My apologies to the five of you who saw my other post. I didn’t hear about Kyle’s stiff neck until a minute ago. That being said, depsite the RAB love for Chris Britton, he shouldn’t be pitching the 9th in a tie game on the road in mid-September. It’s really too bad Torre insisted on using Edwar last night for one out. The Yanks survive another inning with Mr. Ramirez. And Melky’s ball was so close which is after all the story of the 2008 Yankees. · (33) ·
Is it really Game 146 already? Man where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday Carl Pavano was warming up for his Opening Day start!
Anywho, the Yanks are rolling right now, winning their last 7 games and 40 of 59 since the break. Today’s a big game, a win keeps the momentum steamrolling into Fenway, a loss…well hopefully it’d be nothing more than a speed bump.
The lineup, in Roll Call form:
John-ny Da-mon! (LF)
Der-ek Je-ter! (SS)
FYI – No DotF tonight, Trenton is off.
In a shocker (at least to me), longtime Twins’ GM Terry Ryan is resigning. Ryan is widely considered to be one of the best GM’s in the business, as he’s built quality teams for years by emphasizing player development, a strong farm system, and shrewd trades. Assistant GM Bill Smith will assume Ryan’s post. · (5) ·
Starter Jeff Karstens will report to Arizona in October to train with the United States Olympic team. Karstens, who missed most of this season after breaking his leg in April, needs to build up his innings and expects to pitch for the team in an international tournament in Taiwan this fall.
Karstens hasn’t been officially named to the team, he’s just working out with them. I’ve never been able to figure out how all this Olympic stuff works; I swear, it seems like they name a team every year. I don’t know if Karstens is eligible for the team actually going to the games next summer. You can follow all the Olympic action on what USA Baseball is calling the Beijing Blog.
The Blue Jays carry a grudge like no other. They still won’t let that Alex Rodriguez pop-up incident die.
Last night, during their second straight loss to the Yanks, Toronto played an in-stadium promo poking fun at A-Rod. The Daily News has more:
In a video game promotion in the middle of the sixth inning, two Jays fans were playing a baseball game on the scoreboard screen, pitching to A-Rod. Twice they threw at him, missing once and hitting him once and leaving Joe Torre unhappy.
“It’s ridiculous,” Torre said after the Yanks beat Toronto, 4-1. “Some of the videos they have period, it’s all about violence. There are certain cities, one of our players gets knocked down and they start laughing and cheering. I don’t understand it.
The Blue Jays, in the past, have advocated booing Hideki Matsui for coming over from Japan and seem to have no class.
No matter; we’ll take it out on them in October. Oh wait. The Blue Jays won’t be playing in October and haven’t since 1993. Too bad.
The Devil Rays were up by 4 after 1 inning, up by 1 with 3 outs left. But Julio Lugo with his .296 OBP and his .351 slugging percentage, walked to lead off the 9th. One out later, David Ortiz hits a 3-1 pitch into the seats for his second home run of the game, and the Red Sox win 5-4. Ortiz drove in all five runs, and the Devil Rays just made the best case for how utterly worthless they are as a Major League franchise. Pathetic does not even begin to describe this half-assed display of baseball Tampa Bay has put on over their last 18 innings. · (22) ·
Double-A Trenton (3-2 win over Akron, walk-off style)
Reegie Corona: 1 for 4, 1 BB
Austin Jackson: 1 BB, 2 K
Colin Curtis: 1 for 2, 2 R, 3 BB – 9 for his last 20 with a double, 2 homers, 4 RBI, 3 walks & zero K’s
Noah Hall: 3 for 5, 1 RBI – walk-off single to drive in Curtis…I guess sitting Juan Miranda with the lefty on the mound was the right move
Matt Carson & Cody Ehlers: both 0 for 3, 1 BB – Carson K’ed
PJ Pilittere: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB
Marcos Vechionacci & Gabe Lopez: both 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 E (throwing, yes both guys) – Vech K’ed & stole a base…Lopez drove in a run
Chase Wright: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 PO (at first) – great job outpitching a much more heralded lefty
Mike Gardner: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – back to help out on the title run, and this is where he should be after being a workhorse for the team all year
Trenton leads the best-of-five series 2 games to none. Primo pitching matchup set for Game 3 on Friday, as Alan Horne takes on Jeremy Sowers in a battle of former Cleveland first round picks (Horne in 2001, Sowers in ’04). If Game 4 is needed, Danny McCutchen (drafted 4 times, twice by the Yanks) will face off against Bobby Brownlie (Cubs first round pick in ’02). Great stuff, should be fun.
Mike Mussina, one of the Yankees’ three weathered pitching arms in the twilights of their careers, take the mound tonight. It is his first start since the end of August, and I’m guardedly optimistic that he may be able to keep the Yanks in the game for five innings today.
And really, when push comes to shove, isn’t that all they need? The Yanks didn’t have to use their bullpen bullets last night. Joba’s available; Farnsworth’s available; Rivera’s available. If Mussina can get the Yankees through five innings, I like their chances.
The Yanks are going with their A Team. Every game counts, and if the Yanks can keep the winning streak going through tomorrow, they’ll head into Boston at the most 4.5 games out. Dreams of the division are dancing in my head.
J. Damon DH
D. Jeter SS
B. Abreu RF
A. Rodriguez 3B
H. Matsui LF – He’s in a bit of a slump right now.
J. Posada C
J. Giambi 1B
R. Cano 2B
M. Cabrera CF
M. Mussina P