Because I need to go to sleep and it’s late, bullet-recap time:
- With Phil Hughes on call for Wednesday, there is absolutely no reason to keep Sidney Ponson around the Bronx. If he makes another start for the Yankees, I might cry.
- Just to drive home this point, over his last time outings, Ponson is 2-4 with a 7.15 ERA. He’s allowed 78 baserunners in his last 51.1 innings and 46 over his last 19 innings pitched. That’s stunningly bad.
- Derek Jeter entered this homestand needing just 10 hits to pass Lou Gehrig for the most all-time hits at Yankee Stadium. He collected six of them in two games. I’m guessing he reaches Gehrig’s mark.
- This Phil Coke kid looks pretty good, no?
- At this point, the Yanks should trot out their game two lineup more often. Stick Cody Ransom out there; give Wilson Betemit some much-needed ABs; play Brett Gardner. They can’t do worse than the regulars, and for nine innings tonight, they did something the Yanks’ usual starting nine hasn’t done too often lately: They won.
- Have I mentioned how much I dislike watching Sidney Ponson pitch?
Double-A Trenton (4-1 win over Akron) Trenton leads the best-of-five series 2-1 … Jeff Marquez gets the ball in Game 4 tomorrow
Reegie Corona & Edwar Gonzalez: both 1 for 3 – Corona doubled in a run … Edwar drew a walk, swiped a bag, drove in a run & K’ed
Ramiro Pena: 0 for 3
Austin Jackson: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS – robbed not one, but two homers at the wall … Mike Ashmore says it’s the best he’s ever seen Ajax
Chris Malec, Frankie Cervelli & Kevin Russo: all 1 for 4 – Cervelli doubled, scored a run & K’ed twice … Russo drove in a run & K’ed
Colin Curtis: 2 for 4, 1 SB
PJ Pilittere: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 BB – hitting .350 in the postseason
George Kontos: 4.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 3-8 GB/FB – nice job on 13 days rest
Anthony Claggett: 2.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2-5 GB/FB
Mike Dunn: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 2-0 – he’s been studly in the playoffs
Jhonny Nunez: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0-2 GB/FB – ditto Dunn’s comment
The Yanks already managed to lose today,so it would be nice to not have to go through that again tonight. Something about getting swept in a doubleheader just makes me feel dirty, and not in a good way.
1. Gardner, CF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, DH
5. Nady, LF
6. Cano, 2B
7. Betemit, 1B
8. Pudge, C
9. Ransom, 3B
And on the mound (hopefully for the last time) Sir Sidney Ponson.
Update (7:01pm): The game is on MY9, not YES.
We’ll wrap up both games of the double header later tonight. Needless to say, the Yanks didn’t look too impressive this afternoon as they lost meekly to the Rays 7-1. With that win, Tampa extends their AL East lead to three games over the Red Sox, and the Rays are going to exceed expectations I set for them when I compiled their BP Depth Chart in late March. The Yanks, on the other hand, are utterly underperforming this year.
As we await the start of the second game in less than three hours, let’s ponder Mike Mussina for a minute. Despite his gaudy numbers this year — 17-9, 3.63 ERA — Mussina has been far from impressive lately. In five innings today, Mussina gave up five earned runs on eight hits, two walks and seven strike outs. He couldn’t really get anything past the Rays’ hitters, and this start continues a recent trend.
Since August 12, Moose has now made seven starts, and in those seven starts, he’s 2-2 with a 4.81 ERA. In 43 innings, he’s allowed 53 hits and seven walks while striking out 41. The K totals are great; nothing else is blowing me away.
As the Yankees head into the off-season, the status of Mike Mussina will be one of the team’s biggest internal question marks. He’s been something of a baseball godsend this year, but he’s showing some signs of wearing out down the stretch. Moose will be 40 come Opening Day 2009, and while six weeks ago, I would have advocated bringing him back with no hesitation, now, I’m not so sure about that anymore.
If the Yanks can find reasonable replacements for him, might they be better off cutting ties? I’m glad I’m not the one making that decision.
The Quest for Twenty continues this afternoon as Mike Mussina takes the mound in search of his 18th victory of the season. For Moose, in his career-long quest for a 20-win season, today is something of a must-win. He’s set to make three more starts this season, but to expect him to go 3-0 might be asking too much. If he wins today, his quest will be that much easier.
On the season, Mussina is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA against the Rays. He’s allowed 17 hits and just three walks in 18.1 innings. Hopefully, his dominance against Tampa will continue. He faces James Shields who is 0-2 against the Yanks this year but with a sub-3.00 ERA.
This afternoon starts at 1:05 p.m., and it’s on YES. Mike will have the nightcap game thread later. That one’s on My9.
Update by Mike (1:10pm): A-Rod scratched with a stiff neck. Nady’s cleaning up, Ransom’s playing third & batting 7th. Ouch for Betemit.
Chad Jennings has the news. After flat-out dominating during the IL playoffs, the promotion is well deserved. I think we’re all excited to see him in pinstripes again, even if he won’t be able to pitch for a few days. In similarly exciting news for fans of young stud pitchers, David Price, amongst others, was called up to Rays. There’s a good chance we’ll see him sometime this series.
Update (11:30am): David Robertson’s back too. · (10) ·
Phil Hughes, fresh off his IL Championship-clinching win, will make an Internet radio appearance. Eric SanInocencio, host of Baseball Digest Daily Live, will interview the Yankees’ young prospect this afternoon during the noon broadcast of his show. Point your browser over to the BDD Live homepage at 12 to catch Hughes. · (7) ·
For the first time in a long time, New York City will play host to four Major League Baseball games on one calendar day. The Yanks and Mets were both rained out on Friday, and both teams plan to play doubleheaders on Saturday. The Yanks are going the split-admission. day-night route to enable fans to catch their last games at the Stadium while the Mets are playing a single-admission set starting at 3:55 p.m. The Yankee Stadium Insider Blog notes that it’s possible for dedicated baseball to catch 75 percent of the doubleheader later today. That would be one long day of baseball. · (1) ·
Admit it, you know that title has a nice ring to it.
Triple-A Scranton (20-2 win over Durham) they pounded a guy who’s arguably the best RHP prospect in the game … they win the Governor’s Cup with a 3-1 series win over Durham … it’s the first time the Yanks’ AAA affiliate has won the league title since the Columbus Clippers back in 1992
Justin Christian: 2 for 7, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 SB
Bernie Casatro: 3 for 3, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K
Juan Miranda: 3 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 K – hit a homer late and did a little Manny pose
Shelley Duncan & Ben Broussard: both 1 for 4, 1 R – Shelley walked twice … Broussard doubled, drove in a run, walked & K’ed
Matt Carson: 2 for 6, 1 R, 2 K – threw a runner out at the plate to end the 1st
Eric Duncan: 1 for 6, 1 R, 3 K
Chris Stewart: 1 for 3, 3 R, 3 BB, 1 K
Chris Basak: 4 for 4, 4 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB – Chris Basak, really?
Philthy Hughes: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 12 K, 0-2 GB/FB – 58 of 97 pitches were strikes (59.8%) … okay, where to start with this one … he struck out at least 2 batters in every inning, as well as the side in the 3rd & 4th … he loaded the bases on a single-single-walk in the 4th, then walked in a run before striking out the next 3 batters to get out of the jam … his 23 K sets new franchise single-postseason & career strikeout records … his career line in the postseason is 24.2 IP, 16H, 1ER, 5 BB, 42 K … we’ve been saying this all season: don’t write the kid off, he had 6 bad starts in April (something anyone can do), that’s it … he’s too talented to write-off this soon
Jon Albaladejo: 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HB, 5-2 GB/FB – 21 of 35 pitches were strikes (60.0%)
Zack Kroenke: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1-0 GB/FB
Scranton will now head to Oklahoma to take on the Pacific Coast League Champion in the Bricktown Showdown next Tuesday. The Sacramento River Cats (A’s) and Oklahoma Red Hawks (Rangers) were tied at one in their-best-of-five series heading into tonight. Victor Zambrano will likely get the start; the game is usually broadcast on ESPN or ESPN2.
With rain falling in New York and the Yanks playing generally uninspired baseball, we turn our attention to Durham where the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees are going for the International League title. A win tonight would bring the Governor’s Cup home to Scranton.
Meanwhile, the 1992 Columbus Clippers were he last Yankee affiliate to grab that coveted AAA title. That team featured quite the collection of players. Bernie Williams was the clear star along with J.T. Snow, Torey Lovullo, Hensely “Bam-Bam” Muelens and Gerald “Ice” Williams. On the pitching front, Bob Wickman, Sam Militello and Russ Springer lead the rotation while Mike Draper closed. That’s quite the collection of stars, never-were’s and has-been’s.
Tonight’s game pits Phil Hughes, coming off one of his most dominant AAA appearances ever, against Wade Davis. This is a matchup of premier right-handed pitching prospects. If it lives up to its billing, it could be a classic.
Scranton leads the best-of-five series 2-1, and every game has been decided in the final at-bat. In fact, Scranton’s last four games have all been walk-offs. You can catch this one for free over at MiLB.com. Just follow the video links.