Complaining about three games in three cities on two coasts in three days

Brett found a way to relax between games yesterday. (Mitchell Layton/Getty)

As you’ve probably heard by now, the Yankees and Orioles will make up one of this weekend’s games on September 8th at 1pm ET, a mutual off day for the two clubs. Apparently some miscommunication between the O’s and the MLBPA resulted in the decision to postpone the game to that date, which the Yankees most certainly did not want. It was their only true off day of the month, and now they’ve got to play three games in three cities on two coasts in the span of about 60 hours late next week. They’ll play the Orioles in the Bronx on Wednesday, the Orioles in Baltimore on Thursday, then fly to the west coast to play the Angels in Anaheim on Friday.

As he’s prone to do, Buck Showalter ran his mouth about the Yankees being “disrespectful” towards the Orioles following Mike Flanagan’s death by wanting to play two games on Friday. “I’m sure if they stopped and thought about it, if the same thing happened to one of their greats, they probably would have given a lot of consideration to how they were going to handle that day,” said Showalter, apparently failing to realize that the Yankees have lost a number of all-time greats in recent years, including George Steinbrenner and Bob Sheppard last summer. Obviously a tribute to Flanagan was important to the O’s, but they did hide behind that excuse to distract from the real reason why they didn’t want to play two games on Friday: they didn’t want to lose the gate revenue.

Rosters expand this Thursday, so getting the important players rest won’t be too big of a deal down the stretch, but there’s no doubt that the travel schedule is a hassle. The Yankees will play the second of 18 games in 18 days today, a stretch that includes stops in five cities with the last six games on the west coast. By the time they finish up their game with the Mariners on Sept. 14th (10pm ET start) and fly to Toronto, it’ll probably be nine or ten in the morning on the East Coast when they land. Sleep all day before starting the three-game series the next day, and there’s the team’s only scheduled day off the rest of the season. Hardly qualifies as an off day, really.

Thankfully, the Yankees are sitting pretty at the moment, leading the Rays by 6.5 games for the wildcard with only 31 games left to play. If they go 14-14 in their next 28 games, the Rays would need to win 17 of their next 27 games just to make that last series of the year against the Yankees in Tampa interesting, and even then they’d need a sweep to force a Game 163. There’s very little to worry about here, and remember, New York will always be the bad guy. That’s why you have columns supporting the Orioles being written while Josh Beckett gets his ass kissed for complaining about the schedule. The double standard never ceases to amaze.

Hurricane Irene is still causing massive problems in Upstate New York, Vermont, and in parts of New England, so it does feel a little callous to discuss the storm’s ramifications on he Yankees and baseball in general. It’s just a game, a kid’s game, but it’s also part of our lives and a pretty big one for me (and I’m sure several of you). The Orioles were unwilling to be flexible with their schedule, so now the Yankees are going to be stuck feeling the impact of this weekend for another two weeks, if not more. They’ll get through it just fine, but that doesn’t mean they (or us fans) have to like it.

Fan Confidence Poll: August 29th, 2011

Record Last Week: 2-4 (44 RS, 38 RA)
Season Record:
79-52 (683 RS, 492 RA, 86-45 pythag. record), 2.0 games back in AL East, 6.5 up for wildcard
Opponents This Week:
@ Orioles (one game, Mon.), @ Red Sox (three games, Tues. to Thurs.), vs. Blue Jays (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.


Bats come back to life in second game of doubleheader

Now that’s more like it. This “not getting a runner past first base” business wasn’t going to cut it, so the Yankees went back to doing what they do best in the night cap of Saturday’s doubleheader. They broke out the whoppin’ sticks and pounded the Orioles, which is what they should have been doing all weekend. To the bullet points…

  • Offensive star of the game was Curtis Granderson who clubbed two homers (one a three-run shot, the other solo) and now leads all of baseball with 38 dingers. Both came off lefties too, and his 13 left-on-left homers leads baseball by five. This is a guy that had 16 homers off lefties in his entire career before 2011. Pretty amazing season for Curtis.
  • Because two bombs from Grandy weren’t enough, the trio of Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and Andruw Jones combined to go back-to-back-to-back in the sixth inning. Brian Matusz gave up Granderson’s first bomb as well as two-thirds of the back-to-back-to-back jobs, raising his season rate to 3.02 HR/9 (14 in 41.2 IP). He’s far too good for that, something’s seriously wrong there.
  • All the homers provided support for Ivan Nova, who was shaky in the early innings. He gave up exactly one run in each of the first, second, and third innings, and only three of the first 14 batters he faced in those three frames put the ball on the ground. That’s not Nova. He settled down and allowed just an infield single and a walk in the fourth through seventh innings before putting the first two men he faced in the eight on base. David Robertson came in, allowed a single to load the bases, then struck out the next three to escape the jam unscathed. He’s quite good at that. Very nice efforts from both guys (ten strikeouts combined), especially Nova after the shaky start to the game.
  • Everyone in the lineup but Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez had a hit (Gardner walked), plus Granderson, Tex, and Cano had multiple knocks. Seven of their eleven hits went for extra bases. Pretty nice rebound following the nonsense in the first game.
  • The Yankees are back to two games behind the Red Sox and 6.5 up on the Rays, so they’re sitting pretty right now. Could be better, but it’s not worth complaining about. Here’s the box score, here’s the advanced stats, and here’s the updated standings.

One more game left in the series, which will be played Monday night. Freddy Garcia will make his (hopefully) triumphant return from the disabled list against Jeremy Guthrie Alfredo Simon.

Jeter out with right knee contusion, he and A-Rod likely out Monday

Update (10:44pm): X-rays on the kneecap came back negative, but Jeter is unlikely to play tomorrow. In other news, Alex Rodriguez was unavailable tonight and is also unlikely to play tomorrow because his sore thumb is acting up again. The Yankees aren’t in a position where they need these two every single game, so let them rest up and get healthy.

Original (7:48pm): Derek Jeter was a very, very late scratch from tonight’s game because of a right knee contusion. He fouled a ball off his knee in the first game of the doubleheader, but managed to finish the game. Wasn’t all that hard to do since he was the DH. No idea on the extent of the injury, but hopefully it’s a day-to-day thing.

Sept. 8th makeup game with Orioles will be a day game

The September 8th makeup game with the Orioles will be played at 1:05pm ET, which is important because the Yankees have to be on the west coast the next day. Of course the Yankees don’t even want the game to be played on that date since it’s their only true off day of the month, but apparently neither the Orioles or MLB care enough to look into an alternative.

Game 131: Right back at it

Bart deserved better. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

The Yankees lost a rather annoying game to the Orioles this afternoon (didn’t get a runner past first base? really?), but the good news is they have a chance to make it up for it right away in the back-end of the doubleheader. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, DH
Russell Martin, C
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Brett Gardner, LF

Ivan Nova, SP

Despite ESPN’s Sunday night restrictions, the game will be available on both YES and If you want to listen on the radio, tune into WFAN 660 and not WCBS 880. They’re still covering Hurricane Irene on the usual station. Enjoy the game.

Update: Well, so much for that. Apparently the game is blacked out everywhere but YES. Those jerks.

Update Part Deux: Derek Jeter is a (very) late scratch. Gardner is leading off, Nunez is at short (batting ninth), and Eric Chavez is at third (batting eighth). Jeter fouled a ball off his leg in the first game of the doubleheader, so perhaps that stiffened up on him. I’ll update the post if we find out anything more.

GCL Yanks advance to title series with win

Triple-A Scranton was off because of Hurricane Irene. They played a doubleheader on Friday to make this game up in advance.

Double-A Trenton was off because of Irene. They were supposed to play a doubleheader on Saturday to make this game up in advance, but they only got the first game in. I have no idea when they’re going to make up the second game.

High-A Tampa (15-7 win over Brevard County)
Abe Almonte, CF: 1 for 5, 2 R, 2 RBI
Kelvin Castro, 2B: 0 for 4, 1 R – left out of the party
Ronnier Mustelier, LF: 4 for 5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB – 15-for-35 (.429) since coming off the DL
Kyle Roller, 1B: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K
Rob Segedin, 3B: 1 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Cody Johnson, DH: 3 for 5, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K – those are his 185th and 186th strikeouts of the season (450 PA, so 41.3%)
Mitch Abeita, C: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB
Neil Medchill, RF: 4 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 E (fielding) – threw a runner out at second
Emerson Landoni, SS: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 K, 1 HBP
Josh Romanski, LHP: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HB, 4-3 GB/FB – 13-1 K/BB in 13 IP since coming back down
Dan Burawa, RHP: 2.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 4-1 GB/FB, 1 E (throwing) – Clip’d the win, and he knows it
Ronny Marte, RHP: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2-1 GB/FB

[Read more…]