Could Washington’s “Strasburg Rules” Be A Roadmap For Michael Pineda?

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod) The news of the Washington Nationals’ decision to shut down Stephen Strasburg for the season caused major waves in the baseball world this past weekend, and with good reason.  It’s not every day that a team willingly shuts down its best pitcher during a playoff race.  In fact, I can’t think of any day where that’s happened.  The arguments for and against the move both have strong cases for being “right.”  Strasburg is the cornerstone of the franchise and the Nats have a lot riding on him.  To risk his Continue reading Could Washington’s “Strasburg Rules” Be A Roadmap For Michael Pineda?

It’s about the (injuries), stupid!

Most of you have probably seen this already, but Joel Sherman had an article in the Post the other day in which he examined five roster moves that he feels have hurt the 2012 Yankees. I was going to take each one in turn and examine it today, but the more I think about it, there’s not necessarily a whole lot to quibble with. Sure, I think there’s far too much hindsight being applied to the analysis and that, especially towards the end of his list, Sherman is putting too much weight on what would appear to be marginal moves at best, but on the whole, all of Sherman’s points are at least reasonably debatable (well, except for the notion that Jesus Montero could have been a long term solution at catcher, which even his new team doesn’t agree with, anyway). However, what does stand out as very odd about this line of analysis is that the Yankees rash of injuries is completely missing from it, even is places (trading George Kontos to San Francisco, acquiring Ichiro) where the moves are only noteworthy because of an injury to an Opening Day regular.

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Pettitte, Nova, close to returning

The Yankees have rebounded somewhat from a nasty skid to play .500 ball over their last six games, keeping themselves in a tie for first place in the A.L. East. That factoid is somewhat bittersweet, but the good news is that the team could be getting a boost in their starting rotation, and fairly soon. George King reports that Ivan Nova, who three a simulated game at Fenway Park yesterday, is in line to start Saturday’s game against Tampa Bay, bumping Freddy Garcia from the rotation. Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte will throw 60-70 pitches tomorrow, and if all goes well in that outing, manager Joe Girardi says it’s “conceivable” that Pettitte could appear in a game. Pettitte would most likely start next Tuesday in place of David Phelps. Both Phelps and Garcia have been struggling of late as starters, so replacing them with better options could lift the Yankees fortunes quite a bit, to say nothing of the emotional lift that Pettitte’s return would bring. Continue reading Pettitte, Nova, close to returning

Yankees can’t put away Red Sox, tied with O’s once more

The Yankees had their chances tonight, but they just couldn’t keep the Red Sox down. The Bombers blew two leads in the game and ultimately got themselves in one jam too many, as Boston was able to plate the winning run in walk off fashion in the ninth inning to prevail 4-3 in this series opening game. That fact combined with the Orioles drubbing of Tampa Bay means that the Yankees have once again fallen into a tie for first place in the A.L. East one game after moving a game ahead of Baltimore. Let’s recap:

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Trenton drops Game 1 of ELCS to Akron 3-0

Trenton started the Eastern League Championship Series just like they began the first round of the playoffs, with a loss on the road. The Thunder had a couple chances, but in the end it was Akron’s strong pitching that shone. Paolo Espino put forth a great start for the Aeros, while Brett Marshall pitched another decent game without any run support.

Trenton got the lead off batter on base in each of the first four innings, but came up empty. Adonis Garcia singled in the first, while Addison Maruszak and Kevin Mahoney drew walks to start the second and third respectively. The Thunder had the first big chance to score in the fourth. David Adams took a leadoff walk, but Zoilo Almonte hit a grounder to second for the first out of the inning. Maruszak was hit by a pitch, moving Almonte to second. A walk by JR Murphy loaded the bases, but Tyler Austin went down swinging and Mahoney popped out to end the threat.

Akron did not wait for the Thunder to get another chance for a lead, quickly putting together a rally in the bottom of the fourth. Tyle Holt grounded a leadoff single to center and Chun-Hsiu Chen flew a single to right. A wild pitch moved the runners over before Marshall struck out Jesus Aguilar for the first out of the inning. Another wild pitch plated the first run of the game, and Matt Lawson hit a sac fly to right that plated Chen for the 2-0 Aeros advantage.

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Losing To The Red Sox? Seriously?

There’s a reason the Boston Red Sox are in last place. They’re terrible, horrible, no good and very bad. The Red Sox hadn’t won in like two months – okay, that’s an exaggeration but still the Yankees should be beating teams that are this bad. The Yankees, as usual, had issues with runners in scoring position and the Red Sox had all the luck in the world. They barely hit the ball and yet they kept getting guys on base and scoring with those dinky hits. One positive thing about the game was Joba Chamberlain’s outing. He has really turned Continue reading Losing To The Red Sox? Seriously?

Game 141: Batting Fourth, James Loney

New York Yankees Boston Red Sox Derek Jeter, SS Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Nick Swisher, RF Scott Podsednik, DH Alex Rodriguez, DH Dustin Pedroia, 2B Robinson Cano, 2B James Loney, 1B Russell Martin, C Cody Ross, LF Steve Pearce, 1B Ryan Lavarnway, C Curtis Granderson, CF Ryan Kalish, RF Andruw Jones, LF Pedro Ciriaco, 3B Jayson Nix, 3B Mike Aviles, SS Hiroki Kuroda, SP Jon Lester, SP The first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m., on My9 and MLB Network. Let’s go Yankees!

Game 141: Going through the motions

Well, I’m sure it sounded good in theory. The Yankees and Red Sox have six games remaining with one another here in the final month of the season, including the final three games of the regular season, which I’m sure the powers that be at MLB expected to be must see race-for-the-pennant stuff. Well, the Yankees have held up their end of the bargain, but things have infamously not gone so well for the Red Sox this season. Their big offseason acquisitions from a year ago have been sent off to Hollywood, their manager is a dead man walking, and they enter the series in last place in the A.L. East. Things couldn’t have gone much worse in Boston this year, but they still have the opportunity to be the spoiler for their most hated rivals, which would probably make the median Red Sox fan every bit as happy as a wild card berth. Here are the lineups for tonight’s opener:

Yankees (79-61):

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Steve Pearce 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones LF
Jayson Nix 3B

Hiroki Kuroda RHP

Red Sox (63-78):

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Scott Podsednik DH
Dustin Pedroia 2B
James Loney 1B
Cody Ross RF
Ryan Lavarnway C
Ryan Kalish LF
Pedro Ciriaco 3B
Mike Aviles SS

Jon Lester LHP

First pitch is scheduled for 7:05, and the game can be seen on My9 or, of course, MLB Network. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 141: Going through the motions