The game didn’t go according to plan this afternoon, but that really doesn’t matter since the Yankees were dead in the playoff race water anyway. The pre-game Mariano Rivera ceremony was outstanding though and that made for a stellar Sunday. First-rate all the way. If you missed any part of the nearly hour-long ceremony, check out the various videos above. They’re all worth it.

Once you’re done with that, use this as your open thread for the evening. Cardinals-Brewers (Kelly vs. Peralta) and Bears-Steelers are your Sunday night baseball and football games, respectively. Also: Breaking Bad. Hell yeah. Talk about Rivera’s ceremony, the late games, Walter White, or anything else right here. Have at it.

Categories : Open Thread
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  • Update: Yankees rearrange rotation for final week of season
    By

    Sunday: The Yankees are indeed using tomorrow’s off-day to skip the Hughes/Huff spot. It’ll be Kuroda, Sabathia, and Nova against the Rays next week while Hughes/Huff get the ball sometime next weekend against the Astros. No-brainer move.

    Saturday: Prior to today’s game, Joe Girardi said the Yankees are considering using Monday’s off-day to rearrange their rotation for the final week of the season. Nothing is set in stone yet. “It’s something we have discussed and we have to make a decision pretty quick about what we’re going to do,” said the skipper.

    Most likely, the Yankees will use the off-day to push the Phil Hughes/David Huff tandem back to next weekend. That would line up Hiroki Kuroda, CC Sabathia, and Ivan Nova for the series with the Rays next week. It would also allow Sabathia to start a potential tiebreaker game next Monday, if the Yankees manage to get that far. Hughes/Huff currently line up for that game. So yeah, the change will be announced pretty soon.
    · (11) ·

G.O.A.T.

G.O.A.T.

Unless the Yankees make a surprising run to the postseason, Mariano Rivera‘s playing career will come to an end one week from today. He announced his plans to retire before the season and has been on a year-long farewell tour, receiving gifts from opposing clubs and in turn spending time with fans, stadium workers, and team employees at every opportunity. I highly recommend this Ian O’Connor story on Rivera’s interactions with those people this season. Truly inspiring stuff.

The Yankees have chosen to celebrate Mo with a pre-game ceremony on this day. The exact details are a mystery, but the team has announced that Monument Park will not be open to public before this afternoon’s game. That’s unusual. Perhaps they’re unveiling a plaque or re-retiring #42. Or both. Dan Martin reports Metallica will be at Yankee Stadium — something we first caught wind of last month — so I have to think a live rendition of Enter Sandman is in the works. Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams, and Jeff Nelson are among those who will be in attendance according to Mark Feinsand. Other than that … who knows? It’s a great big mystery.

Today is going to be a very bittersweet day. Rivera is my all-time favorite Yankee and I can’t wait to see what the team has in store this afternoon. They always knock these celebrations out of the park. Just think back to Hideki Matsui‘s retirement earlier this year or the final game at the old Yankee Stadium. I’m totally bummed out that Mo is retiring but I’m glad he’s walking away on his own terms. Most players are forced out, unwanted by all 30 clubs. Rivera is anything but. He’s a historically great player and a first-class person. There will never be another like him. It’s been a pleasure watching him for the last 19 seasons.

The pre-game festivities are scheduled to start at 12:30pm ET and YES will indeed carry them. They might also be broadcast on MLB Network and/or MLB.com, but don’t hold me to that. First pitch for the series finale between the Yankees and Giants is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and TBS nationally. Here’s the lineup that will face right-hander Yusmeiro Petit:

  1. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  2. DH Alex Rodriguez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. CF Curtis Granderson
  6. 3B Eduardo Nunez
  7. 1B Mark Reynolds
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C Chris Stewart

Oh, and by the way, Andy Pettitte is making the final Yankee Stadium start of his career this afternoon. He announced that he will retire after the season a few days ago. It’s very fitting that he and Rivera will both walk away from the game together given their career-long connection. What an amazingly awesome and sad day. Enjoy all of it.

Categories : Game Threads
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  • Nova thinks he may have been tipping pitches against Red Sox
    By

    Via Chad Jennings: Ivan Nova believes he was tipping his pitches during his two recent and ineffective starts against the Red Sox. “Sometimes you put [the glove] like this (sideways), sometimes you put it like that (straight up and down),” said Nova. “You don’t try to stay in one position. I don’t know if that was the problem, but I was watching the video and sometimes I do [change the glove] a little bit.”

    Chris Stewart agreed Nova could have been tipping his pitches, but yesterday’s complete-game shutout was more about attacking hitters than anything else. “Could have been (tipping pitches in Boston),” said the backstop. “They were spitting on some good pitches. But he also threw a lot more strikes today, it felt like, and he was attacking the hitter a lot more. I think that was the difference … Whether they knew what was coming in Boston or not, who knows, but hopefully we get a chance to play them in the playoffs and he gets a chance to redeem himself.”

    Nova, 26, has a 3.13 ERA and 3.42 FIP in 132.1 innings this season while battling an on-and-off triceps issue. It certainly seems plausible that he was tipping his pitches against Boston based on the at-bats they were having against him. As I said in the game recap two weeks ago, they did such a good job laying off his curveball that it seemed like they knew it was coming. Turns out they might actually have. Hopefully Nova and pitching coach Larry Rothschild cleaned up the sloppiness and it won’t be an issue going forward.
    · (19) ·

The Yankees will celebrate Mariano Rivera‘s career prior to tomorrow afternoon’s series finale against the Giants, and the team has already announced that Monument Park will be closed before the game. That’s a pretty good indication they’ll be doing something out there for Mo, probably giving him a plaque and re-retiring #42. That’s my guess, anyway. I can’t wait. Should be a blast even though it’s heartbreaking Rivera’s career will be over in a matter of days and not weeks.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the evening. The Mets and Phillies are playing (Gee vs. Cloyd), plus MLB Network will air a game as well. Who you see depends on where you live, but the game will have some kind of relevance to the various postseason races. There’s also college football on as well. Talk about any of those games or anything else right here.

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Source: FanGraphs

I wish every game would be that easy. Ivan Nova and some early runs helped the Yankees to a stress-free shutout win over the defending World Champion Giants on Saturday afternoon, a game that took a tidy two hours and 32 minutes. Pretty awesome. Let’s recap the 6-0 win:

  • Ivan Rebounds: The last few weeks have been tough for Nova, and not coincidentally, he has been battling some triceps soreness. He rebounded to throw his best game of the month on Saturday, chucking his second complete-game shutout in his last five starts. Nova threw only 108 pitches while striking out seven and limiting the Giants to six hits. Twenty-one of his 27 outs came on the infield, including 14 ground ball outs. San Francisco did not have a batter reach third base and only two made it as far as second base. Nova was dominant. Great to see him bounce back after a few tough starts.
  • Keep The Line Moving: This was like, the most textbook and cliched offensive game ever. The Yankees scored their first couple runs with an extended rally before pulling away late with homers. I’m sure you’ve heard more than a few announcers say that’s the right way to win. Anyway, the 7-8-9 hitters loaded the bases with no outs in the third inning before the 1-2-3 hitters drove them all in. Ichiro Suzuki hit a sacrifice fly to plate Mark Reynolds (single), Alex Rodriguez drove in Brendan Ryan (single) with a ground out, then Robinson Cano plated Chris Stewart (walk) with a single through the hole on the left side of the infield. Textbook. Or so I’m told.
  • Pull Away: Like I said, the Yankees went to long ball to put the game to bed in the middle innings. Eduardo Nunez swatted a two-run dinger off Ryan Vogelsong in the fourth inning — it was a bomb, gone off the bat — before Alfonso Soriano tacked on a solo shot in the sixth. He said his sore thumb was sapping his power last week, but that’s now two homers in two games for him. Guess the thumb is feeling fine.
  • Leftovers: Am I the only one who is still surprised any time Ryan fields a ball to his left? We haven’t seen too many Yankees shortstops make those plays in recent years, so it’s a shock to the system … Cano was the only Yankee with multiple hits but only Ichiro and A-Rod failed to reach base. They each drove in a run with a productive out … Cano is three doubles away from his fifth straight 40+ double season and seventh of his career. That would tie Lou Gehrig for the most such seasons in franchise history.
  • Winning Season: The win was the team’s 82nd of the year, clinching their 21st consecutive winning season. That is the second longest such streak in history, trailing only the 1926-1964 Yankees. Thirty-nine straight years. Yeah, the current squad still has a long way to go to match that. Geez.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Depending on the rest of the day’s games, the Yankees will be either three games (Rangers or Indians win) or two games (Rangers and Indians both lose) back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column with seven to play. Andy Pettitte and Yusmeiro Petit (!!!) is your pitching matchup for the series finale on Sunday afternoon, which is Mariano Rivera day at Yankee Stadium. If you want to catch the game and festivities live, head to RAB Tickets.

Categories : Game Stories
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Sep
21

Game 155: Another Day

By in Game Threads. · Comments (104) ·
... who the hell is #66? I started losing track of numbers like ten call-ups ago. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)

… who the hell is #66? I lost track of numbers like ten call-ups ago. (Maddie Meyer/Getty)

The final homestand of the season opened last night with a win that was straight out of the 2009 playbook: CC Sabathia pitched well and Alex Rodriguez hit a key homerun. Those were the days. The Yankees are trying to stave off elimination — their tragic number is seven with eight games to play — for another day this afternoon, and I suppose they want to do whatever they can to get back into the race until they are mathematically eliminated. Here’s the lineup Joe Girardi is running out there against righty Ryan Vogelsong:

  1. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  2. DH Alex Rodriguez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. CF Curtis Granderson
  6. 3B Eduardo Nunez
  7. 1B Mark Reynolds
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C Chris Strewart

And on the mound is right-hander Ivan Nova. He’s been dealing with a nagging triceps problem for a few weeks now and has a 4.25 ERA (4.96 FIP) with the same number of walks (17) as strikeouts in his last six starts. Yuck. That needs to stop.

It is cool and cloudy in New York but there doesn’t appear to be any threat of rain. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Unless they sneak into the playoffs and make a nice run, this will be the last time Tim McCarver ever calls a Yankees game. He’s retiring after the season. Enjoy the game.

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  • Romine not ready to return, still dealing with concussion symptoms
    By

    Via Andy McCullough: Austin Romine is still dealing with concussion symptoms and isn’t ready to return to the team. He has been given the okay for light workouts, but those aren’t going well. “I think (the ball is) going to be one place and it’s another place, or I’ll do something I’m always used to doing and I won’t catch it,” he said. “I know my body. I know what I can do. So when I do stuff I’m not used to doing, I’m like ‘What the heck?’ I don’t want that to happen in a game.”

    Romine, who missed time with a much more serious concussion suffered during a home plate collision in 2011, added: “Mainly, it’s my health. I’m not going to go out there and risk permanent damage, a worse concussion, possibly die. It’s a pretty serious injury. And two, I’m not going to go out there and screw my team. I’m not going to miss a ball with a guy on third, because I’m trying to suck it up and go out there. I’m better for the team if I don’t go out there.”

    The 24-year-old Romine has been sidelined for eleven days after taking a foul tip to the mask in Baltimore. He has hit .207/.255/.296 (47 wRC+) in 60 games overall this season, but he was far more productive after the All-Star break and before the injury (105 wRC+ in 23 games). With only eight games left in the year and a microscopic chance of making the postseason, the Yankees should just shut Romine down. Brain injuries are nothing to screw around with.
    · (6) ·


Source: FanGraphs

It’s too bad the Yankees are so far out of the playoff race, otherwise this game would have been all kinds of awesome. They got big performances from two important players and rallied late for a 5-1 win over the defending World Series champs. Let’s recap:

  • Record-Setting: The Yankees were poised to blow a golden opportunity in the seventh inning of a tie game before the totally unclutch Alex Rodriguez saved the day. He clubbed his 24th career grand slam off former Yankee George Kontos with two outs in the inning, turning a 1-1 game into a much more comfortable 5-1 game. It also broke a tie with Lou Gehrig atop the all-time grand slam list, meaning A-Rod has now hit more bases loaded homers than anyone in history. Pretty cool. And a big hit too.
  • Stepped Up: There’s a good chance New York would be sitting in a playoff spot right now if CC Sabathia had a typical CC Sabathia season. He’s been awful this year, but he did turn in one of his best outings of the year on Friday night. Sabathia held the Giants to one run in seven innings (and one batter), striking out seven and allowing ten base-runners total. Just two of the final 12 men he faced reached base. It wasn’t a vintage dominant Sabathia outing, but he was effective and that’s something we hadn’t seen in a long time.
  • Leftovers: Alfonso Soriano got the Yankees on the board with a Yankee Stadium cheapie solo homer in second. He had two hits and a walk … props to Eduardo Nunez for two stellar defensive plays at third base (no seriously), one charging a ball and another fielding a tough hop … Brendan Ryan and Ichiro Suzuki had singles while Ichiro also drew a walk … David Robertson and Mariano Rivera combined to retire five of the six batters they faced. The only blemish was a Robertson walk.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Depending on the outcomes of the other games, the Yankees will be either three games (Rays and/or Rangers lose) or four games (Rays and Rangers both win) back of the second wildcard spot in the loss column with eight to play. Cool Standings has their postseason odds at 4.4%. Ivan Nova and Ryan Vogelsong is your pitching matchup Saturday afternoon. Check out RAB Tickets if you watch to catch the fourth-to-last home game of the season (and Rivera’s career) in person.

Categories : Game Stories
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Sep
20

Game 154: 1%

By in Game Threads. · Comments (143) ·
(Jennifer Stewart/Getty)

(Jennifer Stewart/Getty)

According to Baseball Prospectus, the Yankees have a 1% chance to make the postseason following their loss to the Blue Jays last night. They’re four games back in the loss column with only nine to play, meaning even if they go a perfect 9-0, either the Rangers or Rays would need to go 5-4 just to force a tiebreaker game. That doesn’t even factor in the Orioles, Royals, and Indians, all of whom are sandwiched between the Yankees and a wildcard spot. The postseason outlook is indeed grim, but the Yankees have not yet been mathematically eliminated. Until that happens, there will still be some shred of hope. Here’s the lineup Joe Girardi will send out there against two-time Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum:

  1. RF Ichiro Suzuki
  2. DH Alex Rodriguez
  3. 2B Robinson Cano
  4. LF Alfonso Soriano
  5. CF Curtis Granderson
  6. 3B Eduardo Nunez
  7. 1B Lyle Overbay
  8. SS Brendan Ryan
  9. C J.R. Murphy

And on the mound is another former Cy Young Award winner, CC Sabathia. Two or three years ago, a Sabathia-Lincecum pitching matchup would have been one of the best and most exciting in baseball. They were two of the five or ten best pitchers in the world as recently as 2011.

It’s a lovely day in New York, perfect for baseball. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Injury Update: Boone Logan (elbow) is available for tonight’s game. He’s missed about two weeks with a bone spur.

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