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The Yankees didn’t really have a chance today. Before they even had the opportunity to face Roy Halladay, they were staring up out of a 3-0 hole, and they would never recover.
It was more of the same at home for Andy Pettitte. As iYankees told us earlier today, Pettitte has struggled at home, and today was no different. To a weaker-hitting team, Pettitte allowed six earned runs on ten hits and a walk in 6.1 innings. When the Yanks needed him most, Pettitte again faltered.
With this loss and a Red Sox loss, the Yanks are still seven games out of a playoff spot with 26 games remaining. They’re not mathematically eliminated quite yet, and the Phillies overcame the same deficit in nine fewer games last year. But the Yanks aren’t playing with much urgency. As Yogi once said, it’s getting late early.
On the bright side, Al Aceves had a successful debut. He threw two hitless innings and struck out three. Why Sidney Ponson and Darrell Rasner are still in the rotation remains a mystery. Aceves at least deserves a start, and I have to believe that Ponson may have to pitch a gem tomorrow in Detroit to keep his rotation spot.
Via Chad Jennings, organizational pitching guru Nardi Contreras confirmed that both Phil Hughes & Humberto Sanchez will be heading to the Arizona Fall League this year. This is all about innings for these two, especially Phil. The AzFL season doesn’t start until October 9th, so I supposed there’s a chance that Hughes could make an appearance or two with the Yanks in September. We already know he’s starting tomorrow for Triple-A Scranton.
Austin Jackson & Kevin Russo are the only other players confirmed to be going to AzFL this year, so the Yanks still have three spots to fill (two pitchers and an infielder). · (64) ·
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Roy Halladay is going for his fourth win of the year against the Yanks. Andy Pettitte will try to stop him and ensure a .500 August for the Yanks. He also has to pitch better than he did last week against the Red Sox.
Via NYYFans, Alan Horne’s father provides the dirt: “Alan met with Dr. James Andrews yesterday and after a complete hands-on exam and review of MRI/X-Ray pictures, he did a successful scope on Alan’s shoulder. He said there was a partial tear of the rotator cuff that he cleaned up along with some fray but was very specific that it was not considered a typical repair where you actually have to tie anything down. Also there was some fray along the labrum which he cleaned up saying that because nothing was considered a complete repair that Alan’s recovery should go well. Dr. Andrews went on to say that the issues going on with Alan’s shoulder this year would surely prohibit his arm from working the way it can and should, but that this will put him back on track.” That explains a whole lot. (h/t Steve, thanks for the email) · (14) ·
If you are going to spend only 5 minutes online today, spend it reading Buster Olney’s indispensable ESPN blog. We all get caught up in stuff and radar readings and the hype surrounding young pitchers, but the cold hard truth is that baseball is 90% mental, and the other half is physical, as Yogi said. Check it out.
Update (12:03pm): Sorry folks, didn’t realize this was Insider only. · (3) ·
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For Scranton, that is. While the Yanks can expand their roster on Monday, the team has announced, for now, that Sidney Ponson will face the Tigers in Detroit, that Phil Hughes will pitch in AAA, and that Al Aceves will continue to just sit there while Rasner and Ponson struggle. I just have to hope that, at some point soon, the Yanks will replace these tried, true and tired arms they send to the mound two out of every five days with some other pitchers who might be able to get a few more outs. · (13) ·
Triple-A Scranton (8-6 win over Rochester in 10 innings) the win clinched the North Division title
Justin Christian: 1 for 4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 BB
Melky: 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI – scored the go-ahead run on a throwing error
Juan Miranda, Ben Broussard & Bernie Castro: all 0 for 3 – Miranda drew a walk, drove in a run, scored another & K’ed … Broussard drew a walk & K’ed
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 5, 1 K
Nick Green: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 2 E (both throwing)
Eric Duncan: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Chris Stewart: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K – quitely hitting .280 with a .725+ OPS
Ian Kennedy: 6.2 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 11 K, 1 WP, 4-6 GB/FB – 70 of 102 pitches were strikes (68.6%) … now there’s the IPK we all know and love
Phil Coke: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – 11 of 14 pitches were strikes (78.6%)
Mark Melancon: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 3-1 GB/FB – 21 of 31 pitches were strikes (67.7%) … rare struggles
Scott Strickland: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
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I can’t quite decide what exactly about this afternoon’s Yankee loss was so representative of the rest of the season.
Was it Robinson Cano‘s terrible play on a double-play ball in the sixth that opened the Toronto flood gates? Was it the sheer inability of the bullpen to hold a lead late at home? Was it Joe Giradi’s repeated bad decisions today? Was it Alex Rodriguez‘s ninth inning double play in a situation in which just about anything else would have been better?
While I know everyone wants to blame A-Rod, I’m less inclined to do so. Rather, Cano’s error and then pen’s failure to hold the lead were far more important to the game than anything else. If Cano fields that ball and makes a clean toss to Jeter, the Yanks turn two. But Cano tried to flip it and made a bad feed. The Blue Jays wouldn’t look back.
But Cano didn’t blow this on his own. He had plenty of pitching help. Brian Bruney allowed two of his three inherited runners to score, Damaso Marte couldn’t do the job again,and Edwar Ramirez allowed both of his inherited runners to score. All that added up to a five unanswered Blue Jay runs in the seventh and eighth and a 7-6 Blue Jay win at a time when the Yanks can’t afford to lose.
While we try to let this game fade into memory, we have to question Joe Giradi as well. He left Darrell Rasner, effective for seven innings, in for a seventh inning even after the first batter against him reach. He left Bruney in for a batter too long and removed Jason Giambi from a close game. The more things change…
During the Yanks’ game today we held the draft for the first ever RAB Fantasy Football League. It’s a ridiculously deep league, 20 teams total, but the draft flew by in a cool 2 hours. Most of the teams were present, I’d say at least a dozen or so. The later rounds were brutal, the definition of slim pickin’s. Cedric Benson and Shaun Alexander both got drafted, that’s how bad it was.
I had the 17th pick in the scissor style draft, so all the super-elite RB’s were long gone by time I picked. Anywho, here’s my squad, with draft round in parenthesis:
QB: Vince Young, TEN (7)
RB: Ryan Grant, GB (1)
RB: Brandon Jacobs, NYG (2)
WR: Calvin Johnson, DET (3)
WR: Kevin Walter, HOU (8)
WR/RB: Rashard Mendenhall, PIT (4)
TE: Todd Heap, BAL (5)
D/ST: San Diego (6)
K: Jason Hanson, DET (11)
BN: Kevin Faulk, RB, NE (9)
BN: Mike Pittman, RB, DEN (14)
BN: Antwaan Randle El, WR, WAS (10)
BN: Dennis Northcutt, WR, JAC (13)
BN: Joe Jurevicius, WR, CLE (15)
BN: Chad Pennington, QB (12)
Honestly, I’m pretty happy with my team. Grant, Jacobs & Mendenhall are about as good a RB trio as I could have hoped for in a league this deep, and I can’t really complain about having Faulk as my number 4. I’m banking on Calvin Johnson continuing to expand on his superfreakdom, and I’m hoping Walter’s breakout last year was legit. If not, then I’m kinda screwed.
I was all set to take Jeff Garcia as my QB, but someone grabbed him a few picks before me, so I had to settle for Young. Pennington’s insurance, if nothing else. Not great, not horrific either. Todd Heap is Todd Heap, but someone grabbed Dustin Keller before I could get him for the bench. Baltimore’s bye week isn’t until Week 10, so I have time to grab someone off waivers.
The Chargers’ D is arguably the best in the business even with the question marks surrounding Merriman, so I was comfortable grabbing them in the 6th round. They don’t have a buy week until Week 9, so I can grab someone’s scraps to fill-in that week. Jason Hanson’s a good kicker, so I figured what the heck.
Like I said, I’m happy. That is until injury strikes.
John Parrish vs Darrell Rasner.
That about sums it up. I’m hoping for about 10 runs from the lineup, 5 innings out of Rasner, then 4 more out of Aceves. Let’s get it done.
1. Damon, CF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. Giambi, 1B – ZOMG, BUT TEH LEFTIE!!11!1
6. Nady, LF
7. Matsui, DH
8. Cano, 2B
9. Pudge, C
And on the mound, Waiver Claim Rasner.
Notes: Clay Buchholz Loves Laptops interviewed blogging HOFer Chad Jennings, make sure you check it out … Derek Jeter’s retirement plan includes being a lazy bum … during the game the RAB Fantasy Football League draft will be held, I’ll post my roster later today