Yankees two-hit in Texas

It was bound to happen at some point. After avoiding it for the first five-plus months of the season the Yankees were swept in a three game series this weekend. None of the games was particularly inspiring. They were in all of them and scored their season-average number of runs across the first two games, but bullpen woes meant that no lead was safe. Moseley took one on the nose in this one, though he pitched as well as the Yankees could have expected. Cliff Lee made it all moot, though, as he had trouble with just one Yankees hitter in his eight-plus-inning, one-run auditionperformance.

Best photo of Jeter available (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Rather than dwell on the team’s poor hitting in this one, let’s look at the one bright spot. Derek Jeter came to the plate four times and had four excellent at-bats. The rest of the team had maybe one among them. In those four plate appearances Jeter saw 27 pitches, or just a hair under quarter the number Lee threw all game. That’s all the more impressive considering his third PA, a double that drove in the Yankees’ lone run, lasted just one pitch. The first and last were nine pitches and resulted in walks. The second lasted eight pitches and ended with a ground out.

Jeter went 1 for 2 with two walks and an RBI double against Lee. The rest of the lineup went 1 for 25 with one walk. This might not be Jeter’s finest season, but yesterday he looked like an All-Star while the rest of the team tripped and stumbled towards the end of the series. If he starts looking like this more often it could lend some consistency to the offense down the stretch and into the playoffs.

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

Dustin Moseley deserves some credit, too. He has thrown just 10 pitches since August 30, but he kept the Yankees in this one. Through six he was downright excellent, almost matching Cliff Lee frame for frame.

Moseley through 6: 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
C, Lee through 6: 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

That all changed in the seventh, of course. Moseley had thrown just 79 pitches through six, and Girardi “loved the way he was throwing the baseball.” But his first seven pitches resulted in a walk, and considering his like workload in the past two weeks a move might have made sense there. Moseley did get the next two guys, but thanks to a smart tag-up at first by Ian Kinsler the Rangers were able to capitalize on a single. A stolen base and another single ended the day for Moseley.

The Yanks now fly to Tampa and try to escape this week-long funk. They’ll have their best guy give it a go tomorrow night, but it will be ace against ace.

Tampa unable to clinch FSL title in Game Three

High-A Tampa (2-1 loss to Charlotte) Tampa leads the best-of-five series two games to one … I believe Craig Heyer will get the ball in Game Four tomorrow evening
Ray Kruml, CF: 2 for 4, 1 SB
Jose Pirela, 2B: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K – he’s done a nice job of getting on base in the postseason
Bradley Suttle, 3B: 0 for , 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (fielding)
Myron Leslie, 1B: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K
Addison Maruszak, SS, Zoilo Almonte, RF & Jack Rye, LF: all 0 for 4 – Maruszak & Almonte each K’ed twice, Rye once … Maruszak missed a catch for an error
Trent Lockwood, DH:  1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Mitch Abeita, C: 1 for 4, 3 K – still hitting a cool .400 in the playoffs
Anderson Feliz, PR: 0 for 0, 1 CS – pinch ran for Abeita, then got caught stealing for the second out in the ninth inning … that’s bad
Shaeffer Hall: 7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 11-5 GB/FB – what more could you ask?
Preston Claiborne: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 4-2 GB/FB

Triple-A Scranton‘s season is over. They lost to Columbus in the first round of the International League playoffs.

Double-A Trenton swept New Hampshire in their best-of-five series to advance to the Eastern League Championship Series. They’ll take on Altoona when the series starts on Tuesday, and they’re going to have a rehabbing Andy Pettitte on the mound in that game.

Low-A Charleston, Short Season Staten Island, and the Rookie GCL Yanks are done. None of the three qualified for the postseason.

Open Thread: When good weeks go bad

(AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

I really don’t think any of us want to talk about the Yankees right now, so let’s just cut to the chase and declare this tonight’s open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game features the Braves and Cardinals (Hudson vs. Lohse), and the late NFL game has the Cowboys at the Redskins. Chat about whatever you want, just be cool.

Game 143: Salvaging a win

Against the Rangers this weekend, the Yanks are hitting and getting on base. The team is 25 for 87 (.287) with 18 walks, good for a .421 on-base percentage. But the club is slugging just .345. They’ve gone two games in Texas without a home run and have just five doubles. They’ve also left 32 runners on base in a pair of infuriating games.

Today, they’ll try to put those struggles behind them, but they have their work cut out for them. Future Yankee Cliff Lee takes the ball for the Rangers today, and he’ll face Dustin Moseley. On paper, it’s one of the biggest mismatches of the season. Yet, Cliff Lee hasn’t been Cliff Lee lately. Out with a back issue, he’s making his first start since August 31st, and in his previous five outings, he was 0-3 with an 8.28 ERA. Opponents are hitting .333/.348/.538 over his last 29.1 innings. Could Lee be the cure for what ails the Yanks?

Moseley, on the other hand, is pitching on borrowed time. With Andy Pettitte‘s return fast approaching, he’s making what could be his last or second-to-last emergency start. He’s 4-2 with a 4.83 ERA/5.92 FIP in in 50.1 innings. Moseley needs to give the Yanks a handful of decent innings today too as David Robertson, Kerry Wood, Boone Logan and Mariano Rivera are unavailable.

Here’s your lineup. A-Rod gets the day off, Nick Swisher was a late scratch and Javier Vazquez is available out of the pen. In case of emergency, break glass.

Jeter SS
Granderson CF
Teixeira 1B
Thames DH
Cano 2B
Posada C
Kearns LF
Nuñez 3B
Golson RF

Moseley P

Afternoon football open thread

While we await the start of the Yankees/Rangers game, the Giants are taking on the Panthers in the first game at New Giants Meandowlands Stadium. Feel free to use this thread to talk about that game (or any other NFL contests). We’ll be back with baseball in a little while.

Are you ready for some football?

Since it’s the start of the NFL season I wanted to intertwine football and the Yankees. Let’s take a look at some professional athletes with ties to the Yankees and the NFL.  Which ones made the right choice?

Pat White- As has been discussed here, White was recently cut from the Miami Dolphins after being a 2nd round pick just last year.  His football prospects are not looking great right now (there are rumors he received zero phone calls once cut), so it would be interesting to see if he has considered heading back to the diamond and soon after writing that White signed a deal with the Royals to return to baseball, though he may not be completely done on the gridiron.  As we know, the Yankees drafted him in the 48th round of the 2009 draft, but he was also drafted three other times, in the 49th round in 2008 by the Reds, in the 27th round in 2007 by the Angels and in the 4th round in 2004 by the Angels (passing up 6 figures).  He got a college education and $2.4 million guaranteed so despite his recent axing, he likely made the right choice.

John Elway- It’s pretty easy to say John Elway made the right choice, but he was a good baseball player as well.  Two years before he was drafted in the NFL, the Yankees spent their 1981 2nd round pick on Elway.  In 1982 he played 42 games for Oneonta and put up an impressive .318/.432/.464 line.  If the Baltimore Colts didn’t cede to his trade demand, maybe he would have actually stuck with baseball.  Who knows if he ever would have made it to Yankee Stadium.

Drew Henson- Drew Henson turned out to be the anti-Elway.  He did stick with baseball but wasn’t quite good enough and went back to football.  That didn’t work out so well either as he has appeared in just 9 NFL games with one start.  Had he stuck to one sport or the other coming out of High School he definitely would have had a better chance, but we’ll never know if stepping away from the football field would have allowed him to learn how to hit a curveball.

Daunte Culpepper- Culpepper’s struggles with academics almost led him down the baseball path.  While he was recruited by big schools like The U and Florida out of high school, he didn’t have the test scores to get in (seriously the couldn’t sneak him into The U?).  He did find a home at the University of Central Florida where he committed to playing quarterback.  Had he never found a college to call home, he just may have joined the Yankees, who drafted him in the 26th round in 1995.  Culpepper must have been a pretty menacing dude on the mound at 6’4 and 250+ pounds with a great arm.  There is no doubt Culpepper made the right call as he has earned a ton of money in the NFL.

Deion Sanders- Deion primarily went the football route where he became a Hall of Famer and one of the best cornerbacks of all time.  He did stick around baseball long enough to play in 641 games and put up a .263/.319/.392 line, that’s not too shabby considering his two sport status.  Deion was terrible as a Yankee with a 55 OPS+, and his most famous Yankee moment is probably pissing off Carlton Fisk which almost led to a brawl.

Bo Jackson- Deion and Bo were undoubtedly the biggest two sport athletes in the past 25+ years.  Bo, who went on to have very successful, but injury shortened careers in both MLB and the NFL was originally drafted out of high school by the Yankees in the 2nd round in 1982 (a year after taking Elway in the 2nd round). Jackson went unsigned and chose to go to Auburn to play both football and baseball.  Jackson had Hall of Fame talent in both sports, and had he stuck to one sport and avoided injury he likely would have made it.  He’ll have to settle for being in the Tecmo Bowl Hall of Fame.

Dave Winfield- Mr. May definitely made the right choice in sticking to baseball and spent 9+ years with the Yankees.  Along with being a first round pick in baseball (as a pitcher, no less) he was drafted in the 17th round of the NFL draft despite never playing college football.  Winfield was also drafted in the both the NBA and ABA drafts.  While football was probably never a serious choice he likely could have made it in pro basketball, but not with the success he enjoyed in baseball.  Despite being drafted in several sports, in the recent Baseball Analysts draft, Winfield waited by the phone but never got the call. (that last sentence might not be entirely true).

Others of note:  Brandon Jones of the Seattle Seahawks was drafted by the Yankees in 2001.  World Cup goalie Tony Meola (ok, that’s futbol not football but he did try out for the Jets) was drafted by the Yankees.

Another game, another ugly loss for Yanks

You're scratching your head? (AP Photo/LM Otero)

I don’t even know what to say. Terrible job getting the man in during the [insert inning here], terrible job by the bullpen, and an unfathomably bad job managing. The Yankees couldn’t be playing any more like garbage right now. This makes five losses in six games with one win coming on a miracle walk-off shot. I’m sure Dustin Moseley will stop the bleeding against Cliff Lee tomorrow, but only if the Yanks have someone bunt in a 3-0 count.

(box score, WPA graph)

Gardner pulled with sore wrist
Update By Benjamin Kabak

At least one of the confounding moves that Joe Girardi made tonight has a reason attached to it. The Yanks’ skipper pulled Brett Gardner from the game in the sixth because the Yanks’ leadoff hitter had complained of a sore right wrist. He hurt it after getting hit by a pitch in Los Angeles against the Dodgers in June and may get an MRI later this week. The speedster joins Nick Swisher on the Yanks’ list of banged-up outfielders, and he should be considered day-to-day.