Fan Confidence Poll: June 11th, 2012

Record Last Week: 5-1 (32 RS, 15 RA)
Season Record: 34-25 (281 RS, 241 RA, 34-25 pythag. record), 0.5 games back in AL East
Opponents This Week: @ Braves (Mon. to Weds.), Thurs. OFF, @ Nationals (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

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Given the team's current roster construction, farm system, management, etc., how confident are you in the Yankees' overall future?
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Martin, Yanks walk off with Subway Series sweep


Source: FanGraphs

Sometimes a sweep is more than a sweep. When it’s the Red Sox or Rays or another contender, sweeps mean a little better than they usually do. When it’s the Mets? Forget it. The best. The Yankees securing bragging rights to the city with a come from behind walk-off win over the Amazin’s on Sunday, sweeping the three games to conclude an excellent homestand. The Yankees have won three in a row, six of seven, eight of ten, and 13 of 17. That’s pretty awesome. Let’s recap…

  • Botched: Andy Pettitte has been magnificent since un-retiring, but he had his first real disaster inning on Sunday. Scott Hairston started the second with a double, Vinny Rottino continued it with a ground ball single, then Robinson Cano extended it by botching a potential inning-ending double play. The Yankees instead got zero outs on the play. Pettitte then walked Omar Quintanilla — he hit a homer once, gotta pitch him like he’s Barry Bonds now — and allowed a two-run double down the right field line to Jordany Valdespin. The botched double play ball hurt, but Andy didn’t exactly help himself by leaving some pitches out over the plate.
  • Rally Killer: A three-run deficit that early in the game isn’t the end of the world, especially since Jon Niese was willing to give it back by putting the first two men on base in the bottom half. Of course, Nick Swisher snuffed out the rally with an ill-advised bunt attempt that resulted in a force out at third. The Yankees went on to score zero runs in the inning. It’s hard enough to beat the other team, but having to overcome your own stupidity is damn near impossible.
  • The Lead: Niese was mowing the Yankees down until the seventh, when Russell Martin hit a cheap two-run homer — hit the top of the wall, bounced straight up, and a fan grabbed it. Derek Jeter started the eighth inning rally with a infield double — yep, infield double — then Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez followed up with consecutive singles. A-Rod‘s go-ahead single was a bloop into the triangle, the exact kind of RISPBABIP luck they haven’t been getting in recent weeks. After about six innings of frustration, the Yankees had the lead.
  • Blown Save: That one-run lead lasted all of two batters. Rafael Soriano came out of the bullpen to allow back-to-back rockets to Lucas Duda and Ike Davis, putting the go-ahead run on second with no outs. A one-out single put men on the corners, at which point Joe Girardi pulled his backup backup closer in favor of Boone Logan. The matchup lefty escaped the jam with a strikeout and a ground ball. After the big comeback, the blow save was a big letdown.
  • The Russ Bus: That said, the Mets’ bullpen is so bad that a win seemed inevitable once they went to the bottom of the ninth tied. Sure enough, Jon Rauch hung a slider to Martin to lead off the inning, resulting in a non-cheapie homer to left field for the team’s first walk-off homer since September 2010. The game was over, the sweep was complete. Pretty great ending to a great series.
  • Leftovers: Martin is now hitting .319/.418/.681 since the start of the Royals’ series before the West Coast trip and is up to a 117 wRC+ for the season … the top five hitters in the order went a combined 9-for-19 and A-Rod was the only guy without multiple hits … the Yankees ground into three double plays and seven in the series … big ups to Clay Rapada and Cory Wade for two scoreless innings between Pettitte and Soriano … don’t forget Jayson Nix’s play to cut down the lead runner at third in the ninth, it was huge at the time … Pettitte finished with eight strikeouts in six innings, raising his season strikeout rate to 8.64 K/9 (24.7 K%).

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays swept the Marlins, so they remain tied atop the AL East with New York in the loss column. The Yankees are off to Atlanta for a three-game set with the Braves, starting Monday evening when Ivan Nova gets the ball against Randall Delgado.

Robertson begins rehab assignment in AAA loss

Triple-A Empire State (5-4 loss to Louisville)
LF Chris Dickerson: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
2B Corban Joseph: 0-5, 1 K — had a hit in every Triple-A game up until today
RF Ronnie Mustelier: 2-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB — 14 homers in 96 games since signing (24 HR pace)
DH Jack Cust: 0-4, 1 BB, 2 K
1B Russell Branyan: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K — second straight game with a homer, four in the last five games
3B Brandon Laird: 1-1, 1 R, 1 BB — left the game after walking in the third inning for an unknown reason
3B-SS Doug Bernier: 1-1, 1 R, 1 BB
CF-3B Kevin Russo: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 K
SS Ramiro Pena: 2-2 — left the game with an injured foot after singling in the fourth
PR-CF Colin Curtis: 1-2, 1 2B
C Gus Molina: 0-3, 1 RBI
RHP D.J. Mitchell: 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 6/4 GB/FB — 62 of 94 pitches were strikes (66.0%) … four or more runs allowed in six of his last ten starts, so he’s not exactly making them think long and hard about a call-up
RHP David Robertson: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 1/1 GB/FB — eight of eleven pitches were strikes … had a little tiny bit more on him earlier
LHP Justin Thomas: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2/1 GB/FB — 14 of 19 pitches were strikes (73.7%)

[Read more…]

Sunday Night Open Thread

Definitely a fan of the three-game sweep, but a three-game sweep of the Mets is always a little extra special. Things didn’t look so good for most of the game really, but the Yankees got some fortunate bounces and some bloops finally blooped before Russell Martin hit the team’s first walk-off homer since September 2010. That’s six wins in seven games and 13 in 17 games. Pretty awesome.

Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. The ESPN Sunday Night Game is the Tigers at the Reds (Smyly vs. Bailey), and that’s all you’ve got as far as the major sports are concerned. Feel free to talk about whatever you like here, go nuts.

Update: Jorge Soler expected to agree to a contract “before tomorrow”

6:17pm: Joel Sherman confirms that the Yankees are “in deep” for Soler and have been told — along with other interested teams — that their best bid must be submitted today. A decision is likely to be made tomorrow.

10:54am: For what it’s worth, Peter Gammons says interested clubs believe this will drag out beyond tomorrow unless the Yankees decide to blow everyone else out of the water.

10:00am: Via George King and Mike Puma, free agent outfielder Jorge Soler is expected to agree to terms on a four-year contract sometime “before tomorrow.” The 20-year-old Cuban defector was officially declared a free agent earlier this month, and yesterday we heard that the Yankees were one of the clubs most aggressively pursuing him.

Soler will be subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement come July 2nd, so it’s not a surprise to see him and his agent try to wrap up a contract as soon as possible. I’m very curious to see the size of the deal; a four-year pact probably means something like $15-20M. That’s a ton of money for a prospect — Soler’s not a finished product who can jump right into the bigs — and it really wouldn’t surprise me if the Yankees walked away. Then again it is just money though, and they have lots of it.

Pettitte’s hand bruised after barehand play, x-rays negative

Andy Pettitte has a bruise on his left hand after bare-handing a one-hopper in the sixth inning of this afternoon’s game. He remained in the game and retired the next two batters, though he was in noticeable discomfort. X-rays were negative and Pettitte expects to make his next start. Thanks to Thursday’s scheduled day off, he’ll get a little more rest than usual.

Robertson throws perfect inning in first rehab appearance

Sidelined with an oblique strain for the last month, David Robertson made his first minor league rehab appearance for Triple-A Empire State this afternoon. He retired all three batters he faced — grounder to second, strikeout, fly ball to right — and threw eight of eleven pitches for strikes. Assuming he feels fine tonight and tomorrow, Robertson will probably make another rehab outing early next week. Joe Girardi indicated that his setup man could rejoin the team in time for next weekend’s series in Washington.