Bats back shaky Hughes, Yanks win big over A’s

Brandon Laird's Hall of Fame career began on Friday.

Trevor Cahill is a good young starter, but the poor kid just doesn’t seem to stand a chance against the Yankees. New York blew the doors off this one early, knocking Cahill from the game in the third inning. It’s Friday and it’s hot, so let’s quickly recap…

  • Everyone contributed offensively, even the guys off the bench. The Yankees scored five runs in the second with a barrage of singles plus a walk and a sacrifice fly. They didn’t bat around, but they came close. Most of the damage was done in the third inning, which featured both a three-run homer and a grand slam. You don’t see that happen in the same inning very often, not by one team anyway. Six straight batters reached to leadoff the inning, and one batter even had two hits in the frame. Add in some garbage time runs later, and you’ve got a season-high 17 runs and the most they’ve scored in one game since hanging 20 on the Red Sox in August of 2009.
  • Phil Hughes was pretty terrible, allowing seven runs in just 4.1 IP, walking four and striking out three. He also hit a batter. Blame the weather or the long layoffs between innings if you want, but the bottom line is that a starter has to get through at least five innings when staked to a 12 run lead. That’s the bare minimum. Hector Noesi was strong yet again in long relief, striking out three and walking nine in 3.2 scoreless innings. He needed 53 pitches to get 11 outs, Hughes 98 to get 13 outs. Phil has to be better next time out (against the Mariners), just has to be.
  • There’s a lot of offense to cover, so let’s run through it. Brett Gardner struck out three times but also had an infield hit in that second inning. Derek Jeter had two hits and a walk, Curtis Granderson two walks and a hit-by pitch, Mark Teixeira two walks and the grand slam, Robinson Cano two hits, Nick Swisher three hits (including the three-run homer) and a walk, Jorge Posada one hit, Eduardo Nunez two hits, and Frankie Cervelli was a perfect 3-for-3 with two walks. Granderson and Jeter each stole bases as well. Chris Dickerson came off the bench and singled.
  • If the Yankees have any trade interest in Oakland relievers, they sure got a good look at all of them in this game. Six different relievers appeared in the game for the A’s, none worse than Joey Devine. Check out his strike zone plot, and make sure you notice the pitches literally off the chart and in the margins. His first pitch of the night was the first pitch Brandon Laird saw as a big leaguer, a fastball behind his back. Laird drew a walk his first time up (his first since June 25th) then singled the next time, so he’s rocking a 1.000 AVG and 1.000 OBP at the moment. Congrats to him.
  • It’s been more than a dozen years since the Yankees played a home game in this kind of weather; July of 1999 was the last time the temperature exceeded triple digits at first pitch at Yankee Stadium. Yuck. Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, and here’s the standings.

Saturday’s going to be another scorcher, but if you want to brave the heat and head up to the Bronx for the game, RAB Tickets can get you in dirt cheap. Rich Harden will give it a go against A.J. Burnett in the matinee.

Warren begins prep for big league start

Penn League Report has some video and scouting reports for Mason Williams, Cito Culver, and Brandon Pinder. It’s good news all around. Meanwhile, David Phelps will be back from his shoulder tendinitis pretty much any day now.

High-A Tampa (6-5 loss to Bradenton, walk-off style)
Eric Chavez, 3B: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K – played seven innings in the field … made two plays in the field according to the recap, one ground ball and one line drive
Abe Almonte, CF: 2 for 5, 3 R, 1 SB
Emerson Landoni, 2B: 0 for 1
Ronnier Mustelier, 2B-3B: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB – just keeps hitting
Kyle Roller, DH: 1 for 5, 1 R, 2 K
Rob Segedin, RF: 1 for 4
Luke Murton, 1B: 2 for 4, 1 RBI
Neil Medchill, LF: 0 for 3
Mitch Abeita, C: 0 for 2, 2 BB
Kelvin Castro, SS: 0 for 4, 1 K
Mikey O’Brien, RHP: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 2-3 GB/FB – picked a runner off first … had walked eight guys against six strikeouts in his last six starts
Kramer Sneed, LHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 2-1 GB/FB
Francisco Gil, RHP: 1.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 WP, 1-1 GB/FB

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Yankees announce 2011 HOPE Week

One of my favorite weeks of the year. The Yankees have announced their plans for the 2011 edition of HOPE Week, which will take place Monday through Friday of next week. All of the details can be found in the press release. Good on the Yankees for keeping this going, but hopefully the weather cools off before then.

Game 97: Hot hot hot

(Photo Credit: Flickr user via Creative Commons license)

It’s brutal in New York. Temperatures in the high-90’s, more humidity than I care to cite, and seemingly no breeze. The Yankees did not take batting practice outdoors this afternoon because of the heat, but they’ll have to endure it for the first couple of innings, at least until the sun goes down. That’ll help, even a little bit. Anyway, here’s the lineup…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, DH
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, 1B
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Frankie Cervelli, C

Phil Hughes, SP

Now that’s a lineup I can get behind. It’s a My9 game, so head over there for first pitch a little after 7pm ET. Enjoy, and stay cool.

A quick note on Curtis Granderson and plate discipline

The Yankees are a power and patience offense, so it’s not a surprise that they lead baseball with a 9.9% walk rate and are second with a .178 ISO (one point behind the Red Sox). Their best player all season has been Curtis Granderson, who personifies that power and patience approach. His .299 ISO is third best in baseball, trailing only Jose Bautista (.358) and Lance Berkman (.305), plus his 11.8% walk rate is a top 30 mark and continues to climb. Only Nick Swisher (15.0%) and Russell Martin (12.1%) have better rates on the Yankees.

That walk rate is not an outlier for Granderson, who walked 10.0% of his plate appearances last year and in 10.5% of his plate appearances from 2008-2010. What is sort of surprising is the number of pitches he’s seeing; Curtis leads the majors by averaging 4.48 pitches seen per plate appearance. Bobby Abreu (4.42), Carlos Santana (4.41), and Adam Dunn (4.41) are next in line. He had averaged 4.11 P/PA from 2008-2010. Furthermore, Jack Curry noted the other day that Granderson had fouled off 135 two-strike pitches to stay alive this year, second in the AL to the unstrikeoutable Dustin Pedroia (150). It’s not all about the long ball with Grandy, who’s been putting together quality at-bats all season. That’s great to see.