Game 18: For the mini-sweep

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

These makeshift two-game series aren’t helping the “just win series” cause, just because sweeping any big league team is tough to do. The Yankees really, and I mean really took care of business last night; if the offense hadn’t scored a zillion runs they were still in good shape because CC Sabathia was awesome. Freddy Garcia brings his slow, slower, slowest approach against a hacktastic offense, but he doesn’t need to be great, just keep his team in the game and the offense figures to take care of the rest. Here’s the lineup…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

Freddy Garcia, SP

Not sure I get running Martin out there in a day game after a night game, though they did have three days off last week, and Frankie Cervelli is close to coming off the disabled list. You know he’ll play more than we want once he’s back. Anyway, game starts a little after 1:30pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Video of the Day: Destroying Yankee Stadium

Ever wondered how the old Yankee Stadium bathrooms were cleaned and destroyed once the team moved across the street? Here’s your chance to see how. This upcoming Thursday, the National Geographic Channel will air “Break it Down: Yankee Stadium.” The show starts at 10 p.m. so Yankee fans can watch it after the team finishes up their evening affair with the Chicago White Sox.

After the jump, another clip from the program showing the seating sections from the old park coming down. A tip of the hat to Alex Belth at Bronx Banter for this one. [Read more…]

CC dominant as Yankees crush O’s

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

At long last, the Yankees actually played a baseball game on Saturday. Two scheduled off days and a rain out made the week drag on, but the bats certainly didn’t show any rust. There’s only so much you can say about a game like this, so let’s quickly recap…

  • Holy offense. New York put 15 runs on the board, including a pair of homers from Russell Martin and a grand slam from Alex Rodriguez. Brett Gardner even got in on the action and put one over the fence. How about that?
  • CC Sabathia was the man tonight, making one bad pitch out of the 103 he threw. That’s the pitch Adam Jones hit for a three-run homer, but aside from that he was on cruise control, striking out seven and allowing six hits. The television gun had him up to 99 but PitchFX disagrees; the system had him topping out at 95.5 mph. Sabathia got 15 swings and misses in his eight innings of work, which is a ton in a single game. Oh, and he finally got his first win.
  • Other offensive notables: Derek Jeter singled and walked, Mark Teixeira singled, doubled, and walked twice, and Robinson Cano chipped in three hits. Jorge Posada‘s three-true outcomes season continued with a homer and three strikeouts in five plate appearances. Gardner also chipped in a double, so good for him.
  • Orioles’ reliever Josh Rupe threw at Martin after his second homer, hitting him up between his shoulder blades. That was followed by Gardner’s homer but not a retaliation plunk by mop-up man Buddy Carlyle. Martin said afterward that he had a knot in his back and Rupe knocked it out for him, which was pretty awesome. Gardner going deep immediately afterwards is the best payback a Yankees’ fan could ask for.
  • A-Rod‘s grand slam was the 22nd of his career, and he’s now one behind Lou Gehrig for the all-time record. His six RBI moved him past Carl Yastrzemski for sole possession of 12th most in baseball history.
  • Here’s the lopsided WPA Graph, and here’s the box score and video highlights.

Quick turn around, these two teams will play the second game of this improvised two-game series tomorrow afternoon at 1pm ET. Freddy Garcia goes against Jake Arrieta.

Blown save lets down Charleston offense

Triple-A Scranton Game One (4-2 win over Syracuse in seven innings) makeup of yesterday’s rain out
Greg Golson, CF: 3 for 3, 3 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – eight for his last 21 (.381)
Kevin Russo, 2B & Justin Maxwell, LF: both 0 for 2, 1 BB, 1 K – Maxwell stole a base and scored a run
Jesus Montero, C: 2 for 3 – he even threw a runner out trying to steal
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 2 for 3, 2 RBI
Chris Dickerson, DH: 0 for 3, 1 K
Jordan Parraz, RF & Brandon Laird, 3B: both 1 for 3 – Parraz struck out twice … Laird drove in a run and whiffed
Ramiro Pena, SS: 0 for 3, 1 K – just five for his last 36 (.139)
Kevin Millwood, RHP: 7 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 9-3 GB/FB – 60 of 95 pitches were strikes (63.2%) … wrote more about this earlier

[Read more…]

Game 17: New York South

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

One thing never ceases to amaze me when the Yankees play the Orioles in Camden Yards: the stands are always full of Yankees’ fans. In recent years they’re even starting to outnumber the Orioles’ fans. Baltimore’s only three or four hour drive away from New York, so a weekend series like this is a good chance to check the Yankees out at a great park for dirt cheap against a team they’ll probably beat while also getting to hang out in the Inner Harbor before and after. Pretty sweet weekend if you ask me. Here’s tonight’s starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

CC Sabathia, SP

The weather in Baltimore isn’t great, but there appears to be enough of window for them to get the game in tonight. YES will carry the game whenever it starts, though first pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET. Enjoy.

Hughes to begin rehab assignment next week

Update (4:56pm): Via Mark Feinsand and Erik Boland, Hughes threw his extended bullpen session this afternoon and as of now, the plan is for him to start a minor league game this coming Thursday. He will be limited to five or so innings in that start. So I guess that means everything went well this afternoon.

Original Post (10:00am): Via Chad Jennings, Phil Hughes had his scheduled bullpen session rained out along with the game yesterday, and instead had to settle for regular old long toss. The right-hander will instead throw the 45-pitch bullpen session today (simulating three 15-pitch innings) and is hopeful that pitching coach Larry Rothschild will give him the okay to start a rehab assignment next week.

“Larry will kind of be the judge of that based on how my bullpen looks and how I feel bouncing back after long toss and throwing,” said Phil. “If I feel fine and [he] sees enough out of me in the pen and feels like I’m ready to go, then I should be ready for a start.” The Yankees haven’t clocked his fastball during any of his bullpens simply because the adrenaline isn’t there like it is in a game. Rehab assignments last a maximum of 30 days before the player must be activated from the DL, but they could always find another “injury” and restart the clock. It goes without saying that the Yankees have to take their time and make sure Hughes is right, even if he’s out until June or later.

Millwood throws seven innings for Triple-A Scranton

The Kevin Millwood Comeback Tour hit the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre metroplex this afternoon. The 36-year-old right-hander allowed two runs across seven innings of work, striking out three and getting nine ground balls against just one walk and three air outs. Sixty of his 95 pitches were strikes (63.2%). Donnie Collins spoke to a scout who clocked Millwood at 85-86 mph mostly, though he did touch 89 on occasion. He allowed the leadoff man to reach base in four of the first five innings, so he spent a good amount of the game working from the stretch.

Millwood’s opt-out date is just eight days away now, so the Yankees will get one more start to evaluate him before deciding what to do. My guess is that barring a total meltdown in his final minor league outing, they’ll call him up and stick him in the rotation somewhere. I guess this means Ivan Nova is officially on notice.