About Last Night: A brief rant

I went into last night’s game against the Red Sox figuring the Yankees would lose because I didn’t have much faith in Ivan Nova and because the Red Sox have been good lately so that seemed like a lethal combination which would result in a frustratingly annoying loss. But much to my surprise, as much as watching Nova pitch makes me want to punch things, my own face included, I was most angry with the Yankees’ offense after last night’s debacle ended.

And yes, it was a debacle.

Hey Yankees, here’s a tip: When you squander that many scoring chances, you’re going to lose the game. And while I appreciate the effort you made in the ninth inning, things would have been a lot better if you actually did something the other times you had the bases loaded during the game.

My goodness.

And even more annoying is the fact that Toronto actually lost a game to the Indians. I know, I can’t believe it either.…

Read more

Monday Morning Food For Thought: Could Dustin Ackley Be Exactly What The Yankees Need?

The Yankees finished off an impressive weekend road sweep with a 20-6 shellacking of the Atlanta Braves yesterday, and they head to Boston to open another road series tonight in a much better spot than they were a few days ago.  They’ll also head into Boston not knowing whether injured first baseman Mark Teixeira will be able to play and considering playing A-Rod there against one of Boston’s lefties should Teix continue to be unavailable.

Yesterday’s offensive breakout being what it was, there are still a few guys in the lineup who have looked tired and could probably use another day or 2 off similar to what A-Rod got over the weekend.  The Yankees’ unwillingness to put Teix on the DL has left them with a short bench, which has made it more difficult for Joe to give those tired guys a spell and still put a decent lineup out on the field.  That’s where Dustin Ackley comes in.  He’s been playing in MiL rehab games and should be activated on Tuesday.  …

Read more

On September Call-Ups And Realistic Expectations

Aaron Judge

Don’t expect to see this guy next month. Courtesy of Cheryl Pursell/Pinstriped Prospects

The Yankees will be back in action tonight after an off-day that was much needed for many players.  The Bombers have been slumping badly with the bats for the last 3 weeks, and there are a few guys who are banged up and/or slumping enough to probably get more time off tonight.  The decision to play with a really short bench the last few games has been a puzzling one, but there is some respite on the horizon in the form of September roster expansions.  They kick in next Tuesday and the Yankees are sure to take advantage of that added roster space and call up a healthy dose of players.

While that added depth could do wonders for the pitching staff, there isn’t really much help on the way for the struggling, dinged up offense.  I’ve noticed an uptick in comments calling for the Yankees to “shake things up” and looking forward to the team “injecting some youth” when rosters expand, and while I agree with the basic idea that adding more bodies can be a benefit, I think it’s important to be realistic in expectations as it relates to the players getting called up.  …

Read more

Quick Hit: How Hurt Is Brian McCann?

One of the most talked about topics in the broadcast booth this weekend, besides the memories of Jorge and Andy’s careers, was the change in Brian McCann‘s batting stance.  YES cameras showed McCann standing with almost all of his weight on his front leg, a change from his usual balanced stance with more weight on his back leg.  John Flaherty said he asked McCann about it and McCann told him it was just something he was experimenting with, trying different things to tweak his swing.

While I’m not saying I don’t buy that answer, I can’t help but think back to that game earlier in the month when McCann hurt his left knee late in a blowout win over the Red Sox.  There were a lot people questioning whether it was smart to leave him in that game, and the issue was at least serious enough for McCann to get the next 2 games off with what was called “inflammation”.  …

Read more

Was This The End For CC Sabathia?

CC Sabathia future in doubt as Yankees fall out of 1st

Courtesy: Bill Kostroun, NY Post

I was in attendance for Andy Pettitte day yesterday at Yankee Stadium, and it was a huge day of mixed emotions. It certainly started off with a bang with the Pettitte ceremony. It was awesome, even if the crowd again gave a bigger applause to Derek Jeter just like they did on Saturday to Jorge Posada, which was annoying. To see your whole childhood out there on that field really makes you remember why you fell in love with this game and franchise. I even learned some things I didn’t know, like how Pettitte used to throw a knuckle ball. It was very cool stuff.

Then the game happened and it was a train wreck. Sure, a 4-3 game doesn’t seem so bad, yet it was the most excruciating Yankees game I’ve ever been to. There were 16 combined walks and the Yankees struck out 11 times. The umpiring seemed crazy inconsistent from what I could tell in my seats in right field.…

Read more

Looking At The Short And Long-Term Implications Of CC’s Latest Knee Injury

While we’ve all been calling for CC Sabathia‘s removal from the starting rotation for some time now, I don’t think any of us were rooting for an injury to be the reason he got removed.  Unfortunately that’s exactly what happened yesterday and now the Yankees are left to scramble again to keep their pitching staff whole while Sabathia is likely to hit the DL and ponder where he goes from here.

The condition of Sabathia’s right knee has been a red flag all year, with 2 drainings having already taken place and a cortisone shot administered recently.  In Andrew Marchand’s article on the injury yesterday afternoon, Sabathia himself basically admitted that he’s been protecting the knee all season and that his decision to say “screw it” and pitch as hard as he could without focusing on protecting it was the reason for his recent uptick in velocity.  There’s a lot of moving parts to this latest setback, so let’s break it down in terms of short and long-term effects to make it more manageable.…

Read more

The Future Is (Finally) Now For The Yankees

At this time last year, Greg Bird was a few weeks into his promotion from High-A Tampa to Double-A Trenton.  Yesterday he was batting 5th and starting at first base in the Yankees’ Major League lineup, and hitting 2 2-run home runs to propel the Bombers to a series sweep of the Twins.

At this time last year, Luis Severino was also with the Trenton Thunder and was in the process of returning from the DL and making a few short starts before the end of the Minor League season.  This year he’s already a key part of the Major League rotation after getting called up 2 weeks ago, and in his last start on Sunday he mostly held the best offense in baseball down for 6 innings using only his fastball.

For years Yankee fans have called for the team to re-commit to player development and build the franchise from within.  The game has changed since the late 90s-early 2000s heyday of using big free agent signings and blockbuster trade deadline deals to build a winning team, and the Yankees were among the last teams to recognize that and get with the times.  …

Read more

About Last Night: What a weird game

(This is going to be slightly random but about last night’s game. I was there and I’m still tired.)

I have only been to three games this season. And I know some people reading this will think to themselves, “You’re lucky! I don’t even live in New York so I never get to go!” but for me, this is very strange because I had partial season tickets for 15 years and would regularly go to 20-25, sometimes 30 games a year.

I attended games on April 29, June 20 and last night, and I’m 2-1 – 1-1 in extra inning games.

To be honest, I wasn’t very happy about the Yankees playing into extras last night because of their record going into last night’s game. Before last night’s very strange win, the Yanks were 2-7 in extra inning games and had lost their last three in a row. I also wasn’t happy about it because I was hot, sweaty and tired.…

Read more

Quick Hit: Will No Help Ever Come To Second Base?

While the slumps at the top of the batting order were largely to blame for last week’s offensive power outage, it is worth looking down at the bottom and pointing out that second base has become a black hole again.  The Yankees did nothing to address the position before the trade deadline, seemingly viewing Dustin Ackley as more of a bench outfielder, and now they are reaping the rewards of that decision.

Since the deadline, Stephen Drew and Brendan Ryan have combined to go 5-28 with 9 strikeouts and 1 walk.  Only 2 hits have gone for extra bases and both of those came from Drew over a week ago.  In the games against Boston and Toronto, these 2 had 1 total hit.

At what point does that become unacceptable for the Yankees?  At what point is having an automatic out in the lineup every single day something that they’re going to address?  It’s great that they’ve been good enough everywhere else to ascend to the top of the division, but to still be sticking with these guys is insane.  …

Read more