Poor Mighty Matt.

Triple-A Scranton (13-12 win over Lehigh Valley, walk-off style) they were down by 6 as late as the 7th inning … the win clinches a postseason berth
Justin Christian: 4 for 6, 1 R, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera: 1 for 6, 2 K, 1 CS – he was caught trying to steal third with the game tied and one out in the bottom of the 9th … oof
Juan Miranda: 0 for 1, 2 R, 3 BB
Matt Carson: 1 for 1, 2 R, 1 RBI – pinch ran for Miranda … scored the winning run on a walk-off error by the LF
Shelley: 1 for 6, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 4 K
Ben Broussard: 2 for 6, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 K
Chris Basak: 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 SB
Eric Duncan: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB – what a game tease
Nick Green & Chad Moeller: both 2 for 5, 1 K – Green scored a run & drove in 2 … Moeller plated 1
Phil Hughes: 3.1 IP, 10 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 2-2 GB/FB – 60 of 86 pitches were strikes (69.8%) … as President of the Phil Hughes Apologists Association, est. 2006, I will gladly point out that Chad Jennings says a good chunk of the damage came on cheap hits … this message was sponsored by the Kevin Thompson for 4th Outfielder Partnership
Zack Kroenke: 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HB – 31 of 45 pitches were strikes (68.9%)
Scott Patterson: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – blew the save in the 9th, setting up the walk-off win

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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Mike Mussina has won 17 games for the Yankees three times during his career, most recently in 2003. Tonight, with Moose due for one more start this month, he’ll go for win number 17 of the season. For all the ups and downs the Yanks have lived through this year, getting Moose 20 wins would be some story.

Behind him, the Yanks will toss out this lineup:

Damon CF
Jeter SS – One hit shy of 2500 for his career.
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Molina C

The Yanks this year are just 5-7 against the Orioles, and Moose is 0-2 with an 11.12 ERA against his former team. Both the Yanks and Mussina really need this one tonight. Game time’s at 7:05 p.m.

Fantasy Football Note: For those of you interested, Mike is organizing a RAB Fantasy Football league. Spots are still available. Click here for the details. The league is full, sorry.

Categories : Game Threads
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Tour Ticket

As part of the last season at Yankee Stadium, my dad and I yesterday morning took one of the Behind-The-Scenes tours the Yankees offer at the old stadium. The tour — which started at 11 a.m. — lasted an hour, and we were taken around to parts of the ballpark generally closed to the public. We walked on the field, sat in the press box, enjoyed the view from the dugout and strolled through the Yankee Clubhouse.

Going inside the new stadium on a day in which there is no game offers a fascinating glimpse inside the life of a baseball stadium. For just 81 days a year, a baseball stadium is used for its intended purposes. For the other 284 days, the stadium sits empty. While team officials are hard at work running the business, the stadium itself is cleaned and primped regularly. The Yankees may be out of town, but the stadium is alive on a Thursday afternoon.

Our tour started with a walk through the press box where Sunday’s lineups were still penciled on the big board. I sat in the seat usually reserved for the reporter from the Asahi Shinbum, and I could see the spot from which Peter Abraham blogs every night.

The best seat in the house belongs to the official scorer. He sits on a platform above all of the reporters with a microphone so that the announcers, writers and game officials hear all of his decisions.

After the press box, we walked through the empty stadium en route to Monument Park. The seats are looking a bit worse for the wear, and the stadium keepers were still cleaning up from the home stand.

In Monument Park, we had more time to explore the grounds that one would during a game day. We could examine the monuments, plaques and retried numbers. (On a related note, I hope this guy comes back soon.)

After enjoying Monument Park, we walked past the left field foul pole on the way to the Yankee dugout. The Yankees prefer the first base side of the stadium because the third base dugout sits in the sun during day games. The bullpen phone looks just as neat in real life as it does on TV, and the view into the crowd is rather impressive.

Following the jaunt into the dugout, we ventured down into the clubhouse where cameras are not allowed. Chien-Ming Wang had a package from Taiwan in front of his locker. Mike Mussina’s whiteboard was nowhere in sight, and Brian Bruney’s locker was sporting a fantastic bowler hat. As the longest tenured Yankee, Mariano Rivera had the primo corner locker.

As we left the clubhouse and walked back to the field to conclude the tour, a sign with a famous quotation greeted us as it does every Yankee during every home game. I have tickets for just one more Yankee game at the old stadium, and if this tour is my second-to-last trip to the House that Ruth Built, it will server as a fitting memorial a baseball cathedral.

Categories : Yankee Stadium
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  • RAB Fantasy Football League
    By

    Due to popular demand, we’re going to form the first ever RAB Fantasy Football League this year. The league is already set up at Yahoo (head-to-head, three weeks of playoffs, nothing crazy), and now we just need participants. If you’re seriously interested, email me at mike (at) riveraveblues (dot) com, and you’re in. Make sure you put “fantasy football” or something to that effect in the subject line. The league is limited to 20 teams (Joe & I are playing, Ben’s too scared), so first come first serve.

    The draft is currently scheduled for 1pm EST on Sunday, August 31st (same time as the Yanks game), but I just realized that that’s the day before Labor Day, so I think I’m going to move it up to that Saturday (again, same time as the Yanks game). Let me know in the email what day works best for you. Please note that the comments are closed, so make sure you send me an email if you want in.

    Update (4:45pm): Still 9 spots open.

    Update (6:00pm): The league is fill. I’ll keep you updated if someone drops out a spot opens up.
    · (2) ·

  • Team USA falls to Cuba in Olympic semifinals
    By

    The USA Olympic baseball lost 10-2 to Cuba this morning in the semifinal round, meaning Team USA will take on Japan in the bronze-medal game later tonight. SDSU phenom Stephen Strasburg started, but didn’t make it out of the 5th, while relievers Jeff Stevens and Blaine Neal combined to cough up 6 runs in the 8th, putting the game out of reach. Either Brett Anderson or Jake Arrieta will take the mound for the red, white & blue tonight, while Japan will throw some kid named Yu Darvish. Cuba will take on Korea in the gold medal game tomorrow evening. · (11) ·

  • Scheduling details emerge for 2009
    By

    According to Ed Price, the Yanks are set to play against the NL East next year during Interleague Play. While the full 2009 schedules are still be finalized, Price reports that the Yankees will host the Mets, Phillies and Nationals at the new Yankee Stadium. In return, Chien-Ming Wang will attempt to run the bases more successfully next year in CitiField, Atlanta and Miami. This whole Interleague Play thing is getting a bit boring. · (29) ·

  • Once more unto the Bronx parks
    By

    Early this week in the Daily News, Ian Begley wrote an extensive article on the issues surrounding the new Yankee Stadium and displaced parkland in the South Bronx. While Begley’s piece doesn’t touch on anything new that I haven’t covered — the RAB Yankee Stadium archive is available here — the article is a succinct summary of the issues surrounding the land grab and broken promises. The Yankees and the City should make good on their parkland promises sooner rather than the later. The longer this issue drags on, the worse the Yankees look. · (1) ·

Aug
22

Halladay sinks Yanks

By in Game Stories. · Comments (80) ·

I knew the Yanks were in trouble tonight when, in the top of the third inning, Ivan Rodriguez struck out swinging on one of the nastiest pitches I’ve ever seen.

The fastball from Roy Halladay started over heading toward the middle of the plate. A few feet short of home plate, the bottom literally dropped out of this pitch, and it bounced in the dirt in front of home plate as Pudge swung over the top of it. I couldn’t fault Rodriguez for swinging there. By any account, that pitch should have been right over the heart of the plate. But Halladay’s sinker was just that good tonight, and by the time he tired enough to leave one up to Hideki Matsui, it was far too late for the Yankees.

While tonight’s game belonged, from start to finish, to Roy Halladay, it was also the day when Sidney Ponson’s chickens came home to roost. I’ve long harped on Ponson’s inability to keep runners off base, and while he had shown some improvement over his last few outings, his Yankee WHIP prior to tonight stood at 1.50. Pitchers who allow that many baserunners per inning simply cannot sustain success, and it all came crashing down tonight.

Ponson allowed eight hits and a walk as he pitched into the third but couldn’t record an out that inning. He gave up seven of the Blue Jays’ 14 runs before giving way to the equally ineffective tandem of David Robertson and Billy Traber. Games like this one really make me miss Chien-Ming Wang.

Meanwhile, the Yanks continue to lose their grip on any sort of October hope. They’re 10.5 games behind Tampa and six behind Boston. With 35 games left, the Yankees will have to game for every five they play just to tie Boston in the Wild Card. With six games left against their archrivals, it’s not impossible, but they’re going to have to make this run trotting out Ponson, Darrell Rasner and perhaps Carl Pavano for three out of every five days. Don’t hold your breath.

Game Notes: Why is Billy Traber still a member of this organization? He’s been terrible all year…Since acquiring Ivan Rodriguez, the Yankees are 8-11, and Pudge is hitting .229/.270/.343. That trade sure seemed better at the time…Derek Jeter has 2499 hits. With his next base knock, he’ll become just the 88th player in baseball history to amass at least 2500 hits.

Categories : Game Stories
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Phil Coke was named to the Eastern League postseason All-Star Team. Well deserved.

Triple-A Scranton (8-7 win over Rochester)
Justin Christian: 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Melky: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 CS – 6 for 12 (.500) with a 2-4 K/BB ratio since being send down
Juan Miranda: 2 for 4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K – Chad Jennings says he hit one of the farthest homers he’s seen this year
Shelley: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 E (fielding)
Ben Broussard, Eric Duncan & Chad Moeller: all 0 for 3, 1 K – Broussard was hit by a pitch … E-Dunc & Moeller each drew a walk
Nick Green: 1 for 3, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 SB
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 1 WP, 4-3 GB/FB – 66 of 93 pitches were strikes (71.0%)
Steven Jackson: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-1 GB/FB – 19 of 35 pitches were strikes (54.3%)
Mark Melancon: 1 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K – 10 of 18 pitches were strikes (55.6%)
Phil Coke: 0.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1 WP – allowed both inherited runners to score, hence the earned runs charged to Melancon
Scott Strickland: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K

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Categories : Down on the Farm
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