Fan Confidence Poll: July 26th, 2010

Record Last Week: 4-2 (45 RS, 34 RA)
Season Record: 62-35 (533 RS, 405 RA, 61-36 Pythag. record), 3.0 games up
Schedule This Week: @ Indians (four games, Mon. to Thurs.), @ Rays (three games, Fri. to Sun.)

Top stories from last week:

Please take a second to answer the poll below and give us an idea of how confident you are in the team. You can view the Fan Confidence Graph anytime via the nav bar above, or by clicking here. Thanks in advance for voting.


Yanks finish off pesky Royals with a 12-run assault

This was a high scoring game that didn’t bring much drama. Sure, Joba made things interesting in the eighth, letting the Royals get to within two before he recorded an out, but even then the game was rarely in doubt. The Yanks’ hitters were out in force yesterday, and after Joba’s slip-up they came back and made the lead Chad Ho Moseley proof. It was a nice four-game series win, though against the Royals that’s to be expected.

Biggest Hit: Derek ties it

None of Jeter today. | Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

After going 0 for 4 in the first game of the Anaheim series, Derek Jeter was making some noise — though not the good kind. His season line fell to .268/.332/.380, which naturally led to more talk about his winter contract negotiations. Five games does not a turnaround make, but any sign of life is welcome from Jeter. After his 3 for 4 day, which included a walk, Jeter is now 10 for his last 24 with two doubles, a homer, and two walks.

His big hit yesterday came during the team’s rally in the third. The Royals had just taken a 2-0 lead on what might have been the shortest home run in Yankee Stadium history, and wanted to get their guy back some runs. Granderson delivered the first with a homer to lead off the inning. Two batters later Ramiro Pena singled. And when Ramiro Pena gets on base, well, you’ve got to bring him around. You don’t want to waste such a rare opportunity.

Sean O’Sullivan, who had held Jeter hitless on Tuesday, started with a fastball up and in that Jeter fouled away. Then he came back with a curveball that caught a bit of the plate, though it was still in the favorable low-outside portion. WIth many hitters that will work. With Derek Jeter it can spell trouble. He delivered with a liner to center, bringing Pena all the way around to score. With the throw Jeter himself moved to third.

That position became important just two batters later, when Mark Teixeira grounded a single that scored Jeter. And then Alex Rodriguez brought Tex all the way around to score in a double. That made the score 4-2. Total WPA added in the bottom of the third: .375.

Biggest Pitch: Pods’s first shot, Aviles’s double play

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Sometimes the biggest pitch comes on a negative, when the Yanks’ pitcher gives up a particularly important hit. Other times it comes when he gets out of a jam. It’s pretty clear that Podsednik’s homer was a bigger negative than Aviles’s double play was a positive, but because Phil pitched fairly well I thought we’d include both.

First off, the base runner for Podsednik’s homer, Chris Getz, got on by lining one off Phil Hughes. He almost recovered to make the play, but instead Getz made it to first safely. After getting checked out by Gene Monahan and company, Hughes went to work on Podsednik. He went exclusively with the fastball, mostly high in the zone. He worked the count 0-2 and then missed high with a third fastball. Then on the fourth he still missed high, it appeared, but Podsednik went with it and looped it out to left. It dinked off the foul pole and that was that.

The only times the Royals got to Hughes were on home runs. In the fourth he put a 3-2 fastball right down the middle for Rick Ankiel, and Ankiel did that thing where he provides value to his team, a rarity for sure. Otherwise Hughes was okay, not great, but certainly not as bad as he looked in previous games. After the Ankiel homer he allowed just one more hit, a dinky single to Alex Gordon. He also walked none in the game.

As for his biggest positive, that came in the second. He had allowed Ankiel to single leading off the inning, but then got Mike Aviles to ground into a 4-3 double play. It wasn’t anything fancy; just your basic twin killing. But it took the pressure off, at least.

Where he’s going, he doesn’t need home runs

Not the most flattering photo. | Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

On Thursday, in his final at-bat, Alex Rodriguez hit home run No. 599. Since then the Stadium has waited in anticipation of No. 600. It was his third hit of the night, and he has delivered with hits in each of the next three games, though none of them left the yard. With his 2 for 4 day he is now 5 for 12 with a double, walk, and HBP since No. 599. So even while he’s not smacking his historic homer, he’s still been productive as ever.

That HBP did cause a scare, as the ball deflected off his hand. It just left a mark, though, and everyone seems to agree that he’s fine. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him take a seat tomorrow, but with A-Rod you never know.


Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

From the Oakland series through the Anaheim series Brett Gardner was 6 for 37 (.162) with no extra base hits (though he did walk nine times). In the Royals series he was 3 for 11 with two doubles and two walks.

Before yesterday Curtis Granderson hadn’t homered since the extra-innings affair in Arizona. With his 2 for 4 day he is now 16 for 49 (.327) with two doubles, two homers (.490 SLG) and four walks (.370 OBP) since the Seattle series.

Happy 1,000th career hit, Robinson Cano. He did that in his 3,454th career PA. It took Jeter until career PA No. 3,542 to hit his thousandth.

Mark Teixeira watch: .264/.375/.488. It will take 18 total bases in his next 25 AB to reach a .500 SLG.

Graph, box, and video

Domination, homes.

More at FanGraphs. Also, the traditional box and highlights.

Next Up

Yanks head out to Cleveland to face old friend Jake Westbrook. Javy Vazquez will hopefully be effective for more than four innings.

Heathcott’s hot hitting continues

One more day of bullet points…

  • Triple-A Scranton won. Jesus Montero didn’t play because of his bruised forearm, but Chad Moeller went 3-for-4 with a double in his place. Kevin Russo, Reid Gorecki, Chad Tracy, and Chad Huffman all had multiple hits as well. Ivan Nova was very strong, allowing one earned run in 6.1 IP of work. Mark Melancon managed to throw two complete innings without allowing a run.
  • Double-A Trenton lost. Brandon Laird went deep for the third time in his last four games. Rene Rivera singled twice in the place of Austin Romine, who was resting the day game after a night game. Hector Noesi had his worst start of the year, allowing six runs 4.2 IP. Wilkin DeLaRosa and Kevin Whelan combined for three rock solid innings of relief.
  • High-A Tampa lost. Corban Joseph, Bradley Suttle, and Melky Mesa all went 2-for-4 with some kind of extra base hit. Zoilo Almonte hit his first homer at the High-A level. Craig Heyer walked three guys in five innings, raises his season walk total to four. His BB/9 rose from 0.18 to 0.67.
  • Low-A Charleston won. Slade Heathcott knocked another two hits, and is now 13-for-31 (.419) since his little biceps issue. Kelvin Castro, Jimmy Paredes, Rob Lyerly, and Emerson Landoni all picked up two hits and at least one double. Hector Rabago went 3-for-4 with two doubles and a homer in what had to be the best game of his career. Jose Ramirez allowed two runs in five innings, but walked four and struck out just three.
  • Short Season Staten Island won. Eduardo Sosa singled and walked while Kevin Mahoney doubled. Kyle Roller picked up three hits in three at-bats, including his third homer of the season. Nothing exciting on the pitching side of things, just another two inning save for Chase Whitley.
  • Rookie GCL Yanks were off.

A-Rod OK after leaving game with hand injury

Update (7:30 p.m.) In the bottom of the 8th with the bases loaded, Blake Wood hit Alex Rodriguez on the left forearm with a pitch, and the Yankees’ third baseman and cleanup hitter went down in pain. While A-Rod walked gingerly down to first base, the Yankees had to remove him from the game for a pinch runner. After the game, Yankees manager Joe Girardi downplayed the injury. The skipper said he could have left A-Rod in to run but had planned to take him out anyway. “He’s fine,” Girardi said. “He could squeeze fine…It kind of grazed his hand. We got lucky.”

As A-Rod could squeeze with no problems, the Yankees have no plans to send A-Rod for X-rays. A-Rod said he has a slight purple bruise in the padding of his hand but is otherwise doing just fine. “I have pretty much full strength so I should be ok,” he said. The slugger said he would be able to play tomorrow in Cleveland, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him sit out a game or two early this week. The Yanks dodged a bullet this evening, and the quest for 600 will continue soon enough.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Kathy Willens

Open Thread: Busy afternoon

"Wait ... for Joe Saunders?!?" (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

There’s been some breaking news within the last hour or so, so let’s round it up here:

So there you go. Talk about that stuff, or whatever else you want in this open thread. The ESPN Sunday Night Game features the Cardinals and Cubs (Carpenter vs. Dempster), about the 13th consecutive week the 45-53 Cubs have appeared in the Sunday night game (or is it just me?). Have fun.

Angels acquire Dan Haren

Well, so much for that idea. The Angels have acquired Dan Haren from Arizona for Joe Saunders, prospects Patrick Corbin (ranked 12th in the Halos’ system by Baseball America), Rafael Rodriguez (22nd), and a player to be named later. The PTBNL is not Mike Trout, arguably the best prospect in the game, but instead a list of players the D-Backs can choose from. I have to say, I find it very hard to believe that Joe freakin’ Saunders headlined a package for Haren, but so be it.

GM Brian Cashman can now focus on his stated goals of improving the bullpen and bench, though another starting pitcher never hurts.

Heyman: Yanks made ‘big proposal’ on Soria

In a piece that incorrectly labels the July trade market as one for the buyers, Jon Heyman leads with some Yankee dirt. He says the team is looking to be in on some big names this week and writes that the team has made “a big proposal” to the Royals for Joakim Soria. The Yanks want to upgrade their bullpen this week, but Soria won’t come cheap. He’s emerged as one of the game’s best relievers, non-Mariano division, and is under contract through 2011 with three club options with innings pitched escalators that total $22.75 million. Heyman also notes that the Bombers “have been in touch” with Washington over Adam Dunn but have so far found the price to be “prohibitive.”