Triple-A Scranton (8-5 win over Buffalo)
Brett Gardner: 1 for 4, 2 R, 2 BB
Bernie Castro: 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 HBP
Nick Green: 0 for 6, 2 K, 1 E (throwing) – 0 for 9 since moving to the 3-hole
Juan Miranda & Chris Kunda: both 1 for 2, 1 2B – Miranda drove in 3, Kunda drove in 2 .. Miranda left the game in the 4th, so it looks like you can add another to the walking wounded
Jason Lane: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB – threw a runner out at home from LF
Eric Duncan: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI – .279-.426-.508 this year … don’t write him off yet
Eladio Rodriguez: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K - fresh off his MVP season in the Israeli Baseball League
Dan Giese: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K
Billy Traber: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K – faced 3 lefties … walked one, K’ed one, one reached on an error
Scott Patterson: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Heath Phillips: 0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP
Steven Jackson: 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Jose Veras: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 2 K
Update: Chad Jennings reports that Miranda hurt his shoulder swinging the bat one pitch before he ripped a three run double. If only Posada’s bum shoulder worked like that.
Not a whole lot to say before today’s game that we haven’t already discussed today. But it appears that Brittongate continues, as the hefty righty has been optioned out in favor of Edwar Ramirez. Britton made zero appearances during his brief stint with the Yanks, and you have to wonder why the Yanks refuse to use the guy. I guess they like what they have in Edwar better.
Really, it comes down to usage. There’s no sense in having a seven-man bullpen if you’re only going to use six of the guys. So as long as Girardi is going to use Edwar, I’m cool with this. But if he’s going to rot like Britton has the past few days, well, I’d be just as content to call up another bench player (though I have no idea who), considering A-Rod‘s injury.
Anyway, here’s the lineup.
And on the mount, number thirty-four, Phil Hughes.
As part of a multi-billion-dollar deal to broadcast baseball, TBS gets the non-exclusive rights to Sunday baseball games. This weekend, while I watched the Sabathia-Wang pitcher’s duel on the YES Network, fans around the country could tune in on TBS.
While watching the game, Maury Brown, the man behind the Biz of Baseball site, transcribed some of the more interesting tidbits from the broadcast. The first topic I found interesting focused around CC Sabathia:
CC Sabathia on his impending free agency: “This is home, I mean I’ve been here since I was 17 years old, eleven years now. This is the only place I know and I feel comfortable here, coming in from the parking attendants to the General Manager I feel comfortable, so that’s been the biggest difference.”
Martinez on the CC Sabathia’s needs versus those of the MLB Players Association: “He is very genuine and sincere about his desire to stay here (in Cleveland). Get the deal done and don’t let the outside influences cloud your judgment. The Players Association want him to set the standard for free agent contracts in this off-season and at his age, 27, he’ll turn 28 in July, he is the premiere free agent pitcher on the market. (Johan) Santana’s contract of 137 million with the Mets, they want him to out do that contract, and I don’t know if that is going to make him happy.
While Buck Martinez and Chip Caray were discussing this, so were the Yanks’ announcers. It seems that Kevin Millwood, unhappy in Texas despite the big bucks, called his former teammate and warned him to pitch where he is happy even if that means giving up a few dollars. For the Yankees, this could be a sign that they shouldn’t be counting on overwhelming Sabathia with dollars. Perhaps Sabathia will elect to remain with Cleveland for fewer dollars if the team makes a ballpark offer.
On the other hand, it seems that Sabathia knows he could have a four-year, $80-million extension from the Indians and has elected to pitch out the season anyway. If he continues to throw like he has in his last two outings, he’ll easily clear that $80 million and stands to land a deal in between those signed by the Giants’ reliever Barry Zito and the Mets’ starter Johan Santana.
The other topic was, of course, Joba Chamberlain. Take it away, Buck Martinez:
“I know there has been a lot of controversy surrounding Joba Chamberlain about whether he should start or be used as an eighth inning set-up guy and as a former manager this is where he was meant to be in my mind…I believe he can turn into Mariano Rivera in a couple of years when Rivera steps aside.”
In less than a couple of years, he could be an ace starter giving the Yankees way more than one inning every two or three games. With Rivera under contract for three more years after this one, why waste Chamberlain in the eighth inning for years on end? But then again, we’re just beating a dead horse with this one.
While you and I don’t think baseball is a boring sport, TV ratings for the game’s big-ticket events — the playoffs and World Series come to mind — have been trending downward recently. Yesterday, the Freakonomics blog tried to look at ways to make the game more “interesting.” The piece fails, in my opinion, because it focuses instead on new strategies and not overall ways to draw more casual fans to the game. Yes, managers are getting more creative with their pitchers. We’ve seen relievers play the outfield and return to the mound; we’ve seen pitchers bat eighth; and we’ve seen starters come in as relievers if the weather’s bad. But do any of those moves really draw in more fans or do they simply excite the baseball geeks in all of us? · (7) ·
In an Ed Price notebook today, we learn that a few anonymous sources claim that Jorge’s injury is not season-ending. An official diagnosis is forthcoming. More interesting and concrete, however, is the news about the Yanks will handle Jose Molina. They recognize that Molina cannot catch every single day; he is, after all, a career backup catcher. Expect Molina to play three days in a row with Chris Stewart sinking or swimming during those other games. Molina’s health and freshness is riding on Stewart quite a bit. · (11) ·
It went a little bit something like this: infield single, infield single, line drive single, HBP, ground out, ground out, infield single. And all of a sudden, the Yanks had a 4-2 lead. They wouldn’t look back.
Behind another solid outing by Mike Mussina, the Yanks salvaged a split of their four-game trip to Cleveland. Moose worked his way through five innings, and what we saw today is what we’ll get from Mussina. He tired around 85 pitches; he gave up 7 hits; he struck out just two. But he kept the Yankees in the game.
As long as Mussina’s not throwing against the elite offenses, he seems to be a good back-end starter for the Yanks. He’s 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA, and I’ll be happy if he can keep that ERA around that 4.50-4.75 mark. Anything else is gravy.
After Moose, the bullpen took over. Jonathan Albaladejo, Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera combined for four innings of work, three of which were 1-2-3 innings. Tonight’s inning was Kyle Farnsworth’s fourth 1-2-3 appearance of the season. Hell hath frozen over.
Rivera meanwhile continues to wow everyone all the time. In ten games, he’s thrown 11 innings and has allowed four hits. He’s walked no one and has 11 strike outs. He has eight saves already this year.
On the other side of the ball, the Yankee offense again packed little punch. Outside of that sixth inning, the Yanks managed just one hit, and after the wind knocked down a few first-inning blasts, they hardly hit the ball with much authority throughout the remainder of the game. A Hideki Matsui RBI double in the 8th would be the loan rocket. But a win is a win is a win, and the Yanks return home after a brutal stretch of the schedule at 14-13, one game out of first and two games ahead of their 2007 pace.
But for all of this, the win pales in comparison to the news that came out of Yankee camp after the game. When Johnny Damon pinch hit for A-Rod in the eighth, we all knew something was up. And something is up indeed. According to Kat O’Brien, A-Rod has reaggrevated his quad injury. He felt it in the fourth, and it got worse as the game wore on. The slugger says he won’t be able to play on Tuesday, and he feels he rushed back from the initial injury.
In other bad news, the Yankees, according to Tyler Kepner, fear that Posada could have damaged his labrum by playing through his shoulder injury recently. The Yankees and Posada are awaiting word of the catcher’s trip to Dr. James Andrews. It is important to note that this not an age-related injury. Posada tweaked his shoulder on an awkward throw to second on Opening Day. That could happen anytime. Cashman detractors will criticize the Yanks for tossing a 36-year-old catcher a four-year deal, but this injury is not a good selling point for that side of the argument.
The Yanks will take the win, but it’s a bit bittersweet as two of their top sluggers work their ways through injuries. A trip home has never sounded so nice right now.
D-Ras is your Triple-A International League Pitcher of the Week. Well deserved.
Triple-A Scranton (5-2 loss to Buffalo)
Brett Gardner, Juan Miranda, Eric Duncan & Jason Brown: all 1 for 4 – Gardner walked & K’ed … Miranda walked once & K’ed twice … E-Dunc & Brown each K’ed twice
Bernie Castro: 3 for 5, 1 K, 2 SB
Nick Green: 0 for 5 – batted third … no joke!
Jason Lane: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB
Cody Ransom: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K - 10 of his 23 hits have gone for extra bases
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 7-5 GB/FB – 32-8 K/BB ratio … who knew?
Steven Jackson: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 WP – 12 baserunners in his last 8.2 IP … very un-Patterson-esque
Scott Strickland: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Oh, lefties, how the Yankees hate you.
While the Yankee offense has sputtered all season, against lefties, their numbers are particularly brutal. In a combined 186 at bats, the Yanks are hitting .247/.325/.339 against lefties. They’ve managed just three home runs off of southpaws and just nine extra-base hits overall. Against righties, the team is hitting a not-quite-so-robust .267/.332/.454 in 692 at bats.
So after facing a tough lefty yesterday and managing just one run on four hits, the Yanks are in for yet another lefty starter. Tonight, they’re facing Aaron Laffey, a soft-throwing lefty making his 10th Major League start and first against the Bombers. Laffey’s a high-80s guy with a decent sinker. I hope it’s not one of those games where I want to hurl my TV out the window by the end of the third inning.
To counter Laffey, the Yanks are turning to none other than Mike Mussina. Moose threw a great game against Chicago last week. Can he put together back-to-back starts against good-hitting teams? Time will tell. The weather — a game-time temperature of 47 degrees — does not bode well.
Meanwhile, it seems as though Chris Stewart, the Yanks’ fourth-string catcher, will don number 38. I’m not sure what Chris Britton will take in his place, but I do expect fans of Matt Nokes and 1984 Jose Rijo to boo Stewart tomorrow night at the stadium. How dare he takes Randy Choates’ old number? (For more on Stewart, check out this profile.)
Game Notes: The Shelley Duncan two-day experiment is over. Jason Giambi — 0 for 10 against lefties this year — is in the lineup, and Hideki Matsui‘s two-day vacation is over…RAB is now tabloid-free. Find out more in this post.