Spillover thread V? WTF?
Just end this shit already.
Make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread.
Triple-A Scranton (4-0 loss to Lehigh Valley)
Kevin Russo: 2 for 3, 2 BB, 1 CS, 2 E (fielding, throwing)
Reegie Corona: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 1 E (throwing) – just up from AA since Ramiro Pena is in the bigs
Austin Jackson: 0 for 5, 1 K
Shelley Duncan & John Rodriguez: both 1 for 3, 1 BB
Juan Miranda: 0 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K
Yurendell DeCaster & Colin Curtis: all 1 for 4 – DeCaster K’ed once, Curtis twice
Chris Stewart: 0 for 2, 1 BB, 1 PB, 1 HBP
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 5.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 5-8 GB/FB – 61 of 99 pitches were strikes
Zach Kroenke: 0.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 17 of 28 pitches were strikes (60.7%)
Amaury Sanit: 0.2 IP, zeroes, 1-1 GB/FB – 4 of 7 pitches were strikes
Damaso Marte: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 7 of 13 pitches were strikes
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 6 of 9 pitches were strikes
Am I missing something? Why no pinch runner there? Hinske’s on the bench to hitter later…
Imagine if Burnett wasn’t walking guys…
The night after a 13-6 thumping of the Red Sox, the Yankees will see a familiar matchup: Josh Beckett vs. A.J. Burnett. The two former Marlins have faced off twice this year, with Burnett bearing the brunt of the beating both times. Beckett disposed of the Yankees handily in the latter of those encounters, striking out eight and allowing just one hit over six innings. The earlier one was a slugfest which saw Beckett surrendering eight runs over five innings. Beckett also recorded a quality start, six innings and three runs, in a start against Joba Chamberlain, sandwiched between the two Burnett battles.
We all know who Josh Beckett is by now and how the got to this point. So let’s catch up from when we last saw him. After that eight strikeout appearance, Beckett was 7-2 with a 3.77 ERA, 76 strikeouts to 32 walks in 76.1 innings. Since then he’s been even better, going 6-2 with a 2.70 ERA, striking out 56 and walking just seven in 66.2 IP. This includes two complete game shutouts, one against the Braves and the other against the Royals. Opponents have hit just .237 against him in that span with a .262 OBP and .343 SLG.
Burnett’s been no slouch since his last duel with Beckett, in which he lasted just two and two-thirds innings, allowing five runs, three earned, and walking five. He’s pitched 58.1 innings in that span, going 6-2 with a 2.62 ERA, 51 strikeouts to 28 walks. Opponents are hitting Burnett even worse than Beckett, to the tune of a .218 BAA and .296 SLG, though his OBP is a bit higher because, well, Burnett walks dudes.
The hope in round three is that it looks like a reversal of round two. Since Beckett is pitch so well, a pitchers’ duel is the more likely scenario. After last night, I could use one of those.
Just in case you missed it, both teams made a few moves today. The Yankees swapped Anthony Claggett for Ramiro Pena, giving them another pinch running threat in addition to Hairston. The Red Sox predictably DFA’d Billy Traber, and then surprisingly DFA’d John Smoltz. It’s bittersweet to see his career end on a night like last. The Red Sox promoted RHP Junichi Tazawa to take Smoltz’s place, and claimed Chris Woodward off waivers in Traber’s. That’s because Jed Lowrie was hurt last night, though as of now he hasn’t been placed on the DL.
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett
One one person in the media picks up on a story, it seems like everyone runs with it. I felt not a twinge of surprise, then, when the Yankees beat writers all noted at some point or another that A-Rod is in home run drought of sorts. Specifically, he’s gone 66 at bats without a homer, quite a long drought for him. Yet, how much does it really matter?
Players slump and streak throughout a season. Mark Teixeira went through a homer drought earlier this year, and that created a media story. Yet it was just another slump. He hit poorly in that span to some degree, though he did have a .368 OBP in that span. Similarly, A-Rod is hitting .281/.352/.344 since his last game with a home run, so it’s not all bad. It’s just a little loss of power.
Since Teixeira hit that homer that broke the drought, he’s hit .310/.367/.630. A-Rod could be poised for just that kind of run once he hits another one out of the park. Things will only get better from there. Which is crazy, because the Yanks are 12-5 since A-Rod last hit a home run in the finale of the Tigers series. Even crazier, they’ve averaged over six runs per game in that span. Without A-Rod hitting balls out of the park, and generally not hitting for much power.
If the Yanks offense can thrive while Alex Rodriguez is in a mini-slump (and he still has a .885 OPS over the past week), imagine how they’ll far when he’s streaking again.
Update 4:02 p.m.: The Yankees have made a roster move this afternoon. Ramiro Peña has been recalled from AAA Scranton, and Anthony Claggett has been sent back down. Peña will back up both the infield and outfield while Claggett has been nothing short of terrible for the Yanks this season. When Chad Gaudin gets here, either David Robertson or Mark Melancon will hop on the Scranton Shuttle. I think Melancon stays. We’ll know soon.
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As we await the start of what could be another epic Yankees/Red Sox contest this evening and as I readjust to East Coast time after a grueling day of travel, let’s talk about a few former Yankees who have seen their uniforms change stripes today.
As John Smoltz showed his age last night, Jason Giambi has been doing so all summer for the A’s. The seven-year Yankee vet who returned to the Bay Area this past winter was unconditionally released by Billy Beane today. Giambi is hitting .193/.332/.364. While the .139 IsoD is impressive, his batting average and slugging are both fourth-worst in the Majors, and the A’s have opted to give their younger first basemen extended looks.
I wonder if Giambi will land anywhere at this point. For what it’s worth, the fourth-place Blue Jays aren’t interested. It’s tough to call Giambi an impact bat, and he’s on the DL right now with a strained quad. If he’s finished, he sure went out with a wimper.
Another Yankee to symbolize the excesses and failures of the recent past found himself traded today. The Indians have dealt Carl Pavano to the Twins. This move came after the Twins put a waiver claim on Carl. For what it’s worth, the Twins are 4.5 games out of the AL Central but 9.5 games behind in the Wild Card race.
This move could be a risky one for the Twins simply because of Carl Pavano’s endurance. Right now, Carl Pavano has thrown 125.2 innings this year. He threw a combined 145.2 innings over four seasons for the Yanks. Despite his age and experience, he is definitely in the injury red zone right now. The Twins will rely on Pavano for depth, but that, as Yankee fans know, is a dicey proposition. The 5.37 ERA and 1.37 WHIP are hardly appealing.
Finally, Tom Verducci really likes the Yankees right now and doesn’t think things are looking up in Beantown. A Bronx win tonight would certainly cement that feeling.