Game 95: Escape from Oakland

Yes, one win would be nice. (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)

These last three games have been frustrating but not like the typical nightmare series the Yankees have in Anaheim. The Athletics are just playing well right now and the Yankees … aren’t. It was bound to happen at some point, you don’t play .735 ball — which New York did for nearly 50 games — all season. Here’s the batting order…

CF Curtis Granderson
1B Mark Teixeira
2B Robinson Cano
DH Alex Rodriguez
LF Raul Ibanez
3B Eric Chavez
SS Jayson Nix
RF Dewayne Wise
C  Chris Stewart

LHP CC Sabathia

This afternoon’s game starts a little after 4pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Yankees tentatively scheduled to open 2013 at home against Red Sox

Via Gordon Edes, a draft of the 2013 schedule given to the 30 clubs shows that the Yankees will open next season at home with a three-game series against the Red Sox (April 2-4). Since this is just a draft, minor changes are likely and the official schedule will not be finalized until at least September.

Based on Boston’s tentative schedule, it looks like the AL East will be playing the NL West in interleague next year. That means the Dodgers might actually come to Yankee Stadium next season, something that has never happened in interleague play. It’s the only interleague combination not to occur yet — every other team has visited every other ballpark at some point. Given the historic significance of Yankees-Dodgers, baseball really should be ashamed of itself. Hopefully it gets corrected next season.

Two new designs added to the RAB Shop

It’s been a while since we’ve updated the RAB Shop, but we’ve got two new and simply designs for you. Both play off some rather popular Yankees-related Twitter hastags — #untuck for whenever Rafael Soriano nails down a win (and untucks his jersey) and #HIROK for whenever Hiroki Kuroda is generally awesome. That’s more often than not, obviously.

Click the image above for a larger view of both designs, but like I said they’re very clean and simple, and both come courtesy of RAB graphics guru Tyler Wilkinson. These aren’t just limited to t-shirts either; you can get coffee mugs, onesies, messenger bags, hats, all sorts of neat stuff in a variety of colors, styles, and sizes. Check out our shop with this link or at all times via the nav bar above. The link is right below the street sign in the banner.

Heyman: Yankees have checked in on Denard Span

Via Jon Heyman, the Yankees have checked in with the Twins about the availability of Denard Span. Minnesota is unsurprisingly “asking for a ton.” The Yankees will be without Brett Gardner for the rest of the season and Nick Swisher recently went down with a left hip flexor, so the outfield is thin. Heyman reiterated that New York looked into both Shane Victorino and Justin Upton, which is old news.

Span, 28, is a very similar player to Gardner. He’s a left-handed swinger, doesn’t have any power (career .102 ISO), draws walks (career 9.8 BB%), and is a true center fielder with above average defense. Gardner will steal about twice as many bases and is probably better with the glove, but Span will put the ball in play more often (career 12.2 K%). He’s also signed very reasonably — the Twins owe him just $11.25M through 2014 with a $9M club option for 2015. Span would be a great replacement for Gardner this year but replacing Nick Swisher next year? Eh, they’d be lucky to get ten combined homers out of two outfield spots.

Yanks drop another one-run game in Oakland


Source: FanGraphs

Three games, three one-run losses. It is the Yankees’ first three-game losing streak since mid-June, when they lost two straight to the Braves at home then one on the road at CitiField. Let’s recap…

  • Philbert: Phil Hughes pitched very well, but he made two mistakes and they both went for solo homers. That was enough to cost him the game on this night. Pretty ridiculous. Phil allowed just two hits through seven innings before Brandon Inge blasted a solo homer to kickoff the eighth. Yoenis Cespedes launched a dinger in the fourth. I thought Hughes actually had a pretty good changeup too, particularly the one he threw to strike out Josh Reddick in a 3-2 count with two outs and the go-ahead run on second and Cespedes on deck in the sixth. Hughes did his part, he was pretty awesome.
  • No Runs: The Yankees have done nothing to dispel the myth that they can’t hit rookie pitches in this series even though they came into it with a 26-11 record against pitchers they’ve never before since 2010. Alex Rodriguez was the only consistent offense, reaching base and coming around to score the only run before leading off the ninth with a single and stealing second to put the tying run in scoring position. He also laced a first inning line drive that Jemile Weeks grabbed at the apex of his leap. Raul Ibanez plated the only run with a hard-hit ground ball back up the middle.
  • Leftovers: Robinson Cano‘s hitting streak came to an end at 23 games :( … Curtis Granderson drew a walk, the team’s first of the series … six of the New York’s first 23 plate appearances lasted just one pitch, which is terrible … the bottom five hitters in the lineup saw a total of 51 pitches in 16 plate appearances, which is also terrible … seemingly the entire infield botched a routine rundown in the eighth, but Coco Crisp bailed them out by getting picked off again a few batters later.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs a bunch of other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles and Blue Jays won, the Red Sox and Rays lost. The lead in the division shrunk to seven games over Baltimore but is at least nine games over everyone else. CC Sabathia will look to salvage the series against former teammate Bartolo Colon on Sunday afternoon.

Update: Swisher day-to-day after MRI reveals strain

11:48pm: Joe Girardi confirmed that Swisher has a mild strain of … something. Groin, quad, who knows. He should be able to avoid the DL and the Yankees are just going to play shorthanded for the final four games of the West Coast trip.

6:32pm: Via Marc Carig, outfielder Nick Swisher went for an MRI on his left hip flexor and will be out at least until the Yankees get to Seattle on Monday. The results of the MRI aren’t available yet. Hopefully he can avoid the DL, the last thing the Yankees need is to lose another outfielder.

Heathcott goes deep in Tampa win

CF Ravel Santana is day-to-day with some soreness in his ankle. No idea if it’s the same ankle he shattered last summer, but I would assume so.

Triple-A Empire State (13-8 win over Gwinnett)
CF Chris Dickerson: 1-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
3B Kevin Russo: 4-6, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — 18 hits in his last 35 at-bats (.514)
2B Corban Joseph: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (fielding) — seven hits in his last 23 at-bats (.304) with four doubles
DH Jack Cust: 0-4, 1 R, 1 BB, 2 K
1B Brandon Laird: 3-4, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB — 16 hits in his last 39 at-bats (.410) with four doubles and two homers
LF Kosuke Fukudome: 0-5, 3 K
C Frankie Cervelli: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
RF Cole Garner: 2-4, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — the grand slam was his second homer in the last six games
SS Ramiro Pena: 2-5, 1 R, 1 K
RHP Ramon Ortiz: 5 IP, 8 G, 6 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 6/4 GB/FB — 61 of 87 pitches were strikes (70%)
RHP Cory Wade: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 4/1 GB/FB — 31 of 50 pitches were strikes (62%)
RHP Danny Farquhar: 2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 4/0 GB/FB — 11 of 14 pitches were strikes

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