Game 40: Yankees 6, Rays 2

The Yankees looked to end their losing streak at six on Tuesday, as they attempted to split a two-game series against the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays.  For the first time in a while the Yankees looked strong on both sides of the field, picking up a 6-2 victory.

The Rays got on the board first, as Elliot Johnson ripped a solo homer off of Ivan Nova.  They had the opportunity to add more runs, as Robinson Cano misplayed an easy one hopper from Sam Fuld, who was safe at first.  A single by Johnny Damon put runners on the corners, but Nova escaped with just a 1-0 deficit.

In the top of the fourth Alex Rodriguez finally gave the Yankees a well-hit ball, driving a pitch from James Shields over the wall in left, tying the game.  He went yard again in the top of the sixth, giving the Yankees a 2-1 lead.

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TYA Game Thread, Tuesday May 17th, 2011

There’s little point sugar coating this stretch of awful play from the Yankees, but I do believe in emphasizing the positive. At the very least the Bombers (Curtis Granderson?) have been able to score runs before losing their last two games. That’s all I got. Game time tonight is 6:40pm on My 9. Here are the lineups: Yankees: Derek Jeter – SS Curtis Granderson – CF Mark Teixeira – 1B Alex Rodriguez – 3B Robinson Cano – 2B Russell Martin – C Jorge Posada – DH Brett Gardner – LF Chris Dickerson – RF Ivan Nova – P Rays: Sam Fuld Continue reading TYA Game Thread, Tuesday May 17th, 2011

A Joba Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

After last season, I wrote a post comparing Joba Chamberlain and Daniel Bard, pointing out that their peripherals were incredibly similar and that Joba projected to have much better results than he did in 2010 going forward. Yet, here we are 6 weeks into 2011, and once again Joba’s peripherals far outstrip his results. He continues to be an enigma with stuff that suggests an ability to be dominant out of the bullpen but results that are middling at best. Let’s take a look at his statistical profile to see whether we can discern why there is a disconnect between Continue reading A Joba Wrapped In A Mystery Inside An Enigma

Some recommended changes amidst a losing streak

There’s no sense beating around the bush; everything sucks right now. The Yankees have lost six games in a row and 10 of their last 13. Worse, they just haven’t looked good doing it, blowing leads with ease and making 14 errors in their last 11 games. And that’s to say nothing of the clubhouse drama that’s making this look more like a daytime soap opera than a Major League Baseball team. The whole thing has everyone on edge and sometimes feels like it will never end, so here’s a few constructive ideas for getting out of the mess from me to Joe Girardi and Brain Cashman.

Give A-Rod a break: Remember how A-Rod tore the cover off the ball in Spring Training and over the first couple of weeks of the season? Yeah, those days are long past. After suffering an oblique injury, A-Rod is batting just .242/.336/.445 entering play tonight with the second lowest line drive rate in the American League. Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada are both hitting more line drives than Alex.

Worse than the results, just about everyone can tell his swing is off. As Ken Singleton noted in A-Rod’s first at bat last night, it looks like A;ex’s hands aren’t coming through the zone as fast and are lagging his lower body. How would that hurt his swing? Well a swing isn’t one full motion, per se. Your lower body starts first and your hands come afterwards. When you have “explosive hands” it means your hands are coming fast enough to catch up with the rest of your body, for lack of a better word. The in-between point is where your back is absorbing the torque of the swing, so if his lower back area is weak, this would be where A-Rod’s swing is getting “disjointed,” which is just a fancy way of saying it’s not as fluid as it normally would be.

I’m inclined to think A-Rod should probably just go on the DL to get some rest, heal up, and get it over with, but the training staff would obviously know better than me. Either way, it seems like Alex should be getting some more rest than he has been to let that back heal up and get him back to murdering baseballs.

Play the game the right way: Yes, that’s a little tongue in cheek, but only a little. There’s a lot of things you can’t control about baseball and a lot that feels like a matter of luck, or fortune, or whatever you want to call it, but one thing you absolutely can control is your focus and your effort. If everyone plays hard and cuts out the defensive miscues and they’re still losing one run games life will suck but there won’t really be anything to complain about on that front. Right now, the errors and other defensive lapses are killing me. So knock it of, will ya?

Fix the lineup: This feels like kicking a dead horse, but in some ways there’s no better time than now to shake up the lineup. The team isn’t winning, so it’s harder to make excuses for the guys who aren’t producing, and from a political angle there’s really no better time to exercise your authority to shake things up than when the team is playing so poorly.

Besides, if you don’t do it now you’ll only have to deal with it later. Seize the day gentlemen! Continue reading Some recommended changes amidst a losing streak

Taking a Break, Relaxing All Cool

This has really gotten out of hand. On May 8th, the Yankees beat Texas 12-5, Derek Jeter looked like he was an actual baseball player for a game and the fact that they had lost 4 of 5 entering that day was no longer of concern. That’s how misleading one game can be though, because pieced together now the Yankees have lost 10 of their last 13. Posada’s flap included, it’s been a roundly horrible, horrible stretch for Yankees fans. That’s why I’m taking a few days off. I need to recharge the batteries. Following this team as closely as Continue reading Taking a Break, Relaxing All Cool

Seriously, Fix the Lineup

The Yankees aren’t scoring runs. They’ve lost 6 straight games. At some point, Girardi needs to shake things up. He doesn’t have control over everything – he can’t force a team to trade a hitter to the Yankees – but he does have control over the lineup that he writes down every day. That lineup doesn’t make the biggest difference in the world every day, but it could easily make the difference between winning a few extra games every year and not. Derek Jeter is going to be in the Yankee lineup for some time now. He’s hitting just well Continue reading Seriously, Fix the Lineup

Soriano in New York for elbow injury

After feeling soreness in his elbow during a bullpen session on Monday, Yankees’ Eighth Inning Guy Rafael Soriano returned to New York today to be examined by team doctor Chris Ahmad. It certainly sounds like a stint on the DL is inevitable if they find anything, which is probably a good thing. It’s not like Soriano has been pitching lights out or anything (he hasn’t had a clean inning since Opening Day), so maybe some time off is exactly what the doctor ordered, pun intended.

If Soriano does go on the DL, I’d expect a hitter to come up, as the Yankees are currently carrying 13 pitchers on the 25-man roster. Personally I’d kind of like to see Jorge Vazquez get a shot to see if he can hit in the big leagues in some capacity, but that’s probably not going to happen as he’s not on the 40-man roster, and with his lack of defensive ability and a platoon of Andruw Jones and Jorge Posada at DH, there’s probably not a lot of use for him. My guess is that either Ramiro Pena or Justin Maxwell would be called up.

Mark Feinsand also cleared up the rather bizarre report that executive Vice-President Felix Lopez told Soriano to take a couple of weeks off, explaining that he was merely acting as a Spanish speaking intermediary between Soriano and the training staff. That makes a little bit more sense, but do they really not have anyone in a slightly lower position on the hierarchy who can speak Spanish? Continue reading Soriano in New York for elbow injury

What does a Soriano absence do to the roster?

After last night’s game, we learned that Rafael Soriano plans to see the Yankee team doctor about his elbow. The hits just keep on coming, don’t they Yankee fans? So, what does Soriano’s likely trip to the disabled list do for the Yankees and the bullpen First and foremost, I think we’ll see the eighth inning look like we thought it would before the Soriano trade: Joba Joba Joba. When Soriano hasn’t been available, Joe Girardi has gone to Joba Chamberlain for the set up role and I don’t think that’s going to change much. He and David Robertson will Continue reading What does a Soriano absence do to the roster?

A Rational Guide to the Slump (Glass Half Full Edition)

The Yankees are officially in a “slump”, defined as a patch where the team plays a lot worse than expected, loses a ton of games, and it feels like it’s never going to end. The Yankees were 17-9 on May 2 (just two weeks ago) and have gone 3-10 since then. The team has lost 6 straight, their worst losing streak since 2007.

I’m here to offer a rational guide to the slump. When I started this piece, it was my intention to dive deep into everything: the little bit of good news and the plethora of bad. But strangely, the more I looked the more I found things to cheer me up. I’m SO not the sunshine kind of guy! So indulge me, as I try (with rose colored glasses on) to temper this slump with rational factoids of positivity. (No, I’m not proud of that last sentence, but I’ll let it stand until one of my bosses insists that I delete it.)

The first piece of good news is the most obvious: no slump lasts forever. The Yankees will come out of this. They’re not going to lose three games out of four for the rest of the year. This is not the 1962 Mets we’re dealing with.

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