Yanks can’t get anything on offense, drop to Sox 2-0

AP photographer Kathy Willens captures last night's game in a single image.

A few times every year there’s a game that is so straight forward that no one wants to relive it. If you saw it, you don’t want to see it described. If you didn’t see it, you’re better off without the frustrating facts. If, for some reason, you chose to skip this one, well done. You will live a less stressful existence for the next 20-odd hours. But considering the frequency of off-days, I’m not sure many of you missed this one.

The Yankees did have some decent at-bats: five, six, seven pitches. They just never amounted to anything. It took them 19 outs before they finally got a hit and finished with just three singles on the day. Two of their precious five base runners were erased via the double play, including Curtis Granderson after a single to lead off the ninth. They weren’t facing the most formidable of foes in Philip Humber, which raises the frustration level. If you believe that the Yankees somehow can’t hit pitchers they haven’t seen previously, you have that to gripe about, too.

It’s not every night that a Yankees pitcher goes into the seventh, and even rarer for him to see the eighth. Yet for the second time in three game that’s what the Yankees got. A.J. Burnett pitched what was easily the best game of his season, lasting eight full innings and needing just 108 pitches to dispatch of 24 White Sox. He didn’t have the swing and miss thing working, as he struck out only two. But he got 11 ground balls and allowed just three hits all evening. It’s a shame to fall so flat in support of such a stellar start.

Then there are the usual gripes. Robinson Cano swings at everything. Jorge Posada looks like he’s 50, Nick Swisher can’t hit from the left side, Rafael Soriano hangs too many sliders and is too smug to catch a pop up, etc. There are plenty to choose from.

Baseball might break your heart and make you tear out your hair, but it always comes back the next day. The Yanks will again trot out their guys to face the White Sox tomorrow evening. Just a hunch, but I’m feeling that they’ll get a few more hits and maybe score a couple’a runs.

Hughes headed for MRI tomorrow

Update (11:41pm): Via Chad Jennings, Hughes did pass all of the strength tests with the doctor(s) today, so that’s encouraging.

Original Post (10:30pm): Following tonight’s loss to the White Sox, manager Joe Girardi told reporters that Phil Hughes will undergo an MRI tomorrow “just to see what’s going on.” Why they didn’t bother to do this when he first went on the disabled list, I don’t know. Hughes experienced a setback during today’s bullpen session, as the right-hander simply said that his arm felt dead after ten or so pitches. Hopefully the MRI comes back clean, but I really wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t.

Maxwell walks off in Scranton win

Jesus Montero was still limping around the clubhouse today after yesterday’s foul ball to the cup, and in fact the team is sending him for an MRI just to be sure everything’s okay. Poor guy. The good news is that he coached first base for a few innings today, so he’s not completely immobile. The team activated P.J. Pilittere off the disabled list to serve as an extra catcher for now. Dan Brewer was sent to Double-A in a corresponding move, and I hope he actually gets some playing time.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Syracuse in 13 innings, walk-off style)
Greg Golson, RF: 0 for 6 – ouch, that’ll put a dent in the ol’ batting average … he did throw a runner out at the plate though
Kevin Russo, 2B-3B: 1 for 5, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Jorge Vazquez, 1B: 1 for 6, 4 K – 19 whiffs in 18 games
Chris Dickerson, LF: 2 for 6
Justin Maxwell, CF: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K – walk-off homer
Jordan Parraz, DH & Ramiro Pena, SS: both 1 for 5 – Parraz whiffed three times … Ramiro doubles, scored a run, and struck out twice
Brandon Laird, 3B: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB – was lifted for a pinch-runner in the extra innings, didn’t work
Jose Gil, C: 2 for 4, 1 2B, 1 K – threw out two of five base stealers
David Phelps, RHP: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1 HB, 2-7 GB/FB – 65 of 99 pitches were strikes … picked a runner off first … each start has gotten progressively better, which isn’t surprising at all
Eric Wordekemper, RHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1-1 GB/FB – half of his 18 pitches were strikes
Andy Sisco, LHP: 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – half of his ten pitches were strikes
George Kontos, RHP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1-3 GB/FB – half of his 30 pitches were strikes
Amaury Sanit, RHP: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 19 of 32 pitches were strikes (59.4%)

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Game 19: Dirty Laundry

Humber might want to look away after throwing his pitches tonight. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco)

“Let’s be ready to turn this crapp.” That’s what Ozzie Guillen said prior to his White Sox team losing their third in a row and tenth in eleven games yesterday, the second straight time they were shut out. The ChiSox just haven’t been getting it done of late, and they roll into the Bronx tonight to kick off a four-game set against the team with the best winning percentage and second best run differential in the AL.

Thankfully, the Yankees don’t have much crapp to turn around. Yeah, Mariano Rivera‘s blown some saves, but the starting pitching was pretty good over the weekend and the offense is still the best in the game (.366 wOBA, seven points better than the next best team). Hopefully Chicago’s offensive woes help A.J. Burnett coast through six or seven innings tonight, enough that Lance Pendleton can finish things off with a big lead. Here’s the starting nine…

Derek Jeter, SS
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Russell Martin, C
Brett Gardner, LF

A.J. Burnett, SP

Out in the bullpen, Rafael Sorianoshould be a go” tonight, which I suppose is good. Hopefully they won’t need him. First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET, and the game can be seen on YES locally or ESPN nationally. Enjoy.

Frankie Cervelli Update: Frankie is catching today for High-A Tampa then will catch tomorrow for Triple-A Scranton, and a decision will be made on the next step after that. Joe Girardi indicated over the weekend that they’ll call him up when he’s ready to play a game, meaning they won’t activate him then have him sit for a few days. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Russell Martin caught tonight and tomorrow, then Cervelli showed up to catch on Wednesday.

A look at Jorge Posada’s struggles

It’s become tough to watch Jorge Posada‘s at-bats this year. I’ve taken to covering my eyes and listening for that good contact that signals a long double or a homer. Of course, Posada has none of the former and six of the latter this season, while collecting just nine hits total. It’s led to something of a baffling start for the former catcher. Today at FanGraphs I point out some disturbing Posada trends. His swing and contact rates are all sorts of screwed up, which has played heavily into his slow start. There’s time to turn things around, but with the way he’s looked in his first 60-some-odd plate appearances, I’m having a hard time convincing myself that it will happen.

Secondary market soft for looming homestand

As will happen frequently over the course of the season, TiqIQ, our RAB TIckets partner, has passed along a graphic about the Yanks’ looming homestand. Even as the weather warms up in New York, tickets on the secondary market are still dirt cheap for the Yanks’ homestand. Prices spike a bit for this weekend’s series against the Blue Jays, but for those who want to see the White Sox early this week, tickets are available for well below face value. In fact, some seats are selling for under $5 right now.

As always, you can find tickets to the upcoming homestand right here on RAB Tickets. Take a trip up to the Bronx for a game or two and support RAB in the process.