So those Yanks are really rollin’ these days, huh?
Behind home runs by Alex Rodriguez – his 499th overall – and Hideki Matsui – his 10th of July – and three RBIs by Melky Cabrera, the Yanks beat the Royals yesterday 7-1. With that win the Yanks assure themselves of yet another series win and improve to 12-3 since the All Star Break.
For the Yanks, yesterday’s game was a good one to win. With Kei Igawa on the mound tonight, the Yankees needed a good start from Moose. In his last outing, Mike Mussina came out on the wrong end of a 14-4 game. But Moose rebounded nicely enough. He made it through his typical 5.2 innings on 95 pitches and allowed only 8 baserunners and 1 earned run.
After Melky Cabrera, on a two-run home run and a sac fly, singlehandedly put the Yanks up 3-1, the rest of the team took over in the 8th. A-Rod belted his 499th career home run, and Hideki Matsui hit his 18th of the season. The bullpen went 3.1 two-hit innings, and the Yanks walked away winners for the fifth straight game.
With that win, the Yanks find themselves closing the gap in the AL East. One night after falling to Daisuke Matsuzaka 1-0, Fausto Carmona and the Indians topped the Sox 1-0. Out west, the Mariners lost for the sixth straight game as they continue their fall toward Pythagoras. So now, the Yanks are a season-high eight games over .500. They’re 4.5 games behind Cleveland and just 0.5 games out of second in the Wild Card. They’re also 6.5 games behind Boston, the closest they’ve been since May, and their expected win-loss puts them just a shade out of first. This team is turning things around.
Offensively, the Yanks have been mashing during their five-game winning streak. Overall, the team is hitting .395/.461/.657 with 33 extra-base hits. While some people had lost faith in this team, this is exactly what we all knew the Yanks could do. It’s going to be a fun two months in the Bronx.
Hideki Matsui’s 10 home runs this month are tops in the AL. For July, he’s hitting .340/.402/.701, and you gotta believe his wrist is healed. Matsui’s month, one of the best of his MLB career, is one of the top reasons why the Yanks are 4.5 behind Cleveland and 6.5 behind Boston as we head into the dog days of summer. · (8) ·
So far during the 2007 Tour de France, two teams have quit due to failed drug tests, four stage winners have be ousted and now the overall leader has been fired from his team and the Tour for lying about his whereabouts during a drug test. With Curt Schilling calling out Bonds and McGwire for their silence in the face of steroid accusations, Jason Giambi is starting to look almost saint-like these days. · (1) ·
In his AAA debut tonight, Joba Chamberlain made it look easy. He went 5 innings, giving up 4 hits and 1 walk. He allowed no runs and 10 of his 15 outs came via the good ol’ strike out. So that line looks like this: 5, 4, 0, 0, 1, 10. So much for that three home run start in Trenton last week. For on-the-scenes reporting and analysis, check out the game post at the SW-B Yankees blog. Now the Yanks have two pitchers at AAA who are better than Kei Igawa.
The Joba lovefest can be found here. Chamberlain was damn impressive tonight, and we can all say we knew him when. On to the rest of the farm, courtesy of Alan Hirsch.
With all eyes on Joba tonight, Alan Horne issued his own “Here I am” call. He went 8 innings and gave up 1 run on 5 hits.
Scranton (def. Louisville 6-3)
Justin Christian 2-5, R
Eurbiel Durazo 1-3, 2B, R
Chris Basek 2-4, 2R,
Eric Duncan 1-1 2B, 3 BB
Joba Chamberlain 5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 10 K. Brilliant debut by Ace # 2.
Scott Williamson .2 IP, 3 H, 3 R. 1 BB, 2 K. Not a good debut. Not a good way to persuade the Yanks that they could jettison Farnsworth.
Edwar Ramirez 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB & K. Letâ€™s get back to the show.
Trenton (Erie def Trenton 4-1)
Only 4 hits by Trenton in a 10 inning loss
Juan Miranda 1-4, RBI
Cody Ehlers 0-3
Alberto Gonzalez 0-4
Alan Horne 8 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 7 K Donâ€™t forget about meâ€¦.
Michael Gardener 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K Losing pitcher
Tampa (def Clearwater 7-4)
Austin Jackson 3-4, 3B, R, CS Rumors of his slump are premature.
Jose Tabata 1-3, 2 R, K
Edwar Gonzales 2-3, 2B, 2 R
Marcos Vecchionachi 1-3, RBI, BB, CS
Francisco Cervelli 1-3
George Kontos 4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
Jose Veras 1 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 1 K
David Robertson 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K Keeps on rolling
Charleston (def Greenville 7-5)
Mitch Hilligoss 0-4, R
Seth Fortenberry 0-3
Kyle Anson 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI
James Cooper 2-3, 2B, R, BB, K
Michael Dunn 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. Not his finest outing, but Dunnâ€™s 12-3.
Staten Island (def Oneonta 9-5)
Damon Sublett 1-4, 3B, R, RBI
Braeden Pruitt 3-5, HR, RBI
David Williams 2-5, R, RBI, 2 K
Taylor Holiday 1-4, 3B, RBI, R
Ryan Pope 3 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
Jason Stevens 5 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
GCL Yanks (5-2 Yanks def GCL Blue Jays)
Abe Almonte 0-5, 2K
Zolio Almonte 0-5
Jesus Montero (C) 0-4, 1 SB against
Ryan Wehrle 1-3, 2B, R, 2 BB, K
Brandon Laird, 2-5, RBI, R
Melky Mesa 2-4, R, 2B, RBI, K
Casey Erickson 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K
Jacinto Gonnel 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K
According to Pete Abe, Giambi will begin his rehab assignment Friday in Tampa. He’ll play DH in the games on Friday and Saturday, after which he will be re-evaluated. Giambi hopes to be back in the Yanks lineup next week.
I really don’t understand the negative sentiment of Giambi’s return expressed by some Yankees fans. If he hits, the team will be better. That’s it. You can argue some chemistry factor, but it’s not like Giambi being in the lineup will make everyone else stop hitting.
Of course, how he plays depends on how healthy his heel is. But if he’s producing, he’ll help.
Could Joba Chamberlain’s impending AAA stint simply be a tune-up for a Bronx appearance? The Daily News today has a notebook piece on some future plans for the Yanks’ young pitching stud. Brian Cashman and Joe Torre both seem to think that Chamberlain could make an impact in the Yanks’ beleaguered pen sooner rather than later. Yankee concerns over Joba’s health and trade deadline moves by the Yanks will probably be the deciding factors here. · (14) ·
Yankee fans will long hold Randy Johnson close to their hearts. His time in New York was filled with loving tenderness and great success. So as Luis Vizcaino puts up a sub-1.00 ERA over two months solidifying a shaky bullpen, Randy Johnson admits that he may never pitch again. That sure was a good trade. · (27) ·
Since I don’t feel much like writing cohesive paragraphs or sentences, we’ll do this the good-bad-ugly way.
The Good: Yanks score 7 runs in 1.2 innings. Robinson Cano draws three walks for the first time in his career. Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter and Bobby Abreu went a combined 8 for 16 with 4 runs scored, 3 RBI and 1 stolen base. The Yanks now find themselves 1.5 games behind the Mariners and 4.5 games behind Cleveland for the Wild Card lead. That’s four in the loss side for those keeping track at home.
The Ugly: The Yanks knock out 13 hits and draw 9 walks yet score just 9 runs. They really should have plated 15, but I’m just being greedy. Chien-Ming Wang threw just 60 percent of his pitches for strikes. A 9-4 game against the Royals took 4 hours and 1 minute to complete.