Kuroda silences White Sox as lefty bats hammer Peavy in win

Source: FanGraphs

The first two games of this four-game series against the White Sox were rough for similar yet different reasons, but the Yankees got back into the win column with a rather convincing shutout victory on Saturday afternoon. Let’s recap…

  • KU! RO! DA!: Hiroki Kuroda is singlehandedly smashing every stereotype about NL pitchers, Japanese pitchers, older pitchers … you name it. His latest gem featured seven shutout innings against the White Sox on Saturday, with just five baserunners — three in the first inning — and 11 strikeouts. That’s a new season high, ditto his 22 (!) swings and misses. Kuroda now owns the ninth best ERA (3.17) in the AL (min. 80 IP) and second best in the AL East (David Price at 2.92). He was everything the Yankees needed and more in this game.
  • Lefty Power: Jake Peavy is a pretty good pitcher, but he’s also a pitcher with a sizable platoon split. New York’s left-handed batters took advantage of that by going 8-for-21 (.381) with a double (Dewayne Wise) and three solo homers (Curtis Granderson, Robinson Cano, and Wise). The right-handed bats countered by going 0-for-10 with five strikeouts. Peavy threw an eight-inning complete game with 11 strikeouts and no walks, but the Yankees made him pay when he made a mistake by hitting the ball out of the park. Gotta do that against good pitchers. Where have I heard that before?
  • Bullpen: David Robertson rebounded from Wednesday’s blown save with an uncharacteristically efficient 1-2-3 eighth inning (12 pitches), so that was good to see. Boone Logan walked Adam Dunn — Dunn’s sixth walk of the series — before Rafael Soriano bailed him out with a double play. Seven up, six down. Much better than Friday’s pitching nightmare.
  • Leftovers: Cano just missed a second homer — technically it would have been his first of day — by lining a ball down the line and watching it sail just foul by no more than a foot … Wise went 3-for-3 and was a triple away from the cycle, and he’s now 7-for-11 (.636) with a double, a triple, and two homers on the homestand … that’s pretty much it. Pretty quick (2:25) and uneventful game outside of the dingers.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees will go for the series split on Sunday afternoon when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Gavin Floyd, but first they’ll celebrate their history will Old Timers’ Day. The festivities starts at 11am ET, so remember to set your alarm and check RAB Tickets for last-minute deals.

Betances throws six scoreless in return to AA

LHP Manny Banuelos and RHP Jose Campos are both still in Tampa rehabbing their respective elbow injuries according to Mike Ashmore. Doesn’t sound like either is close to a return.

Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Rochester)
LF Chris Dickerson: 2-5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K — nine doubles in 19 June games
2B Corban Joseph: 0-4, 2 K
C Frankie Cervelli: 0-3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 PB, 1 HBP
DH Jack Cust: 1-4, 1 R
1B Russell Branyan: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 2 K — that’s his tenth homer in June, the most in the International League
3B Brandon Laird: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K — seven hits in his last 17 at-bats (.412) with three doubles
RF Colin Curtis: 1-3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
SS Ramiro Pena: 0-2, 1 K — left the game for an unknown reason after striking out … Doug Bernier replaced him and singled in one of his two at-bats
CF Ray Kruml: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS
LHP Mike O’Connor: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 4/3 GB/FB — 45 of 65 pitches were strikes (69.2%) … they’re in pretty good shape despite losing two starters this week thanks to O’Connor and Nelson Figueroa
RHP Preston Claiborne: 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 20 of 26 pitches were strikes (76.9%)
RHP Manny Delcarmen: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3/1 GB/FB — 24 of 34 pitches were strikes (70.6%)
RHP Jason Bulger: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/0 GB/FB — 11 of 16 pitches were strikes … gave up a solo homer to former Yankees farmhand Matt Carson

[Read more…]

Saturday Night Open Thread

(click to embiggen)

Things were much different back in 1995, back before the days of Derek Jeter and a million different forgettable Orioles shortstops. Reader Jeff Snow sent us the above image, one of those Got Milk ads from way back in the day. Pretty funny to look back on given everything that’s happened since then, including Jeter passing Cal Ripken Jr. on the all-time hit list last night.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. The Mets and Dodgers (Santana vs. Eovaldi) are the Sunday night game on FOX (7pm ET), then later tonight (10pm ET) you’ll have the Red Sox and Mariners (Beckett vs. Erasmo Ramirez) on MLB Network.

Baseball America’s Top 20 International Free Agents

The 2012 international free agent signing period opens on Monday, though this year every team will be limited to $2.9M in bonuses thanks to the new Collective Bargaining Agreement. Like the draft, there are harsh penalties for exceeding that amount. Next year the spending pool will be based on the standings, so the more you win the less you get.

Ben Badler published a list of this summer’s top 20 prospects, though you need a subscription to read the scouting reports. Both Badler and Enrique Rojas say the Yankees are expected to sign Venezuelan catcher Luis Torrens (#2 prospect) to a sizable deal. They’ve also been connected to Venezuelan outfielder Alex Palma (#4) and Dominican shortstop Wendell Rijo (#10). You can read more about Torrens and Palma here while Balder describes Rijo as a strong runner with power and tremendous baseball instincts, though he may wind up at second base due to his weak arm.

The Yankees have signed Cuban southpaw Omar Luis Rodriguez ($4M) and Dominican right-hander Manolo Reyes ($600k) in recent weeks, their last chance to spend freely before the cap hits. They also made an aggressive offer for Jorge Soler ($25-30M).

Game 77: De Facto Ace

(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

With CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte both on the disabled list, Hiroki Kuroda as taken over the role of staff ace by default. Adam Warren & Co. took a pounding last night, so the bullpen is a little short and fans are pretty annoyed after two straight losses (the horror!). Lots of high quality innings will be appreciated today. Here’s the starting nine…

SS Derek Jeter
CF Curtis Granderson
3B Alex Rodriguez
2B Robinson Cano
1B Mark Teixeira
DH Nick Swisher
RF Raul Ibanez
Russell Martin
LF Dewayne Wise

Today’s game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES locally and MLB Network nationally. Enjoy.

Roster Move: The Yankees sent Warren back to Triple-A after last night’s game and recalled D.J. Mitchell, who threw 103 pitches on Tuesday and should be good for long relief today. Hopefully that’s not needed. Joe Girardi said that David Phelps will likely start Wednesday and throw 80-85 pitches.

Olney: Yankees not interested in Jim Thome

Via Buster Olney, the Yankees are not interested in trading for Jim Thome. The Phillies are shopping the veteran slugger mostly because he doesn’t fit their roster. I guess the fact that he hasn’t played the field in seven years snuck up on them.

Thome, 41, is hitting .242/.338/.516 with five homers in 71 plate appearances this season while missing more than a month with a back strain. Most of that damage came as a DH during interleague play — .333/.415/.722 with four homers in nine games — and that’s obviously how the Yankees would use him. They’re not going to get rid of Raul Ibanez with Brett Gardner hurt and they also have both Jack Cust and Russell Branyan stashed away in Triple-A. Thome can still mash, but a DH is not on the shopping list.

Warren tattooed as ChiSox hammer Yanks

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees hadn’t gotten their asses handed to them in quite some time, but the White Sox were nice enough to take care of that on Friday. Just shake it off and come back tomorrow, what else can you do? Let’s quickly recap…

  • Early Runs: I was hoping the Yankees would score some runs early to make life easier on Adam Warren, and they did oblige. Curtis Granderson hit a two-run homer three pitches into Jose Quintana’s game and Andruw Jones followed up with a two-run double a few batters later. Four runs in the first is a pretty good recipe for a win … assuming the rookie starter doesn’t give it all back half-an-inning later.
  • Debut: Warren was terrible in his big league debut, allowing ten of the 17 men he faced to reach base before leaving with six runs on his docket. The ChiSox batters looked incredibly comfortable in the box and not fooled at all, to the point where I wonder if he was tipping his pitches. I’m usually a forgiving guy, especially when talking about someone’s debut, but there’s no way the Yankees can let Warren start against the Rays next week.
  • Death by Bullpen: David Phelps took over for Warren and allowed two runs in his 3.1 innings, the second not until he was over 60 pitches and visibly gassed. I have to think he’ll start in five days, they’d be foolish not to let him. Cory Wade’s been having a real hard time of late, but give him some love for throwing 58 pitches to spare the bullpen in the late innings. Fifth outfielder Dewayne Wise chipped in two outs, the first position player to pitch since Nick Swisher in April 2009.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees tied the game for about a minute in the fourth thanks to Jayson Nix’s two-run double, but it was all downhill from here … every starter had at least one hit, including a pair for Swisher and Andruw … I have to think Wade will hit the DL with something tomorrow, allowing them to bring back Ryota Igarashi for a fresh arm. Warren could be optioned down as well. Maybe D.J. Mitchell will come up for long relief, but he threw 103 pitches on Tuesday.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Everyone non-Yankees team in the division won (or will win in the Red Sox’s case), so the lead in the division is down to four in the loss column (six up on the Rays and Sox). Hiroki Kuroda gets the ball on Saturday afternoon in an attempt to help salvage this series, squaring off against Jake Peavy. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that one.