Yankees can’t catch a break, lose to Angels 5-1

And sure enough, Haren was pretty good himself. On a night when the Angels needed some length from their starter after Jered Weaver had to exit in the first inning in the previous game, Haren gave them seven quality innings, holding the Yankees to the one run on eight hits with seven strikeouts to no walks. The Yankees looked like they might be ready to get to him after the fourth inning, when Raul Ibanez doubled down the right field line and then came around to score on a n RBI single from Nick Swisher but, other than that, just about every ball they hit hard found the glove of an Angels’ defender it seemed like.

On the other side of the pitching matchup, Andy Pettitte turned in another solid performance that won’t look nearly so good in the box score. After Trout’s single got the Scrappers on the board in the bottom of the third, Pettitte got Maicer Izturis to put the ball on the ground, and Eric Chavez was able to cut Trout down trying to score to keep that run from scoring and giving Pettitte two outs and a chance to really limit the damage.…

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The Farm Report 5/29/2012

Empire State blew a lead and walked off on Toledo 8-7:

For eight innings, things were going very well indeed for the Yankees. Adam Warren allowed just three runs in 6+ innings, while Steve Pearce and Jack Cust paced the offense with three solo home runs between them (two from Cust). Francisco Cervelli, Ronnier Mustelier, and Ramiro Pena each added doubles, and the Yankees entered the ninth inning with a 5-3 lead. Unfortunately, Kevin Whelan had a complete meltdown trying to close out the game, and allowed four runs to score on a walk and three hits, including a two out, two run home run to put the Mud Hens on top. Thankfully the Yankees’ offense had a rally in their bones, helped by a fielding error on a Jack Cust fly ball to left field with one out, after which Mustelier’s double tied the game at seven. After Brandon Laird grounded into the second out of the inning, Toledo opted to intentionally walk Cervelli to pitch to Colin Curtis, but Curtis worked a walk off walk to win the game for Empire State.…

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A catching debate for the Yankees?

During the 2012 season, not only has Russell Martin struggled mightily at the plate (last night notwithstanding), but the pitching staff was floundering. Enter Chris Stewart who was obtained on the last day of Spring Training in a sudden spin of events that landed Francisco Cervelli in Triple-A. We were all kind of stunned at the event. And then C.C. Sabathia sort of fell in love with Stewart and whether Joe Girardi admits it or not, Stewart is Sabathia’s personal catcher. And then Stewart caught Andy Pettitte, who threw eight scoreless innings. Anjd then Chris Stewart caught Hiroki Kuroda, who threw eight scoreless innings and suddenly we have a debate to talk about. Stewart, who is even less capable offensively than Martin, is suddenly the darling of many for his catching skills. But is it a proper debate?

The numbers are so peripheral that they do not even make sense to talk about. Yes, the Yankees are 8-3 when Stewart catches.…

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Death by the tiered bullpen is the most agonizing death of all

So here’s last night’s situation: two outs, bottom of the sixth, Angels have the bases loaded with a 6-5 lead and Kendrys Morales at the plate. Morales is a very dangerous hitter, to be sure, but he’s also got a pretty severe platoon split, and is much weaker from the right side of the plate than the left, boasting a career wRC+ of 73 against southpaws, compared to 129 against right-handed pitchers. Joe Girardi had called on right handed specialist Cody Eppley to pitch to the top of the Angels’ lineup three batters prior and, after retiring Mike Trout, Eppley allowed a two out infield single by Maicer Izturis before walking Albert Pujols to load the bases for Morales. Sensibly not wanting Eppley to face a left-handed batting Morales in that situation, and looking dead in the eye of a spot seemingly tailor made for his best left-handed reliever, Girardi called on…David Phelps to pitch to Morales. Predictably enough Morales doubled in a couple of insurance runs to push the Angels lead to 8-5, a fact that would prove incredibly consequential when the Yankees scored three runs in the next inning.…

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Wondering About David Phelps’ Role

Courtesy of The AP

(The original version of this post was published at An A-Blog for A-Rod last week.  This version has been updated to reflect Phelps’ most recent outing)

The late-spring injuries helped, but David...

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