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.
The Yankees have already won the series and while that is always the goal — two out of every three is a 108-win pace — it’s time to get greedy and finish off the sweep. There are bragging rights are on the line and in this age of the internet, bragging rights are worth more than ever. Here’s the lineup…
LHP Andy Pettitte
Today’s game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on both YES and WPIX locally as well as TBS nationally. Enjoy.
Freddy Garcia Update: Garcia is back with the team after going home to Venezuela following his grandfather’s death. He’s been activated off the bereavement list and Ryota Igarashi has been sent back to Triple-A.
Hiroki Kuroda Update: Kuroda (foot) threw his regular between starts bullpen this afternoon. He’s expected to be good to go for his next start, but we won’t know for sure until Joe Girardi speaks after the game.
Another day, another win for the Yankees. They again rode their starting pitcher and some timely homers to a 4-2 win over the Mets to clinch the Bronx-end of the 2012 Subway Series. It was their fifth win in the last six games, their seventh win in the last nine games, and their 12th win in the last 16 games. That’ll do just fine. Let’s recap.
- Teixeicution: I don’t expect much from Mark Teixeira when he has two strikes against a changeup pitcher … mean the “changeup, strike three” meme practically created himself. Tex found himself in a 2-2 count against changeup specialist Dillon Gee with the Yankees down a run in the sixth, but Gee didn’t go to the changeup. He hung a breaking ball and Teixeira hung it on a line out to right field for a homer, turning a one-run deficit into a one-run lead. T’was unexpected.
- WonderPhil: Phil Hughes has made 23 starts since coming off the DL last July, and he’s now allowed two runs (earned or unearned) or less in 14 of them. His 6.1 inning effort against the Mets wasn’t nearly as pretty as his complete game victory over the Tigers, but he limited the damage to two solo homers (more on that in a bit) while striking out six and recording 12 of his 19 outs on the infield. The homers continue to be a problem, but Hughes has now pitched to a 3.50 ERA with a 3.64 K/BB ratio in his last seven starts. That’s pretty damn good. Keep it up, Phil.
- Other Runs: Alex Rodriguez singled in Derek Jeter for a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, but — stop me if you’ve heard this before — they were unable to convert a bases loaded, one-out situation into any more runs because Raul Ibanez grounded into a double play. The Yankees didn’t pick up another hit until Teixeira’s homer in the sixth. Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer in the eighth plated an important insurance run.
- Bullpen: Gotta hand it to the mix-and-match setup crew, they took care of business in the middle innings. Boone Logan retired the lone lefty he faced (thanks to a great grab by Granderson), Cory Wade finished off the seventh and retired David Wright in a one-run game to open the eight, then Clay Rapada retired his two lefties to hand the ball off the Rafael Soriano for the Wetteland-esque save. Wade allowed a bloop single, but otherwise the setup trio retired five of the six men they faced. Bravo, fellas.
- Leftover: Hughes allowed the obligatory homer (Omar Quintanilla?!) and is now two starts shy of a) Dennis Rasmussen’s team record of 14 consecutive starts with a homer allowed (1986), and b) Bert Blyleven’s all-time record of 14 consecutive starts with a homer allowed to start a season (1987) … the top six hitters in the lineup each had exactly one hit while the bottom three each went 0-for-3 with a strikeout … the homers by Tex and Grandy were the club’s only extra-base hits of the night.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays annihilated the Marlins, so they remain tied atop the AL East in the loss column with New York. Andy Pettitte gets the ball in search of the sweep on Sunday afternoon. Fellow southpaw Jon Niese is on the bump for the Amazin’s. If you want to catch the series finale, check out RAB Tickets.
C Austin Romine reported to Tampa yesterday and both swung a bat and played catch for the first time since suffering a back injury during Spring Training. He isn’t expected to return to game action until July. Meanwhile, Brian Cashman confirmed that Manny Banuelos‘ will be out for another month or so. He’s battling a sore elbow that is not considered serious because the MRI showed no structural damage.
Triple-A Empire State (9-5 loss to Louisville)
3B Kevin Russo: 1-4, 1 RBI
DH Corban Joseph: 1-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 1 K — has hit in all ten games since the promotion
LF Ronnie Mustelier: 0-4, 1 BB, 1 K
CF Chris Dickerson: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB — wonder if we’re going to see him in the big leagues at some point soon given Brett Gardner‘s setback
C Frankie Cervelli: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
RF Colin Curtis: 1-4, 2 R, 1 K
1B Brandon Laird: 2-5, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K — seven hits in his last 24 at-bats (.292), which is much better than what he had been doing
SS Ramiro Pena: 1-5, 1 K
2B Doug Bernier: 0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB
RHP Dellin Betances: 4.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 3/2 GB/FB — 58 of 99 pitches were strikes (58.6%) … wocka wocka wocka
RHP Jason Bulger: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/0 GB/FB — 27 of 47 pitches were strikes (57.4%)
LHP Mike O’Connor: 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K — 36 of 53 pitches were strikes (67.9%)
The Yankees got some more bad news about Brett Gardner and his sprained right elbow today as his latest minor league rehab game resulted in more pain. He’s headed to the doctor on Monday and Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect him back until after the All-Star break. Gardner is no superstar but his presence has been missed, specifically his speed in the lineup and his defense in the outfield. Win this game for him Yankees, win it for him and clinch the series win over the Mets. Here’s the lineup…
RHP Phil Hughes
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 7:15pm ET and can be seen on FOX. Enjoy.
David Robertson Update: Robertson (oblique) will make his first minor league rehab appearance with Triple-A Empire State tomorrow. He could return in time for next weekend’s series in Washington.
4:59pm: Via Marc Carig, Gardner will see Dr. James Andrews on Monday and Dr. Tim Kremcheck at his agent’s request as well. Brian Cashman confirmed that they have not yet had discussions about adding another outfielder.
4:16pm: Looks like it’s time for the Yankees to start thinking about exploring the trade market for an outfielder. Ken Rosenthal reports that Brett Gardner woke up this morning with pain in his strained right elbow and will head for tests on Monday. Gardner felt some stiffness the other day but it wasn’t considered serious. He played in his first minor league rehab game since his original setback last night. Gardner has only played in nine of the team’s 57 games this season and Joe Girardi said he doesn’t expect him back before the All-Star break.
Obviously rushing into a trade wouldn’t be the smartest thing in the world, but the club has to at least start thinking about potential outside options. With Chris Dickerson healthy and playing again in Triple-A, it’s probably worth calling him up and cutting Dewayne Wise. He’s an upgrade in basically every single way.
Via Buster Olney, the Yankees are one of the four teams most aggressively pursuing 20-year-old Cuban outfielder Jorge Soler. The Cubs, Dodgers, and Braves are also in the mix. The first round of bids were due this past Thursday and the second round is due this weekend. This isn’t a posting process similar to Japanese players, it’s just a straight submission of contract offers and counteroffers.
Soler was finally declared a free agent last week, but the Yankees had been connected to him long before that. The outfielder had been trying to establish residency in Haiti (not the Dominican Republic, where he lives now) according to Ben Badler, a red flag because of the country’s shoddy record keeping. Jerry Crasnick says MLB verified Soler’s residency before declaring him a free agent though, so it’s a non-issue. Soler has three weeks and two days to sign a contract before becoming subject to the spending restrictions implemented by the new Collective Bargaining Agreement.