Hughes to make at least two more rehab starts

Phil Hughes pitched well in his first official rehab start this weekend (and reports have now confirmed that he hit 95 MPH with his fastball), and last night Joe Girardi confirmed that Hughes will make two more rehab starts. Presumably he’ll get one in Double-A Trenton and then another in Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre. If all goes well Hughes could return to the team after that, but the high minors will be a much better gauge of where Hughes’ stuff is than facing the Brooklyn Cyclones. Hughes is much closer to returning to the big league team, but nothing’s guaranteed yet. Still, on this schedule Hughes would return to the Yankees just before the All-Star game. I don’t think anyone’s going to complain about that. Continue reading Hughes to make at least two more rehab starts

Yankees Touring Baseball Second-Best Division? Kind of.

I probably need to start by defending the NL Central as the second-best division in baseball. After all, according to both winning percentage and run differential, the NL Central actually finishes sixth…out of six. However, two teams, the Cubs and Astros, who are 29th and 30th in MLB in both categories, combine to bring down the other four. There is another, relatively reasonable way of looking at the Central. When interleague play began on Friday, it was one of only two divisions which boasted four teams with a record of .500 or better. The other, of course, being our beloved “Beast.”

The Central has at least three legitimate contenders for the NL Pennant (or it did, until yesterday, when red hot Prince Albert broke his arm), and the Pirates, though probably still a year or two away from making a run at the postseason, seem primed to finally break the Curse of Barry Bonds (18 consecutive losing seasons). Want more evidence that this is the Year of the Pitcher? Pittsburgh has three starting pitchers with ERAs under 3.30. The last time that happened was Tim Wakefield’s rookie year.

The theory of interleague play, when it was instituted, was that each season one division from the AL would match up with one division from the NL. So, isn’t it fortuitous that in 2011 the AL East, with its bevy of winners is matching up with the only division that goes at least four deep on the NL side?

Problem is, the theory of interleague play has changed, substantially.

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Nova spins finest game of career in 5-3 Yankee win over Reds

It would seem Pitcher-They’ve-Never-Faced Syndrome isn’t a Yankee-specific malady after all. Ivan Nova threw the finest game of his short career Monday night in Cincinnati, going a career-high eight innings, yielding one run on a season-high (and career-high tying) seven strikeouts en route to a 5-3 Yankee victory. It was also the first start of his career in which he didn’t walk a single batter. The only slight mar on this game was that the bullpen couldn’t get out of its own way in the ninth. With a four-run lead, Luis Ayala gave up a leadoff single to Brandon Phillips. Continue reading Nova spins finest game of career in 5-3 Yankee win over Reds

Game 71: Yankees 5, Reds 3

The Yankees started a three game set against the Reds in Cincinnati Monday night, both teams got to the opposing pitchers early, before each settled down.  The Reds made it exciting in the end, but the Yankees kept their win streak going as they took a 5-3 victory.

The Bombers got on the board early, as Nick Swisher led off with a single to left. Mark Teixeira singled to center and Alex Rodriguez brought Swisher home with a single of his own. Robinson Cano doubled to left, plating Teixeira.  Rodriguez scored on a ground out by Russell Martin and Andruw Jones brought home the Pinstripes’ fourth run of the inning. Eduardo Nunez popped out, mercifully ending the inning for Travis Wood.

Ivan Nova had a slow start to the bottom of the first, giving up a lead off single to Drew Stubbs.  He stole second and moved to third on a single by Brandon Phillips.  Joey Votto hit a grounder to Cano who started the 4-6-3 double play, allowing Stubbs to score for the Reds first run of the game.  Nova got Jay Bruce to ground out to end the inning and the Yankees held a 4-1 edge.

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Nova responding well to pressure

Just a few weeks ago, after failing to capitalize on a relatively strong offensive performance against Felix Hernandez thanks in no small part to a sub-par performance from Ivan Nova, there was widespread speculation that the Yankees might be on the verge of making a change to the back end of their rotation. Manager Joe Girardi denied this at the time, and since that start in Seattle, Nova has put together a string of strong outings, culminating with tonight’s start in Cincinnati, the best of his young career.

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TYA Game Thread, Monday June 20th, 2011

Larry’s series preview covers everything you’ll need to know about the Reds as the Yankees head into tonight’s game. The only new piece of information is that the Reds will start Travis Wood, instead of Johnny Cueto, who has a stiff neck. Here’s the lineup: Nick Swisher – RF Curtis Granderson – CF Mark Teixeira – 1B Alex Rodriguez – 3B Robinson Cano – 2B Russell Martin – C Andruw Jones – LF Eduardo Nunez – SS Ivan Nova – P Enjoy.

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Reds: The curse of Austin Kearns

The Yankees last faced the Reds in a 2008 set at Yankee Stadium, and the last time they were at Cincinnati was in 2003. Quite a bit has changed for the Reds, who spent every season over the last 10 years as a below-.500 team (though for the most part, one that could often rake) until winning the NL Central last year for the first time since 1995, largely on the strength of the best offense in the National League (.339 wOBA). For their troubles they were swept out of the NLDS by the Phillies. The Reds are once again Continue reading Series Preview | Yankees vs. Reds: The curse of Austin Kearns

The Farm Report 06/20

My apologies for missing last week’s Farm Report, my car broke down while I was out of town and I found myself stranded for most of last week without my laptop…but I have returned and here is this week’s review of the Yankees’ farm teams.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (AAA):

The Yankees’ offense battered the Syracuse Chiefs Monday night, as a big third inning sent them to an 8-3 win.  Ramiro Pena knocked a RBI single and Jesus Montero added a three-run homer to give Scranton an early lead.  The Chiefs made it close, trailing by just one in the bottom of the fifth, but they were unable to do much else as the Yankees added some insurance en route to victory.

On Tuesday, Scranton went for the series victory as they sent Adam Warren to the mound in Syracuse.  A solo homer by Gregor Blanco gave the Chiefs an early lead in the first inning.  Kevin Russo kept his hot hitting alive in the top of the third, driving a double that plated two runs and gave the Yankees a lead.  Greg Golson drove in Russo and Scranton went ahead 3-1, a score that would hold as the Yankees took the series win.

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Gardner sits again against lefties

Johnny Cueto was scratched from today’s start for the Reds, meaning lefty Travis Wood will get the start instead. With this news, Brett Gardner is not in the lineup. After a terrible start to 2011, Gardner’s full season line is now .294/.372/.446, which is a .357 wOBA and 124 wRC+. Against lefties, he has a .339 wOBA and 111 wRC+ – obviously not as good, but not particularly platoon-worthy, especially when you consider Gardner’s elite defense.

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