I was able to watch, without having to rely on a friendly bartender who thought a girl liking baseball was a novelty, happened to be the game between the Yankees and Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday May 19, 1998.
Some people may not remember or even know, depending on their age , why this particular game is significant. Well, I’m about to post the reason why.
On May 19, the Yankees found themselves with a 29-9 record, and were about to go on a hot streak of epic proportions, spurred on an unfortunate incident in a game between division rivals. The Yankees had an off-day on the 18th so this game against the Orioles would be their first baseball action following that history-making game for Wells.
The Orioles scored five runs off starter David Cone – one in the second, three in the third and one in the fourth – to open up a 5-1 lead in the game. The Yankees got two back in the bottom of the seventh thanks to a Paul O’Neill RBI double and a Tim Raines RBI single.
So in the bottom of the eighth inning and still down 5-3, the Yankees mounted a comeback.
Sidney Ponson started the inning for the Orioles but manager Ray Miller began to play the matchup game. After Ponson induced a flyout for the first out of the inning, he walked Jorge Posada and Chuck Knoblauch.
Miller called upon reliever Alan Mills to take care of Derek Jeter. He did, getting Jeter to fly out to short right field on the first pitch for the second out. Miller then went to the bullpen again so Norm Charlton could pitch to O’Neill. O’Neill delivered the first scoring blow of the inning with a single int the third base-shortstop hole that scored Jorge Posada and to cut the score to 5-4.
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Coming into the season, the Toronto Blue Jays were crowned the winners of the offseason and why wouldn’t they be? They traded for half of the Miami Marlins’ roster, and acquired both Melky Cabrera and National League Cy Young award winner R.A. Dickey. So they were expecting to challenge perennial AL East leaders New York, Tampa and Boston for the Division title after all of those moves.
As of May 18, the first place Yankees are now 8-1 in head-to-head matchups against the Blue Jays and are now 10 games ahead of them in the standings. Guys, whenever I complain about the Yankees playing Toronto too much, you all have permission to smack me because so far, the Yankees are owning the Blue Jays in 2013.
Of course, this can all change in the second half of the season but for right now, this is really something to see.
Phelps, who was struggling to find the plate early in the game, recovered to throw seven strong innings, allowing one run on six hits with three walks and eight strikeouts.
Cano had his second multi-homer game of the season and 12th of his career. He hit a two-run shot in the third inning and another two-run shot in the fifth inning. Both came off of Toronto starter Brandon Morrow. Morrow lasted five innings and gave up five runs on seven hits with one strikeout. He didn’t walk a batter.
Travis Hafner also hit a home run, his seventh of the season and it came in his 100th at-bat. Remarkably he’s hit five in 54 at-bats at Yankee Stadium. Guess his shoulder is feeling better.
The Yankees keep on playing the Blue Jays, and despite all the hype, the Yankees have been able to hit them hard very early this season. The teams have now played 8 times and the Bombers have won 7 of those games. In the process, they’ve built up a 9 game lead in the standings against the AL East pre-season favorite. Although Toronto is struggling to reach a .500 record, if things start clicking, they can become a very admirable team, and this early lead is great insurance.
Yes, there’s no Mark Teixeira or Alex Rodriguez or Derek Jeter, but I love this lineup. The Yankees have put up some stinkers in recent days, and at least this one goes six players deep before you get to Nix. Also notable is that Curtis Granderson will make his first appearance in right field.
Reid Brignac, come on down! You’re the next contestant on The Yankees Need a Warm Body!
Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted that the Yankees have acquired the utility infielder from the Colorado Rockies. Brignac was designated for assignment by the Rockies earlier this week and he was also let go by the Tampa Bay Rays earlier this spring.
The Rockies are receiving $75,000 in cash considerations. Brignac is a utility infielder whose best position is shortstop. He batted .250/.294/.375/.669 with one home run and six RBI with the Rockies this season.
The Yankees have designated Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
Gonzalez was acquired by the Yankees two weeks ago but only had only nine plate appearances. He also pitched in relief during that awful game I had the misfortune of attending on Wednesday night.
Well, isn’t this lineup starting to shape up? With Nix getting hot, and Adams showing off a well in his debut, the Yankees actually have a pretty deep lineup against Toronto’s Brandon Morrow. It’s been two weeks since Morrow pitched, due to neck and back issues, and he’ll face off against David Phelps this afternoon at 1:05 PM.
What’s the best way for the Yankees to stop a mini-slide? Well, so far in 2013, the cure to all of the Yankees’ ills is to play the Toronto Blue Jays.
I jokingly titled tonight’s game thread as “Do the Yankees always play the Blue Jays?” And part of me was annoyed because I’m sick of them already and it’s only mid-May. Now, I realize I was being silly after the Yankees’ 5-0 victory.
Earlier today, the Yankees got the news that Andy Pettitte was placed on the 15-day DL because of his trapezius strain (IT’S A TRAP!) and after dropping two of three to the Seattle Mariners, they needed Hiroki Kuroda to continue what he’s been doing pretty much all season and that is to come out and shut down the Blue Jays lineup.
And that’s just what he did.
He lasted eight innings and only allowed two hits. This is the fourth straight start that Kuroda’s gone at least seven innings and allowed two earned runs or less. What he has done for this ball club during his tenure he has been remarkable. He was the team’s ace last year when CC Sabathia and Pettitte were lost to injuries.
Once again, Kuroda is picking up the slack and is emerging as the ace.
For the Blue Jays, starter Mark Buehrle, who usually has trouble with the Yankees, actually started off pretty strong, he scattered two runs in the first six innings on three hits. The Yankees finally broke through against him in the seventh when Austin Romine hit an RBI double that scored David Adams. Buehrle was taken out and replaced by Aaron Loup. Brett Gardner hit an RBI single that scored Ichiro Suzuki and allowed Romine to advance to third. Jayson Nix came up and hit a sacrifice fly to score Romine.
All of those runs were Buehrle’s. He finished his day having given up five runs on six hits, with three walks and four strikeouts.
Preston Claiborne came in to pitch the ninth and made things exciting by giving up two hits but he also struck out one and didn’t allow the Jays to score.
Some notes from Katie Sharp on Twitter (if you are not following her, you really should be):
- Buehrle has now lost 8 straight decisions vs Yankees, the longest active losing streak by a pitcher vs Yankees
- Since start of 2012, Kuroda has 5 starts with 8+ scoreless IP. Only other AL pitcher with more is King Felix (8). That’s good company.
- David Adams is the 1st Yankee with an XBH in 2 of his first 3 career games since Steve Balboni in 1981!
Seriously, follow her if you are on Twitter.