How Are We Supposed To Feel As Yankee Fans Right Now?

(The following is being syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod)

I was really looking forward to this post.  I was fully prepared to write a Kate Hudson in “Almost Famous”-style, “it’s all happening” post about the recent turnaround and positive momentum the Yankees were building at the right time as they headed into the final handful of regular season games against their 2 divisional doormats.  They had won 13 of 19 games, maintained sole custody of the AL East lead, shaved their playoff magic number down to less than a hand’s worth of digits, and were getting healthier by the day.

CC was back and looking like the version of himself that everybody has been waiting for months to see; A-Rod was back, looking healthy, and helping to lengthen the middle of the batting order; Ichiro had turned back the clock to the mid-2000s and earned himself a spot at the top of the order thanks to his hot hitting. … Click here to read the rest

Can Nova pitch a meaningful game right now?

The easy answer is that, no, they obviously can’t send someone who has been as bad as Nova has been this year and can’t even be counted on to so much as keep the Yankees’ in the game for 5 or 6 innings out to start a pivotal late season game. Unfortunately it’s not that simple. As Sherman notes, the Yankees don’t have any obviously better alternatives to Nova. David Phelps wouldn’t have started in three weeks by the time next Tuesday rolls around, and may be needed out of the bullpen between then and now anyway. Starting Hiroki Kuroda on three days rest isn’t guaranteed to succeed either, and would potentially force the Yankees to choose between starting Nova and Andy Pettitte on short rest in the event that Game 162 was a must win.

These are very reasonable concerns but, depending on context, I don’t think they outweigh the concern involved in calling Nova’s number. If the magic number entering that game is one, meaning that there would be three other games (counting possible Baltimore losses) in which the Yankees could clinch the division, I’d probably go ahead and take my chances with Nova, but short of that I think you have to roll the dice with Kuroda, and maybe Pettitte too.… Click here to read the rest

This weekend in Yankees baseball

Friday (today):

Hiroki Kuroda goes for the Yankees and the Blue Jays will start Chad Jenkins. Kuroda, of course, has had a successful season for the Yankees and has been a terrific pickup for the team this season. And yet, Yankee Universe still tends to hold its breath whenever he starts. That is probably because after watching him all seasons, he has games where he will simply handcuff a team for seven or eight innings, and in others, he will be rather ordinary and prone to the long ball. Thus, Yankee fans are never sure which Kuroda will show up on a particular night. But let’s put it this way: A lot of the Yankees’ post season (if they get there) hopes are pinned to Kuroda being successful. If he cannot be counted on to win a game like this, can you really count on him for the playoffs?

Chad Jenkins is 24 years old and has pitched in a grand total of eleven major league games.… Click here to read the rest

Who Is David Aardsma?

Perhaps the only bright spot in last night’s game was David Aardsma‘s return to the mound after two years recovering from Tommy John surgery. As fans, it wasn’t exactly what we all hoped for, J.P. Arencibia homered on the first pitch he saw, but there was also plenty to like. At points, we witnessed some of the command issues, rust, and likely over-throwing we’d expect from a guy that worked his tail off for the last two years, but we also saw plenty of called strikes and whiffs.

Aardsma’s role plays up bigger in 2013, but he can still provide some bullpen relief in the last week of baseball. There was always high risk in this pickup, but now that he’s healthy, we can wait and hope for high upside. In his previous two seasons with the Mariners, he collected 69 saves, a 2.90 ERA, a 9.6 K/9, and a 6.1 H/9. While he has a premium fastball that limits hits and draws whiffs, he’s prone to walk a few batters, resulting in a 4.4 BB/9 from 2009-2010.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees’ offense quiet as their AL East lead falls back to one

Lost in the ugliness of the Yankees’ performance was David Aardsma’s pinstripe debut. After making his last major league appearance in Septemeber 2010, Aardsma gave the Yankees a decent eighth inning, but did allow Arencibia to go yard off him. Fourteen of his 24 pitches were strikes and his fastball hit 92 mph.

Bronx Cheers:
Ivan Nova: Nova went just 4.2 innings, gave up four runs on six hits, two walks and four Ks. His ERA is now 5.02. He has given up at least two runs in each outings since July 8th, while his last scoreless outing was June 11th.

Curtis Granderson: Grandy went 0-4, striking out once and stranding four runners.

Raul Ibanez: Ibanez went 0-3 and also struck out once and left four runners on base.

Curtain Calls:
Not a lot to be happy about in this game, but here goes…
Robinson Cano:
Robbie went 3-4 with a double. He is 8-11 over his last three games, so it looks like he’s found his bat again.… Click here to read the rest

Nova Struggles Again, Jays Blank Yanks

The best pitcher in the world, according to his own words, Ivan Nova, had another stellar outing tonight. Oh, did I say stellar? I actually meant another “s” word that I probably shouldn’t post on this blog so I’ll be nice (replace the “m” in smitty and you have that word).

Nova allowed four runs on six hits through 4.2 innings.

And with the way Brandon Morrow was pitching for the Blue Jays, one run would have been enough. But Toronto’s offense had different ideas. Brett Lawrie hit a two-run homer and Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run double off Nova to give the Jays a more than comfortable cushion.

The Yankees had just five hits and those five hits came off the bat of either Russell Martin or Robinson Cano.

It wasn’t pretty. Actually, it was that “s” word I can’t type.

Both Derek Lowe and David Aardsma — who made his long-awaited Yankees debut — allowed a run each in relief.… Click here to read the rest

Game 156: Nova’s Redemption

Ivan Nova’s last start was awful awful awful. I don’t foresee him as a postseason starter, that’s already in the hands of Sabathia, Kuroda, Pettitte, and Hughes, but he still has plenty to prove. If he’s not on his game tonight, he might miss the postseason roster altogether, and I think there’s a legitimate chance the Yankees use him as a trade piece, thanks to his inconstancy. Here’s the lineup, courtesy of LoHud.

Derek Jeter SS
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher 1B
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin C
Raul Ibanez LF
Jayson Nix 3B

 

The game starts at 7:05. Go Yankees!… Click here to read the rest