Scranton walks off with a Game 2 win

Andy not so dandy as Yanks drop another
All you've ever wanted to know about James Andrews and then some

Triple-A Scranton (1-0 win in 13 innings, walk-off style) SWB leads the best-of-five series 2-0 thanks to their second straight walk-off win … one more win and they’ll be the first Yanks’ AAA affiliate to win the Governor’s Cup since the good ol’ Columbus Clippers in 1991 … Kei Igawa gets the ball in Game 3 tomorrow … Yanks pitchers set a franchise record with 17 K
Justin Christian, Juan Miranda & Matt Carson: all 0 for 5 – Miranda K’ed thrice, Carson twice
Bernie Castro: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB, 1 CS – walk-off single was their first hit since the 5th inning
Shelley Duncan, Ben Broussard & Chris Basak: all 0 for 4 – Shelley drew a walk & K’ed twice … Broussard drew a walk & K’ed thrice … Basak K’ed twice
Eric Duncan: 1 for 4, 3 K
Nick Green: 1 for 1 – left the game due to injury
Chris Stewart: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 BB – picked a runner off second with a snap throw … scored the winning run after drawing a walk & being sacrificed into scoring position
Ian Kennedy: 5 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 1 HB, 3-3 GB/FB – 67 of 106 pitches were strikes (63.2%) … tip your cap to the kid, you don’t allow 11 baserunners in 5 innings & not give up a run without being able to a pitch when you have too … games like this are good for young pitchers, learning how to get by on days you don’t have your best stuff is a big part of pitching
Steven Jackson: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 3-1 GB/FB – 24 of 36 pitches were strikes (66.7%) … that’s some solid relief work right there
Mark Melancon: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 2-2 GB/FB – 12 of 14 pitches were strikes (85.7%) … he recorded a K, GB & FB in his first inning of work in a grand total of 5 pitches … ladies and gentlemen, Mark Melancon
Scott Strickland: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-3 GB/FB – 19 of 27 pitches were strikes (71.4%)
Oneli Perez: 1 IP, zeroes

Double-A Trenton (13-10 loss to Akron) the best-of-five series is tied 1-1 … Trenton was down 13-6 heading into the 9th, but they managed to bring the tying run to the plate … George Kontos gets the start in Game 3 on Friday
Reegie Corona: 0 for 6, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K, 2 E (throwing, fielding)
Ramiro Pena 3 for 6, 2 R, 2 K, 1 E (throwing)
Austin Jackson: 3 fpr 6, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K – can’t blame him for the loss
Chris Malec & Kevin Russo: both 2 for 4, 2 R – Malec doubled, drove in a run & walked twice … Russo drew a walk
Colin Curtis & PJ Pilittere: both 1 for 5, 1 BB – Curtis scored a run, drove in 2 & K’ed twice … PJ drove in a run
Edwar Gonzalez: 1 for 3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
James Cooper: 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
Chris Garcia: 6 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP – maybe it was the result of not pitching in 9 days
Jose Valdez: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HB, 1-2 GB/FB
Humberto Sanchez: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Kevin Whelan: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1-0 GB/FB – and thar she goes
Wilkins Arias: 0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – allowed 2 of 3 inherited runners to score
Anthony Claggett: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – allowed both inherited runners to score

High-A Tampa’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Daytona Cubs won the league championship.

Low-A Charleston’s season is over; they did not qualify for the playoffs. The Augusta Green Jackets (Giants) lead the West Virginia Power (Brewers) 2-0 in the best-of-five South Atlantic League Championship series.

Short Season Staten Island‘s season is over; they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. The Jamestown Jammers (Marlins) will take on the Batavia Muckdogs (Cards) in the best-of-three NY-Penn League Championship series.

The Rookie GCL Yanks’ season is over. The GCL Phils won the league championship.

Andy not so dandy as Yanks drop another
All you've ever wanted to know about James Andrews and then some
  • Lancer

    Great relief work by the SWB bullpen. Melancon, 2 innings and just 14 pitches? Gotta love it!!!

  • Ivan

    It really has been a treat to watch these last couple SWB playoff games. Just absolute fun and the pitching has been terrific for the most part.

  • Jon G

    This quote from Chad Jennings had me thinking about what kind of chemistry problems are plaguing the 2008 Big League Team. He asked Scott Strickland a question “that had little to do with playing in Scranton but said a lot about the atmosphere and what’s made this team win games like last night.”

    Strickland’s quote and Jenning’s follow up describe that team chemistry and drive to win that I think is missing from the 2008 Yankees, and really hasn’t been there since 2003. Thoughts? Ideas to fix it?

    <blockquote cite=”Especially for older guys, it’s real easy to be unhappy with your situation and want to be in another place or in the big leagues, but with the group of guys that we have here, they make it fun,” Strickland said. “There’s no cancers in our clubhouse. I think everybody genuinely pulls for every body else, and when you have that going on, it makes a little easier and it makes it enjoyable.”

    The actual interview was long finished and the small talk had begun when Strickland specifically brought up last night’s game, but I don’t think he’ll mind me making this public: He said last night’s game was the kind of game this team just doesn’t lose. For whatever reason — and he said it’s because of all the reasons mentioned above — these Yankees have had a knack for picking one another up. The rotation falters, the bullpen picks up the slack. The bullpen blows a lead, the offense fights back.

    I wish you could have heard some of the off-the-record things guys were saying about what a great guy Tim Battle is, or the way pitchers constantly talk about Chris Stewart’s work behind the plate, or the noticeable comfort level of Kei Igawa around teammates that don’t speak his language. These guys seem to genuinely like one another, and I think that’s made a difference. “

  • Simon B.

    Is there a better relief prospect in baseball than Melancon?

    The only thing I can think of are some of those new college arms like Josh Fields and Carlos Gutierrez who may throw harder, but Melancon just seems like a perfect combination of stuff (strikeouts AND groundballs), control, poise, and economy.

    • Mike A.

      If there is, I’d like know who. The only other guys at that elite level are Casey Weathers and Ryan Perry. Fields has too many control issues for my liking.

      • Aaron

        I think at this point Melancon and Weathers have to be the top relief prospects in the game. Brandon Morrow would be on the list too if it weren’t for him moving back to starting (and the fact that he’s logged 100 innings so he’s barely still worthy of the “prospect” tag).

        Gutierrez still hasn’t shown enough to be a top prospect in my opinion. He wasn’t all that impressive at Miami and I personally think he was drafted too high. Fields still hasn’t signed and from the article I saw the other day (I think it was on BA but I can’t quite recall where I saw it) it doesn’t sound like he will anytime soon. Granted, he doesn’t need to rush but he lost out on valuable playing time for an organization that is in total disarray. He could have moved quickly through their system but he’s been stubborn. (I’m sure it doesn’t help that Boras is his agent.)

        While this season has clearly been a disappointment for the Yankees, the successes of the minor league teams have been one bright spot. Melancon’s progress (and the fact that he wasn’t rushed to the big leagues) has been a great benefit this year.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Is Scherzer definitely starting? I keep hearing he’s super nasty, but I know virtually nothing other than the name and the hype; I thought they were pegging him as a closer of the future…

        • Bo

          hes been pitching pretty much all season long for the D Backs and started on Sun against the Dodgers and K’d 11

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Okay, thanks.

  • Handtius

    Too bad the big league club can’t pull some of this wonderful stuff the AAA’ers a doing. can’t wait for some major league Melancon.

  • Ivan

    Timlin Sucks and Pena proves it.

  • E-ROC

    Mike, who do you think will have the better career: Milledge or Dukes?

    • Mike A.

      Dukes has more talent, but he’s so self-destructive. I’ll take Milledge.

      • E-ROC

        Dukes is self-destructive but I’d still take him. He has calmed himself down since becoming a Nat. Dimitri Young must be doing his job as a role model. I doubt Dukes would pan out in New York. His ability to get on base and hit for power is outstanding.

        • A.D.

          Dukes will self distrust, anyone can turn it around, but if you read some of the stories on that guy, absolutely redic

    • Ivan

      I’ll take Dukes.

      • Bo

        This question is pretty pointless.

        like asking Melky or Gardner

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Sure, if Melky happened to be one of the most talented players in the minors…

          Dukes is oozing with potential. Like, multiple all-star, middle of the lineup for the next ten years type of potential. Problem is, he’s a certifiable nutjob who’s just as likely to end up in Cooperstown as he is to end up in Leavenworth for killing some random guy in a barfight with a billiards cue.

          IF the Nationals can manage to keep him from going Carl Everett, he’s a star. Unlike Gardner, Melky, or Milledge.

  • Mulls

    you guys cant be serious not mentioning bard in this top reliever prospect discussion!!

    • AndrewYF

      Yes we can. He has one real pitch, which he doesn’t even control all that well. And hate to break it to you, but anyone in the major leagues can hit a 100mph fastball.

      • Mike A.

        Except Melky.

        • jsbrendog

          but he still might be ab better reliever than ML hitter lol

      • rbizzler

        I am pretty sure he was kidding…

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          I’m pretty sure he’s Peter Gammons masquerading incognito.

          • Bo

            Reliever prospects never turn out well. Craig Hanson anyone? Usually its guys with plus stuff. Or at least one plus pitch. It’s so random for relievers.

  • Steve S

    How can you possibly look at that line for Kennedy and “tip your hat”? If he does that at the major league level then I’ll be impressed but more than likely he would have been lit up. I’d be more curious to see how many outs he got with his secondary pitches. The guy has talent and he clearly has major league caliber talent but its becoming apparent that with his stuff its going to take some years and a lot of failure for him to refine it. Thats why Greg Maddux is a freak, normally guys who have average stuff dont come up and have pinpoint control and that instinct on how to out smart hitters until they have had multiple years in the minors and then struggling mediocrity at the ML level for a couple of years. It usually takes a couple of years to develop consistency at the major league level and thats even for guys who may have plus pitches. He has shown he can do that in AAA, so the fact that he can give up baserunners and still get outs is no more impressive than merely dominating those same hitters without giving up hits. Enough with the Ian Kennedy stuff. I think the plan should be leave him in the minors at the beginning of next year and if continues to dominate bring him up in the bullpen. Let him get through a couple of innings and contribute and build up his confidence at the ML level.

    • rbizzler

      Great plan! They should hire you as GM! You’re wicked smaht.

      • Steve S

        Yeah that was a meaningful response, thanks. That part where you typed out a Boston accent, that was priceless. You should think about writing on a sitcom or Saturday Night live or something. You have a gift for comedy, you really do.

        • steve (different one)

          where does this idea that Maddux had “average stuff” come from?

          • Steve S

            I could be wrong but Maddux but watching Maddux, the thing that defined him was control and his ability to place pitches and fool hitters. I never heard a scout rate any of his pitches as plus, maybe his changeup but he had a good sinker and good movement on his fastball that he was able to consistently control (those back door pitches). I use Maddux because that was the Spring training comparison for Kennedy. He didnt have any plus pitches but he did have remarkable control.

            • Bo

              Maddux never had average stuff coming up. Just because he didn’t throw 99 didn’t mean his stuff was average.

              • Steve S



                I dont know the veracity of this scouting report but I know Im not crazy. All his pitches are rated at average and above average at best (this is at age 18).

                Maddux never had a real plus pitch and that doesn’t mean velocity. He had had good movement with incredible control and the control was something he developed. Like I said I use the comparison because others have used it before me.

                • Mike A.

                  You do realize that 60 (or in this case, 6) means ML above-avg, right? That report shows a HS kid with 2 above avg ML pitches, an ML avg changeup and ML avg control.

                  The future grades indicate everything as above ML avg except for the fastball, which is well-above avg. How is his stuff not plus? That’s 3 plus pitches with plus control right there.

                • Steve S

                  Mike I respect your opinion and I really dont want to drag this out. But were going to have to disagree on this one. The scouting report clearly says that his fastball is average to above average. Which is exactly what I said. Not to mention I always thought that these scouting reports, especially the way this one reads, its about projections NOT their abilities at the time.

                  Maddux never had a plus pitch. He developed plus control and his ability to outsmart hitters and control the natural movement on his pitches is what made him a hall of famer. He doesnt have Doc’s curve, Pedro’s changeup or Randy Johnson’s slider. And thats completely avoiding the velocity of the fastball.

                  I just think its clear that Kennedy projected anywhere from a back end rotation starter to potentially an number 2. Right now he seems a lot closer to the former when he pitches against ML talent and a lot closer to the later when he is at AAA. So we can comment all we want on his AAA performances but right now it hasnt projected when it matters. I didnt say trade him, all I said was that they need to slow it down so that he can develop. He cant start at the major league level unless he has proven that he can get outs. Which he hasnt done at all this year. The Maddux comparison is because people from Rob Neyer to some unnamed scouts made to people at this blog the comparison while they were in spring training.

            • rbizzler

              The fact that your post was so ill-informed about Maddux is why I chose to make light of your ‘proposal’ for how the Yankees *should* handle Kennedy next year (not that they were asking). The notion that Maddux does/did not have plus stuff is just ridiculous as he threw mid-90’s when he broke in with command. I would call that plus. Now that he is older and lost velo, he gets branded as crafty and cerebral, but if he did not have the pure stuff to back it up he wouldn’t still be pitching after all these years.

              As for my gift for comedy, well, thanks for the compliment. I think that SNL has really bottomed out, but maybe a job writing for ‘The Onion’ is what I really need. I can see the headline now “Armchair GM Pulls Pitcher From Shutout; Declares Him ‘Years Away’ From Being Ready to Compete.”

              • Steve S


                Everything is rated as average at age 18. AND HE NEVER THREW IN THE MID 90’s. He clearly has major league talent but he doesnt have “plus pitches” or dominant stuff. Im not crazy and like I said look at every spring training column they all compared Kennedy to Maddux because of his control. I can see the headline now, Blogger is the next Seth Rogan but not funny.

                And Ill lay money right now that Kennedy is while away from getting pulled from any shutout.

  • A.D.

    Steven Jackson has really turned his season around, hope he can carry this into next year

  • JohnC

    Too bad Garcia got roughed up. Was hoping he could finish the season on a good note.

    • JohnnyC

      Just staying healthy is a victory for Chris. I’m still optimistic about his development. He’s got plus plus stuff.

    • A.D.

      its his 2nd AA start & its in the playoffs. But def would have been nice if he could have dominated, i’ll take healthy and in AA

  • Yankee!

    i’m really happy to see Humberto Sanchez is coming back good from surgery! he’s still a big part of the yankee future in my opinion! he has struck out a lot better than one per inng even tho he’s velocity is not back to the sitting in the mid 90’s yet.. freinds that saw him in trenton last week said he was up to 94 with a real sharp breaking ball. i’m happy for this guy hopefully he can keep it up . he’s ceiling is still very high and has pitched at a higher level.