Adventures in Left Field: Hiroki Kuroda and Eric Chavez Beat Baltimore 2-1

Eduardo Nunez really shouldn’t be the story of this game. Hiroki Kuroda, Mike Teixeira, Eric Chavez, and the Yankee bullpen all had great games, and Eduardo Nunez was just playing a new position. But really, what image are you going to remember about this game a few days from now? For me, its Eduardo Nunez stumbling his way toward fly balls in the outfield, but still managing to catch them for outs. Nunez’s dangerous play out in left was just one ostensible indicator that Hiroki Kuroda, while effective, was getting lucky in the field. He put a lot of fly Continue reading Adventures in Left Field: Hiroki Kuroda and Eric Chavez Beat Baltimore 2-1

Pitching, defense, lead Yankees to 2-1 victory over O’s

With the way things have gone in the first month of the 2012 season, the smart bet might have been that the Yankees couldn’t beat the Baltimore Orioles by scoring just two runs in the game, but that’s exactly what they did in the opener of this series. Hiroki Kuroda followed C.C. Sabathia‘s strongest start of the season with a seven inning, one run performance of his own, giving him claim to back-to-back strong starts and, with the exception of David Robertson (who didn’t need it), the Yankees’ pitchers benefited from some solid defense from beginning to end.

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The Farm Report: 4/30/12

It was an exciting day in the Yankees farm system, as both Trenton and Tampa had late inning victories.  Andy Pettitte’s start got moved again, as he threw in extended spring training.   According to Mark Feinsand, Andy gave up six runs (five earned) on ten hits over 5.2 innings.  The good news is Pettitte threw 96 pitches (he was scheduled for 95) and allowed no walks while striking out eight.  Girardi appeared to think wind played a factor in the runs scored against the veteran hurler, and said the important thing is that Andy has gotten stretched out.  Pettitte stated that he feels like he is ready to help the big league club, but that does not mean he’s headed to the Bronx quite yet.  We will have to wait and see how the Yankees feel about this, and I would suspect he may have at least one more minor league start in his future.

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Game 22: Buck’s back in town

The Yankees are off to a good start to their current home stand, having taken two out of three games from Detroit, the consensus favorite to win the American League Central. They’ve also come out of April pretty strong so far, despite a rather difficult schedule that’s gone somewhat unremarked upon amidst the “OMGZ teh rotation sux!!!!” fever. Of the 21 games they’ve played so far, 14 have been against the Rays, Angels, Red Sox, Rangers, and Tigers. The Bombers managed to go 7-7 in those games, while taking 5 of the other 7 games against the Orioles and Twins.

That stretch is solidly behind them now as, beginning with tonight’s opener against the O’s in the Bronx, 12 of their next 17 games as with the Orioles, Royals, and Mariners. Obviously, they need to make some hay in the next couple of weeks, and they can start tonight by getting a victory over Jason Hammel and the Fightin’ Showalters. Speaking of Hammel, there are going to be some mighty confused New York writers if/when they realize he’s sporting a sub-2.00 ERA in April despite moving from the N.L. West to the A.L. East. That’s some serious mutually exclusive memeing right there. Might even be what the Mayans were talking about all along, when you think about it.

Starting nines are as follows:

Orioles (14-8):

Nolan Reimold LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Matt Wieters C
Chris Davis 1B
Wilson Betemit 3B
Mark Reynolds DH
Robert Andino 2B

Jason Hammel RHP

Yankees (12-9):

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodrgiuez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez RF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez LF

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

What’s that you ask? Why yes, that is an outfield that includes Raul Ibanez and Eduardo Nunez. Seriously, are we trying to bring about the apocalypse here? First pitch is scheduled for 7:05 on YES, assuming that we aren’t all blinked out of existence in the next 45 minutes or so. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 22: Buck’s back in town

Game 22: Keep the Ball on the Ground

Given the Yankees luck with injuries thus far, many were left incredulous at the sight of Nick Swisher being helped off the field yesterday – particularly those of us who remembered the groin woes that sidelined Swisher for a portion of Spring Training. Thankfully, the jovial slugger isn’t likely to miss more than a week or so, per Girardi – though Swisher is eying a Thursday return date, perhaps with the hopes that a strong performance will result in a buffet of succulent Kansas City barbecue. On tonight’s pessimistic agenda, however, we see the corner outfield positions manned by Eduardo Continue reading Game 22: Keep the Ball on the Ground

Swisher update

Bryan Hoch reports that Nick Swisher isn’t likely to be in the Yankees’ lineup until next Tuesday, but the Yankees still don’t want to put him on the disabled list. That doesn’t make a ton of sense to me, since that’s about half of a stint on the 15 day DL anyway, but I guess the Yankees feel like they can make a go of things shorthanded over this series with Baltimore until Brett Gardner comes back Thursday. It also probably has something to do with the lack of easy alternatives, as Zoilo Almonte and Melky Mesa are the only other outfielders on the 40 man roster at the moment. Continue reading Swisher update

Despite Historic Pace in April, Yankees Offense Leaves Fans Wanting More

(The following is being syndicated from The Captain’s Blog; follow me on Twitter at@williamnyy23). The Yankees’ offense is a victim of high expectations. Whenever the team loses a game or two, it has become fashionable to blame the lineup’s inability to get the “big hit” and lament all of the men left on base.  The more logical reaction would be to point a finger at the team’s underperforming rotation, which has compiled the second lowest quality start ratio in the major leagues and put the Yankees in a first inning hole of at least three runs on four occasions. But, that’s Continue reading Despite Historic Pace in April, Yankees Offense Leaves Fans Wanting More

Updated: Pettitte to pitch in EST game today

Update: Bryan Hoch reports that Pettitte threw 95 pitches and allowed 6 runs, with Joe Girardi calling most of it “wind aided.”

We already knew that Andy Pettitte was going back to Tampa to avoid the nasty New England weather for his start today, and just a moment ago the Yankees announced via Twitter that Pettitte will make what may be his penultimate minor league start in an extended Spring Training game at the Phillies’ complex in Clearwater, not with the High-A Tampa Yankees in Dunedin this evening. Obviously we’ll update you on the details of that outing when they’re available. Continue reading Updated: Pettitte to pitch in EST game today

Previewing Yankees Vs. Orioles: CC…And Who?

I’m just going to come out and say this up front: I’m stealing this title from a certain columnist who I openly mocked yesterday. I don’t go out of my way to instill panic in people–I don’t think it’s my job, and, even if it were, I think I could find better ways to do it (here are a series of headlines off the top of my head: “Robinson Cano: Slumping, Bad…Or Injured?” “Everyone In The Farm System You Like Actually Sucks, And They’re All Injured Anyways” “Andy Pettitte Experiencing Shoulder Weakness, Says Unnamed Source (Who’s Actually Dr. James Andrews)”…I could go on). Look: the Yankees host the Baltimore Orioles tonight in the first game of a three game series. Hiroki “Unlucky Loss” Kuroda will take on Jason “No Way He’s Actually This Good” Hammel, and, with some luck, we’ll be able to at least begin to put some of the “Yankees have a bad pitching staff” narrative behind us.

The reason I chose to go with that headline–over any number of Baltimore-related ones–is that I’m beginning to get fed up with some of this stuff. I know it’s the media’s job to find compelling narratives in a long season, and I know it’s especially hard to make people interested in their baseball teams in April. But the idea that the Yankees have suddenly transformed from a pitching juggernaut to CC and a bunch of nobodies strikes me as particularly far-fetched. Sure, Michael Pineda is done for the year. That hurts, and certainly weakens the rotation. But making a huge deal about Freddy Garcia‘s early-season struggles (which, I might add, were very predictable) is just piling on. And then extending that to the other three guys? Well, I just don’t think it’s fair (except for maybe Hughes, who has been pretty poor).

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