And all’s right in the world again: Yankees 7, Astros 4

I guess it’s a good thing this was a game against the Houston Astros because if the Yankees were facing another team, a better one, I’m not sure this win would have been possible.

Hiroki Kuroda, even though he didn’t give up any runs, had a rough first three innings and again, was lucky he was facing the Astros. He settled down and retired 11 of 12 batters after the third inning. He gave up only four hits in seven innings, walked four and struck out eight. He finished with 4-1 record in April and a 2.25 ERA. He’s 3-0 in his last three starts with a minuscule 1.23 ERA.

Another great stat for Kuroda from those last three starts? He’s averaging 7 1/3 innings.

The Yankees offense was able scratch and claw their way to some early runs and they had a 4-0 lead heading into the eighth inning when David Robertson came in. Robertson got two outs then gave up two runs on a home run by Chris Carter.

The bottom of the eighth, the Yankees broke the game open, scoring three runs on a Lyle Overbay solo shot, a Chris Stewart RBI single and a Travis Hafner RBI single.

The Astros, with the help of Yankee reliever Shawn Kelley, made things interesting in the ninth inning when Jose Altuve hit a two-run double to make it 7-4 and to set up a save situation for Mariano Rivera.

Rivera, who was 9-9 in save opportunities in April, made it 10-10 with an easy five pitch appearance to end the game.

The rubber game is tomorrow and features Erik Bedard (0-2, 7.98 ERA) and David Phelps (1-1, 5.29 ERA) who is stepping in for the injured Ivan Nova.
Continue reading And all’s right in the world again: Yankees 7, Astros 4

Quick hit: Youkilis to the 15-day DL, Corban Joseph called up

Well, the news isn’t surprising. Kevin Youkilis has finally been placed on the 15-day DL. He got an MRI which didn’t show much of anything and receiving an epidural in his back, the Yankees finally decided to bite the bullet and add Youkilis to the illustrious roster of high paid players currently on the DL. They’re calling his injury a lumbar spine strain.

Corban Joseph who got the call and who is on the 40-man roster, is batting .273/.347/.477/.824 with Scranton. He’s hit four home runs, six doubles and has nine RBI in 22 games. He has primarily been playing second base but has some experience at third.

UPDATE 3:37 PM – From Andy McCullough of the Star-Ledger:

Brian Cashman says the decision to play Kevin Youkilis on Saturday was “a mistake by everyone involved.”

Oh boy.
Continue reading Quick hit: Youkilis to the 15-day DL, Corban Joseph called up

Today’s message to Yankee fans: Don’t panic

dont-panic (1)

Okay, everyone. Find a comfortable spot, sit down, take a deep cleansing breath and relax.

Now, close your eyes and picture something pleasant in your mind. Maybe you’re picturing some kittens or puppies.

kittens_And_Puppies

Or maybe a really good meal. I like steak, so that’s what I’m picturing.

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You should be fully relaxed now so listen to me very carefully.

Last night was just a bad game. It happens from time to time. This doesn’t mean the Yankees are going to crash and burn now. They just swept the Toronto Blue Jays in a four-game series and that’s a very positive thing.

I understand that Houston is in the American League now and you don’t want to lose to teams like that but it’s not the end of the world. Yes, Andy Pettitte had an off-night and yes, the offense was shut down by Houston pitching but stranger things have happened.

In your relaxed state, I want you to also take the following advice.

Do not, I repeat, do not read any of the New York newspapers today. They, meaning certain columnists, tend to overreact to games like last night’s and they add fuel to the panic fire, so to speak so just avoid that nonsense. It’s a nice day in the New York area, go out for lunch and avoid every newsstand you see.

Also, do not listen to sports radio. Of course, knowing the guys in New York, they’re still talking about that not-so-great quarterback being released from the NY area football team that wears green uniforms so you may be safe for now.

Just avoid baseball stuff until just before game time tonight. The good news is, Hiroki Kuroda is starting tonight and he will more than likely rescue you from your melancholy mood. (I hope.) Continue reading Today’s message to Yankee fans: Don’t panic

The Farm Report: 4/29/13

The RailRiders swept their double-header against Charlotte. Chris Bootcheck was strong on the mound and Zoilo Almonte had a big second game, though he picked up hits in both. Tampa was beaten soundly by St. Lucie, while Trenton and Charleston were rained out.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre beat Charlotte 5-4 in Game 1:
The RailRiders threatened in the top of the first, as Melky Mesa and Dan Johnson both singled, but they came up empty. Charlotte scored in the bottom of the inning, as Brent Morel doubled in Carlos Sanchez. Corban Joseph tied the game with a solo shot in the third, and the RailRiders took the lead in the fourth. David Adams grounded a double to left, scoring on a single by Cody Johnson. Addison Maruszak drew a walk and Bobby Wilson bunted the runners over. A single by Joseph plated two more runs, but he was thrown out trying to get to second, ending the inning. The Knights got one run back in the bottom of the inning, making the score 4-2. A sac fly by Mesa in the sixth gave Scranton some insurance, which proved helpful as the Knights rallied in the seventh. Preston Claiborne gave up three straight singles, loading the bases. Another single by Morel scored a run and Lars Anderson brought home another on a ground out before Claiborne struck out Josh Bell to give Scranton the 5-4 win.

Joseph went 2-3 with a run scored, a homer and three RBIs. Mesa also went 2-3, hitting a double and picking up a RBI. Almonte and Adams both went 1-4, with the latter scoring a run and hitting a double. Dellin Betances went 3.1 innings and gave up two runs on five hits, three walks and six Ks. Sam Demel threw a hitless 2.2 innings and struck out three. Preston Claiborne gave up two runs on four hits and two Ks in one inning of work.

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Cano Holding His Own Against Left-Handed Pitching

Cano HR vs Buehrle

(Syndicated from An A-Blog for A-Rod.  Stats have not been updated to reflect last night’s game)

In a situation where he was going to be more important than ever, Robinson Cano has done everything the Yankees have needed him to do so far this season.  He’s hitting .316/.374/.612 (.417 wOBA) in 107 plate appearances, with a team-leading 7 HR, 17 R scored, 17 RBI, and 1.3 fWAR.  He hasn’t made an error in the field, he hasn’t missed a game or even an at-bat due to injury, sickness, or whatever, and he’s looked every bit worth the 9-figure salary he’s sure to get at some point.  There are plenty of other kudos to hand out to other players on the team for the job they’ve done, but it’s more than fair to say that without Cano this team would not be off to the 15-9 start it is.

Before the season, I dissected Cano’s poor 2012 performance against left-handed pitching, a statistical anomaly never seen before and a potential cause for concern about Cano’s expected offensive productivity moving forward.  He hasn’t completely put the issue to bed, but Cano has done enough early on to at least make me believe he’s putting last year’s issues in the rearview.

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