Game 159: Royals @ Yankees

From… Sam Borden (LoHud):

YANKEES (102-56)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF

Pitching: RHP Joba Chamberlain (9-6, 4.72)

ROYALS (64-94)
Maier LF
Hulett 2B
Butler 1B
Pena DH
Callaspo 3B
Teahen RF
Buck C
Betancourt SS
Anderson CF

Pitching: RHP Robinson Tejeda (4-2, 3.41)

TIME/TV: 7:05, YES.

Tejeda, like Joba, can be filthy if everything clicks. Let’s hope that’s not the case tonight as the Yankees seek victory number 103.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks interested in Yusei Kikuchi?

Yusei Kikuchi, an 18-year old lefty who pitched for the Hanamaki Higashi High School baseball team as recently as Monday, is expected to be the number one pick in Japan’s upcoming amateur draft. However, Kikuchi is currently debating whether or not to skip Japan’s draft completely so that he may seek a contract with an MLB club (he’ll be considered a free agent). We could learn of his decision this week. Despite the very raw nature of Kikuchi’s talent, his fairly impressive two-pitch repertoire has reportedly enticed a bevy of organizations, including the Yankees, who have apparently scouted him this year.

Kikuchi throws a slow, looping curveball (mid 70’s), plus his fastball can register 95 mph on the radar gun. He often incorporates a cartoonish eephus pitch, as well, which you can see in the following video (go to the 3:00 mark).

If he were to bypass the Japanese draft and sign with a Major League organization, Kikuchi would likely fit into their respective minor-league system just as any other American high school prospect would.… Click here to read the rest

Recapping The Walk Offs

After the Yankees’ 11th walk off win of the season, Steve listed the walk offs and linked to the relevant boxscores. With one home game remaining and the Yankees walk-off total up to 15, I thought it would be fun to run through them all, with the links pointing towards replays of each exciting walk off hit.

4/22– Yankees beat A’s 9-7 on two run homer by Melky Cabrera in the 14th. It was Melky’s second home run of the day.

5/1– The Yankees score 6 runs in the last two innings to turn a 9-4 deficit into a 10-9 win over the Angels. Jorge Posada delivered the game winning two run single.

5/15– The Yankees began Walk off Weekend with a 5-4 victory over the Twins. Brett Gardner had an inside the park home run, and Melky Cabrera notched a two run single off Joe Nathan to win it.

5/16– Walk off weekend continues as A-Rod hits a two run homer in the 11th to win it.… Click here to read the rest

Still Coors East, but not as prolific

Is the ballpark still too home run friendly? Yes. But if you can build your team to fit your ballpark (and completely psych out opposing pitching), then you can play to its strengths. The Yanks can continue to look for lefty hitters who can pull the ball and pitchers who keep the ball down. And conversely, the Mets can, if they don’t screw it up, look for better fielding and fast outfielders and recruit pitchers who will want to pitch in a huge park.… Click here to read the rest

Tigers or Twins?

From Joe at RAB:

While the Twins make a great baseball story, we’re still focused on what this will mean for the Yankees. Would they prefer Detroit or Minnesota? The question might sound like a no-brainer at first. The Twins are without their slugging first baseman and have generally been the inferior team during the season. But they’re the hot team, and hot teams can be hell on any team in the playoffs, even the team with the best record in baseball.

Joe goes on to make the case that the Yankees should be rooting for the Twins, who are probably slightly better in the bullpen and with the bat than the Tigers, but lack even one very good starter. The Twins are the kind of team that the Yankees should shred- mediocre pitching and just decent offense does not matchup well with the Yankees. Conversely, the Tigers are similarly flawed but have the great equalizer: a starting pitcher in Justin Verlander who can win two games on his own.… Click here to read the rest

Boston loses fifth game in a row, clinches playoff spot

I know this is a Yankee blog, but Boston clinching a spot in October despite losing five in a row is pretty damn amusing. To think for a brief moment in August I actually thought the Rangers might pull a Wild Card berth out.

Far more importantly, the Yankees beat the Royals 4-3 in the 9th inning of last night’s contest, recording their Major League-leading 15th walkoff win of the year, this time on a Juan Miranda single off old friend Kyle Farnsworth. Good to see that ol’ Farnsy hasn’t changed much since his time in pinstripes.

The Yankees are an awesome 102-56, and will try to get to 103 wins for the first time since 2003 tonight against the Royals at the last home game of the season. They’ll also be looking for a record-setting 58th win at home in the first year of a new ballpark. I’ll be in attendance, and looking for my sixth straight win after starting the year off at new Yankee Stadium 0-4.… Click here to read the rest

Game 158: Royals 3, Yankees 4

Bronx Cheers:
Coke: In .2 innings, Coke gave up one hit and one earned run, though he was absolutely responsible for two. His error and his mental error (getting the out at first and not home) could have saddled AJ Burnett with the loss in a game where he truly did not deserve it.

Gardner: Brett went 0-4. He’s been slumping at the plate quite a bit lately, going 4 for his last 22.

Damon: Johnny went 0-4 and also seems to be slumping. Since going 3-4 on September 18 and September 19, Damon is 2-22.

Curtain Calls:
Burnett: AJ put together another good outing, giving hope that he will pull it together for the playoffs. He went 6.1 innings and gave up three hits and only one earned run, walking three and striking out eight.

Teixeira: The Yankee first baseman went 2-4 with a homerun. He also made some nice defensive pick ups, helping out his fellow infielders.… Click here to read the rest

A note about the comments

Yes, I know Blogger sucks and its commenting system is awful. I also realize that WordPress and almost every other blogging software is light years ahead of Blogger in every conceivable way.

Regardless, Blogger’s upgraded itself enough whereby it’s still way quicker (and, more importantly, freer) to get a site up-and-running via Blogger than anywhere else. I also have a strong affinity for Google products of all kind, be it G-Mail, Picasa (the hell with Flickr and its 200-photo limitations), and hopefully Wave, once I receive my invitation.

But perhaps most importantly, Google is hosting my domain name for free, for some inexplicable reason. I’m surprised more people don’t know about this particular feature of Blogger, but I imagine the dislike for the platform is intense enough that this fact has been lost amid a sea of indifference.

While Google clearly hasn’t paid as much attention to Blogger as some of its other properties, having the Google name behind it gives me hope that it will eventually get the necessary upgrades it needs to bring it back to semi-respectability.… Click here to read the rest

Why not Juan Miranda, too?

In the year of the Walk-Off, why not add Juan Miranda to the mix?

In an utterly insignificant game, Yankee fans could still enjoy a good outing from Burnett and the fifteenth walk-off win of the year–against the immortal Kyle Farnsworth.

To put the Yankees’ walk off wins in perspective, in the entirety of the 2009 season, the Yankees had exactly one homestand–just one in an eighty-two home game season–in which they did not walk off. That’s pretty incredible.

The game ultimately played out like a spring-training game, with the latter innings including such things as Robinson Canó playing first base, but with everything clinched that it is possible to clinch before October, the Yankees had that luxury.

The one concern would be Phil Coke’s poor fielding. He didn’t even pitch all that poorly–but was instead inefficient at fielding his position, making an errant throw to 2nd on one play and then throwing to first despite there being an out at home, instead.… Click here to read the rest