About Brien Jackson

Born in Southwestern Ohio and currently residing on the Chesapeake Bay, Brien is a former editor-in-chief of IIATMS who now spends most of his time sitting on his deck watching his tomatoes ripen and consuming far more MLB Network programming than is safe for one's health or sanity.

Other media me

Just a quick promotional note, I’ll be on AM 1240 WGBB in Long Island talking about this weekend’s series between the Yankees and Orioles with Mike Silva a little after 10:00 P.M. tonight. Thankfully we’ll be going into the interview on a high note, though I’m sure I would have made for more entertaining radio after last night’s game. Be sure to tune in if you can! Continue reading Other media me

Is C.C. hurt?

Somewhat lost in the course of Joe Girardi having a shouting match with Joel Sherman and Jerry Meals, well, being Jerry Meals, is the fact that Yankees’ nominal ace C.C. Sabathia turned in a less than stellar outing for the Bombers last night. Sabathia allowed five runs for the second time in as many starts, with three home runs allowed for good measure. The outing fed into the media’s growing obsession with the question of whether or not Sabathia is healthy, which is what actually started the scrum between Girardi and Sherman.

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Is C.C. hurt?

Nova activated from the DL, slotted into bullpen

The Yankees activated right-handed pitcher Ivan Nova from the disabled list yesterday, but it’s unclear for now when he’s going to return to the team’s starting rotation. Freddy Garcia will start today’s series finale in Baltimore, and Joe Girardi was non-committal when asked if Nova would take David Phelps’ next start on Wednesday. For now Nova is slated to pitch in the bullpen, but Girardi was pretty clear that the team sees him as a starter. “We have always considered him a rotation guy,’’ Girardi said. “He is not a guy who has pitched out of the bullpen a lot. Our concern was to get him back healthy. I had the rotation set — that’s Freddy. We didn’t know what we were going to have in Nova.’’ Nova’s had a pretty rough year to this point, but I’m still pretty sure I’d feel better with him on the mound than either Garcia or Phelps at this point, assuming their are no lingering problems from his shoulder tendinitis. Continue reading Nova activated from the DL, slotted into bullpen

Girardi gets into it with Sherman

According to just about everyone who was at the game tonight, Joe Girardi got into a heated argument with Joel Sherman of the New York Post after the game, and the two of them had to be separated at one point. Details are a little bit sketchy, but it appears that Girardi was irritated at being asked the same question multiple times (about C.C. Sabathia’s health), and must have been particularly irritated at Sherman, whom he apparently called into his office after the press conference ended. There it got even more testy, and there was reportedly a lot of yelling between the two. I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of this tonight. Continue reading Girardi gets into it with Sherman

Teixeira unlikely to play Sunday

In addition to the awful finish to tonight’s game, the sprint to first base by Mark Teixeira on the game’s final play left him feeling quite a bit of soreness in the injured calf that had kept him out of the lineup for most the last two weeks. According to Jeff Bradley, Tex probably won’t be in the lineup for tomorrow’s series finale. That’s a huge bummer for the Yankees, but they can console themselves knowing that Tex’s gritty hustle tied the game for them with two outs and capped a big ninth inning rally. Or, at least, they could if Jerry Meals was a competent umpire. Continue reading Teixeira unlikely to play Sunday

Ninth inning rally ends with blown ump call, Yankees lose 5-4

The Yankees just can’t get a sustained run of winning going these days. After breaking out of a three game losing skid on Wednesday, the Yankees have now followed both of their two wins since then with losses, though this one was entirely their fault. With one out and the tying run on third base after a ninth inning rally, Mark Teixeira hit a ground ball to second base and, despite still nursing an injured calf, Tex was able to beat the throw to first and avoid the double play, tying the game for New York. The problem? First base umpire Jerry Meals didn’t see it that way, and called Teixeira out, ending the game in a 5-4 Orioles victory. There’s no two ways about it, it was an absolutely horrible call by Meals that could turn out to have outsized implications in a close race for the division title. That’s the future, however, for now let’s stick to the game at hand:

The good:

  • The Yankees’ offense entered the ninth inning having only scored three runs, but unlike some of their previous outings this one wasn’t exactly the result of total ineptitude at the plate. In fact, they nearly rallied off of Pedro Strop for the second time in three games in the eighth. Alex Rodriguez hit a two out home run to cut the Orioles’ lead to 5-3, and a Robinson Cano walk and Russell Martin single brought the go ahead run to the plate in the form of Curtis Granderson. Unlike Thursday night, however, Buck Showalter wasn’t going to leave a struggling Strop in to clean up his own mess, and Brian Matusz popped up Curtis Granderson to end the threat.
  • The Yankees could have folded up shop after that aborted eighth inning rally, especially with Orioles’ closer Jim Johnson coming in for the ninth, but instead they began the inning with three straight singles to get the tying run on base, the last coming on a beautiful bunt by Derek Jeter. Nick Swisher hit a slow roller to short and beat out the back end of the double play to get the tying run to third, but then Jerry Meals happened. There’s a lot you could say in the “should have done” genre tonight, but the bottom line is that Teixeira was safe at first base, and the call wasn’t even close. The game should have been tied up with A-Rod, who was making good contact all night, at the plate.
  • Teixeira was solid in his return to the lineup. He doubled in his first at bat, and finished the night 1-4 with the double, a walk, and the RBI fielder’s choice that wasn’t.
  • Cody Eppley bounced back from giving up a home run to Robert Andino on Friday night to hold the Orioles scoreless over 1.2 innings. He struck out one and walked one, the only baserunner he allowed.
  • A-Rod had another good night at the plate with a lot of well hit balls. In addition to the home run, he drove a tough 2-2 pitch down and away into deep left for a sacrifice fly in the first inning, and hit another deep fly ball in the third.
  • Ichiro Suzuki went 2-4 with an RBI double and the single that started the ninth inning rally.

The bad:

  • C.C. Sabathia was not sharp at all. Over 6.1 innings he allowed five runs one eight hits, three of which were home runs. No way to sugarcoat it, the big guy really let the team down tonight in a game in which they needed him to come up big.
  • Granderson wasn’t in the starting lineup, but he pinch hit for Andruw Jones in the sixth…and promptly struck out. He went 0-2 and ended two potential rallies for the Yankees.
  • Swisher also had another 0-for, and is now hitless in his last 24 at bats.
  • Jerry Meals.

The rundown:

A terribly frustrating loss for the Yankees, because it feels like it was a game that they should have won on multiple levels. Obviously the badly blown call to end the game plays a huge part in that, but this game had “must win” written on it from the second the starting pitchers were set. The Yankeees were running out their ace in C.C. Sabathia to face the Orioles’ Joe Saunders, an innings eating lefty the O’s just got in a waiver trade. Given the standings at the moment, the Yankees really needed to get a win under their belts behind their ace, but instead the Orioles steal the win to tie the standings again and clear Sabathia. Now the Yankees will have to rely on Freddy Garcia to defend first place tomorrow. All things considered, that’s a pretty huge short term swing in Baltimore’s favor. Continue reading Ninth inning rally ends with blown ump call, Yankees lose 5-4

Game 139: Beat the rain

The weather is downright nasty here in the Baltimore area, but win, lose, or rain, the Yankees will end the night in first place. So they’ve got that going for them. Assuming they get things in, here are the lineups:

Yankees (78-60):

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Russell Martin C
Andruw Jones LF
Ichiro Suzuki CF
Jayson Nix 3B

C.C. Sabathia LHP

Orioles (77-61):

Nick Markakis RF
Robert Andino 2B
J.J. Hardy SS
Adam Jones CF
Mark Reynolds 1B
Lew Ford LF
Manny Machado 3B
Steve Tolleson DH
Taylor Teagarden C

Joe Saunders LHP

Assuming things go off as planned, first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 P.M., but there are severe storm warnings all over the area until late tonight. The came can be seen on YES or nationally on MLB Network. Enjoy! Continue reading Game 139: Beat the rain

Teixeira back in lineup for Yanks

If the weather allows a game to be played in Baltimore tonight, Mark Teixeira will make his return to the Yankees as expected. The lineup the Yankees have released does indeed have Mark Teixeira in it, playing first base and batting third for the Bombers. Another tidbit of note: Curtis Granderson is getting the night off after his 0-4, three strikeout performance last night. Ichiro Suzuki will be filling in for him in centerfield. Continue reading Teixeira back in lineup for Yanks

Yankees stay in first place with victory over Orioles

For the second time in three days, the Yankees entered a game tied with the Orioles for first place in the American League East, and just like the first time they responded with a sorely needed victory. Phil Hughes walked a tightrope for most of the game but ultimately walked away with a quality start (technically), while Russell Martin and Alex Rodriguez led the offense to another strong performance in this 8-5 win. Here’s the rundown:

(click “view full post” to continue reading) Continue reading Yankees stay in first place with victory over Orioles