Zombie Posada hits granny; backs second straight strong outing by Hughes

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

This was a fun one, not only because the Yanks blew the Rays out 9-2, but also because I got to watch it with Matt Imbrogno, MJR, and fellow huge fans Bexy, Rich and Dave.

Jorge Posada must not have been terribly thrilled about his recent benching, because he went crazy in this game, getting the Yankees on board in the 2nd on a two-run bases-loaded single and blowing the game open in the fifth with his 10th career grand slam. It was all part of a 3-5, 6 RBI day for Posado. The Yankees were able to knock Jeremy Hellickson out after a mere 4.1 innings (due in part to Curtis Granderson‘s MLB-lead-tying 33rd home run of the season), and went to town on Rays’ relievers Brandan Gomes and Cesar Ramos.

Phil Hughes had his second straight strong outing, holding the Rays scoreless through five before yielding a solo blast to Desmond Jennings and an RBI groundout.… Click here to read the rest

Game 119-We play today? We win today? That’s it?

Check out the hourly forecast from Accuweater. I don’t see how they’re going to get this one in. There’s a 2 hour window around 1:00 where the chance of rain drops to 40-50%, then shoots back up to 90% for the rest of the day. If they do play, they’ll be dancing between the raindrops and this one might get called early. I live in Queens, and with the way its raining right now they won’t even attempt to start the game. You need a bit of a window just to allow the field to drain, and its coming down steadily.

Here’s the lineup, courtesy of LoHud:

1. Gardner LF
2. Jeter SS
3. Granderson CF
4. Teixeira 1B
5. Cano 2B
6. Swisher RF
7. Chavez 3B
8. Posada DH
9. Martin C

AJ Burnett starting in place of the “injured” Freddy Garcia. You know what would really be great? Burnett starts, and the game gets called after 3 innings.… Click here to read the rest

Game 119-We play today? We win today? That's it?

Check out the hourly forecast from Accuweater. I don’t see how they’re going to get this one in. There’s a 2 hour window around 1:00 where the chance of rain drops to 40-50%, then shoots back up to 90% for the rest of the day. If they do play, they’ll be dancing between the raindrops and this one might get called early. I live in Queens, and with the way its raining right now they won’t even attempt to start the game. You need a bit of a window just to allow the field to drain, and its coming down steadily.

Here’s the lineup, courtesy of LoHud:

1. Gardner LF
2. Jeter SS
3. Granderson CF
4. Teixeira 1B
5. Cano 2B
6. Swisher RF
7. Chavez 3B
8. Posada DH
9. Martin C

AJ Burnett starting in place of the “injured” Freddy Garcia. You know what would really be great? Burnett starts, and the game gets called after 3 innings.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes makes rotation question a no-brainer

Hughes is certainly doing his best to remind everyone why he was being counted on to be the team’s number two starter at the beginning of this year, before a mystifying arm injury cost him most of the first half and made him a human launching pad when he was playing. Over 6 innings, Hughes allowed just 4 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6 Rays on just 96 pitches. He also did a good job of mixing his pitches, throwing 46 four-seam fastballs, 25 curveballs, 13 curveballs, and 12 (!) changeups. It was his best start of the season in my opinion, and came on the heels of what had previously been his best start of the season over a week ago in Chicago.

And that’s been the overall trend with Hughes since his return to the team. Despite Joe Girardi deciding to denigrate Hughes by starting the “one good start” meme in order to defend A.J, Hughes has actually been remarkably solid since coming off of the DL.… Click here to read the rest

Imagining life after Mariano

One day, that walk to the dugout will be his last

I weighed in yesterday on the recent struggles of the greatest Closer of all time, which I think have been greatly overblown. I’ve read various articles arguing that the cutter isn’t as sharp, but Fangraphs begs to differ. What those charts show me is that he’s made some bad mistakes on location, which we all knew already. In my view the annual decline in numbers against Lefties is more likely due to adjustments made by opposing hitters, since everyone knows what’s coming. Avoiding mistakes and mixing in a few more 4 seamers may be all Mo needs to keep opposing hitters off balance.

(Side note-For a terrific read on what’s its like being in the batter’s box facing Mo, check out Doug Glanville’s latest piece on ESPN.)

With all of that being said, the day will come when Mariano will no longer be effective. Its difficult for Yankee fans to imagine, because he’s been such a fixture for the past 16 seasons.… Click here to read the rest

The Farm Report 08/13/11 – Injuries stink :(

Double-A Trenton beat Harrisburg, 7-4
Trenton scored four in the first, on a Zolio Almonte grand slam off Oliver Perez. Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy? Harrisburg scored three in the third to pull closer, but then Trenton scored two in the top of the fourth on an Austin Krum single, and one in the fifth when Melky Mesa homered, to put the game away. Mesa also tripled and walked, and Krum went 4-for-4. Craig Heyer threw 6.1 innings of five-hit ball, giving up three runs, though none were earned. He walked two and struck out five.

High-A Tampa beat Dunedin, 7-2
Some guy named Alex Rodriguez went 0-for-3 with a walk. I think you can boo him now. Tampa had a 3-2 lead on a Cody Johnson two-run homer in the fifth and Deangelo Mack RBI groundout, before they scored four in the top of the ninth to turn it into a blowout. Emerson Landoni homered, and Deangelo Mack had a big triple with the bases loaded to score three.… Click here to read the rest

The Yankees’ newest million dollar (bonus) baby

Per Keith Law’s twitter, the Yankees will be signing 5th-round pick Greg Bird to a bonus exceeding $1 million at the August 16th signing deadline, way above the slot recommendation for the selection.  Bird was reportedly asking for first-round money (or close to it) around the time of the draft, so this bonus was more or less in line with his pre-draft demands.

Bird, a catcher/first baseman from Grandview High School in Colorado, will be passing up a commitment to Arkansas in order to sign with the Bombers.  Bird’s will likely be the highest bonus given out in the 2011 Yankee draft class (bigger than Dante Bichette’s $750,000), unless the Yankees give outfielder Jake Cave more (he’ll likely sign way overslot too, but the amount hasn’t been announced).

Sean posted a writeup on Bird back around the time of the draft, noting his large frame (6’4″ 205) and powerful left-handed swing.  While there are questions whether he will stay at catcher (I’ve heard this story before), the bat should play well at a corner.  … Click here to read the rest