Sandwich rounder Jeremy Bleich will start one of Staten Island’s playoff games next week.  There’s still a week left in their season, and they haven’t clinched a postseason berth yet, but with a 3.5 game league in the McNamara Division, they’re sitting pretty.

You may remember that Ian Kennedy did something similar after signing late in 2006, making a pair of three inning starts for SI – one at the end of the year, one in the playoffs.  The length of the starts was by design, and I suspect Bleich will be held to a similar limit.  Good to know the elbow’s not an issue though, that should shut some people up.

Triple-A Scranton (4-2 loss to Syracuse)
Justin Christian: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB – threw a runner out at home from LF
Matt Carson: 0 for 3, 1 RBI, 2 K
Juan Miranda: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 E (fielding)
Shelley Duncan, Ben Broussard, Nick Green & Bernie Castro: all 1 for 4, 1 K – Shelley swiped a bag … Broussard tripled, swiped a bag & scored a run … Green doubled & drove in a run … Castro committed a fielding error
Eric Duncan: 0 for 4, 2 K
Phil Hughes: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 6-3 GB/FB – 67 of 104 pitches were strikes (64.4%) … too many walks, but he’s working on it
Zack Kroenke: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 3-0 GB/FB – 10 pitches (8 strikes), 3 groundballs & a strikeout … gotta love it
Scott Patterson: 0.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 0-1 GB/FB – and there goes the game
Scott Strickland: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Scranton’s season is over; they finished the year 88-56, which ties Louisville for the best record in all of AAA baseball.  They won the IL North Division and will be taking on those pesky Pawtucket Red Sox in the first round of the playoffs.  Chase Wright & Ian Kennedy will get the ball in Games 1 & 2, respectively, and they’ll be opposed by knuckleballer Charlie Zink & former lobster fisherman Devern Hansack.  The series starts on Wednesday.

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Ben might check in later with a longer and more elaborate game post, but I wanted to make note of this. The Yankees today rallied for 17 hits. That’s remarkable itself, considering the offensive dearth we’ve witnessed for the better part of the season. Yet there’s something else behind this onslaught.

Of the 17 hits, just one went for extra bases, and that was a solo homer for Johnny Damon in the 2nd. That is one of the Yankees 13 runs. The other 12 came the hard way. Walks, singles, sacrifices, errors. This is something we’re not quite used to seeing.

The Yankees were 8 for 16 with runners in scoring position today with two sac flies. Alex Rodriguez, Mr. Unclutch himself, was 2 for 3 with runners in scoring position, and recorded four RBI. This is the kind of performance that leads to wins, even with Sidney Ponson on the mound. Unfortunately, this is an aberration for the 2008 Yankees. They’re hitting .258 with runners in scoring position, 10th in the American League.

Now for a tangent. Many people believe that the Yankees woes are centered around the offense, in particular the lack of hitting with runners in scoring position. Will you venture a guess as to who has the worst team average in the AL in those situations? None other than the first place Tampa Bay Rays. They’re hitting .246 with RISP. Yet, they’re still atop the division. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that they’ve had their top five pitchers going every game from early May through now. But they’re finding ways to win even though their numbers with RISP are the worst in the AL. They Yankees, well, just aren’t.

(The Yanks have had 76 more at bats with RISP, but does that make a huge difference when we’re talking 1,100 or 1,200 at bats for the season? Oh, and Baltimore is second in the league with runners in scoring position.)

I wish there was a way we could pinpoint the one thing that has hampered the Yanks this season, but one doesn’t exist. It has been a concoction of circumstances, not the least of which being their numbers with RISP and the fact that they’re trotting out the likes of Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner on a regular basis. You could list more than a dozen factors. I’m sure we’ll get to all that in the off-season. For now, though, let’s enjoy a win.

I wonder if they’ll be up for a Lynch Sidney Ponson night out in Seattle on Saturday.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (26)

Posted by mobile phone:
So this sounds like fun, no? Over the next ten days, the Yanks will journey from Detroit to Tampa Bay to Seattle to Anaheim. I don’t have a very good feeling about a trip that includes the longest possible flight in the AL.

On the mound today is Sidney Ponson for some reason. Ponson is 7-5 on the season with a 4.80 ERA, but with the Yanks, he’s 3-4 with a 5.64 ERA. He’s been terrible of late, and with Al Aceves in the big leagues and Phil Hughes starting today for Scranton, I have to hope that Ponson’s days in the rotation are numbered.

The lineup is, uncreatively, the same as it was this weekend against the Blue Jays. Pudge is behind the dish. Perhaps we’ll see Krazy Kyle again today.

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A. Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
I. Rodriguez C

Ponson P

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (146)
  • Joba set for Tuesday return
    By

    Posted by mobile phone: After missing nearly a month due to rotator cuff tendinitis, the Yankees plan to activate Joba Chamberlain from the DL on Tuesday. For now, Joba will rejoin the team in the bullpen as the Yanks stretch out his pitch counts while allowing him to contribute at the Major League level. At some point this month, he should return to the rotation as the Yanks attempt to get him the innings he needs while keeping his arm and shoulder in shape. · (25) ·

Phil Coke and Chad Moeller are the first two September call-ups; they’ll join the team in Detroit tomorrow. The 40-man roster is currently full, but Chien-Ming Wang & Jorge Posada can be moved to 60-day DL to make room. Dan Giese will be activated from the DL on Tuesday, joining the team in Tampa. How much are they missing him right now? Crazy.

Triple-A Scranton
Game 1
(3-2 loss to Syracuse in 7 innings)
Justin Christian: 0 for 4, 1 K
Melky: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K
Matt Carson & Chris Basak: both 0 for 3, 1 K – Carson drew a walk
Shelley Duncan & Bernie Castro: both 1 for 3 – Shelley scored a run & K’ed … Castro doubled
Ben Broussard: 2 for 2, 1 BB
Nick Green: 2 for 3
Chad Moeller: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 6 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 4-10 GB/FB – 52 of 79 pitches were strikes (65.8%)

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Posted by mobile phone:
The Yankees didn’t really have a chance today. Before they even had the opportunity to face Roy Halladay, they were staring up out of a 3-0 hole, and they would never recover.

It was more of the same at home for Andy Pettitte. As iYankees told us earlier today, Pettitte has struggled at home, and today was no different. To a weaker-hitting team, Pettitte allowed six earned runs on ten hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. When the Yanks needed him most, Pettitte again faltered.

With this loss and a Red Sox loss, the Yanks are still seven games out of a playoff spot with 26 games remaining. They’re not mathematically eliminated quite yet, and the Phillies overcame the same deficit in nine fewer games last year. But the Yanks aren’t playing with much urgency. As Yogi once said, it’s getting late early.

On the bright side, Al Aceves had a successful debut. He threw two hitless innings and struck out three. Why Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner are still in the rotation remains a mystery. Aceves at least deserves a start, and I have to believe that Ponson may have to pitch a gem tomorrow in Detroit to keep his rotation spot.

And, hey, we can’t blame this one on A-Rod. He managed a home run early off Roy Halladay. Sadly, the Yanks’ offense, other than Jason Giambi, couldn’t really get anything going at all.

Categories : Game Stories
Comments (65)
  • Hughes, Sanchez heading to the AzFL
    By

    Via Chad Jennings, organizational pitching guru Nardi Contreras confirmed that both Phil Hughes & Humberto Sanchez will be heading to the Arizona Fall League this year. This is all about innings for these two, especially Phil. The AzFL season doesn’t start until October 9th, so I supposed there’s a chance that Hughes could make an appearance or two with the Yanks in September. We already know he’s starting tomorrow for Triple-A Scranton.

    Austin Jackson & Kevin Russo are the only other players confirmed to be going to AzFL this year, so the Yanks still have three spots to fill (two pitchers and an infielder).
    · (64) ·

Posted by mobile phone:
Roy Halladay is going for his fourth win of the year against the Yanks. Andy Pettitte will try to stop him and ensure a .500 August for the Yanks. He also has to pitch better than he did last week against the Red Sox.

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Molina C

Pettitte P

Categories : Game Threads
Comments (56)
  • Horne has torn rotator cuff
    By

    Via NYYFans, Alan Horne’s father provides the dirt: “Alan met with Dr. James Andrews yesterday and after a complete hands-on exam and review of MRI/X-Ray pictures, he did a successful scope on Alan’s shoulder. He said there was a partial tear of the rotator cuff that he cleaned up along with some fray but was very specific that it was not considered a typical repair where you actually have to tie anything down. Also there was some fray along the labrum which he cleaned up saying that because nothing was considered a complete repair that Alan’s recovery should go well. Dr. Andrews went on to say that the issues going on with Alan’s shoulder this year would surely prohibit his arm from working the way it can and should, but that this will put him back on track.” That explains a whole lot. (h/t Steve, thanks for the email) · (14) ·