Open Thread: Curtis Granderson’s E:60

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

I mentioned Curtis Granderson‘s appearance on ESPN’s E:60 last week, and now the video is up online. I can’t embed it unfortunately, so you’ll have to go here to watch it, which I strongly recommend. The eight minute or so video looks a little bit at Curtis’ upbringing but mostly discusses his relationship with the family of Brian Bluhm, who was killed in the shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007. Bluhm was a Tigers fan and a Granderson fan, and he was a regular on the baseball blogosphere just like you and me. Give it a watch, it’s a bit of a somber story with a heartwarming ending.

Once you’re done watching the video, use this as your open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game has the Braves at the Reds with an interesting pitching matchup. Personal fave Brandon Beachy (10.13 K/ and 1.88 uIBB/9) gets the ball for Atlanta while the reanimated corpse of Dontrelle Willis (!!!) goes for Cincy. Talk about the game or whatever else your heart desire. You know what to do, so have at it.

Yankees have interest in Tyler Clippard, Craig Breslow

Via Nick Cafardo, the Yankees have varying levels of interest in relievers Tyler Clippard and Craig Breslow. Yankees fans should be familiar with Clippard, who has blossomed into one of the game’s best relievers since being traded away. I can’t imagine the Nationals are going to just give him away though, so I don’t rally expect a deal to happen.

As for Breslow, he’s left-handed and breathing, so of course the Yankees will have interest. He’s got a shiny 2.93 ERA with the Athletics, but ERA is a bad way to evaluate relievers. His real value comes from being able to handle both righty (.207/.291/.331 against since joining the A’s in 2009) and lefty (.240/.290/.388) batters, but Breslow hasn’t been effective against same-side batters this year (.390/.403/.559). That’s probably a sample size thing though (just 62 PA). He’s making $1.4M this year and would be under team control through 2013 as an arbitration-eligible player. He’d be a decent pickup, but not anyone that would save the season.

Game 99: Bartday

Bartolo Colon pitched against the Athletics earlier this season, and I think we all remember what happened. It was his best performance of the year, a dominant complete game shutout in which the A’s got exactly two runners into scoring position and didn’t get a man to third base until there was one out in the ninth. Colon was pretty dang good against the Rays last time out, so hopefully he carries that over and dominates a weak lineup. Here’s the Yankees’ starting nine…

Derek Jeter, DH
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Russell Martin, C
Andruw Jones, LF
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Brandon Laird, 3B

Bartolo Colon, SP

The game starts a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Rally(ies) fall short as Yanks fall to A’s

Why Robbie why.

No one can say they didn’t have their chances. Eighteen baserunners in nine innings is a pretty good recipe for scoring runs, but not when you go 2-for-11 with men in scoring position. Oakland did not have a 1-2-3 inning all afternoon and the Yankees had the tying run on base in each of the last three innings. It was there for the taking.

  • The Yankees were so close to tying the game in that ninth inning; the tying run was on third with two outs and on second with one out, but Robinson Cano swung at a pitch out of the zone (surprise surprise) and grounded out harmlessly to end the game. He tried to call time before the pitch but it wasn’t granted, but that doesn’t mean he has to swing. It’s frustrating when he gives away at-bats like that, it really is what keeps him from being a true superstar.
  • Nick Swisher and Russell Martin reached base to lead off the eighth, but Eduardo Nunez couldn’t get the bunt down (which shouldn’t have been called in the first place, you can’t give away an out when you have six left) and flew out, then Jorge Posada grounded into a rally killing double play as the pinch-hitter for Brandon Laird. It’s too bad Jesus Montero‘s OPS in Triple-A isn’t good enough to get called up. The Yankees had their chances every inning but especially the last two, but nope. Not today.
  • Brett Gardner had a walk, Derek Jeter three hits, Curtis Granderson an 0-for-4, Mark Teixeira a single and a sac fly, Cano two hits, Swisher a long solo homer and two walks, Martin two hits, and Nunez two walks. Laird didn’t do anything except strike out with the bases loaded to end the fourth. He’s a rookie, it was his fourth big league plate appearance, it happens. Not going to hold it against him.
  • A.J. Burnett put 11 men on base in 5.2 IP, plus he loaded the bases after getting two quick outs in the fifth by walking Conor Jackson (.325 OBP) and Landon Powell (.278). Give up a two-run homer to Josh Willingham in the third? I can live with that, it sucks but shouldn’t be the end of the world. But walking bad hitters with two outs is pretty terrible. Same deal as last night, blame the heat if you want, but I won’t. How many years did Burnett spend in the humidity of Florida? He’s been there. He has to do better than give the other team a rally out of nothing.
  • Cory Wade allowed one of the runners he inherited from Burnett to score, but ultimately the difference in the game was Hideki Matsui‘s homerun off Boone Logan. Coming into the game, Matsui was hitting .213/.303/.285 (1 HR) against righties and .244/.299/.500 (6 HR) against lefties. Logan was holding righties to .200/.282/.200 (0 HR) but lefties had gotten him for .250/.324/.400 (2 HR). Joe Girardi knows that Matsui can crush lefties, but he went to Logan to get the platoon matchup anyway. Literally nothing says that was the move to make other than the silly left-on-left matchup. Don’t the Yankees have to call up J.C. Romero at some point just to see what they have before they make a deal for a LOOGY at the deadline? Logan’s not the answer.
  • YES put a graphic up on the screen during the third inning (after Willingham’s homer) that said the Yankees have a 5.67 ERA in the inning immediately after they score, so called “shutdown innings.” I don’t know what that number is now (it had to go up with Matsui’s homer after Swisher’s blast) and what the league average is, but I have to imagine the Yankees are nowhere near it. I thought maybe the shutdown inning thing was just confirmation bias earlier in the season, but now it’s pretty obvious that Yankees’ pitchers have done a terrible job in those situations.
  • Here’s the box score, here’s the WPA graph, here’s the standings. Just win series.

The rubber game will be played Sunday afternoon, when Bartolo Colon gives it a go against Gio Gonzalez. Bart’s already shut Oakland out once this year, hopefully he can do it again. If you want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can get you get there.

Saturday Night Open Thread

That one hit off the facing of the upper deck.

The Yankees lost today, waaa waaa waaa, but let’s forget about it and enjoy the night. Use this thread to talk about anything you want, but it’s a fine night to forget about baseball and instead chill with friends and fam.

DotF Note: Sorry folks, no DotF tonight. Instead, I leave you with links to the box scores/scoreboard to peruse at your leisure…

Triple-A Scranton
Double-A Trenton
High-A Tampa
Low-A Charleston
Short Season Staten Island
Rookie GCL Yankees

Yankees unlikely to trade for Mike Adams

Via Buster Olney, there’s a “big gap” between what the Padres are asking for Mike Adams and what the Yankees are willing to give up for him. A deal is unlikely to be made between the two clubs. We first heard about the Yankees’ interest in Adams at the end of last month, but San Diego appears to be asking for a top prospect in return for the game’s best setup man. Another reliever would be nice, but Rafael Soriano should be coming back soon enough*. The Yankees have bigger fish to fry.

* Soriano will make another rehab appearance tomorrow, this time with Triple-A Scranton.

“It was a disaster. We failed.”

That quote comes from Brian Cashman and refers to Kei Igawa, the $46M poster boy of Yankees’ pitching busts. Bill Pennington of The New York Times published a lengthy feature on the now 32-year-old southpaw today, which goes into detail about his time with the Yankees. Igawa still lives in Manhattan and commutes daily to Scranton or Trenton or wherever he may be and is considered a “great clubhouse guy” by the organization and his teammates, but he struggled greatly with the transition to MLB and the United States. The Yankees tried to re-work his delivery, but it didn’t take. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Within the piece we learn that the Cashman had twice negotiated deals with Japanese clubs that would have let Igawa return home, but he refused both times despite being told (very explicitly) that he was not coming back to the majors. Cashman was also prepared to trade Igawa to the Padres after they claimed him off waivers in August 2007, but “ownership was not willing to let him go yet.” Give it a read, it gets RAB’s highest level of recommendation.