Game 152: Makeup

If you were expecting the Rays today, I don’t blame you. I completely forgot about this makeup game until Joe reminded me during last Friday’s podcast. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. The Yankees own the Twins, especially at Yankee Stadium.

Anyway, I actually wrote about Scott Diamond (today’s Twins starter) last offseason as a potential Rule 5 Draft target, but the Twins gobbled him up before he ever got to the Yankees. He’s a rather ordinary left-hander, with a low-90’s fastball to go along with his changeup and big overhand curveball. The video above comes from his first career win a few weeks ago. Diamond has only thrown 29.2  IP for Minnesota this year, and in those 29.2 IP he’s struck out 17 and walked 12. Not great, and the rate stats (5.16 K/9 and 3.64 BB/9) are in line with what he’s done at Triple-A since the start of last season. Of course, the Yankees have never seen him before, and that usually means CERTAIN DOOM. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Jesus Montero, DH
Russell Martin, C

A.J. Burnett, SP

It’s a 1:05pm ET start today, and you can watch on YES. If you’re stuck in the office, WCBS 880 has the radio call. Enjoy.

Cervelli has been concussion symptom free for three days

Via Peter Botte and Mark Hale, Frankie Cervelli has been without concussion symptoms for three days now. He and the team are waiting for doctors to evaluate the results of an ImPACT test (more on that here) before making any decisions, so it’s still unclear if he’ll be able to return to the field this year. “I pray every day for that,” said Cervelli, who also confirmed that he’ll be going back to the Great Gazoo helmet.

Frankie’s latest concussion opened up a “who would be the backup catcher in the playoffs?” can of worms, but the Yankees might not even need to carry a clearly defined backup in the postseason. Either way, the important thing is that Cervelli gets healthy and doesn’t rush back.

Fan Confidence Poll: September 19th, 2011

Record Last Week: 3-3 (24 RS, 21 RA)
Season Record:
91-60 (809 RS, 606 RA, 97-54 pythag. record), 4.5 games up in AL East, 6.5 up for wildcard
Opponents This Week:
vs. Twins (one game, Mon.), vs. Rays (four games, Tues. to Thurs., two on Weds.), vs. Red Sox (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.

Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
View Results

Yanks go down without a fight in Toronto finale

Pretty forgettable game on Sunday, one of those classic “end of a long road trip” games when entire team seemed like they just wanted to go home. The Jays won 3-0, handing New York their seventh loss in their last eleven games.

(Getty)

The Homerun Regression Tour Continues

Like Bartolo Colon on Saturday, Freddy Garcia did not make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed three runs, two on solo homers by Adam Lind, making it three straight starts in which he’s allowed exactly two homers. Since the end of that 69 IP homerless streak, Sweaty Freddy has allowed seven homers in just 14 IP. The third run scored on a sacrifice fly after Garcia threw a ball away on a bunt attempt. Three runs on five hits and three walks in 4.2 IP raised Garcia’s ERA to 6.00 in 21 IP against Toronto this season. Against everyone else, he has a 3.38 ERA. I don’t think I’m alone in saying: thank goodness they don’t play the Blue Jays again this year.

No Fight

(Reuters)

With the season winding down and the Yankees having a pretty comfortable lead on the playoff spot, Joe Girardi understandably rested some of his regulars on Sunday afternoon. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson did not play at all, and Robinson Cano got a half-day off at DH. Unsurprisingly, they struggled on offense. Eduardo Nunez (of all people) was the lone bright spot, going 3-for-4 with a double. He would have had a fourth hit (and another double) if it wasn’t for a nice lunging catch by Eric Thames in left, a ball hit right to the warning track. Of course, Nunez got thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double at one point, another example of the team’s recent baserunning stupidity.

Aside from that, the Yankees went a combined 2-for-26 with a walk, striking out nine times against Brandon Morrow. They worked the count well early, forcing the righty to throw 39 pitches in the first two innings, but he settled down and needed just 68 pitches for the final six frames.  Frank Francisco threw a chair scoreless ninth, striking out Alex Rodriguez to end it.

Leftovers

Aside from Scott Proctor (one intentional walk, one unintentional walk, one hit, one out) and Aaron Laffey (walked the only man he faced), the bullpen was pretty solid. Luis Ayala bailed Garcia out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth then tacked on a perfect sixth. Raul Valdes, pitching for the first time as a Yankee and the first time since August 29th, made a nice impression by striking out Lind and Colby Rasmus looking. He might get another look this week, just because. George Kontos threw one pitch, getting out of the eighth because Russell Martin threw someone out stealing. That’s really it, not much more to talk about.

The Rays beat the Red Sox (again), so the lead in the division remains at 4.5 games while the lead in the wildcard shrunk to 6.5 games. The magic number to clinch the division is down to seven, the magic number to clinch a playoff spot just five.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some more advanced stats, and ESPN has the updated standings.

Up Next

At long last, it’s time for the Yankees to go home. They’re going to play a one-game makeup with the Twins on Monday afternoon, a 1:05pm ET start that will feature A.J. Burnett and Scott Diamond. Minnesota is just 9-36 since July 30th, and they’re without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Jason  Kubel due to injuries.

Sunday Night Open Thread

(Getty)

At long last, that ugly road trip is finally over. The Yankees went just 4-6 on a trip that took them to Baltimore, Anaheim, Seattle, and Toronto in the span of 11 days, yet they still managed to increase their lead in the AL East from 2.5 games to 4.5 games because the Red Sox are playing that poorly right now. They lost to the Rays again this afternoon, and are now just two games up on the wildcard. When September started, they were nine up. The Yankees haven’t been playing well at all, but it could be worse. A lot worse.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night game is the Cardinals at the Phillies (Carpenter vs. Hamels), and the Sunday Night Football game is the Eagles at the Falcons. You can talk about that more here, anything goes. Go nuts.