At some point, the Yankees were going to turn things around this season. At some point, the Yanks would go from being the butt of the American League jokes to being a force in baseball. And all it took was a two-game disaster against the Mets and the return of the team’s $275-million man.
A week ago, the Yanks were treading water. They were 20-24 and looked listless against the Mets on national TV. What a difference seven days make. In that span, the Yanks have gone 5-1 to even their record at 25-25 and to move out of cellar of the AL East. A mere 4.5 games separate them from the Red Sox, and the Yanks, hitting on all cylinders, are about to enter the easiest stretch of their schedule.
Today’s game could easily be a turning point in the Bombers’ season. For the first time this year, the Yanks mounted a late-inning comeback to win, and a win like this just shows how the ball is now falling for the Yanks.
Once again Chien-Ming Wang, winless in four starts, didn’t have his best stuff. He walked too many hitters and couldn’t keep the Mariners off base. Jarrod Washburn, long a Yankee nemesis, kept the Yanks off the bases.
But the offense picked it up against the bullpen, and Jose Molina delivered a huge two-out double in the eighth. The Amazing Mariano Rivera nailed the final three outs – two by the big ol’ K – for another save. Rivera for Cy Young!
The Yanks, ridin’ high off a five-game streak, take their act down I-95 to Baltimore tomorrow. Darrell Rasner goes for his fourth wins in as many tries. This is Yankee baseball, and I like it.
Triple-A Scranton (6-4 loss to Indianapolis)
Wilson Betemit & Justin Christian: both 1 for 4, 1 BB – Betemit drove in a run, K’ed twice & committed an error when he missed a catch while playing short … Christian scored a run & K’ed
Brett Gardner: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB
Jason Lane: 2 for 5, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 K
Eric Duncan: 0 for 5, 1 K
Cody Ransom: 0 for 2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 K
JD Closser: 2 for 4
Jeff Marquez: 6 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HB, 14-2 GB/FB, 1 E (pickoff) – not the greatest outing, but it’s progress
Heath Phillips: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
Chris Britton: 1 IP, zeroes – 10 pitches, 8 strikes … behold the power of Britton
Keith Law has a new post up at the Worldwide Leader with the latest draft goings-on (sorry, this one falls behind the Insider wall). Amongst other things, Law notes how much worse prep shortstop Harold Martinez looks this year compared to last, as well as the the skepticism surrounding the stress fracture in Fresno State RHP Tanner Scheppers’ shoulder (the only other player I can remember suffering a stress fracture from supposedly doing nothing other than pitching is Bobby Jenks, who had one in his elbow back in his days with the Halos). I know plenty of Yankee fans are hoping that Eric Hosmer falls into their lap at #28 overall, but the Marlins are said to love guy. Thankfully ownership hasn’t given the FO the green light to go over slot … yet. · (11) ·
Is it really the 50th game of the season already? Wow.
Nothing quite like a visit from the ol’ Seattle Nine to jump start a scuffling offense, eh? The 25 run the Yanks have scored in the first two games of the series equals their offensive output over the previous 10 games combined.
On the pitching side, Chien-Ming Wang is looking for his first win since he manhandled these same Mariners 23 days ago. With Kyle Farnsworth throwing 25 pitches yesterday combined with Joba being unavailable, looks like Rock ‘n Rohlendorf and Edwar serve as your bridge to the Sandman today.
The lineup that’ll face the 367th southpaw the Yanks have seen this season:
1. J-Dam, LF
2. D-Jet, SS
3. B-Ab, RF
4. Alexander Emmanuel Rodriguez, 3B
5. J-Giam, DH
6. S-Dunc, 1B
7. R-Can, 2B
8. J-Mol, C
9. M-Cab, CF
I don’t particularly have warm and fuzzy feelings for the Red Sox. I find their fans to be annoying beyond belief, and some of their players – Curt, I’m lookin’ at you – are insufferable. But this whole David Ortiz Home Run Derby flap is fairly absurd. The Yanks don’t want Ortiz to call his shot because it somehow desecrates the sacredness of a stadium the team plans to unceremoniously tear down in five months.
The team officials in Jack Curry’s article come off as whiny, and it won’t kill anyone to allow this promotion to happen as much as we dislike the Sox. A supposed cursed jersey is one thing; bemoaning a gimick during MLB’s week of All Star unity is another. · (5) ·
Triple-A Scranton (6-3 loss to Indianapolis)
Wilson Betemit: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – played second, so it looks like the Former Attorney General will be send down when he comes off he DL
Matt Carson & Brett Gardner: both 0 for 3 – Carson was hit by a pitch, picked off first & threw a runner out at second from LF… Gardner walked & K’ed
Jason Lane, Eric Duncan, Cody Ransom: all 1 for 4, 1 2B – Lane K’ed & played first … Duncan scored a run & K’ed … Ransom drove a run in
Nick Green & JD Closser: both 0 for 4, 1 K
Greg Porter: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B
Dan McCutchen: 6.1 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 6-8 GB/FB – 63 of 97 pitches were strikes (64.9%) … he said he’s better than that
David Robertson: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2-1 GB/FB
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – first runs allowed since April 28th
Nothing like a truly bad last-place team to break the Yanks out of a slump, eh?
Meanwhile, the Joba transition continued. He threw a few too many pitches in two innings, but as he works to hone his pitches, that’s bound to happen.
Kyle Farnsworth’s eighth inning was a bit of an adventure, but better in a blow-out. The Yanks go for their season-high fifth win in a row tomorrow.
Short game thread today because I’m working to restore our posts (but not our comments) from the last two days. We’ll be back up too full strength soon.
The big news of the day is of course the pitching plan for the day. Joba Chamberlain will be throwing 45 pitches in relief of Mike Mussina this afternoon. For Mussina, he’s looking to recover from the shortest outing of his career, and instead of facing Felix Hernandez, he’ll go against Carlos Silva. The Yanks are 3-1 with A-Rod back in the lineup.
- Eric Duncan doubled and hit a homer.
- The Steven White to the Bullpen transition has begun, he twirled a scoreless 1.1 innings in relief.
- JB Cox tossed 1.2 scoreless, and has allowed 1 run in his last 15 IP.
- Austin Jackson hit his third homer in his last 6 games. Didn’t I tell you that the doubles would start clearing the fence once the weather warmed up?
- Steven Jackson got lit up in his return to Double-A. I would have preferred it if they kept Jackson in Scranton and cut either Phillips or Traber, but oh well.
- Brandon Laird smacked two homers, giving him 6 XBH in his last 6 games.
- Jairo Heredia made his first appearance since sustaining and “upper body injury,” tossing a scoreless inning.
Michael Kay said during the game broadcast last night that Mark Melancon has been promoted to Triple-A Scranton, but I haven’t been able to confirm it. If true, they’re moving him a bit too fast for my liking, and hopefully they give him at least 2 full months in Scranton before calling him up to the Bronx.
Update: Melancon’s still with Trenton, he hasn’t been promoted.
A note from Chad Jennings: Jason Lane has an out in his contract that he can exercise on May 31. So the Yankees have a decision to make. Do you give Lane, who sports a .827 OPS at Scranton, a shot? Or do you let him walk? For what it’s worth, Jennings also notes that Lane was doing footwork at first base this week.
I’m personally of the mind that while the Ensberg experiment was a worthy one, it’s got to come to an end. Might as well plug in Lane and see what you’ve got there. Lane would take Ensberg’s 40- and 25-man roster spot, so there’s really no harm in this one. One experiment ends, another begins.
Wilson Betemit should be back soon, too. We could actually see the designation of Ensberg upon his return, with Lane taking the spot of Alberto Gonzalez. I actually like this a bit better. But in any case, there’s little chance Ensberg remains with the team past this week.