Yankees will be hard pressed to improve lineup with trades

Last night, Alex Rodriguez was the Yankees’ designated hitter for the second consecutive night thanks to a stiff neck that impeded his ability to play the field. It was the 24th time Alex has been the team’s DH so far this season, compared to 60 games played at third base. That’s not a particularly bad percentage when you consider A-Rod’s recent injury history and the fact that he’s remained healthy all season, but it’s also not a percentage that figures to get lowered as the season unfolds, especially if the Yankees maintain a large lead in the division down the stretch.

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Big Improvement In Sabathia’s Velocity And Movement Following DL Stint

The 2012 season has been a mixed bag for Yankee ace CC Sabathia. Before his most recent DL stint, the left hander posted a hard-earned 3.45 ERA. Not to say he hasn’t been successful, but Sabathia just hasn’t been the flat out dominant force that we’re used to seeing. Last month, I called the rotation on Sabathia’s pitches sluggish, and the results included slower pitches with less movement. In his last start of June, Sabathia struggled retiring the Mets, going 5.2 innings, and giving up 5 runs on 9 hits, with only 3 strikeouts. After that start, the Yankees placed Continue reading Big Improvement In Sabathia’s Velocity And Movement Following DL Stint

The Big Man Returns And He Doesn’t Miss A Beat

Tonight the big story for the Yankees – no pun intended – was the return of CC Sabathia to the rotation. In his first start since June 24 against the Mets, Sabathia lasted six innings, gave up only four hits, struck out six and only walked one batter. Oh, and he held the Blue Jays scoreless in those six innings. Not a bad day at the office for the big man. Sabathia looked sharp all night and he was taken out following a single by Adam Lind in the top of the seventh inning. He threw 87 pitches, 66 for Continue reading The Big Man Returns And He Doesn’t Miss A Beat

Sabathia sharp in return as Yanks beat Jays

C.C. Sabathia had three weeks in between his two most recent starts, so worries that he might have been rusty in his return from the disabled list would have been completely understandable. They would have been equally unfounded. Far from looking rusty, Sabathia was consistently sharp in his first game back tonight, and was ultimately stopped only by manager Joe Girardi’s desire to avoid pushing his ace too hard out of the gate as the Yankees won their second straight game over the Blue Jays 6-1.

  • Obviously the big story of the night is Sabathia’s return. The big guy held the Blue Jays scoreless over six innings of work, although he allowed the lead off man to get on in the seventh, the only batter he faced in that inning. All in all, Sabathia allowed a total of four hits and one walk while striking out six Blue Jays’ hitters, and threw 66 of his 87 pitches for strikes. He didn’t seem uncomfortable in any way, just nice and easy pitching from start to finish.
  • Offensively, the Yankees got their runs by half in this game, scoring three of their runs on a home run by Andruw Jones in the second inning, then adding three more in the seventh. The first five batters in that inning all reached base, with Chris Stewart (triple) and Derek Jeter (double) providing RBI extra base hits. Alex Rodriguez drove in the other run with a fielder’s choice ground out.
  • Just as a passing observation, is anyone else getting a sense of de-ja-vue with Jones? Up until a couple of weeks ago or so he was under performing, even against left handed pitchers, but now that he’s on a run, he’s absolutely mashing them. Feels a lot like what he did last season, doesn’t it?
  • After Sabathia exited, and before the Yankees stretched their lead to 6-0 in the bottom of the inning, Cody Eppley and Boone Logan combined to work a scoreless seventh.
  • On the other hand, for the second straight night the Yankees’ bullpen took a big lead into the ninth inning (6-1 tonight), but managed to turn it into a save situation anyway. Last night it was Eppley, tonight it was Chad Qualls (who gave up the Blue Jays’ lone run in the eighth inning) and Clay Rapada who loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, putting the tying run in the on deck circle. Joe Girardi opted to go straight to Rafael Soriano at that point, and though there was some criticism of him for that on Twitter, I think that’s a pretty reasonable decision given the circumstances. Toronto has hit more home runs than any other team in the league than the Yankees, so there’s no reason to take a chance if your best reliever is available. Bring him in, shut the door, and put the win under your belt now. With the way things are going for the Yankees right now, hopefully they’ll be able to throttle back on using their best relievers when they’ve got a big lead in the division come September. And hey, it only took Soriano five pitches to end the game. That’s bringing down the hammer.
  • In streaking news, Robinson Cano stretched his hitting streak to 20 consecutive games, while Jones’ home run meant that the Yankees have now scored three runs or more in 41 straight games.
  • Jayson Nix also had a nice night filling in at third base, going 3-4 with a double. He’s not the best utility guy out there, but he’s done a pretty admirable job of helping this team out this year since the demotion of Eduardo Nunez.
  • The Yankees will go for the series sweep tomorrow, something they haven’t done since taking out the brooms on the Indians in the series that culminated in Black Wednesday.

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The Farm Report: 7/17/12

Empire State lost to Charlotte 5-4:
Chris Dickerson started the game with a solo homer to center.  Charlotte tied the game in the top of hte second and took a 2-1 lead in the fifth.  The Yankees quickly got the run back, however.  Kosuke Fukudome started the fifth with a solo homer and the game was tied.  Kevin Russo singled in the sixth, moving to second on Jack Cust’s ground out.  A double from Brandon Laird plated Russo and the Yankees pulled ahead 3-2.  Cole Garner singled in the seventh and Dickerson followed with the same.  A line drive to left by Russo plated Garner and the Yankees were ahead 4-2.  Unfortunately, a two-run double by Conor Jackson in the eighth tied the game and Charlotte took the lead with a run in the ninth.  The Yankees couldn’t rally in the bottom of the innings and took the 5-4 loss.

Dickerson went 3-5 with a run scored, a triple and a homer.  Russo went 2-4 with a run scored and a RBI.  Garner went 3-4 with a run scored.  Adam Warren went 5.2 innings and gave up two runs on nine hits, three walks and five Ks.  Ryota Igarashi threw one inning and gave up one run on three hits, striking out three.

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Game Thread: The Return of the King

CC Sabathia returns to the mound as the Yanks host the Jays in game two of their series. TORONTO: 1. Rajai Davis (R) LF 2. Colby Rasmus (L) CF 3. Brett Lawrie (R) 3B 4. Edwin Encarnacion (R) 1B 5. Adam Lind (L) DH 6. Yunel Escobar (R) SS 7. Ben Francisco (R) RF 8. Kelly Johnson (L) 2B 9. Jeff Mathis (R) C P: Brett Cecil NEW YORK: 1. Derek Jeter (R) SS 2. Curtis Granderson (L) CF 3. Mark Teixeira (S) 1B 4. Alex Rodriguez (R) DH 5. Robinson Cano (L) 2B 6. Nick Swisher (S) RF 7. Continue reading Game Thread: The Return of the King

Game 90: Welcome back C.C.

The Yankees have had a lot of bad luck with injuries this season, but at least things went according to plan with their ace. C.C. Sabathia went on the disabled list back on Black Wednesday, with the plan being that, thanks to the All-Star break, he’d only have to miss two starts while recuperating from a strained groin. That’s exactly what happened, and the big man will be making his return to the Yankees tonight at the Stadium. It would have been nicer if he hadn’t gone on the disabled list in the first place, of course, but you gotta take the good news where you can get it this season.

Best of all, C.C. is rejoining a team that’s in an even better place than it was all those weeks ago. Despite the dread Black Wednesday brought, the Yankees have actually thrived since, stretching their lead in the division from three games to nine and winning games at a 108 win pace. Now they get to add one of the best pitchers in baseball back into that mix? Yes please!

Up first for Sabathia is a depleted Blue Jays lineup that’s missing its best hitter now that Jose Bautista has gone on the disabled list. So he’s got that going for him. Here are the lineups:

Blue Jays:

Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Brett Lawrie 3B
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Ben Francisco RF
Kelly Johnson 2B
Jeff Mathis C

Brett Cecil LHP

Yankees:

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones LF
Jayson Nix 3B
Chris Stewart C

C.C. Sabathia LHP

First pitch is at 7:05. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 90: Welcome back C.C.

Yankees – A tough offense to dominate

There are a dozen ways to look at how good a team’s offense is. We could look at runs per game. We could look at a team’s on-base percentage and slugging percentage. This morning’s coffee perhaps gave an idea for a little different way to look at a team’s offense. The thought was brought on by the current 40-game streak the Yankees are on in scoring three or more runs, the third longest in the live ball era. That run shows that the Yankees are a tough team to dominate by a pitcher. David Price had the last dominating start against the Yankees and the Yankees still won that game. R.A. Dickey had a phenomenal run going…until he reached the Yankees. Jered Weaver got a win against the Yankees but at a serious knock on his ERA. So how can we look at how hard an offense is to dominate? The game score.

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