Yu Darvish: The next great Yankee righthander?

Nippon Professional Baseball superstar Yu Darvish, a 24-year-old righthander who, by many accounts, is not only the best pitcher in Japan but may have the potential to become one of the best starting pitchers in Major League Baseball, recently took over the comment thread of our post looking at next offseason, as it’s expected the Yankees will be all over him when the Nippon Ham Fighters post him next winter.

And if the Yankees really do want him, I wouldn’t be surprised if they did whatever it takes next winter. Between a rather uninspiring crop of free agent starters, as well as the fact that they can reallocate the $160 million they were willing to spend on Cliff Lee and put it toward what could be a Daisuke Matsuzaka-esque $50 million posting fee, along with what RAB’s Mike Axisa expects to be a Felix Hernandez-type contract, for a total cost of around $130 million, the Yankees seem poised to be able to make a big splash with Darvish.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes, A-Rod, D-Rob all come up huge in much-needed wild 4-3 walk-off win in 10 against BoSox

Think the Yankees were pumped up to win this one? I know I was.

In arguably the most nerve-wracking Yankee game played all season, the Yankees were able to come away with a 4-3 victory in 10 innings over the Red Sox, staving off a rare three-game sweep at home (no one has accomplished that feat against the Yankees at the new Stadium) in a contest that featured incredible starting pitching on both sides as well as blown saves by both Mariano Rivera and Jonathan Papelbon.

The Yankees needed to win this game badly, and they couldn’t have asked for much more out of Phil Hughes, who was brilliant in throwing 6+ innings of one-run ball on three hits in what may have been his most important start in pinstripes. Unfortunately for the Yankees, somewhere along the line Daisuke Matsuzaka apparently completely reinvented himself as a pitcher, trading in the nibbler who finds himself in deep count after deep count and walking the second-most batters per nine innings for a guy who pounded the strike zone with a lively fastball and power sinker and who hardly even got to three balls on any hitter.… Click here to read the rest

Madden: Red Sox Rotation Should Make Yanks Worry

[image title=”1-mlb-rookies-daisuke-matsuzaka-400a051407″ size=”full” id=”15812″ align=”center” linkto=”full” ]
From Bill Madden:

Indeed, the fact that Francona is boasting about a five-strong rotation of Josh Beckett, John Lackey, Jon Lester, Daisuke Matsuzaka and Clay Buchholz, with 43-year-old Tim Wakefield, a first-half All-Star last year before he sustained back problems that required surgery, in reserve, should come as unsettling news to Yankee legions watching Joe Girardi conduct endless tryouts for the fifth spot in his rotation.

This is pure silliness from Madden. If all of the Red Sox starters were healthy, they too would be having a competition to figure out the 4th and 5th spots, with Dice-K, Buchholz, and Wakefield vying for the two spots. As it is, the Red Sox are fairly thin in terms of bottom of the rotation starters, with Matsuzaka already hurt and Junichi Tazawa currently the 6th starter. Now, being thin at 7th starter is a problem that most teams would love to have, but the idea the Red Sox have an advantage because their rotation is currently settled is ridiculous.… Click here to read the rest

Game 155 Recap: Yankees improve to 8-9 against Red Sox on season; shut Boston out for third time

I’ve attended two no-hitters at Yankee Stadium:

Doc Gooden’s improbable 1996 gem and the Houston Astros utilizing 6 different pitchers in their 2003 effort.

Yesterday afternoon started off in somewhat similar fashion, as my dad and I watched CC Sabathia cruise through 3 2/3 perfect innings until walking Victor Martinez in the fourth, and the no-hitter fell as Mike Lowell led the fifth off with a single. Still, Sabathia stayed strong, and he, Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera combined to not only 2-hit the Red Sox, but shut the Red Sox out for the third time this season at home, as the Yankees won 3-0. That’s absolutely ridiculous, considering the kind of offensive team the Red Sox are. Granted, JD Drew and Jason Bay didn’t come to bat until the 8th inning, but it’s still damn impressive. The only thing more amazing would have been if the Yankees had shut the Sox out three times at Fenway Park this year.… Click here to read the rest

Yankees-Red Sox Double Standard About Depth

This from Tim McCarver, via the NY Post:

“The rivalry has changed because I think the pitching has changed,” McCarver said. “You don’t have them standing toe-to-toe slugging it out anymore. The Red Sox have a deep rotation and the Yankees were right with them, but with [Chien-Ming] Wang’s three horrendous starts that has changed for the time being.”

Hmmm, so Wang being bad and possibly injured kills the Yankees, but Dice-K being bad and definitely injured is not even a factor for Boston? This is symptomatic of the media’s double standard regarding the Yankees and Sox that has been irking me all offseason. The Sox have Wakefield at the back of the rotation with two prospects (Masterson, Buchholz) and two injury risks (Penny, Smoltz) and are deemed to have amazing depth. The Yankees have Pettitte and Chamberlain at the back of the rotation with two prospects (Hughes, Kennedy) ready to fill in, yet are considered to have major question marks.… Click here to read the rest