Game 110: For The Sweep

(AP/Charlie Neibergall)

The Yankees have outscored the White Sox 27-9 during the first three games of the series, and it sure would be nice to finish off the four-game sweep (on the road!) to extend the winning streak to seven. Get it done, fellas. Here’s the lineup, same as last night…

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

Ivan Nova, SP

Little known fact: MLB rules explicitly state that the Yankees are not allowed getaway days, which is why this game starts at 8:10pm ET. I know, totally not fair. Anyway, YES has the broadcast. Enjoy.

CC Sabathia: Packing on the pounds (again)

A whole lot was made of CC Sabathia‘s weight loss earlier this year, as the big left-hander shed 30 lbs. during the offseason and reported to camp at 290 lbs. for the first time in what I imagine is years. He’s gained some of weight back during the season though, something CC readily admitted to George King. “I gained ten back but I feel good, feel strong,” said Sabathia. “This [winter] I will get under 290. It’s easier to work out in the offseason than it is during the season. During the season I have to make sure I stay strong and feel good.” Given how well he’s pitching, I couldn’t care less how much the guy weighs. Whatever he’s doing, it’s working.

Heyman: MLB unlikely to suspend A-Rod

Via Jon Heyman, MLB is unlikely to suspend Alex Rodriguez for all this gambling nonsense, which should surprise no one. Keith Law did a good job of tearing this whole thing to shreds in his chat today, so allow me to copy and paste: “Absolute waste of everyone’s time. Shame on MLB for pandering to the lowest common denominator in both the media (a large segment of which has long had it in for A-Rod) and the fans. They have NO cause to suspend him, and if they try, they will lose the subsequent grievance in embarrassing fashion. And as you pointed out, the inherent message that MLB cares more about whether and with whom you play ‘illegal’ poker than it does about whether you drive drunk and endanger your life and the lives of others is even MORE embarrassing.”

Aside: I present to you this article. Feel free to ridicule, point and laugh, etc.

Granderson getting it done without the homer, too

Can Curtis Granderson hit 40 homers in a season? It was a question that many asked when the Yankees acquired him in the winter of 2009, and rightfully so. He had mashed 30 in 2009, and that came while playing half his games at Comerica Park in Detroit, hardly a lefty’s paradise. Most of his home run production came on the road, which led Yankees fans to wonder if the short porch could increase his home production and perhaps turn him into a true power threat. We didn’t get many good answers in 2010, but in 2011 he has surged, knocking 28 homers through his first 107 games. Getting to 40 is certainly within the realm of possibility.

Lately, though, Granderson has slipped a bit with the power. His two homers against Cleveland on July 5th gave him 25 on the year, or one every 14.68 PA. If he kept up that pace while getting roughly 675 PA on the season, he’d be on pace for about 46 homers. Lately, though, he’s slowed down a bit, hitting just three homers in his last 107 PA. But that hasn’t stopped him from being productive, as he’s hit .278/.358/.500 in that span. That includes seven doubles and two triples, to go along with 10 walks.

Doubles and triples, in fact, have played a big role in Granderson’s 2011 season. He’s not going to reach the 23 triples he hit in the 2007 season, but he could conceivably reach the 13 he hit in 2008. Even if he doesn’t, he’s already hit more than in 2009 and 2010. He’s also going to top both of those years’ doubles totals. In 54 fewer PA he has already topped last year’s doubles total, and is just five away from his 2009 total. At the same time, he’s already topped 2010’s walk total, and if he keeps up this pace he’ll set his single-season record before he gets to 700 PA.

At the start of the season, Granderson provided a welcome surprise with a power outburst. It has mostly held up, but as with most power hitters he goes through plenty of stretches where he’s not hitting the ball over the fence. But for Granderson that hasn’t meant prolonged slumps. When he’s not socking homers he’s still producing by hitting doubles and triples, and taking walks. The combination has vaulted him ahead of all other AL center fielders’ offensive production — his 32.9 runs above average leads No. 2 Jacoby Ellsbury by almost three runs. It’s hard to find a major flaw in Granderson’s game these days. He’s a big part of the reason why the Yankees find themselves in such a comfortable position currently.

A-Rod resumes baseball activities in Tampa

Three weeks after having surgery to repair a slightly torn meniscus in his right knee, Alex Rodriguez resumed baseball activities in Tampa today. Sean Kernan reports that A-Rod did some running, made 25 throws from 125 feet, took some ground balls (27 from his knees, 14 regular), then took 66 swings (32 one-handed off a tee, 34 off soft-toss). There is still no set date for him to begin a minor league rehab assignment, but I figure that’s at least a week away, maybe more.