And Now Comes The Hard Part…

A-Rod homers twice as Yanks end losing streak
Taking on the Sweater
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

We all slept a little easier last night following the Yankees’ win over the Rays, but that’s all it was: a win. Singular. One win in a season that’s nowhere close to being over with a long stretch of terrible play not far enough away in the rear view mirror to rest easy. The Yankees have still lost ten of their last 14 games and are just as close to last place as first place (two games), so they’re not out of the woods yet. Last night’s win was a positive first step, but that’s it, nothing more.

Tonight’s series opener in Baltimore will be a tough challenge in more ways that one. First of all, the Yankees will definitely be without the services of Joba Chamberlain, who Joe Girardi said will sit tonight no matter what after pitching in each of the last three days as well as in four of the last five. David Robertson is probably a no-go as well; he threw 27 pitches last night and has thrown 119 pitches in five appearances over the last eight days. If the Yankees have a smallish lead late, there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to see Boone Logan and Luis Ayala do the heavy lifting. Furthermore, the Orioles are starting rookie lefty Zach Britton (who got pushed back after they got rained out last night), a sinkerballer that the Yankees have never seen before. We know how that usually goes.

The good news is that Camden Yards always seems to brings out the best in the Yankees’ offense. They scored 21 runs in two games there earlier this season, and last year this same cast of characters (give or take a catcher) hit a collective .289/.371/.446 in Baltimore, a 118 OPS+. It won’t hurt that the Orioles’ pitching staff has the fifth worst ERA (4.37) and fourth worst FIP (4.43) in baseball in 2011, the Yankees could certainly use all the help they can get at the moment. An offensive explosion, I’m talking double-digit runs and an unmerciful amount of homeruns, is what I’m hoping for this evening. I want them to Amaury Sanit-proof tonight’s game and early, we can all do without a nail-biter or hair-puller-outer for once.

Like I said, tonight’s game is just the next step in getting out of this slump. There are still some big time questions about the pitching staff and a whole lot of hitters still trying to right the ship, and it’s not all going happen at once. The Yankee have a favorable schedule coming up – eight of their next eleven games come against losing teams – but then again they didn’t exactly take care of business against the White Sox and Royals recently either. It can be very easy to overstate that one win, the one that got them off the schneid, but make no mistake about it, the Yankees still have a long way to go before they’re out of the hole they dug themselves this month. The process continues tonight.

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A-Rod homers twice as Yanks end losing streak
Taking on the Sweater
  • Mister Delaware

    “Furthermore, the Orioles are starting rookie lefty Zach Britton (who got pushed back after they got rained out last night), a sinkerballer that the Yankees have never seen before.”

    Teix = 2 jacks

  • Fairweather Freddy

    The O’s haven’t seen Colon in years either

    • Accent Shallow

      They really should get that checked out.

      • Jorge

        +1

      • CountZero

        This is an unexpected side benefit to signing Bartolo — we have been in dire need of a SP with name-pun value since the departure of CMW.

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    is the fat man pitching tonight?

    • Clay Bellinger

      Yep

  • http://www.twitter.com/vscafuto Vinny Scafuto

    Britton’s BABIP against is .219 and his FIP is 3.73. Also has a 82.3% strand rate. Current ERA is 2.42, with a 5.02 K/9 ratio.

    How about some statistical regression?

  • James

    Is it weird that I get tentatively excited every time Colon pitches? Tentative because he could… blow out an elbow/shoulder or just get hammered; Excited because each time he starts bombing those 2 and 4 seamers in there are 95 i think… fuckin awesome.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      sounds like you have a Colonic itch…better get that checked out

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    Loving Colon..every pitch he throws is more icing on the cake. He is a very large man and his head is the size of a mid sized Buick.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      damn…just read my post and the phrase “Loving Colon” sounds pretty bad…

  • Bob Michaels

    The Yankees should drill some long balls tonite, Cano, Candy Man and The Atomic A-Rod

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    At least the team largely played a crisper game last night and actually got some breaks for a change. A bullpen of Noesi, Sanit, Ayala, Logan and Mo is slightly terrifying but with CC against his favorite opponent and Guthrie going for the O’s on Thursday, it is a great chance to get D-Rob and Joba some much-needed rest heading into the weekend.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      right on…

      All i’m asking for is an “efficient colon” and I’m not talking about my gastrointestinal system.

      And damn it, CC needs to give us 8 solid.

  • CBean

    I’d really like a game where we just completely crush the opposition.

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    And Now Comes The Hard Part…

    TWSS?

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

    Remember how Baltimore’s Jake Fox hit like seventy-jillion 450ft. homers in Spring Training (with 90% of those coming against Yankee pitchers) and was basically hotter than Roger Clemens’s balls?

    Fox, 2011: .158/.220/.395

    Heh.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      it the “Curse of Chris Shelton”…poor fella

    • Monteroisdinero

      Hopefully the same will happen with Britton who was very good against us in ST (may have faced us twice).

      He and Manny B were the top 2 young lefty starters in Florida ST IIRC.

    • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

      JoVa Part Deux.

  • Billy Mumphrey

    As long as Bartolo is on the mound we have a chance to win. What Girardi needs to do is move Jeter down to 9th. There is no excuse for a guy with a .300 OBP to be hitting lead off. The only reason he is still lead off is our weak and spineless manager. Cashman will have to step in soon and play bad cop again.

    • Monteroisdinero

      This is a broken record. It.will.not.happen.

      The only place Joe G. will move Jeter to is second-and this will not be for awhile. Those 3 games Jeter hit well in bought him another 4-6 weeks of leadoff. That’s the way it works in Yankeeland.

      • CP

        Ian O’Connor said that they would consider dropping him after he gets 3000 hits, but not before. You can make a judgment for yourself based on the source, but it sounds reasonable. That gives time for Jeter to secure his legacy as well as time to get past the “it’s still early” portion of the season.

        • Tom Swift

          Also, it gets him to 3000 hits a little faster. Once the milestone is reached, I think they wil have a freer hand in where and when they play him.

        • Tackaberry

          Ian O’Connor also said on Sportscenter that Mo falls in the second Tier of Yankee greats. IIRC he said it was Gehrig, Mantle, Ruth in the first tier and then Mo, Jeter, Berra, Dimaggio.

          I guess it is semantics, but Mo deserves to be at the same level as the Babe.

      • Uncle Fester

        So it sounds like Jeter will not be moved to 9th, eh? How about keep him batting at 1, then look at the rest of the line-up as if 2, 3, 4… is really your 1, 2, 3. Jeter may only lead-off once per game and the rest of your ducks are in a row. Bat Tex and A-Rod 4 and 5. It’s a sacrifice in the 1st inning, but they are already sacrificing.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Look kids, Big Ben, Parliament.

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        do you want that coke in the can?

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          No, I’ll have it right here.

  • ADam

    Now its time for Tex and AROD to start playing up to their Contracts… 1/4 way through the season Arod gets a D- and tex gets a C-… mt’ glove bumps him up a letter grade..

    Time to show up

  • UncleArgyle

    the Orioles are starting rookie lefty Zach Britton = 8 shutout innings on less than 100 pitches.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      And then we win it in the 9th off the Oriole’s BP.

  • Jorge

    Hopefully the Orioles don’t notice, sign fatboy Chris Britton to a minor league deal, and throw him out there tonight.

    I predict a typical Camden Yards, home-away-from-home, ass-kicking these next two.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      I predict Swisher wakes up tonight and hits a homer off Britton. His split v LHP this year: .371/.429/.429.

      • Clay Bellinger

        Those splits are crazy. He has almost the same amount of hits from each side, while having almost three times as many ABs vs. RHP. Wild.

  • steve s

    It would be nice if Cano woke up a little bit as well (especially in the field). Wasn’t crazy about his apparent public little hissy fit in the dugout (that Yes showed) when the coaches were talking to him about his error last night. Hope that this is not another sign of more clubhouse discontent of players vs coaches/management we’ve been seeing lately (with Posada, Jeter and Soriano coming to mind).

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      Steve can you explain about Cano’s actions. My Yes channel is blacked out when the Yanks play in Tampa. I live 70 miles away in Sarasota and its still considered Ray territory.

      • Clay Bellinger

        There is a “Ray territory”? Hah.

      • steve s

        Yes showed Cano in a somewhat animated discussion with Kelleher and other coaches in the dugout after the inning he made his error. The camera was still on him when he threw up his hands in apparent disgust and turned his back on the coaches and walked away from the conversation. The Yes announcers commented that he did not look very happy.

        • steve s

          One correction. The game was on Channel 9 (not Yes) last night.

          • LarryM.,Fl.

            Thank you Steve and Clay, I miss my Yes when the Yanks come to town.

            Clay there is a Ray territory. Fortunatley, the announcers are pretty good for the Rays. The Play by Play is done by an announcer named Steve Checkets he did the Yankee games for years. He has a healthy respect for the Yankee organization but knows where his bread is butter.

            I don’t go to many games when the Yanks are in town the field actually sucks and the fans are armed with freakin cow bells that they ring all game long plus they never sit in their seats always have to get up and let them pass onto another food fest or bathroom run. TV for me and feet up in the position of comfort until I get to Yankee stadium once or twice a year.

  • Guest

    We all want to see HR’s because, heck, they are fun AND effective. Plus the Yanks have a lot of guys who can hit them with regularity.

    BUT, Britton is not the kind of guy you swing for the fences with. He’s got one of the those nasty Chien Min in his prime power sinkers that, when he is on, will turn in to weak ground balls if guys are swinging hard and trying to pull it.

    Your best bet is to try and take Britton the other way.

    (Then again, thinking opposite field shouldn’t stop A-Rod from going yard though).

  • Pat D

    In other news, the Red Sox now have Dice-BB joining Lackey on the DL.

    The question I have is, does this actually make the Red Sox better?

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      it might…it just might.

    • aRX

      Addition by subtraction. No question.

    • Monteroisdinero

      both with elbow issues-could be a problem beyond the one DL stint.

    • UncleArgyle

      Hard to be worse. Then again if the replacement Starters are Timmy Wakefield and Felix Dubront….

      • Pat D

        I think I heard they’re calling up Bowden. Think this has to be a last chance for him.

        • CP

          Aceves is starting. Once hot prospect Bowden is now a reliever.

  • AC

    Seeing a rookie pitcher 1st time is always tough. Hopefully Colon brings his A-game and we get this rookies pitch count up and get to bullpen. We play good in Baltimore so. With lefty going I take it Swisher will play unless he’s still sick then most likely Jones in RF

    • Monteroisdinero

      We have seen him before. He pitched once or twice against us in ST in March and was successful. Most of our starters have seen him and there should be film to look at.

  • V

    I always love watching Yankees fans mock opposing pitchers as being pieces of worthless excrement, only to be surprised that major league pitchers are quite capable of getting major league hitters out. Even if they aren’t (yet) ‘name-brand’.

    Britton is a good pitcher. Yes, he’s had BABIP and strand rate luck, but that doesn’t mean he’s a bad pitcher. Chien-Ming Wang was able to DOMINATE some really good offenses over the years, and don’t be surprised (and please don’t whine like children) if this d00d dominates the Yankees. Good pitchers beating you doesn’t mean your offense sucks ***. It means a good pitcher had a good game.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      (rereads post and comments)

      I don’t think anybody actually said that Britton was bad or that beating him would be easy.

      What are you referring to?

      • V

        Let’s call it a preemptive strike.

        You -know- there are going to be 1000 ‘this guy sucks, why can’t we hit him’, ‘oh, of course, rookie pitcher, Yankees can’t hit those’, etc. comments tonight.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

          Ah, okay, gotcha. Like Phil Humber from the White Sox series.

          I copy.

  • It’sATarp

    AS shitty as Arod has played, he’s still second in the team in WAR with 1.5 (altho a good deal of it is b/c he has placed above par defense) behind Grandy of course

  • Freddy’s Mom

    The Yankees are a good team. We have lots of talented players who will do good things when they stop slumping. Girardi is a good manager, it’s just a verifiable fact, whether you agree with every decision he males or not. We may not win the World Series this season but I see no reason to feel badly, about the Yankees anyway. Just imagine being a Twins fan right now! Ewww! (shudders violently) Or maybe being Dominique Strauss-Kahn. (shudders deeply, inwardly)

  • Hummingbird S.

    I don’t know why but I think they’ll hit Britton around, the same way they have hit the very good Cahill so far in his career.

    • Hummingbird S.

      And that’s not taking anything from Britton who looks to be a really good pitcher. It’s just a feeling.

  • NHyankeesfan

    CC looks like he’s trying to give a drunk high five