Jonah Keri, writing on his personal site, takes a look at the top 10 Yankees of all time. He only counts time spent with the Yankees, and it’s limited to position players, but all in all this looks like a quality list. Personally I’d put Gehrig above Mantle, if for no other reason than his dominance relative to the league at the time. So head over and take a look. It’s something to kill time on a dreary Saturday morning. · (32) ·
Prior to the 10th inning, the Yankees had six at bats with runners in scoring position and no hits. On the seventh at-bat, Robinson Cano delivered. It was a no-doubter, gone off the bat, and the Yankees went home happy, 5-2 winners in 10 innings over the reeling White Sox.
For much of the game, CC Sabathia was the story. He utterly dominated the White Sox for six innings before running into trouble in the seventh. A great throw by Nick Swisher and a stellar bare-handed tag by Jose Molina held the White Sox at two runs, and it would be enough.
On the night, CC threw seven innings and allowed just those two earned runs on eight hits and a walk. He struck out 10 White Sox and recorded a season high — for any pitcher — 25 swing-and-misses. He threw first-pitch strikes to 22 of 29 hitters and didn’t walk away with a win because the Yankees’ offense just didn’t come through. Of the 113 pitches he threw, 78 of them were strikes. With 41 K in his last 37.1 innings pitched, Sabathia is on.
For the Yankees’ offense, the night was one of frustration. They knocked out eight hits against Mark Buehrle and six in the first three innings. Yet their two earned runs scored on solo shots by Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon. It was a tough night — 14 baserunners with three runs scoring on a two-out home run in the bottom of the tenth by Robbie Cano. But a win is a win is a win. While the Blue Jays and Red Sox sit out a rain delay, the Yanks’ magic number will go down to at least 29 tonight.
After Sabathia left, the Yankee bullpen took. Phil Hughes went first, and he dominated. He faced three batters, threw 10 of his 14 pitches for strikes and walked away with three K’s. Mariano Rivera followed suit. He struck out just one hitter and threw just 10 pitches in his 1-2-3 inning. For reasons unknown both Rivera and Hughes did not throw multiple innings tonight. With such low pitches counts, both pitchers could have gone a second inning. But it was not to be, and Brian Bruney threw a 1-2-3 tenth. He walked away with the win.
In the tenth, the Yankees paid back some of those two-out runs they had been giving up in bunches lately. After Mark Teixeira went down strikes and A-Rod flew out to center on a ball that, on a warmer night, would have been a walk-off home run on a warmer night, the rally began. Hideki Matsui drew a key walk, Nick Swisher drew a key walk, and up came Robinson Cano.
Prior to tonight, Cano was not the guy we wanted up in that situation. With runners in scoring position this year, he was hitting just .204/.237/.313 with just two home runs in 156 plate appearances. In those situations, he has a .211 BABIP, suggesting a great amount of bad luck. With two outs and runners in scoring position, Cano is even worse. He’s hitting .181/.218/.277 with a .171 BABIP. Yet, on a 2-2 pitch, Cano lined a ball over the right-center field fence for a walk-off home run. He got his pie; the Yanks got their win; and we all went home happy.
Eduardo Nunez was named to the Double-A Eastern League Postseason All Star Team, so congrats to him. Austin Jackson wasn’t so lucky, he landed in the Not-So-Hot section of this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet.
Meanwhile, some jerk threw Triple-A Scranton’s Governor’s Cup Trophy across the room because he was upset about something. He was arrested, and the trophy is a little banged up. Doesn’t sound like a trip to the disabled list will be needed.
Triple-A Scranton was rained out. They’ll play two tomorrow.
Double-A Trenton was also washed out. Two tomorrow.
Game 1 (3-2 loss over Brevard County) this was the completion of the July 7th game that was suspended due to rain in the middle of the fourth inning
Dan Brewer & David Adams: both 1 for 4 – Brewer scored a run & K’ed twice … Adams K’ed once & missed a catch for an error
Matt Cusick: 0 for 2 – played in the original game, but not today’s
Luis Nunez: 1 for 2 - took over for Cusick
Austin Romine, Kevin Smith & Jack Rye: all 0 for 4 - Romine K’ed three times, Smith once
Damon Sublett: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Brandon Laird: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 HBP
Mitch Hilligoss: 0 for 1 – ditto Cusick’s comment
Walt Ibarra: 0 for 3, 1 K
Hector Noesi: 3.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3-5 GB/FB – started the original game
DJ Mitchell: 4.1 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 9-2 GB/FB – he started today’s game … one of the walks was intentional, but that’s still a very uncharacteristic walk total for him
Noel Castillo: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2-1 GB/FB
Get a hit with runners in scoring position. CC deserves better than this.
Last time the Yankees faced Mark Buehrle they had a plan. The Bombers touched him for 12 hits on August 2, most of them grounders between short and third. That could have been coincidence, but more than likely, considering its frequency, it was a design by Kevin Long. It worked, as the Yanks mustered seven runs off the ChiSox ace and knocked him out after 4.1 innings.
Since he pitched his no-hitter on July 23, Buehrle has gone down hill. He did spin a gem against Seattle on August 12, eight innings of shutout ball, but other than that he’s been downright terrible. In his last two starts he’s allowed four runs over six innings to the freaking Royals, striking out zero, and five runs over 5.1 innings to the Orioles. His ERA still sits at 3.92, but it’s been quite inflated lately.
Buehrle has tossed an even 50 innings in his career against the Yankees, allowing 41 runs, 39 earned. There is no team he has fared worse against in his career — save for a paltry 11-inning sample against the Giants. While he gives other teams fits, especially the division rival Tigers, against whom he has a 2.99 career ERA, the Yankees seem to have him figured out.
On the other side will be the league leader in innings pitched and games started, CC Sabathia. As expected, CC has been pitching lights out this August. His only blip was his last outing against the ChiSox, also opposing Buehrle, when he allowed five runs over seven innings. That was good enough for the win that day, though, and he’s plowed through each subsequent start, earning a victory every time.
What’s changed this month about Sabathia is his strikeouts and walks. Over the season’s first four months he had a 109:43 K/BB ratio, pretty good but not quite the insane ratios he’s had over the past few years. Since then he’s struck out 39 to just five walks. That’s more like it. The only miniscule problem here is that he’s allowed five homers this month, but those have mostly been of the solo variety. That’s going to happen to a power pitcher (see Santana, Johan). As long as they happen with no one on base, though, it’s not that big an issue.
Yanks look to put the series loss against the Rangers behind them by taking the first today. Considering the way the Sox played against the Sox last week, the Yankees should take all three here. Not that they will, but they should against a team playing like the Sox right now.
And on the mound, number fifty-two, Carsten Charles Sabathia.
As the Yanks gear up for a potentially rain-soaked game against the Chicago White Sox, word out of the clubhouse involves some changes to the Joba Plan. Originally, the Yanks had planned to limit Joba to six more starts, prior to Tuesday’s sub-par outing, with extended rest in between. Now, the team has announced that Joba will take the ball every five days but that his innings will be closely monitored. According to Joe Girardi, Joba will not factor into every decision. Therefore, we can assume that he won’t be pitching five innings every start. “We just thought,” Girardi said to reporters, “putting him more on a routine would be better for him.” This week’s discouraging start has seemingly convinced the Yanks that a regular Joba is a better Joba or Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin.
While good for the rotation, this move means however, that the Yanks’ pen will be rather taxed every five days. At this point, the Yanks would be wise to have Phil Hughes or Al Aceves shadow Joba. Using Hughes would give him the regular innings he needs, and using Aceves would allow Al to slot back into the routine of a starter he seems to be missing. More on this over the weekend. · (54) ·
MLB.com’s Lyle Spencer is reporting that the Angels are on the verge of acquiring Scott Kazmir for two minor leaguers. Pitcher Alexander Torres and third baseman Matthew Sweeney would head to Tampa. Kazmir is under contract through the 2011 season. He’ll make $8 million next and $12 million in 2011, and the Angels will hold a $13.5 million option or a $2 million buyout for the 2012 season. Reportedly, Kazmir will it’s about the money. No matter what, though, the October picture could be radically altered by this acquisition. The Angels have long had the Yanks’ number, and this move gives them another left-handed weapon for their pitching staff. · (73) ·
Yesterday afternoon, following the Yanks’ loss to the Rangers, Mike reported that the Yankees were interested in Brad Penny. While early reports indicated that Penny may have promised the Red Sox that he would not sign with an AL East competitor following his release, George A. King III disputed those stories. Penny is free to go where he wants.
While the Yankees could use Penny to fill a fifth starter spot currently split between Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre — or the fourth starter spot with Joba in limbo — the Yankees aren’t the only team interested in Penny. According to MLB.com, the Rockies, Marlins, Rays, White Sox and Rangers are all considering Penny as well. It must feel good to be wanted.
For their part, the Yankees offered up some qualified “He’s better than Sergio Mitre” praise for Penny. “He’s got good stuff,” Johnny Damon said to King. “His secondary stuff might need a little tweak but his fastball was electric, it cut and he hit his spots with it. Bring him here, why not? I love the way the guy competes.”
Yankee fans, on the other hand, have seen Penny twice this year, and most of us probably aren’t that impressed. On July 11, Penny threw probably his best start of the season and beat the Yanks. He tossed six shut-out innings and allowed six hits and a walk while striking out five. On August 21, in his last Boston start, Penny gave up eight runs on 10 hits and a walk in four innings of work. This effort capped a five-start run in which Penny went 1-4 with a 9.11 ERA. Opponents are hitting .333/.397/.595 off Penny during this stretch.
So why are the Yankees interested? Well, as I mentioned, Penny would be better than Mitre. This stretch notwithstanding, Penny’s numbers — 7-8, 5.61 ERA — aren’t as bad as they seem. Penny’s BABIP is an absurd .327 even though his line drive and HR rates are in line with league averages. Why the high BABIP? Well, the Red Sox’s defense is terrible. Their team UZR is -22.2, worse only than the Royals, Orioles, Twins and Indians in the AL. Combine that defense with a little bit of bad luck, and you get an underperforming pitcher.
Right now, Penny’s FIP stands 4.58 with an xFIP of 4.96. That’s tolerable, and Penny won’t give the Yankees innings — he hasn’t pitched out of the 6th yet this year — he’ll give them some back-end stability as the team looks to get their rotation in line for October. If the Yanks sign Penny to the league minimum, they won’t expect much, but they don’t need much. Six innings of 4.58 ERA baseball would be a-OK with me.