You can’t win ’em all I suppose, and winning two out of three against the Angels is pretty good anyway. Plus they won the season series, so hooray for that. Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. ESPN is in Cincinnati for the Sunday Night Game, the Cardinals at the Reds (Westbrook vs. Bailey). Breaking Bad also starts back up tonight, and that’s awesome. Talk about whatever you want here, enjoy.
Prior to this afternoon’s game against the Angels, Brian Cashman spoke to the media about a number of pressing topics. I was planning to do a bullet point recap, but MLBTR did one already so I’ll just point you that way. In a nutshell, Cashman said they’ll explore extensions for Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson this offseason and that prices leading up to the deadline are too high for marginal upgrades.
The second point is obvious, of course he’s going to say trade prices are too high. The first point is interesting only because both Cano and Granderson are under contract for next season — or at least will be once their no-brainer options are picked up — and the team’s policy is to not re-sign players until their current deals expire. Cano was already the exception once before and if they’re going to break policy again, he’s certainly the guy to do it with. No harm is exploring a long-term deal for Granderson as well, but he will be 33 in the first year of a new pact. Can’t get caught up in paying either guy for what they’ve already done.
I’m a simple guy, I just want the Yankees to keep winning series as the season progresses. Taking two of three in each series is a 108-win pace, so it seems like a good plan. The Yanks have already won this series, but a sweep of those annoying Angels would make for just a swell Sunday. Words can’t describe how much I would enjoy that third win today. Here’s the lineup…
RHP Ivan Nova
Today’s game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and TBS nationally. Enjoy.
Via Joel Sherman, the Yankees and Braves were talking about a trade involving Ramiro Pena before Atlanta acquired Paul Janish from the Reds yesterday. The Braves were looking for a stopgap shortstop after losing both Andrelton Simmons and Jack Wilson to finger injuries last week.
Pena, 27 next week, is hitting just .241/.294/.301 in 275 plate appearances for Triple-A Empire State this season. It’s his final option year, meaning he’ll have to clear waivers to go back to Triple-A next season. Ramiro has negligible trade value and the Yankees actually do need him at the moment since he’s their only non-Derek Jeter shortstop at the upper levels, at least until Eduardo Nunez comes off the DL. Unless they were getting an actual prospect in return — the Braves sent 27-year-old up-and-down arm Todd Redmond to Cincy for Janish — the Bombers are probably better off keeping Pena for depth.
Two games and two wins in the second half so far. Both have been come from behind wins too, raising the the Yankees’ league-leading total to 29. Let’s recap Saturday afternoon’s game…
- Oppo: When you’re hot, you’re hot, and Robinson Cano is hot right now. He extended his hitting streak to 17 games with an opposite field two-run homer in the very first inning, a ball that literally bounced off the top of the wall in front of the visitor’s bullpen. I’m kinda surprised Mike Trout didn’t put on his Superman cape and bring that one back, it was definitely playable had he gotten there in time.
- Sweaty: It was an ugly outing for Freddy Garcia, but not as far as the results go. Three runs in five innings hardly qualifies as a disaster. It was ugly in the sense that the Angels had runners on-base all afternoon long and he was constantly pitching through danger. Garcia walked five and only struck out four while giving up five hits (one double and four singles) and three steals (two to Trout). I’ve stopped caring about Freddy’s process a long time ago, this was a veteran guy grinding away against a good hitting team. I’ll take that from my fifth starter any day of the week.
- Grandyman: You gotta love the timing. The YES booth was ragging on Curtis Granderson‘s swing for being too loopy in the third, saying he was missing hittable pitches and striking out too much. Grandy responded by shutting them up with a two-run homer into the second deck in right, a blast that turned a 2-2 game into a 4-2 game. Believe it or not, that was Grandy’s first homer in July and just his third in the last 22 games. Get hot, Curtis.
- Bullpen: Big ups to the relief corps. The trio of Cody Eppley, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano took care of business after Freddy left the game. Eppley fired two key scoreless innings before Robertson and Rafi did their thing in the eighth and ninth. All told, they threw four scoreless frames with two baserunners — two singles — and four strikeouts. The bullpen wasn’t the story of the game, but it was an unsung hero.
- Leftovers: The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 6-for-16 (.375) with two homers and a double while the bottom five hitters went 2-for-14 (.143) … Alex Rodriguez had that double and came around to score a big insurance run in the sixth, plus he stole his team-leading tenth base (in eleven attempts) … the offense collectively went 3-for-5 with runners in scoring position less than 24 hours after putting on a RISPFAIL clinic.
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles walked off against the Tigers, so New York’s lead in the division still sits at eight games. The Yankees will look to finish off the sweep against Jered Weaver on Sunday afternoon, sending Ivan Nova to the mound. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that one.
Triple-A Empire State (8-1 win over Syracuse)
LF Chris Dickerson: 0-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP — 19 walks in 145 plate appearances (13.1%)
3B Kevin Russo: 3-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI — 12 hits in his last 21 at-bats (57.1%)
2B Corban Joseph: 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB — 41 walks and 42 strikeouts on the year
DH Ronnie Mustelier: 1-5, 1 RBI, 1 K
1B Brandon Laird: 2-4, 1 2B
C Gus Molina: 1-4
RF Cole Garner: 1-4, 3 R, 1 K, 1 SB, 1 E (fielding)
SS Ramiro Pena: 2-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K — nine hits in his last 19 at-bats (.474)
CF Ray Kruml: 1-4, 1 R, 1 RBI
RHP David Phelps: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 4/8 GB/FB — 63 of 103 pitches were strikes (61.2%) … that’s 26 strikeouts in his last 17.2 innings … he must feel like he’s on top of the world right now, just loaded with confidence … also, it’s not a coincidence that he and Freddy Garcia pitched the same day
LHP Juan Cedeno: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2/1 GB/FB — eight of 15 pitches were strikes
RHP Ryota Igarashi: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0/1 GB/FB — 14 of 20 pitches were strikes
So the second half is going pretty well, no? It’s only been two games but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy it, especially since the two wins came against the Angels. They’re now 5-15 in the New Yankee Stadium, including the 2009 ALCS. I wonder if Halos fans hate when their team comes to the Bronx as much as Yankees fans hate seeing their team go out to Anaheim.
Anyway, here’s your open thread for the night. MLB Network is airing a game and most of the country will see the Red Sox at the Rays (Buchholz vs. Price). Those of you in those two markets will see the Pirates at the Brewers (Correa vs. Estrada) instead. You folks know how these things work by now, so have at it.