The Yankees beat Ricky Romero!

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

What a difference a year makes, at least as far as the Yankees facing elite AL East southpaws goes.

In 2010, Jon Lester started against the Yankees 4 times and threw 25.1 innings of 6-run ball, and the Red Sox won three of his four starts.

In 2011, Jon Lester has also started against the Yankees 4 times and thrown 23 innings of 11-run ball, and the Red Sox have won two of his four starts.

In 2010, David Price started against the Yankees 4 times and threw 26.2 innings of 13-run ball (though if you remove his 5IP, 7ER outing on July 18 those numbers fall to a far more representative 21.2 innings, 6 runs), and the Rays won three of his four starts.

In 2011, David Price has started against the Yankees 4 times and thrown 25.1 innings of 12-run ball, and the Rays have won two of his four starts.

In 2010, Ricky Romero started against the Yankees 3 times and threw 19.2 innings of 12-run ball (though if you remove his 2.2IP, 8ER disaster on July 3 those numbers fall to 17.2 innings of four-run ball), and the Blue Jays won two of his three starts.… Click here to read the rest

Nova's 11th straight win propels Yankees back into first

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I missed most of this one, so this’ll be quick. Ivan Nova recovered from a shaky first inning to go seven strong, striking out four and only giving up three hits as the Yankees beat the Blue Jays 3-2. The win, coupled with Boston’s loss to the Rangers, landed the Yankees back in first place.

Brett Gardner hit a two-run home run — his sixth of the year — and Robinson Cano broke the tie with what would be the game-winning hit, knocking Derek Jeter in.

The Yankees were without both Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, and though the offense only picked up four hits all game — Toronto starter Brandon Morrow went six innings and struck out a Morrow-esque eight — they made their hits count. The two teams go back at it Saturday afternoon, with Ricky Romero squaring off against Bartolo Colon at 1:10pm.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Blue Jays V: Beware Brett Lawrie

For some reason there have been a lot of photos of Swish falling on the floor this season. (Photo by Abelimages/Getty Images)

Beginning tonight the Yankees get to face the Blue Jays at home for the second straight Labor Day weekend. Last year at this time they were able to run their season-high winning streak to eight before the Jays finally snapped it in the Sunday matinee. That would actually prove to be something of a turning point for the 2010 Yankees’ season — the team sat at a comfortable 86-51 after that loss to Toronto, in first place by 2.5 games, but played some pretty uninspiring baseball the rest of the way through, only winning nine games after September 5th, finishing the season’s last 25 contests with a 9-16 record.

The Yankees and Jays last met in mid-July, splitting a four-game set at Rogers Centre. The Jays have continued to play right around their true talent level since then, going 22-19.… Click here to read the rest

Hughes notches first quality start since September 26 as Yanks beat Jays 7-2

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So, Phil Hughes.

The Yankee righthander authored his best outing of the season by far, throwing six innings of two-run ball, scattering four hits, walking two and striking out five, and was able to notch his first quality start since September 26, 2010, against Boston, in one of last season’s more pivotal games down the stretch, leading the Yankees to a 7-2 win over Toronto and a split of this weekend’s four-game set. This was Hughes’ first win as a starting pitcher since September 21, 2010.

The good news: Hughes had his best four-seamer in a long time, throwing it between 91-93, picking up strikes 67% of the time — including a big six swing-and-misses — and racking up -1.3526 linear weights. If you placed that linear weights score among his 2010 starts, it would have actually been his 10th-best.

The better news: After all the talk this past week about Hughes reverting to his former curveball grip, he more than backed up his word, as his -1.1172 linear weights on the curve today was better than every single start he made in 2010.… Click here to read the rest

Sabathia restores order; all is right with world

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

CC Sabathia fired eight innings of one-run ball as the Yankees finally beat Ricky Romero and toppled the Blue Jays, 4-1. After two of the team’s ugliest games of the season, the Yankees needed this victory as much as they’ve needed any win all season, and Sabathia once again came up aces, scattering a mere three hits and striking out eight.

If anyone had any remaining concerns about the Yankees needing to pay Sabathia whatever he wants after he opts out at the end of the season, those doubts have been relinquished. Not re-signing Sabathia simply isn’t an option.

As important as this win was, it only represents a moment of calm before the team gets to see whether Phil Hughes has gotten any better tomorrow afternoon. If Hughes doesn’t have it, you can be sure the Jays will jump all over their favorite punching bag.… Click here to read the rest

Jays administer second straight shellacking, beat Yanks 7-1

Not much to say about this one. For the second straight day the Yankees’ magical first-half starter tandem of Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia got lit up, this time with the latter giving up six runs (5 earned) over 5 innings.

The best the Yankees can now do is split the series, and it’d be great to finally see some quality baseball played after being handed their asses by the Toronto roll-over-and-die-if-they’re-facing-Boston-but-play-as-if-it’s-the-World-Series-when-facing-the-Yankees Blue Jays.… Click here to read the rest

Game Thread: Yankees vs. Blue Jays, 7/15/2011 (7:07PM EST on MY9)

The Yanks are back in action tonight against the pesky Blue Jays.  They’ll be looking to pick themselves up after yesterday’s embarrassing 16-7 dismantling.  In the spirit of Friday day humor, here’s an outstanding graphic compliments of The Onion.  Use this as your game thread for the evening. If things get rough this evening, click here.  Enjoy the game and have a great weekend!

Tonight’s lineup (c/o Lohud):
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez 3B

And on the mound:
RHP Freddy Garcia (7-6, 3.13 ERA / 3.98 FIP / 4.20 xFIP)

vs.

RHP Brandon Morrow (5-4, 4.60 / 2.70 FIP / 3.26xFIP)… Click here to read the rest

Yankee comeback bid falls short; lose to Jays 16-7 as Colon throws shortest outing of the season

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Safe to say this was not the way the Yankees were hoping to kick off the second half of the season.

Events unfolded about as terribly as one could imagine in Thursday night’s ballgame, as the Blue Jays scored eight times in the first inning and led 9-0 after two. Though the eight first-inning runs were Bartolo Colon‘s, he was only officially charged with three due to an Eduardo Nunez error (shocking!), and though Colon appeared to be getting somewhat squeezed by the home plate umpire he still didn’t pitch well and was yanked after only 2/3 of an inning. This was easily the shortest outing by a Yankee starter this season, and during the game speculation ran rampant that Colon either wasn’t fully healthy or perhaps re-injured himself covering first base. After the game Colon admitted that he’s preoccupied with his leg, and if Colon is less than 100%, it’s probably time for the Yankees to bring Ivan Nova back up and let Colon heal properly.… Click here to read the rest

Series Preview | Yankees vs. Blue Jays IV: Anyone but Bautista

(Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)

The Yankees open the second half of the season with a four-gamer in Toronto, heading back up to Canada for the first time since April.

The Bombers are 5-3 against the Blue Jays this season, and only need four wins in their remaining 10 games against the Extra-Base Hits to exceed their 2010 win total against the Jose Bautistas. When the teams last met, the Bombers took two of three at home, thanks in part to their most exciting comeback of the season.

Toronto comes into this series in 4th place in the AL East, with a 45-47 record. The team once again boasts a strong offensive attack — a .326 wOBA, 5th-best in the AL, and 105 wRC+ — and its starters have adhered pretty closely to the solid numbers the group posted last season, but unfortunately for Toronto the rest of the league’s staffs got better while they’ve mostly stayed the same.… Click here to read the rest