Game 81: Beat Canada

As I said on Friday, I find it amusing that for the second straight year the Yankees play the Blue Jays at home. I suppose one team has to face Canada’s own today, but it’s interesting that it’s the Yankees at Yankee Stadium, what with all the stars and stripes and George Steinbrenner‘s birthday.

The Yankees, of course, cannot lose to a foreign team today, during the celebration of our independence. Last year it took 12 innings, but they managed to defend the nation’s honor.

On a more serious noteā€¦

While yesterday’s offensive barrage was a nice change, all the runs came in one inning. The Yanks still missed opportunities with runners in scoring position. But who knows. Maybe that inning spurred them on, leading to a nice little streak before the break.

As I write this they’re announcing the All-Star game rosters. So that will be interesting. Scroll around the posts to see what’s up. At publication time it’s Jeter and Cano as starters, Hughes, CC, and Mo as pitchers, and A-Rod in reserve. There’s a chance that Pettitte could end up taking CC’s spot, since CC is lined up to pitch the game before the break.

Also, make sure to check out our Fourth contest. Best story gets a $100 eBay gift certificate. This also seems like an appropriate time to plug our RAB Tickets, where you can get all of your game tickets at the best possible prices.

And back to my overly patriotic rhetoric: Beat Canada!

Lineup:

1. Derek Jeter, DH
2. Nick Swisher, RF
3. Mark Teixeira, 1B
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Robinson Cano, 2B
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Curtis Granderson, CF
8. Brett Gardner, LF
9. Ramiro Pena, SS

And on the mound, number sixty-five, Phil Hughes.

Cano, Jeter named All Star starters

Robbie Cano and Derek Jeter were named the AL’s starting middle infield for this year’s All Star Game in Anaheim. The rest of the AL starting nine consists of Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Evan Longoria, Ichiro, Josh Hamilton, Carl Crawford, and Vlad Guerrero. Can’t say I disagree with any of those picks.

CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes, and Mariano Rivera were named to the AL pitching staff. Sabathia lines up to start the Sunday before the All Star Game, which makes him ineligible to pitch in it according to the new rules. He’ll be replaced on the roster, and it could be by Andy Pettitte. Francisco Liriano and Jered Weaver are certainly deserving of that spot, though.

Alex Rodriguez was named as a reserve, and Nick Swisher is on the Final Vote Ballot. Let’s get that man to Anaheim!

Thames activate, Huffman optioned to Triple-A

Out just about a month with a hamstring issue, Marcus Thames returns from the disabled list today to give the Yankees a little bit of pop off the bench and in the designated hitters spot. Unsurprisingly, Chad Huffman was optioned to Triple-A to make room on the roster since he’s basically a lesser version of Thames. Hopefully Marcus hits like he did in April and not like he did in May and June.

The Year of the Grand Slam continues in win over Blue Jays

"Your name's Ver-non, clap clap clapclapclap" (Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II, AP)

Seriously, who saw that coming from Brett Gardner? So awesome, 2010 really is The Year of the Grand Slam. That makes eight now. Eight! On July 3rd! It was like a big offensive weight lifted off everyone’s shoulders too. The Yankees had just a two run lead at the time, which is far from a sure thing give how many innings were left and how the bullpen has performed. So yeah, it was good to have a comfortable lead for once.

Some other random thoughts and notes…

  • Moment that is sure to be forgotten: Chad Huffman’s diving/flopping catch in the 1st. If that drops in, two runs score and the Yankees are suddenly looking at a four run deficit before they even come to bat. The game would have had a very different feel then.
  • Derek Jeter drew three walks (in the first three innings, no less), giving him 11 walks in his last 11 games and 22 in the team’s last 40 games. He has just nine walks in their first 40 games.
  • Alex Rodriguez sure is good at getting the opposition to drop routine pop ups, eh? In all seriousness, that’s what Cito Gaston gets for playing John McDonald, a career infielder, in leftfield. The guy had his flip-down shades on, but didn’t flip them down!
  • I only saw Dustin Moseley’s first inning of work, but it was hard not to be impressed. Five total pitches, one strikeout, two broken bat ground outs.
  • Apparently Jorge Posada played an inning at first, and wasn’t tested at all. Chad Huffman has played a ton of first in the minors, but I guess Joe Girardi really wanted to give Curtis Granderson that inning of rest. That’s fine, I just wish I could have seen Posada at first.

July 4th Eve DotF

Sorry folks, going to take the quick way out of this one tonight…

I was at the SI Yanks game, so here’s some observations…

  • Sosa was the best player on the field. He’s a bit of a hacker, but he can really run. Beat out two infield singles, one to the second baseman. Also, dude’s a total ballhawk in center, caught everything hit in his general direction and then some.
  • Kelvin DeLeon hasn’t met a pitch he won’t swing at, but the ball made a different sound off his bat, as cliche as it sounds. He didn’t pick up a hit, but he just missed a homer right down the leftfield line.
  • Kyle Roller is a big boy. Hit a ball off the top of the right-centerfield wall and it bounced away from the outfielders for a triple. That’s the only way that guy is getting three bases on one hit.
  • Kevin Mahoney reminds me of Nick Johnson, just super calm, very managed at-bats. He ripped a pair of doubles.
  • Jeff Farnham got an error when he threw a ball into center on a stolen base attempt. Of course, neither the second baseman or shortstop bothered to cover. Seriously, there was no one at the base except the runner. Gotta love A-ball defense.
  • If Luis Parache gets above A-ball, I’ll be surprised. He doesn’t swing, he just kind of flicks the bat at the ball, almost as if he’s got two strikes and is just trying to protect, except all the time.
  • Shane Greene was very good, took a perfect game into the third and no-hitter into I think the fourth. Lots of ugly swings at whatever the hell kind of offspeed pitch he was throwing, maybe a changeup.
  • Chase Whitley loaded the bases with no outs in the 9th, then struck out side. He must have thrown 90% sliders, no joke.
  • The seats at MCU Park in Coney Island are a good three or four inches wider than the ones at the New Stadium. How the hell does that happen?
  • The Beach Bums are a nice touch. Nothing wrong with scantily clad women dancing on top of the dugouts between at-bats and innings. More teams should embrace the concept.

Open Thread: Which one would you rather have?

Oh hai Brett. (Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP)

Here are the stat lines for two players (doesn’t include today’s games), which one is better?

Player A: 284 PA, 48 R, 67 H, 6 2B, 6 3B, 3 HR, 26 SB, 5 CS, 26 BB, 40 K, 3 GIDP, 3 HBP

Player B: 282 PA, 49 R, 76 H, 6 2B, 4 3B, 3 HR, 24 SB, 5 CS, 31 BB, 40 K, 3 GIDP, 3 HBP

The identities are revealed after the jump, but seriously, which player would you prefer?

Anyway, here’s tonight’s open thread for those of you who aren’t going out and enjoying this fine evening. There’s a game on MLB Network, but who you see depends on where you live. Talk about whatever, just be cool.

[Read more…]

Injury Updates: Thames, Mitre, Aceves, Johnson

It’s hard to believe that we’ve been reduced to getting exciting about Marcus Thames returning, but that’s where we sit. The righty bat will play nine innings in the field during his third rehab game with Triple-A Scranton tonight, and if all goes well he could rejoin the team as soon as tomorrow. Given the current DH situation, that’s a good thing.

Meanwhile, Sergio Mitre made his first rehab appearance after an oblique strain last night, throwing just one inning for High-A Tampa before throwing some more in the bullpen. He’ll throw two innings on Monday, and right now isn’t expected to rejoin the team until after the All Star break. Al Aceves is going to throw 40 or so pitches off a full mound early next week, a rather significant step in his return from back issues. The Yanks are going to take is slow and be very cautious with him given the nature of his injury, so Ace is probably still a few weeks away.

Finally, we have Nick Johnson, who is actually going to swing a bat today. Granted, it’ll just be a fungo, but it’s progress. Assuming all goes well – not a safe assumption, of course – he’ll head down to Tampa and continue baseball activities there. NJ is still a ways off from rehab games and rejoining the team, but any news is good news at this point.