Vazquez goes deep again in SWB win

Make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread.

Triple-A Scranton (3-2 win over Rochester)
Reid Gorecki, RF: 2 for 5, 1 R
Reegie Corona, 2B: 3 for 5, 1 R
Eduardo Nunez, 3B, Chad Moeller, C & Greg Golson, CF: all 0 for 4 – Nunez walked & K’ed twice … Golson K’ed twice
Juan Miranda, 1B: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – mashin’
Chad Huffman, LF: 1 for 5, 1 K
Jorge Vazquez, DH: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K – three straight games with a jack, fourth in his last nine
Eric Bruntlett, SS: 2 for 4, 1 RBI
Ivan Nova: 6.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K, 7-3 GB/FB – 64 of his 105 pitches were strikes (61%) … that comes after zero punchouts in his last start
Royce Ring: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 1-0 GB/FB – seven of his nine pitches were strikes
Jon Albaladejo: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 14 of his 17 pitches were strikes (82.4%) … seriously, what more does he have to do to get a shot?

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Mariano Rivera withdraws from All Star Game

Prior to tonight’s game, Mariano Rivera told reporters that he is withdrawing from next week’s All Star Game because he’s been “pitching hurt.” Apparently Mo injured his knee shagging fly balls during batting practice during the Dodgers series, and he still feels it on every pitch. His nagging side/flank issue still isn’t 100% either. Mass panic will set in, but Mo has pitching through it over the last week and has been simply fantastic. He’ll rest up during the break, and hopefully be good to go in the second half.

Game 83: All Star vs. All Star

Are they serious with those unis? (Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP)

So we’ve got ourselves an intriguing little pitching matchup tonight. Everyone knows about CC Sabathia and his ridiculous levels of awesomeness, but what about Trevor Cahill? The 22-year-old got rocked in his first start of the season (eight runs in five innings against the Blue Jays), but since then he’s pitched to a 2.22 ERA and held opponents to a .201/.269/.294 batting line in 77 IP. He’s got a Kevin Brown-esque turbosinker that has generated ground balls 54.3% of the time this season, but if the Yankees are patient, Cahill will work himself into trouble (just 43.6% of his pitches have been in the zone).

Here’s the lineup that will face Oakland’s lone All Star representative…

Gardner, LF
Jeter, SS
Teixiera, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Cano, 2B
Swisher, DH – third time he’s DH’ing in the last four games, could he be nursing something?
Posada, C
Granderson, CF
Curtis, RF

And on the mound, CC Sabathia.

Another late one, with first pitch scheduled for 10:05pm ET and can be seen on YES.

Open Thread: Send Swish!

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

It’s Day Three of the Send Swish! campaign, and we’re sad to report that Kevin Youkilis has taken a narrow lead over Nick Swisher in the voting for that precious final spot on the AL All Star Team. There’s still two days left to vote, and you can always come here to RAB and click on our little Send Swish! button to go to the ballot. Youkilis has already been to two All Star Games, screw him, let’s get Swish in there. Go vote people!

Once you’re done casting your ballot, use this as your open thread. The Mets are playing the Reds, and there’s another game on MLB Network, but who you see depends on where you live. Could be Red Sox-Rays, which has obvious Yankee ramifications. Anything goes, just be cool.

As expected, Sabathia righting the ship

About a month ago, before his 13th start of the season, I broke down some numbers for CC Sabathia. There were a few reasons for concern, notably a home run rate far above his career norms. Everything else, however, looked about the same when compared to his first dozen starts in 2009. Since then Sabathia has been nothing but lights out. He has pitched 38 innings, striking out 32 to 13 walks, and allowing just seven earned runs. He also has not allowed a home run in that span.

Through 17 starts he currently has 7.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9, 0.9 HR/9, and 7.3 H/9. Through 17 starts last year he had 6.75 K/9, 2.67 BB/9, 0.78 HR/9, and 7.69 H/9. In other words, reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated.

Robbie Cano, Homerun Derby participant

Major League Baseball just announced six participants for next week’s Homerun Derby, one of whom is Robinson Cano. Can’t say I would have predicted that before the season. Cano leads all second baseman with 16 homers, which are good for top 17th most in the league. Que up the “it’s going to ruin his swing!” articles.

The others participants: Miggy Cabrera, David Ortiz, Vernon Wells, Corey Hart, and Matt Holliday.

Curtis Granderson and BABIP

I was planning on doing a breakdown of Curtis Granderson‘ BABIP and batted ball data at some point during the All Star break, but David Golebiewski at FanGraphs beat me too it. I recommend reading the whole thing obviously, but in summation: Grandy should improve in the second half because he’s been dealing with a little bit of bad luck this year. Frankly, it would be hard for him to do anything else at this point.

One thing I found interesting was that 37% of Granderson’s plate appearances this season have come against lefties (up 12-13% from past years), which you can attribute to the Yankees facing more lefthanders in general. They’ve already faced 31 lefthanded starters this season (37.8% of games), up from 33.3% last year and 30.2% for Detroit, where Granderson played. I assume this has to do with Brian Matusz being in the Opening Day rotation for the O’s, Brett Cecil coming early relatively early for Toronto, and the interleague slate that featured games against Johan Santana (twice), Wandy Rodriguez, Dontrelle Willis, and Clayton Kershaw. Those last few are oddities, but Granderson can expect to see more lefties going forward.