Betances & Brackman finish up their seasons

Just one more day of regular season minor league baseball left…

Triple-A Scranton Game One (5-1 loss to Buffalo in seven innings)
Kevin Russo, 3B, Ramiro Pena, 2B, Jorge Vazquez, 3B & Jordan Parraz, RF: all 0 for 3 – Russo and Pena each struck out
Mike Lamb, DH, Ray Kruml, LF & Gus Molina, C: all 1 for 3 – Kruml got caught stealing and struck out … Gus doubled
Greg Golson, CF: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI
Luis Nunez, SS: 1 for 2, 1 2B
Dellin Betances, RHP: 5 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, 2 WP, 1 HB, 5-3 GB/FB – 61 of 101 pitches were strikes (60.4%) … finishes the year with 142 strikeouts and 70 walks in 126.1 IP, career highs across the board but just barely (previous highs: 141 K, 62 BB, 121.2 IP)
Andrew Brackman, RHP: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 3-2 GB/FB – 23 of 33 pitches were strikes (69.7%) … assuming he doesn’t pitch tomorrow, he’ll finish the year with a 75-75 K/BB in 95 IP, but 17-6 in his last 18.1 IP … at least he can go into the offseason feeling a little better about how things went

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Open Thread: Jim Abbott

(Photo Credit: NY Daily News)

Eighteen years ago today, Jim Abbott threw his no-hitter against the Indians in Yankee Stadium. That was a long time ago and I’m sure a lot of you youngsters don’t know too much about Abbott, but the guy carved out a very respectable ten-year Major League career despite being born without a right hand. Two of those ten years (1993 and 1994) were spent in pinstripes. Abbott pitched to a 4.45 ERA in 56 starts for the Bombers, but the vast majority of his career was spent with the Angels.

I was just eleven back then, but the no-hitter is one of the very first games I can really remember. They were telling stories all game about all the stuff Abbott had to overcome, how runners constantly tried to steal home on the return throw from the catcher against him early in his career because they didn’t think he could get the ball from his glove to his throwing hand quick enough. It was pretty awesome, definitely one of the first (and favorite) memories of my Yankee fandom.

Anyway, here’s your Labor Day Eve open thread. The ESPN2 Sunday Night Game is in Detroit for Tigers-White Sox (Scherzer vs. Buehrle), but the ChiSox lost the first two games of the series so there’s not much at stake. They would have been right back in the AL Central race with a sweep, but nope, they’re 7.5 back. Talk about the game or anything else you want right here. Go nuts.

Breaking Down Curtis Granderson

Photo by Keith Allison via Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons.

What makes Curtis Granderson so grand? I’ve broken it down below.

1. Struggling and overcoming constant cognitive dissonance that comes with “not being a home run hitter” verses either leading or being in second place in major league homers.

2. Eyes on the prize, whether it’s a homer, home plate, or a spelling bee championship.

3. Keeping himself healthy with a nutritious breakfast.

4. Comforted by knowing that even when he strikes out, he still is extremely fashionably accessorized.

5. New and improved swing, including Kevin Long’s No-Slip Grippy Glue on his hand.

6. Muscles, tendons and ligaments fortified and strengthened by rainbows.

7. Heart at least six sizes above a replacement baseball player’s heart.

8. Dirty uniform, which is a sign of true grit.

9. Fills his belly with comfort food with Martha Stewart (you can read all about this on Roar of the Tigers, a great Tigers blog).

10. Keeps his legs in shape by herding his blessing (which is a group) of unicorns.

11. High socks.

12. Invisible wings on his cleats for super fielding and super running. He gives them a break when he hits the dingers, though.

Surprise! No rotation plans announced

Despite indicating that the team has made a decision about their fifth starter situation before the game, Joe Girardi said after this afternoon’s game that the decision has been postponed after talking to the players. They’re going to stick with a six-man rotation for at least one more turn through the order, and that means Phil Hughes and A.J. Burnett will start Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. All I can say is: good.

Game 138: An Almost Perfect Lineup

(AP Photo/Gail Burton)

All they’re missing is Curtis Granderson, who’s getting a routine day off. Check it out…

Brett Gardner, CF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Andruw Jones, LF
Russell Martin, C
Jesus Montero, DH

CC Sabathia, SP

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 1pm ET and can be seen on YES. Enjoy.

Rotation News: During his pregame press conference, Joe Girardi said a decision has been made about the rotation and that it will be announced after the game. He wants to make sure everyone involved knows what’s going on first. Feel free to speculate, but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out who’s going to the bullpen.

Yanks come back again, win third straight

No Mariano Rivera, no Rafael Soriano, no Derek Jeter, no Mark Teixeira … no problem. The Yankees mounted a come from behind win against the Blue Jays for the second straight game on Saturday afternoon, and once again it was Robinson Cano with the big hit. To the bullet points…

  • It was a weird outing for Bartolo Colon. It started with him striking out the side in the first and ended with him retiring six of seven, but in between he allowed seven hits to 16 batters (.434). Two of those hits went over the fence (solo jacks by Adam Lind and Dewayne Wise), one of them hit the first base bag and deflected past a diving Nick Swisher, and another blooped into the triangle in right-center. Bart did throw a season-high 107 pitches, but he was still pumping gas late. Not a great outing, not a disaster. I guess “servicable” would be a good word.
  • The Yankees scored three runs in the second on an Eduardo Nunez single and a Frankie Cervelli two-run homer (no, really), but they were down 4-3 when Cano did his thing in the seventh. Ricky Romero hit Curtis Granderson in the back with a curveball before walking Alex Rodriguez on five pitches, all with two outs, then gave way to righty Casey Janssen. He got ahead 0-2 on Cano then nibbled a bit, eventually leaving a fastball right over the plate that Robbie drove into the right-center field gap for a two-run double. At +.390 WPA, it was a bigger hit than Russell Martin‘s two-run double in Fenway Park the other night and the fifth biggest hit of the season for New York (by WPA). Nick Swisher followed that up with a single for an insurance run.
  • Without Mo and Soriano, the closer’s job fell onto the shoulders of David Robertson. He went back to the days when men were men and closers threw more than one inning, running right through the middle of the order in the eight and then tacking on a scoreless ninth for the save, the third of his career. Honorable mention goes out to Boone Logan, who retired the only two men he faced (both lefties) to bridge the gap between Colon and D-Rob.
  • Brett Gardner seems to be snapping out of his slump and went 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases in the game. A-Rod, Swisher, and Nunez each singled and walked, Andruw Jones doubled, and Cervelli had two hits (including his first career homer at Yankee Stadium, the other three came on the road) and saw a total of four pitches in four plate appearances. Jesus Montero picked up his first career knock, a routine little single to left. Pretty good day all around.
  • The Red Sox beat up on the Rangers, so the lead in the division stayed at one game in the loss column. The Rays also beat the Orioles, so the lead on the wildcard remained at 9.5. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot did drop by one by virtue of the win, and right now it’s sitting at Whitey Ford, number 16 in the sidebar. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stuff, and here’s the standings.

The Yankees will look to complete the sweep on Sunday afternoon, when CC Sabathia goes against 2010 Yankees Killer™ Brett Cecil in another 1pm ET start. If you want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can help get you there.

Banuelos bombed in final start of regular season

Sorry folks, but time is a factor tonight…

  • Triple-A Scranton (lost). Kevin Russo, Ramiro Pena, and Jordan Parraz each had two knocks, and Mike Lamb hit a solo dinger. Manny Banuelos had a disaster start in his final regular season outing of the year (look at the Banuelos Watch in the sidebar), but George Kontos picked him up 3.1 scoreless. Hector Noesi tossed a scoreless frame as well, but Kevin Whelan blew it all in the eighth.
  • Double-A Trenton Game One (loss). Melky Mesa doubled and homered while Corban Joseph singled. Craig Heyer gave up nine runs in four innings, and Brad Halsey cleaned up the mess with two innings of one-run ball.
  • Double-A Trenton Game Two is tied and still being played. Zoilo Almonte has a double and a triple so far, and Mesa launched another homer. Here’s the box score.
  • High-A Tampa (loss). Abe Almonte’s 34-game hitting streak came to an end yesterday, but he got right back on the horse with three hits (two doubles) in this one. Ronnie Mustelier, Rob Segedin, Cody Johnson, and Mitch Abeita all had multiple knocks, the last two guys a double each. Nothing noteworthy on the mound.
  • Low-A Charleston (loss). Only three hits (all singles) on offense, and they belonged to Danny Lopez, Kevin Mahoney, and Kyle Higashioka. Manny Barreda gave up three runs in four innings, then Michael Recchia relieved him with five one-hit, shutout innings.
  • Short Season Staten Island (loss). Cito Culver had two hits, including a double, and Dante Bichette Jr. hit his first homer at this level. Mason Williams did not play, but Isaias Tejeda did and singled. Nothing terribly exciting on the mound.
  • The GCL Yankees won their league title last week and (obviously) the season is over.

Both Double-A Trenton and High-A Tampa were knocked out of postseason contention last night due to their losses and the results of other games around their leagues. That’s a shame, none of the four full season affiliates will be in the playoffs this year. Short Season Staten Island will be though, and they’ll begin their first round series with Brooklyn next Tuesday (best-of-three).