As of yesterday evening shortly before game-time, Yanks’ manager Joe Girardi said that Jorge Posada is not quite ready to resume his catching duties. Posada, filling in as the DH recently, made a series of 40 throws from around 150 feet, Ed Price reported, but his shoulder is still not up to par. The Yankees can afford to take their time with Posada. A healthy shoulder later on is much more important, and we can deal with Chad Moeller for a few more days. · (15) ·
Yankees bury Bernie Williams under new stadium for good luck: “By giving Bernie this chance, we have once again proven why we are the classiest organization in all of sports,” Yankees President Randy Leving said to The Onion. “Lesser teams would have overreacted to this whole curse thing and buried Derek Jeter.” · (4) ·
Chien-Ming Wang has quite the relationship with the Red Sox.
Six days ago, Wang turned 93-pitch complete game that was a few unlucky breaks away from being a potential perfect game. Yesterday, he turned in quite the clunker, lasting just 4+ innings and giving up eight runs to see his ERA skyrocket from the low 1.00s to 3.81. It happens.
After the game, Wang said he was too strong with his sinker. It was finishing out of the zone, and the pitches he could throw for strikes were getting ripped by the Sox hitters. In other words, Wang, like Phil Hughes, must still master that change-up for days when his sinker isn’t on. Major League hitters will tee off against straight fastballs as they did tonight.
On the Yankees side of the ball though, everything went right. Bobby Abreu and A-Rod went back-to-back in the first inning, and the two they hit were no-doubters off the bat, as far as I could see from the right field bleachers. Jason Giambi had a few good at bats, and while Robinson Cano was just 1 for 5, he is hitting the ball well. Derek Jeter and Hideki Matsui continued to rake.
Considering the mood around Yankeeland after the Boston series, things have really turned around in a hurry. The Yanks have scored 28 runs over their last three games and find themselves tied for first place at 9-7. As PeteAbe noted, the team batting average, buoyed by 16 hits in 39 at-bats, rose from .261 to .272. The team OBP went from .328 to .340, and the team slugging rose from .415 to .435. It was a good night to be a Yankee hitter, and a bad night to be
laptop thief a Red Sox pitcher not named David Aardsma.
Let me wrap this feel-good win up with three observations:
- As Yankee relievers struggle to throw strikes, the folks in favor of keeping Joba as the 8th inning guy are going to have a field day. I’m just sayin’. I still want to see him in the starting rotation.
- It was pretty ironic that LaTroy Hawkins was the one to stop the bleeding tonight. After Ross Ohlendorf faltered a little bit — while still showing nasty stuff — Hawkins, wearing Luis Polonia’s old number, left to cheers after stopping the Sox for two innings while the Yankee bats did the job. Hawkins recorded his first Yankee win tonight. (I should also direct you to Yankee Numbers. This excellent resource has provided me with the obscure and not-so-obscure Yankee uniform numbers we’ve discussed recently.)
- Wrap your head around this one: Only 14 — fourteen! — other players in Major League history have hit more home runs than Alex Rodriguez, and A-Rod is still just 32 years old. That is a stunning stat. Meanwhile, the Yanks right now have A-Rod, one of the best hitters of all time, and Mariano Rivera, one of the best closers of all time, on the team at the same time. We’re spoiled.
Triple-A Scranton (4-2 win over Charlotte)
Brett Gardner: 0 for 3, 2 R
Bernie Castro: 2 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)
Juan Miranda: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – reached base safely in his last 9 games
Jason Lane, Eric Duncan & Nick Green: all 0 for 4 – Lane K’ed twice … Duncan & Green each K’ed once
Justin Christian: for 3, 1 2B, 1 CS – 5 of his last 7 hits have been doubles
Darrell Rasner: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 7-2 GB/FB – 65 of 103 pitches were strikes (63.1%)
Heath Phillips: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, zeroes, 2 K
Jose Veras: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HB – 8 K in his last 4 IP
Posted by mobile phone:
Live from the Stadium, I’m just wondering who’s booing Latroy now. Not only does he have a new number but he escaped the sixth without giving up any runs. Hallelujah.
It’s the joke that keeps giving. I’ve talked to a few bleacher creatures attending tonight’s game — our own Ben K. included — and it appears we could have a “Where’s my lap-top? Clap, clap, clap clap clap” chant going on at some point.
Buchholz pitched well last time out, giving up a run over six innings of work. Of course, he ran up his pitch count a bit, hitting 98 by the end of the sixth, forcing Terry Francona to go the bullpen. He chose Mike Timlin, freshly off the DL, and paid the price.
On the other mound is Chien-Ming Wang, who was just slightly better than Buchh on Friday night. Okay, a lot better. To the point where if it wasn’t for a botched Abreu play, we’d have been screaming at Coco Crisp for his 9th inning bunt single (noting, as Michael Kay would, the fallacy of the predetermined outcome). He kept the Sox on their toes last time around. Let’s see what he’s got up his sleeve tonight.
Johnny Damon gets the night off, so Melky Cabrera moves into the leadoff spot. You’d expect me to complain about this, but I’ve been more than pleased with what I’ve seen of Melky thus far. No, I still don’t like his swing all that much, but he’s looked a bit more comfortable at the plate, and has taken his share of pitches — a hair over four per plate appearance. He’s also walked four times to just five strikeouts.
And on the mound, number forty, Chien-Ming Wang
And for your visiting Boston Red Sox:
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Pedroia, 2B
3. Ortiz, DH
4. Ramirez, LF
5. Youkilis, 3B
6. Drew, RF
7. Varitek, C
8. Casey, 1B
9. Lugo, SS
And the damn laptop stealer is pitching.
Emma Span writes her Opening Day swan song to the New York stadiums in the New York Press today. While the media has been pouring on the nostalgia this month, Span’s piece brings a fan perspective to the teary-eyed good byes to Yankee and Shea Stadium. · (0) ·
Ah, Carl Pavano, the forgotten punchline to the Yankees’ efforts the last four years. Remember when he started Opening Day last season? That was quite the sight.
Anyway, Carl Pavano, the Rajah of Rehab, is still on the Yankees payroll, and today, Lisa Kennelly of the Newark Star-Ledger checked in with Carl. As you would expect, his teammates don’t miss him, and he’s trying hard — really hard, he says — to build his arm back up:
In his time with the Yankees, he’s pitched in only 19 games, going 5-6. He missed all of 2006 and is still a ways off from throwing off a mound this year, as he focuses on getting his surgically repaired elbow up to strength with long-tossing.
Aside from watching the Yankees games on TV, Pavano doesn’t stay in contact with any of his teammates. When asked if he would visit the team during their series with the Tampa Bay Rays this week, he shook his head and said, “no chance.”
“They’ve got things to focus on right now,” Pavano said. “To go in there after not being there for a month? I’m not going to interrupt what they’ve got going on. It’s just not where I need to be right now.”
If Pavano is able to make any starts this year, it will be almost certainly be more of an audition for other teams than to prove anything to the Yankees. The team has a fifth-year option on his contract, but there is no chance they will prolong what is already one of the worst free-agent signings of GM Brian Cashman‘s tenure.
I’d say that the chances of Carl Pavano making a start in the Bronx this season are slim-to-none. Unless the Yankees are way up or way out, they’re not going to do Pavano any favors by showcasing him.
Kennelly’s profile is top-notch. It really wraps itself around the way Carl’s story has been on one hand pathetic and on the other hand absurd. Soon, the Carl Pavano Era will be over in the Bronx. I’m sure Brian Cashman is counting down the days.
While Joba Chamberlain is eligible to come off the bereavement list today, he will be missing the series against the Red Sox, according to the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi said yesterday than Harlan is feeling a little better but is still awaiting more tests in the hospital. Yankee fans all over continue to hope for the best for the Chamberlains. · (6) ·
Nice work, folks. We’ve booed LaTroy Hawkins into submission. I hope everyone feels good about that. Hawkins, previously wearing number 21, will switch to 22 tonight after fans couldn’t deal with someone else wearing the number seven years after Paul O’Neill retired. No word yet if the Omar Moreno or Jimmy Key fans plan on booing Hawkins for the switch. · (119) ·