What role for Phil?

The problem is that, thanks to the schedule, all else isn’t exactly equal. In a normal year, the ALDS is a 2-2-1 series in which the Game 2 starter can also start Game 5 if the team is willing to allow their top starter to pitch Game 4 on three days rest. The Yankees are generally willing to let Sabathia do just that, so they’ve had the advantage of only needing to plan on using three starters for the first round. However, thanks to the need to shoehorn the new wildcard game into a pre-existing schedule, this year the ALDS has a 2-3 structure, with no off day between games four and five. That means that, to carry a three man rotation, both the Game 1 and Game 2 starters would have to come back on short rest, something I don’t think the Yankees would do with either Kuroda or Pettitte, if they would even allow Sabathia to do it this year.… Click here to read the rest

Nick Swisher’s Hitting Mechanics

After a prolonged September slump, Nick Swisher is one of the hottest hitters on the team. From August 27th to September 16th, the right fielder hit just .127/.244/.211. After a scheduled day off and a rain suspended game, Swisher has since picked things up with a .385/.484/.731 tripleslash. He’s got 4 homeruns over his last 6 games, and he’s driving runners in. Ichiro Suzuki‘s hot streak has helped this team get runners on base, but Swisher’s homeruns have become even more important .

The bat has come alive at the right time, which leaves me wondering whether it’s just luck or a change in his approach at the plate. Seeing the ball better is probably what he’d tell you, but why are all 4 recent homeruns hit from the left side? Looking back to his more recent slumps from August and September, it would appear that there are some differences in his leg kick.

It’s referred to as a hitter’s stride, and largely acts as both the timing mechanism and a source of power.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks blow it in the seventh, lose, 5-4

The Yankees had base runners in all of the first three innings off of Vasquez, but could not push a run across. Derek Jeter extended his hitting streak with a lead off single in the first. But was still there after Ichiro Suzuki fouled out and Alex Rodriguez struck out. Robinson Cano, the DH in this game, singled to right-center and Jeter went to third. But with two outs, Nick Swisher went the route of Ichiro and fouled out to the third baseman to end the inning.

Vasquez worked around a two-out walk to Raul Ibanez in the second but Nix popped out to end that inning. In the third, Vasquez allowed a one-out single to Ichiro only to strike out A-Rod again on a 3-2 pitch. Ichiro ran on the play and was gunned out by Joe Mauer to complete the double-play.

Meanwhile, Phil Hughes was coasting along. He worked around a two out single in the first and a lead off single in the second and retired the order in the third.… Click here to read the rest

Yanks Blow An Opportunity to Extend East Lead, Drop One To The Twins

The Yankees missed a golden opportunity to gain an even bigger lead over the Baltimore Orioles tonight. The O’s dropped a game to the Blue Jays while the Yankees and Twins were still in progress at Target Field.

In fact, the Yankees were leading the game when the Orioles lost so it seemed like they’d finish the night with a two and half game lead in the AL East.

Nope.

After Russell Martin hit a solo shot to put the Yankees up in the top of the seventh inning, Phil Hughes who had been pitching a pretty solid game, came in to pitch the bottom of the seventh.

The Twins led off the inning with a Ryan Doumit single followed by a Chris Parmalee walk. Hughes was able to get Trevor Plouffe to pop out for the first out but that was followed by another single by Jamey Carroll. With the bases loaded and one out, Hughes was able to get Pedro Florimon to strike out.… Click here to read the rest

Game 154: 8 Is The Magic Number

I love this matchup. Phil Hughes in Target Field. Don’t think you could find a better ballpark for him. With the way the bullpen has been used lately, a long outing from Hughes could give a lot of guys a much needed rest. Here’s the lineup.

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

Go Yankees… Click here to read the rest

Flashback: Phil Rizzuto

Phil ‘The Scooter’ Rizzuto would have been 95 today, so I thought it would be fun to look back at some of his numbers and if you have any Scooter memories, you can leave them in the comments. Though to be honest, if you’re old enough to have seen him play, I’m impressed that you know how to use the Internet.

His career slash line: .273/.351/.355/.706
His OPS+: 93

Rizzuto won the MVP Award in 1950. He batted .324/.418/.439/.857 and had an OPS+ of 122. He had a career high of seven home runs – yes, seven – and collected 66 RBI – not a career high. He had 200 hits, walked 96 times and only struck out 39 times.

Rizzuto was a World Series champion in 1941, 1947, 1949, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953, and he made the All-Star team five times in 1942, 1950, 1951, 1952 and 1953.

The Yankees retired his number 10 during a ceremony at the Stadium on August 4, 1985 and in an infamous moment, presented him with a “Holy Cow” – a cow with a halo – who knocked Rizzuto to the ground.… Click here to read the rest