Game Nine: Rubbah Match

Pffft, and they say the Yankees are desperate for pitching. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

These Yankees-Red Sox series seem to follow a pattern. The first game is a wild, back-and-forth affair and the second a blowout, but the third is usually a close game. With CC Sabathia on the mound and both Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera well-rested in the bullpen, I like New York’s chances if that pattern holds true. Here’s the starting nine, which is missing a sick Alex Rodriguez (flu-like symptoms)…

Brett Gardner, LF
Derek Jeter, SS
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Curtis Granderson, CF
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Eric Chavez, 3B
Russell Martin, C

CC Sabathia, SP

It’s a Sunday night game, so you know what that means: ESPN has the broadcast at 8pm ET. Hooray for no Joe Morgan though, he’s been replaced by Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine. Enjoy the game.

Heathcott keeps hitting, but River Dogs lose

Triple-A Scranton (7-5 win over Rochester)
Greg Golson, CF, Jorge Vazquez, 1B, Brandon Laird, 3B & Justin Maxwell, LF: all 1 for 4 – Golson walked & scored … JoVa homered & drove in three … Laird scored a run … Maxwell stole a base and whiffed
Chris Dickerson, DH: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 SB
Jesus Montero, C: 2 for 5, 1 R – hitting a cool .400 in the early going with a ten-game hit streak that dates back to last season … made a nice diving defensive play as well
Jordan Parraz, RF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI – second straight game with a jack
Kevin Russo, 2B: 0 for 4, 2 K – 0 for 15 with 7 K so far
Ramiro Pena, SS: 2 for 3, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 SB – hitting .462 so far
Adam Warren, RHP: 4.2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 1 K, 4-5 GB/FB – just 54 of his 93 pitches were strikes (58.1%) … ugly AAA debut, and frankly I’m not 100% sold on him being here yet … yeah he’s polished, but 54.1 IP in AA is nothing
George Kontos, RHP: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 2-2 GB/FB - just 11 of 24 pitches were strikes (45.8%)
Andy Sisco, LHP: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1-2 GB/FB – 15 of 22 pitches were strikes (68.2%) … very nice
Kevin Whelan, RHP: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 0-1 GB/FB – 12 of 19 pitches were strikes (63.2%) … rebounded from yesterday’s blown save quite nicely

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Mo: ‘I have another year, and after that, there won’t be any more’

Via Buster Olney, Mariano Rivera recently said flatly that the 2012 season will be his last. “I have another year, and after that, there won’t be any more,” said Mo, who signed a two-year deal this offseason. Or course, he qualified it by saying “That’s me talking [now].”

Mo has indicated many times in the past that the end was near, but yet he’s still here with that new contract. He’ll turn 42 years old after the season, so he’s already way past the point where he should stop being effective. “My will is one thing,” he said, “and the good Lord’s will is another. And I will follow his will.” Mo has defied he odds for so long that it seems like he could do it forever, but who knows what will happen over the next two seasons. Just make sure you appreciate whatever’s left of his career.

Medical Updates: Cervelli & Feliciano

Via George King, Francisco Cervelli has increased his rehab work since having the boot removed from his fractured left foot, but Joe Girardi says a realistic return date is early-May. “He has been running under water, doing agility drills and hitting but he is still a few weeks [away],” said the skipper. “He has yet to run on the field.” The schedule has been favorable when it comes to not playing Gustavo Molina, but that will change next week. Oh well.

As for Pedro Feliciano, he’s scheduled to see a doctor next week when the team returns to New York. With any luck, he’ll be cleared to throw and be able to start his rehab work. The good news is that the injury is not to his actual rotator cuff, but a muscle close by. Given Boone Logan‘s early struggles, I think we’re all looking forward to Feliciano’s return to health.

The poetic stylings of John Sterling

With new Yankees on the team, one rite of spring involves John Sterling’s home run calls. We wait to hear what the announcer dubbed Pa Pinstripe can come up with, and invariably it will make us groan. We’ve heard “Russel has muscle” and “Andruw Jones makes his bones” already this year, and Eric Chavez has yet to homer. As part of The Sports Section’s coverage of Opening Week, New York Magazine writer Joe DeLessio explored the seven types of Sterling’s home run calls. It is, well, something.

I’m pretty sure DeLessio hit on the entire oeuvre. He talks rhymes, plays on players’ names, alliteration, foreign languages (that make little sense in English), the ever-popular Granderson cultural references, references to Babe Ruth and, of course, made-up words. At least it’s not Hawk Harrelson.