Series Preview: Yankees vs. Rays IV

The two best teams in baseball are back at it two weeks after the Yankees (65-36, 1st place in the AL East, 2 games up) took two of three (including an emotional win in the first game back at the Stadium after The Boss’s and Bob Shepard’s passings) from the Rays (63-38, 2nd place in the AL East, 2 GB) as they play a three-game set in Tampa Bay beginning tonight. The teams have split the eight games they’ve played thus far, no surprise given how evenly both sides match up.

Tampa Bay comes into the series like a house on fire, having won its last 8,000 games. OK, that’s obviously an exaggeration, but they are riding a six-game winning streak and also managed to cut a game off the Yanks’ lead in the process, so, similar to two weeks ago, a sweep by Tampa would land the Rays in first place.

In tonight’s game Phil Hughes (4.04 ERA; 4.00 FIP; 4.13 xFIP) looks to continue to improve as he squares off against Wade Davis (4.32 ERA; 5.33 FIP; 4.97 xFIP).… Click here to read the rest

Seven-run seventh propels Yanks to 11-4 thrashing of Indians

The Yankees pounded the Tribe 11-4 last night, taking three of four from a rather hapless Cleveland team.

Despite the final score, this was a tense game until the top of the sixth. Dustin Moseley — spot starting for the injured Andy Pettitte after Sergio Mitre showed he wasn’t up to the task five days ago — was fantastic, throwing six innings of four-hit, one-run ball. Moseley got into some trouble in the first, but once he settled down it was fairly smooth sailing. Between Moseley’s effectiveness as well as the fact that starter Mitch Talbot had to come out of the game after the second inning with an injury, forcing Manny Acta to coax seven innings out of his comical bullpen, it would’ve been insane if the Yankees had not been able to pull out the victory.

Of course, the first five innings were a ridiculous exercise in frustration, as the Yankees managed to put runners on first and second with no outs from the 2nd through the 5th inning and somehow only managed to score one run.… Click here to read the rest

After the laughing stops: Chan Ho’s new low

Facing a really, really young and inexperienced team, all the Yanks wanted was for Chan Ho to come in, get some work and get done cleanly. Fat chance. His 9th inning game log:

  • C Gimenez walked.
  • C Gimenez to second on wild pitch by C Park.
  • A Kearns walked.
  • M LaPorta singled to left, C Gimenez scored, A Kearns to second.
  • J Nix reached on infield single to third, A Kearns to third, M LaPorta to second, A Kearns scored, M LaPorta to third, J Nix to second on throwing error by third baseman M Thames.
  • M LaPorta scored, J Nix to third on wild pitch by C Park.
  • S Duncan walked.

The end result was “only” three runs and the game was still a blowout, but the point remains: Chan Ho cannot be trusted, at all.  His overall line shows 2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, 1 WP, 3 ER.  But if you watched him, you know it was much, much worse.… Click here to read the rest

Game 101: Yankees 11, Indians 4

In the top of the third, the Yankees got on the board.  Colin Curtis lead off with a single to center.  Mitch Talbot, the Indians’ rookie pitcher, was taken out of the game with a back injury, handing the ball over to the Cleveland bullpen for the majority of the game.  Derek Jeter walked and both runners moved over on Curtis Granderson’s sac bunt.  Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases and Alex Rodriguez hit a sac fly to center, scoring Curtis and tying up the game 1-1.

Moseley hit his stride and kept the Tribe limited to the one run in the first, while the Indians’ bullpen had done a solid job of keeping the Yankee lineup at bay.  The Yankees got an opportunity to go ahead in the sixth, with Brett Gardner leading off with a walk.  He moved to second when Francisco Cervelli grounded out and then Gardner stole third.  Jeter singled to center, scoring Gardner and putting the Yankees up 2-1.… Click here to read the rest

Baseball Needs No Savior

Earlier today, Jason from It Is About the Money, Stupid posted an article about whether Albert Pujols would be baseball’s savior, “the one who restores our interest in home run milestones”.  He quotes liberally from Roy Johnson of ESPN NY.  Johnson assumes the familiar “let me tell you how it is” tone and states categorically that fans don’t care about Alex Rodriguez’s home run.  But Johnson takes it a step further, writing:

In one sense, we fans are a scorned love. Our hearts were broken and we’re just not going to let ourselves go there again, at least not anytime soon.

-snip-

Well, we just don’t dig it anymore. At least not that way. And there’s enough blame to go around for everybody, including A-Rod.

It’s hard to say if Jason wholeheartedly agrees with this sentiment, and I don’t want to put words in his mouth.  He does go on to say though that Rodriguez’s ascent up the home run leader board is tainted, and that Albert Pujols has the ability to restore our faith in baseball.… Click here to read the rest

Hoping for the best

just hoping nothing happens

Later today, Dustin Moseley will make his first start in a Yankee uniform. He’s pitched in four games for the Yankees to the tune of a 4.22 ERA. He’s showed okay control with a 3.4 BB/9 but his K/9 is under 5 and his H/9 is also very low, coming in below 6, which is obviously something he can’t keep up. His FIP in this small sample is also 5.73 with an xFIP of 4.70. Of course, these numbers have come in 10.2 innings so they mean next to nothing.

All I’m asking for tonight, Dustin, is that you last at least five innings and give up no more than five runs. You’re facing the Indians, so maybe I could expect more than that. But, with the way Sergio Mitre pitched against the Royals in his spot start, I’m not holding my breath on anything great. All I can really hope for is that Moseley doesn’t embarrass himself, get hurt, or put the Yankees in an awful position in terms of the bullpen.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankees and the home-road split

Most of the Yankee fans I know have had the same, lone (whiny, and I include myself here too) complaint about the 2010 team: the offense just hasn’t clicked the way we’d hoped it would.

Yankee detractors can make the solid argument that Yankee fans are insane because the Yankees have the best offense in baseball, which is a fair point. But the counter-point this Yankee fan would make is that Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson have all had subpar offensive seasons. Imagine what the team could do if all its offensive gears were well oiled!

The team came back from the All-Star break and gave us all a glimmer of hope that the offense would come together in the second half. The Bombers pounded the ball on their nine-game homestand. With the exception of a two-run performance against the Angels and a four-run Saturday against the Royals, the Yankee offense put up anywhere between 5 and 12 runs in Yankee Stadium.… Click here to read the rest

In which Matt Gets a Twitter

So I finally bit the bullet last night and signed up for a Twitter account. As is my nature, this made me start thinking about things. The following is nothing that hasn’t been said before, but I want to rehash it because of the time of year.

Twitter, blogs, and the like have completely changed the way we can follow baseball and I absolutely love every second of it. My father and his friends may get nostalgic for the days of yore when the newspapers had a monopoly over the coverage of baseball, but I can’t think of any other way I’d rather have it.

Today’s world of constant coverage may get annoying with the actual news cycle in which sound bytes replace actual analysis, but in the baseball world, it’s mostly good. The fact that we can know about trade rumors, how prospects are playing, and the like is just all sorts of awesome. There are, of course, some drawbacks.… Click here to read the rest

Pujols = Savior?

But what Johnson said about ARod, the blame-game, and the general malaise towards ARod’s #600 was probably the best thing he wrote:

In one sense, we fans are a scorned love. Our hearts were broken and we’re just not going to let ourselves go there again, at least not anytime soon.

Again, that isn’t a reason to hold it against A-Rod, at least not wholly. I’m not even pinning it all on Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Rafael Palmeiro, Roger Clemens, Jason Giambi, Bonds or any of the myriad other players whose faces will forever adorn baseball’s steroid era plaques. Those guys, as recent Hall of Fame inductee Andre Dawson so eloquently put it during his speech in Cooperstown last weekend, are the “individuals who have chosen the wrong road and chosen that as their legacy.”

Nor am I blaming it all on “baseball,” that faceless entity sometimes said to have caused the steroid mess by turning a blind eye to performance-enhancing drugs.Click here to read the rest