Yankees face inexperienced pitcher for the first time; inexperienced pitcher wins

In his series preview, Larry suggested that the unknown Chicago starter, Philip Humber, whom the Yankees had never faced before, would no-hit the Bombers over nine innings. Larry is prone to exaggeration. Instead, Humber limited the Yankees to one hit over seven innings. If not for a seventh inning single from Alex Rodriguez, Humber probably would have no hit the Yankees.

On the surface, Humber didn’t seem like the kind of never-before-seen pitcher who shut down the Yankees so routinely last season. For one thing, he’s right handed. For another, he can top 93mph on the radar gun. But, he pitched in the mold of Carl Pavano. None of his pitches were over powering, but, according to Al Leiter, he mixed a decent fastball with two different breaking pitches and a changeup to keep the Yankee bats off balance. He mixed in a little magic too, because at one point during the potential no-hitter Leiter confessed to Michael Kay that he couldn’t figure out why the Yankees wouldn’t have been able to hit Humber with a paddle.… Click here to read the rest

Game 19: White Sox 2, Yankees 0

New York found itself in trouble in the top of the fourth. Carlos Quentin started the inning with what became a double, after Curtis Granderson tried to make the diving play, but the ball got passed him.  Konerko grounded out to second, moving Quentin to third.  Dunn followed with a grounder to short, plating Quentin for the first run of the game.  The Yankees got their first base runner in the bottom of the fourth, when Granderson worked a walk.  He stole second, but New York was unable to capitalize on the opportunity, stranding Granderson while they continued to search for their first hit of the game.

Burnett and Humber controlled the middle innings, giving neither offense a chance to break out. Mark Teixeira worked a one out walk in the bottom of the seventh and Alex Rodriguez drove a single up the middle for the first New York hit of the evening.  Unfortunately, Robinson Cano struck out and Nick Swisher grounded out to first, leaving the White Sox with a 1-0 lead.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread and Series Preview: Yankees vs. White Sox I

Cano turning a double play (photo c/o of UPI)

Programming note: Please use this as your game thread for tonight.

The reeling Chicago White Sox (8-14, last in the AL Central), losers of nine of their last 10 games, come to the Stadium this week for a four-gamer against the first-place Yankees (12-6). The AL Central has certainly been one of the stranger stories of the early 2011 season, with Cleveland spending way more time than it has any right to in first place, while Kansas City is currently tied for second. Meanwhile, the Minnesota Twins and the ChiSox, two teams that many expected to be contend for the division crown, have limped to rather painful starts. In the former’s case, the Twinkies really have yet to get going, while the Sox were actually looking pretty good before this recent stretch of futility.

Unfortunately for the Yankees, Chicago isn’t as bad as it’s played recently, so forget everything you think you know about the 2011 White Sox.… Click here to read the rest

Phil Hughes Set Back

 

Bryan Hotch reports today that the Yankees cut Phil Hughes bullpen short after about 20 pitches when something was clearly not right. Here’s the quote from Hotch:

Phil said he “felt like there was nothing coming out of his arm on the pitches”… “It’s just the same as before,” Hughes said. “It’s dead, nothing coming out. I didn’t bounce back odd that long bullpen session like I would have liked. It’s just a lot of deadness.”

Phil also stated he felt like he was around 120 pitches instead of 20. Not good. Hughes will report to see Dr. Chris Ahmad today to be evaluated.

After his initial struggles many of us were wondering if Hughes was injured however the Yankees did not order an MRI. Sounds like they’ll certainly be sending Hughes for one now. Hughes was slated to make a rehab start later this week. Girardi did say he felt no pain, which is obviously a good sign.

As for the rotation, here’s hoping Bartolo and Garcia continue to pitch well.… Click here to read the rest

Hypocrisy Overwhelms Pending Jeter Bio and Initial Reaction to It

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog).

Derek Jeter is a human being. That seems to be the lesson derived from the New York Post’s preview of Ian O’Connor’s forthcoming book about Jeter, which will focus on the Captain’s relationship with Alex Rodriguez.

Arod’s unflattering comments about Jeter in the March 2001 issue of Esquire led to a cooling off period in their friendship.

Weaving Arod into the narrative has almost become a prerequisite for publishing a baseball book, so it’s not surprising that O’Connor would go that route. What is difficult to understand, however, is why so many people seem to be regarding the excerpts as groundbreaking news.

Just about anyone who has followed the Yankees over the past 10 years is well aware of the icy relationship that existed between the two superstars for most of the past decade, so O’Connor’s initial revelations hardly qualify as news. Although the quotes attributed to Brian Cashman aren’t part of the record, most of the other details have been widely reported and discussed.… Click here to read the rest

Cano’s concerning swing data

Image Credit

Michael Kay and Ken Singleton briefly touched on Robinson Cano and his free swinging ways during the weekend series with the Orioles, but from what I remember, it was only in passing and only after the even more free swinging Vladimir Guerrero was mentioned as well. Even though Cano’s hitting well, I’m starting to get worried about just how much he is swinging.

Though it’s anecdotal (and subject to confirmation bias), I remember Cano swinging at at least three or four pitches each game that he shouldn’t have swung at. Have we already lost the patient version of Robbie Cano?

I think a fair question is “Did we ever have him in the first place?” Many point to last year’s career high in walks as evidence that Cano was finally starting to learn patience, but digging deeper, we see that might not be entirely accurate. Taking out IBBs, Cano walked 43 times in 2010. That was still a career high, as was his 6.3 uBB%.… Click here to read the rest

My expanded thoughts on expanded playoffs

Last week, it became clear that baseball was moving towards expanding the playoffs to ten teams, adding one from each league. The details have yet to be hammered out, but we know that the two wildcard teams would play each other in some format, whether it’s a best of three or a one game, winner take all playoff. I don’t love either idea, or the big idea for that matter.

A one game playoff for teams that aren’t competing for the same spot just seems silly. Aren’t you basically negating the entire season at that point? As for a three game playoff, it makes more sense but is still time consuming, and makes the division winner wait longer, and possibly get rusty (it could help them rest up, too, though).

As for the big idea, adding teams to the playoffs, I just don’t like it. I think there needs to be tinkering with the playoff system, but not in this way.… Click here to read the rest