Yankees recall Juan Miranda and Kevin Russo

Triple-A Scranton’s season came to an abrupt end this afternoon when they were eliminated from the International League playoffs by (former Yankee affiliate) the Columbus Clippers, and as a result, more September call-ups are on the way. Utilityman Kevin Russo and first baseman/designated hitter are on their way to join the team and will presumably be available during tomorrow’s came. Kinda surprised that Chad Huffman isn’t on the way as well, not to mention some pitching, but the month’s not over yet. Still time for that.

Game 142: Time for a rebound

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Last night’s loss was one of the more … infuriating of the season (that’s a good word for it, no?), so now it’s time for the Yankees come out and remind Texas just who they’re dealing with. The Rangers walked off with a win in the first game the last two times these clubs met, but the Yanks came back the next day and not only beat Cliff Lee, but did so in comeback fashion.

Tonight, I just want a beatdown. Remind Tommy Hunter that he’s not destined for a long career with his 4.50 K/9. Remind Nelson Cruz why the Rangers tried to convert him to pitching just over two seasons ago. Let Ron Washington know that if he wants to made ten pitching changes a game, we’ll happily oblige as he looks for someone to stop the bleeding. No mercy.

Here’s the lineup…

Gardner, LF
Swisher, RF
Teixeira, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Berkman, DH
Granderson, CF
Pena, SS
Cervelli, C

And on the bump, it’s A.J. Burnett.

Game starts a little after 8pm ET and can be seen locally on YES and nationally on MLB Network. Enjoy.

Pettitte one more rehab start away

After dominating AA hitters in a four-inning outing on Thursday, Andy Pettitte is now just one more rehab start away from rejoining the Major League rotation. As Mark Feinsand explains today, the Yankees want to stretch Pettitte out before he comes back to the Bronx, and since AA Trenton advanced to the Eastern League finals, they’ll be able to do so on Tuesday. “I’m extremely encouraged,” Yanks’ manager Joe Girardi said. “Our hope for Andy is that both minor league teams are still in it and he can make one more rehab start for us. After that, he could really, possibly be ready for us.”

Pettitte, 11-2 with a 2.88 ERA before hitting the disabled list, will take the ball for the Thunder in game against either Altoona or Harrisburg on Tuesday, and then Andy will most likely pitch against the Orioles on Sunday. By then, he will have missed nearly two months of the season with this groin injury.

The paramount importance of getting it right

When Francisco Cervelli‘s throw to Derek Jeter arrived at the bag six feet ahead of Ian Kinsler, Jeter knew the Rangers’ second baseman had been caught stealing. He applied the tag on Kinsler’s shoulder and, without waiting for second base umpire Alfonso Marquez’s call, flipped the ball to Cano to start the around-the-horn. Cano caught the ball and stood there agape. Marquez had called Kinsler safe.

Somehow, in the ensuing moment of disbelief that followed, no one on the Yankees was thrown out of the game. Francisco Cervelli ran toward second base with an “Are you kidding me?” look on his face. Jeter says “Wait a minute” and starts conversing with the umpire. Joe Girardi, looking as mad as I’ve ever seen him, comes charging out on the field. But the outrage was to no avail. Marquez wouldn’t reverse his call, and baseball, mired in some traditionalist past where an easily correctible human error is allowed to rule the game, can’t figure out how to implement a sensible instant replay review. In the amount of time Girardi argued, the play could have been called correctly.

It’s not stretch to say that Marquez’s call changed the pace of the game. After Kinsler stole, Mitch Moreland walked, and Bengie Molina sacrificed the runners. Pedro Borbon hit a tapper to second that plated Kinsler, and then Javier Vazquez induced an Elvis Andrus flyout to end the inning. Andrus shouldn’t have been batting, and if the fallacy of the predetermined outcome were to hold true, the inning should have ended with the score knotted at zero.

Of course, the game ended up being a tense and endless one-run affair that ended in a walkoff in the bottom of the 13th. Of course, the Yanks failed to hit with runners in scoring position, going 3 for 17 and stranded 18 runners over the course of the game. Of course, Joba, oh so good lately, couldn’t escape The Eighth Inning with a lead. Of course, the Rangers used their expanded roster to send every person in Arlington to the mound. While the game turned on any one of these moves, the fact remains that Kinsler’s stolen base/caught stealing changed the game.

In 2010, Marquez simply as no excuse. He was standing above the play; he had a great view of the throw and the tag; and yet he missed it. Just as Jim Joyce blew the call in Detroit, so too did Marquez. It happens. But that doesn’t mean it should be allowed to stand. A simple review — one shot of the tag on instant replay — would have been enough to get the call right, and it’s moments such as these — isolated plays where the one event in question triggers a dead ball — are ripe for replay.

Major League Baseball continues to insist that any version of instant replay review would mess with the pace of the game. Fans don’t want to wait, they say, while the umpires huddle. Maybe that’s true for some people, but I’d rather see the umps get calls such as the one last night right. If it means waiting a minute or two, that’s a-OK with me. It’s far more enjoyable to see the game called properly than it is to see Ron Washington make five mid-inning pitching changes.

I went to bed annoyed at the Kinsler call last night, and I woke up still annoyed. The Yanks could have overcome it with just another hit or two with runners in scoring position, but they shouldn’t have been in that position in the first place. And that is fully on Alfonso Marquez and Bud Selig’s obsession with some misguided notion of nostalgia.

Saturday morning links

Some Saturday morning links for your pleasure:

Here’s an update on former Yankee Matt Nokes.  It’s pretty cool that he has stayed in the game and is so devoted to the art of hitting.  Usually you hear about guys like Ted Williams and Tony Gwynn being students of the game, but Nokes seems to fit right in.

Bonus link to Nokes’ website with video of him catching a Roger Clemens fastball in the ribs and throwing it back to the mound.

A post at mlb.com takes a look at Andrew Brackman and the success he has had this year.  There are lots of quotes from the Brackmonster himself and the piece notes that he is close with Austin Romine and how well they work together.  We may see that battery in the Bronx in a few years.

A story about Roger Clemens and steroids that doesn’t immediately call him Former Yankee Roger Clemens.  I’m sure it will never become public, but I wonder if Bud Selig will have anything to say to the Blue Jays if they knew all along that Clemens was juicing (if he was).  I doubt the Blue Jays could have disclosed anything since it is personal medical records, but I wonder if there is/was any plan in place for what a major league team is supposed to do if they find proof that a player is using steroids.  Clearly everyone looked the other way in the past, but if it becomes public that the team knew and did nothing to stop it, Selig will be none too thrilled.

While the Yankees had a banner year down on the farm, the rival Red Sox took a step back.  While they appear to have had a solid draft to build some depth, many of the crown jewels of their system either didn’t take steps forward or took steps back in 2010.  Just remember this the next time organizational rankings come out, just because someone says Team A is better than Team B, it doesn’t mean that can’t change.

Yanks fall to Rangers in extras

(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

Leave a few more men on base next time.

(here’s the box score, happy recap)

Game 141 Spillover Thread

The first thread appears to be broken, so keep the party going here.