Game Four: Yankees revisit a house of horrors

So the Yankees are returning to the site of not-so-great times, Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

I won’t rehash what happened because we’ve heard about it all winter and it has even been brought up this week during the Yankees’ 1-2 start. But hey, guess what? The Tigers also started 1-2 and they played Minnesota who is supposed to be atrocious this season so you know what that means? Nothing, it’s April.

Anyway, here’s the Yankee lineup:

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Stewart C

Ivan Nova is making his first start of the season.

(I apologize for the lack of depth in this post, I’m on a laptop I’m not used to, and copying and pasting is a nightmare.)
Continue reading Game Four: Yankees revisit a house of horrors

Way more than just a Yankee win

New York Yankees v Texas Rangers, Game 6Writing for a New York Yankees site and maintaining a somewhat journalistic objectivity is already difficult enough after spending a lifetime watching this team. Last night’s win over the Boston Red Sox threw that objectivity about as far off the cliff as a pumpkin chunkin.

Andy Pettitte made his 409th start for the Yankees and won his 209th game for the team with eight glorious innings. According to one stat I read this morning, Andy Pettitte is now 18-3 lifetime in helping the Yankees avoid a sweep. Mariano Rivera then gave his fans a bit of heartburn, but in the end, froze Jackie Bradley Jr. for his 609th career save–all for the Yankees. It was a combination that will never again be matched in baseball as two pitchers who started their careers together nineteen years ago. According to some of the game recaps I read, this was the 69th time that Rivera has saved a win for Andy Pettitte, an all time record. According to my count, that is a lot of nines in there: 409, 209, 609 and 69. There is a poetic side to all of this. And it is an epic poem that will end after this season, so enjoy every last stanza. But where did it all start? When was the first time that Mariano Rivera saved an Andy Pettite win?

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On Early-Season Lineup Tinkering

When the lineup for last night’s game was released, there were probably a few eyebrows that went up.  After just two games, one against a right-handed pitcher, Joe decided to change things up a bit and shuffle the deck against Ryan Dempster.  Gone were Ichiro or Eduardo Nunez from the 2-spot in the lineup, and instead Joe moved the middle of the batting order up a spot to hit Robinson Cano 2nd, Kevin Youkilis 3rd, Travis Hafner 4th, and Vernon Wells 5th.  With such an incredibly small sample size to evaluate and base lineup decisions on, a move like this in the third game of the regular season could have come across as one of desperation.  Considering the circumstances surrounding the roster right now, and the severely depleted amount of above-average hitters in the lineup, I actually thought it was pretty smart and a great example of playing the hand you’re dealt.

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The Farm Report – Opening Day!

Three of the Yankees’ full season minor league affiliates go their first taste of action tonight. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre gave their home fans some extra baseball after spending last season on the road, however, they weren’t able to open with a win. Trenton and Tampa came away victorious – and so begins the MiLB season…

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre lost to Pawtucket 8-4 (10 innings):
Vidal Nuno got the start and worked a quick 1-2-3 top of the first, while the RailRiders put their bats to work. Corban Joseph lined a single to right and Zoilo Almonte drew a walk. With two outs, Melky Mesa grounded a single to left to score the RailRiders’ first run. Cody Johnson drew a walk to load the bases. A wild pitch plated Almonte and Scranton took a 2-0 lead. The RailRiders had a chance to get some insurance when David Adams hit a two out double and moved to third on a single by Joseph. Nuno had looked good through the first four innings, but found himself in trouble quickly in the fifth. Bryce Brentz started the inning with a double to left and Brandon Snyder drove a two-run homer out of the park, tying the game. Nuno got the next two batters, but that was the end of his night as Sam Demel came out of the bullpen. He walked Jonathan Diaz, who stole second before scoring on a single by Brock Holt, giving Pawtucket a 3-2 edge.

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Recap: The old man and the W, Pettitte helps lead Yanks to victory

Pettitte

Hooray!

Is anyone else as excited as I am right now? The excitement I’m feeling is not just because the Yankees won. It’s also not just because they beat Boston – I mean, who doesn’t love that? And it’s not just because we, meaning the people who live in the New York metro area, won’t have to hear about more doom and gloom tomorrow. The excitement I’m feeling is because two of the guys people like to make fun of the most, the ones fans of other teams like to say ” are as old as dirt,” Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera, were a big part of tonight’s victory.

Pettitte was the stopper the Yankees desperately needed. Well, fine, desperately is a little exaggerated and over the top but to save everyone’s sanity, at least in terms of what I mentioned above, the doom and gloom, this start was definitely needed.

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Game Three: A New Lineup… Again

KYODO/LANDOV

The Yankees are still looking for their first win, and in an effort to get some more offense, Girardi has shuffled up the lineup again.

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Francisco Cervelli C

Andy Pettitte will take the mound against Ryan Dempster, who’s making his first start for the Red Sox.

The game starts at 7:05 PM and you can catch it on YES or The MLB Network, depending on where you live. Go Yankees!
Continue reading Game Three: A New Lineup… Again

Comparing Nunez’ Shorter Arm Action To 2012

In last night’s game recap, I mentioned that Eduardo Nunez has looked very good at short stop. In fact, over the last few weeks, both his fielding and throwing has looked fantastic. His range was always an upgrade of Derek Jeter‘s, but the ability to get the ball to another fielder is a rather important part of the game.

In the past, Nunez disappointed fans with his wild throws, but he mostly disappointed himself. This spring, the short stop and Mick Kelleher got together to work on his arm action, and we’ve seen an incredible improvement.

nunez2

In 2012, Nunez brought his arm behind his back, similar to how a pitcher will position their arm during the stride. This motion allows a pitcher to create a longer slinging action with their arm, but also puts the trunk and hips in higher torqued position. In 2013, Nunez skips this step and brings his arm immediately into cocking position. This simplified arm action should be easier to replicate and give him more accuracy, but at the expense of arm strength.

Nunez has always had a strong arm according to scouts, but his accuracy was another story. You could probably attribute his strong arm to his pitcher-like windup, where he’s getting a great deal of power from bringing his long arm action and extreme trunk rotation. Unfortunately, it’s very hard for a defensive player to use this when they’re jumping around the infield and trying to set up their feet. The new mechanics and shorter arm action may take away some of that velocity, but the accuracy we’ve seen is well worth it. Continue reading Comparing Nunez’ Shorter Arm Action To 2012

Quick Hits: Kuroda, Aardsma, Lineup

Good news from Joe Giradi, who says that Hiroki Kuroda is scheduled to make his next start. The pitcher’s hand was grazed by a line drive in the second inning last night, and clearly had some difficulty throwing the ball after. The Yankees pulled him from the game, and we know that we’re just dealing with bruising, but missing a start was still a possibility. Kuroda is scheduled to pitch Monday afternoon against the Indians in Cleveland.

The Yankees have also officially unconditionally released David Aardsma. The reliever was a victim of the 40-man roster crunch, despite completing his recovery from Tommy John surgery successfully. The Yankees could still offer him a minor league deal, but Aardsma was probably pitching well enough to get some looks for major league bullpens.

Finally, tonight’s lineup courtesy of Chad Jennings.
Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Francisco Cervelli C

Andy Pettitte will take the mound against Ryan Dempster as the Yankees look for their first win of the year. The game starts at 7:05 PM and you can catch it on YES or the MLB Network. Continue reading Quick Hits: Kuroda, Aardsma, Lineup

It’s Minor League Opening Day!

milbOpening-Day

While the Yankees big league club is already a couple games into the season, their full-season minor league counterparts get started today. In a year where the Yankees are already struggling with age and injuries and some of their most promising prospects are starting to get close to the Bronx, it should be a good year to keep an eye on New York’s farm system. If you need a break from the big league games, here are the minors games on tap for MiLB Opening Day, along with some minor league predictions from the crew here and some links in case you missed some of our Spring Training minors coverage.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders v. Pawtucket Red Sox (7:05pm):
After a year on the road, the Yankees Triple-A affiliate kicks off 2013 in grand style. Not only will they finally get to play a game at home, but it will be their first game as the newly christened RailRiders and in the newly renovated PNC Field. Vidal Nuno will get the start for Scranton, who will have a tough job in front of them as they take on last year’s International League Champs, the Pawtucket Red Sox. If you missed our Scranton/Wilkes-Barre preview check it out here.

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