Cano homers twice; Yanks beat Blue Jays again

Whitley returns from DL in AAA loss
2013 Draft: MLB.com's Mock Draft v1.0


Source: FanGraphs

The Blue Jays scored 21 total runs against the Giants on Wednesday and Thursday, so they came into this weekend series swinging the bat well. Instead, they’ve been dominated by a Yankees’ pitching staff that has held them to two total runs in two games. New York won Saturday’s game by the score of 7-2, their eighth win over Toronto in nine meetings this year. Let’s recap…

  • Cano Once, Cano Twice: Robinson Cano came into Saturday’s game riding a 10-for-49 slump, but he broke out against Brandon Morrow with a pair of two-run homers. The first was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie in the third inning while the second was a legit blast over the bullpen and into the right field bleachers in the fifth. Robbie had a chance for a third homer, but he struck out in the eighth. Both dingers were hit with two outs, so Joe Girardi‘s decision to bat Cano second instead of third paid some very real dividends. He might not have batting in those innings had he batted third, the spot traditional reserved for the team’s best hitter.
  • Season-High: For the first time in his big league career, David Phelps completed seven innings of work. Things got a little hairy in the first thanks to two walks — only nine of his 24 pitches in the inning were strikes — but Jose Bautista wandered too far off second and Phelps picked him off to end the threat. The right-hander struck out eight and got seven ground ball outs, allowing the only run when Curtis Granderson got turned around on a line drive in his first career start in right field. It’s only been four starts, but I don’t see how Ivan Nova gets his rotation spot back when he’s ready to come off the DL. Barring injury, of course. Phelps has been so much better.
  • Leftovers: Travis Hafner played for the first time in about a week, hitting a two-run homer in the eighth to break things open … Granderson and David Adams were the only Yankees without hits, but only Cano had multiple knocks … Austin Romine singled in three at-bats and looks way, way more comfortable at the plate now that he’s playing everyday due to Chris Stewart‘s injury … David Robertson allowed a solo homer in the eighth before Boone Logan struck out a pair in a perfect ninth … Jayson Nix singled and struck out twice in four at-bats while seeing eight total pitches … the Yankees are 18-0 when scoring first, the first team in AL history to win its first 18 games when scoring first.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has the nerd score. ESPN has the updated standings, which show the Yankees remaining atop the AL East by one game in the loss column over the Red Sox. The Orioles are now three back thanks to another Jim Johnson blown save. The Yankees will look to complete their second sweep of the Blue Jays this season on Sunday, when former Cy Young Award winners CC Sabathia and R.A. Dickey square off in a matinee. RAB Tickets has last minute ticket deals.

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Whitley returns from DL in AAA loss
2013 Draft: MLB.com's Mock Draft v1.0
  • Robinson Tilapia

    And that’s why they call him Big Game Dave Phelps.

    I kid, of course. Watched until it was 3-0 before focusing on some more important things today. Phelps looked shaky, but it looked like he bent, but never broke, for the rest of the game.

    Great to see Robbie breaking out of his slide, and Pronk back in the lineup.

    I like the Brignac pickup. Not a great hitter, but gives you more of a chance up there than Gonzalez did while not losing much on defense. We can actually sit Nix more now, which I feel he direly needs. Love him a role player, but he can’t be out there every. With Adams filling in at third, and Brignac/Nix at short, I feel about as good as I have about that side of the infield since Youk went down.

    I do want to see Adams stick around when Youk comes back. Perhaps that’s truly the end of The Ben Francisco Treat. Adams can act as a backup at first and third (I know – no need to say it) with Nix and Brignac splitting time at short and spelling Robbie. It may also allow the team to be able to keep Nunez at AAA until he’s able to actually hit and field his position simultaneously.

    Great win. Remember those two losses in Seattle? This is the kind of toughness the 2013 Yankees have.

    • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      I need a toughness graph or scale (in color) that not only compares this team with others in the league, but also with past Yankees team.

      Come on Tilapia your slipping man.

      My Wannabe Award goes to David “I know I can” Phelps.

      RIGHT PLACE!

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        So who’s your Has Been of the game?

        • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

          Travis “my shoulder is feeling better” Hafner

          • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

            Very good pick. The obvious choice.

      • TomH

        I don’t have a scale or anything like it, but if you’re interested in “tough” Yankee teams of the past, you should read David Halberstam’s The Summer of 49, on the Yankee-Red Sox pennant race. The 1949 team also had many injuries. As for its toughness, it was fiercely self-policing of its own players. Stengel could leave that to Henrich, Dimag, Raschi, and the others.

        • andrew j

          1 down with 2 to play end of season. Yanks beat Sox twice. Start of five straight titles under stengel

    • Laz

      Phelps could have some competition. With Andy going on the DL, one of Warren or Nuno figures to take his spot. Phelps has the leg up, but I figure that the other 2 have a chance if they really dazzle.

      I wouldn’t get too far ahead of us in figuring how Adams fits in. He has had injury problems himself, and Youk still isn’t a sure thing to stay healthy. So far he has impressed though.

      I have to think Nunez will get his shot back when ready. Brignac and Nix are terrible hitters, what Nunez has done so far this year, is what you can expect from Brignac.

    • forensic

      I wouldn’t hold your breath on Francisco being dumped for a rookie like Adams. Though I’d certainly be ok with it, it doesn’t sound like Cashman has Francisco on the chopping block quite yet, for whatever reason.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

        By the time Youk or Tex are ready to return, Francisco will be on the chopping block, provided Adams is doing relatively well.

      • trr

        The reason would seem to be because he’s a right-hand hitter

      • steve (different one)

        The issue with Francisco is the 40 man roster jam, plain and simple. It’s almost like in basketball when teams trade expiring contracts, that’s what Francisco is. He goes as soon as soon as someone comes off the 60 day DL, unless they make another “Nelson/Brignac” type upgrade in the interim, IOW a guy they can ditch when the time comes.

        What is not going to happen, is that Francisco is not going to be replaced by a “permanent” 40 man addition, i.e. Mustelier. The Yankees have 100 guys on the 60 day DL and they all need roster spaces. Basically Adams took Mustelier’s opportunity instead, bad timing for him, but that’s the way it played out. The only candidates to replace him are guys already on the roster and Mesa hasn’t really forced their hand. I assume they don’t want Almonte getting 5 AB’s a week in the bigs

        This is simply the way it is right now with the roster nightmare all of these injuries have created. Besides, Cashman knows the fans always need one guy to focus all of their hatred on, even when things are going great. With A-Rod on the DL, Francisco has to take up that mantle.

  • Eddard

    And that’s why they call him Big Game Dave Phelps. I agree with you, Mike, Phelps is in the rotation to stay. The only chance of Nova getting back in is injury or Hughes coughs up his spot.

    I think what we’re seeing at SS is the irreplaceable Eduardo Nuney. They’ve tried 3 different players at that position since Nuney went down and none have been able to fill his shoes. Once he’s healthy he’ll be back starting at SS. Brignac is another one of those Chris Nelson temps.

    The lineup is now decent with Grandy and Hafner back. Once Youk and Teixera return soon it’ll almost be back to full strength. Just imagine how good it will be when they get Cervelli and Jeter back as well. It’s a great day to be a Yankee fan.

    • Laz

      Cut Francisco and it is 3X better.

    • forensic

      “They” don’t call him Big Game Dave Phelps, only you do.

      • Bob Buttons

        They don’t even call him Dave.

        • Havok9120

          I feel this is a point which is often missed.

        • MannyGeee

          Maybe the should call him “Big Gamin’ David Phelps”…. Now excuse me while I pour meself a bleach cocktail.

    • Brian S.

      Nunez and his 56 wRC+ and -.06 WAR. Irreplaceable.

    • trr

      Who’s they?

  • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    I need a toughness graph or scale (in color) that not only compares this team with others in the league, but also with past Yankees team.

    Come on Tilapia your slipping man.

    My Wannabe Award goes to David “I know I can” Phelps.

    • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Wrong place sorry

    • Robinson Tilapia

      For the next two minutes, it’s still my birthday. I get a pass.

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        Happy Birthday !!!!!

        Hope you had a great with the family.

        • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

          I would ask how old but I stop using numbers for my birthday because it started to scare so I can’t ask.

          • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

            scare me

  • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

    On an unrelated note, Star Trek Into Darkness kicked ass. A lot darker than the original, but good acting and good dialogue made it really fun despite a fairly weak plot line, although I thought they did a good job with it.

    • Dalek Jeter

      Cumberbatch and Quinto were incredible.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        Quinto was good in the original, but I thought Kirk and Scottie were better. But man, Quinto stepped up his game BIG time. He was just awesome.

        Cumberbatch, of course, is always amazing.

        The crew really is cast perfectly.

        • Dalek Jeter

          I’d never seen Cumberbatch in anything other than Sherlock, and he’s incredible, but one of the things about Sherlock is he’s not a visibly emotional guy. As Khan you felt Cumberbatch’s emotion. I actually felt bad for him when he was explaining what Admiral Marcus did to him and his crew. I really think Cumberbatch and Quinto just blew everybody else off the screen this time around. And I love Simon Pegg.

          • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

            Have to agree, although regarding Sherlock – one of the best things about his performance in “The Reichenbach Fall” was the emotion shown at the end.

            The dude is just an awesome all-around actor.

            As for Quinto…I don’t even know where that came from. He was pretty good in the first movie, but he was just worlds better in this one.

            It’s also worth it to mention that Bones fucking NAILS the role.

            • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

              In fact, I thought some of the strongest dialogue in the movie came when Kirk, Spock, and McCoy were bickering with each other about what to do with Harrison.

    • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      Baseball and great movie reviews this is why I’m always here.

    • Pat D

      The question for them is…what now? It seems the movie isn’t doing the box office numbers they’d hope for (curse you, Iron Man and Fast and the Furious), and obviously Abrams won’t be around.

      I think the next one needs to be a tad less action movie and a bit more character-centric. We haven’t really gotten a lot yet from McCoy, Sulu or Chekov.

      • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

        I’d be cool with that. I’d love to see more of that Kirk, Spock, McCoy dynamic. Those three have good chemistry with each other. Love to see more from Sulu too. Chekov is kind of a mystery right now.

      • Dalek Jeter

        I know it’s never going to happen…but 5 year mission..exploring uncharted space…at least one actor who has done the TV thing successfully…Damnit somebody call HBO.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          I was thinking the exact same thing. I’ve never watched Star Trek before, but given my enjoyment of these new movies I think it would be awesome if they based a show around them. Maybe get Patrick Stewart, Shatner, and Archer to make a few cameos too.

      • Kiko Jones

        As a big Star Trek fan I wanted to check out this reboot of the franchise but every trailer and scene I saw just screamed “Michael Bay in space”, so I’ve stayed away. And my friends haven’t really convinced me to see either movie, so…

        • Deathstroke Heathcott

          Meh, as a big Star Trek fan, you owe it to yourself to watch the reboots of the franchise with an open mind and come to your own opinion on them. I’m not saying you’ll necessarily enjoy them but as a big fan, you should at least watch them and give them a chance. They may not as “faithful” as you’d like but you might as well know for yourself.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR)

          Oh, it is NOT Michael Bay in space. Trust me. Better acting, better characters, better dialogue.

  • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    Pick up another infielder..SMH

    Who misses Derek “no range” Jeter?

    ME! ME! ME!

    • Bob Buttons

      Brignac was a highly touted prospect and he bats lefty. That automatically makes him better than Nelson and Gonzalez.

      • Brian S.

        At least Gonzalez offered pretty decent defense.

        • Havok9120

          Is there all that much to suggest that Brignac doesn’t?

          As for you, Mr. Buttons, yes, it does make him at least somewhat better when we already have a platoon SS that can hit lefties pretty well. Slotting in a lefty batter is an improvement.

      • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        “highly touted prospect ”

        He might as well have a 666 tattooed on his head.

  • forensic

    I’m so confused. I thought Phelps couldn’t get through a lineup twice, and certainly not three times. But now he should stay in the rotation???

    I wish it would happen, but unfortunately I don’t think they’d do that since it’s coming from an injury.

    Love seeing them keep on beating down the Jays, especially with them continuing their ugly play and leading to some demoralizing losses.

    Hopefully CC steps up tomorrow and they put enough on the board against Dickey to finish off another beautiful sweep of 2013 World Champions…

    • Bob Buttons

      Don’t you mean the 2013-2018 World Champs?

    • mustang(The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      I’m sure there has been many and I have missed them all, but a funny and upbeat comment from forensic?

      This team is really touching people. (A tear running down my face)

  • nycsportzfan

    David Phelps was sensational mixing speeds fantastically, as low as 80mph to 90mph for the most part. Thats quite a wide range of pitches to be throwing or strikes and makes it very hard for the oppositon to time the pitches.

    Our pitching has been utterly fantastic, and the season of the unheralded yanks continues to be impressive!

  • BigBlueAL

    Its nights like tonight when Im thankful Im a Yankee fan. With the Knicks done my full attention goes directly to the Yankees. Hopefully it will last well into October.

  • Evan3457

    We begin to see the light at the end of the tunnel…

    The lineup begins to take shape with the returns of Granderson and Hafner. The top 6 looks moderately dangerous, and Nix is nearly back where he should be when he must play: the bottom. It gets better still when Tex and Youkillis return. Sit Grandy or Gardner with Ichiro against tough lefties, and Wells against righties he has trouble with. Cervelli coming back fills another hole. The last hole gets filled when Nunez shows he can stay on the field, or on that happy day when Derek is back amongst the playing.

    Now, if the pitching staff doesn’t fall to pieces…

    • Bob Buttons

      Don’t know about you but to me Brignac wouldn’t be that much worse than 2013 Nunez.

      • Brian S.

        He’s probably better. I’m really disappointed in Nunez this season.

        • Havok9120

          Yeah. I honestly thought his bat would be (or at least look ) better than this. He’s seemed totally overmatched.

          I mean, I wasn’t expecting Ted Williams like a couple people (neither credible) were, but good Lord.

  • nycsportzfan

    According to Brandon Morrow, he was beat by the “New York Robinson Cano’s”..lol

  • forensic

    Catching up on the pregame show right now, and Marakovits just said that Joba is supposed to throw another bullpen sometime in the coming days, and just played catch today.

    His only AAA rehab appearance was on the 14th. You really have to wonder if he felt a little something in the oblique during that appearance and they backed off on him just a touch again, and just haven’t revealed it to the media.

    That’s going to be a lot of days in between appearances for a reliever that is supposedly recovered from an injury that wasn’t a really long-term deal in terms of games/time missed.

    • TomH

      I don’t know about another oblique injury, but he did dislocate his mouth. Maybe he’s in mini-exile.

      • jjyank

        *sigh*

  • Get Phelps Up

    Creme de la creme

  • Tags

    I know Mike always says Phelps ceiling is a number 5. Well if he can continue to pitch like this he can be our number 5 for a long time. I’ve followed him since I saw him in Trenton and all the guy does is win.

  • mt

    Something seems to have not been announced about the Joba injury since he was supposed to be back possibly last Wednesday or Thursday after his rehab stint (reminds me also of Youkilis injury when they supposedly originally thought he would miss the 15 days) – also you have Nova and Nunez still not back – the team is playing well but as we all know thier margin of error is low so it could turn south quickly.

    It’s almost like we have had 2 injury waves – the HOF level/perennial All-Stars (Jeter, Arod, Grandy and Tex) and now a second wave of replacement and new player injuries that are not quite at the HOF/perennial All Star level (Cervelli, Nunez, Youkilis, Joba, Nova, Pettite, Stewart (hopefully minor) and Hafner). It makes me wish we could wrap Cano in bubble wrap on and off the field.

    The Nova injury taking longer makes them avoid the Nova demotion/ bullpen issue when he returns. What I like about Phelps as a starter is that he seems to be able to bulldog his way through some situations or limit damge where recently Nova has struggled with that.

  • steve (different one)

    Phelps reminds me of a poor man’s IPK.