A-Rod playing through a sore right knee

Last week it was a left shoulder problem, this week it’s the right knee. Brian Heyman reported yesterday that Alex Rodriguez is battling through a sore knee he originally suffered during the Cubs series. “I think there are some injuries that you can play through and some you can’t,” said Alex. “This is one I feel I can play through. I met with my doctors and they pretty much assured me that it’s something you’re not going to reaggravate. It’s getting better each day.”

A-Rod was noticeably sluggish around the bases yesterday, and he’s been lifted for pinch-runners and defensive replacements regularly over the last few days. If the knee is bothering him at the plate, he sure has done a good job of hiding it; Alex was 2-for-3 with a double and a walk yesterday, and he’s hitting .354/.448/.620 since the final day of May.

Sabathia dominates Rockies as bats come alive

Saturday afternoon’s game was as close to flawless as victories come these days. Great pitching, a prolonged and diverse offensive attack that featured small ball and power, plus some fine defense. To the bullet points…

  • As far as I’m concerned, the star of the game was CC Sabathia. The big lefty struck out a season high nine in eight innings, throwing just 103 pitches and going to a three-ball count on only two of the 31 batters he faced. He whiffed five guys on sliders, two on changeups, and two on fastballs. Colorado didn’t get a man to second base until the fifth inning, and just three runners made it that far in Sabathia’s eight innings.
  • Aaron Cook really had no chance given his inability to miss bats. Brett Gardner started the game with a perfect bunt single, then stole second before scoring on Curtis Granderson‘s hustle double. Alex Rodriguez drove in Grandy with a single for the second run, and before you knew it the Yankees were up five-zip in the third inning following an A-Rod double and a Nick Swisher sacrifice fly. Another run came in the sixth, then two more in the eighth. Relentless.
  • Gardner, Robinson Cano, and Eduardo Nunez were the only players not to have multiple hits, though Gardner did augment his bunt single with two walks. Robbie grounded into two double plays, which were rather ugly. Mark Teixiera hit a garbage time two-run homer, Jorge Posada had a booming double to dead center, and even Frankie Cervelli slapped two singles. Fifteen hits and four walks are a good way to score eight runs.
  • How awful is Buddy Carlyle? He comes into the ninth inning with a seven run lead and immediately walks the leadoff man before giving up a homer to Ty Wigginton. Because that wasn’t good enough, Carlyle then walked the next guy, forcing Mariano Rivera to warm up in the bullpen. Thankfully the nonsense ended there and he retired the next three batters in a row, but good grief. Your roster spot is hardly set in stone, the least you could do is throw strikes.
  • Here’s the box score and WPA graph. Nothing more to see here.

The rubber game is Sunday afternoon but first we’ve got Old Timers’ Day. The festivities will begin at 11:30am ET and the full roster of attendees is right here. If you want to head up to the big ballpark in the Bronx, RAB Tickets can get you there on the cheap.

Trenton walks its way to blowout win

Remember when Steve Garrison pitched in relief for Short Season Staten Island last night just two days after starting? That wasn’t him, it was Caleb Cotham. The box score has been updated. David Phelps‘ shoulder injury is being described as simply “shoulder discomfort.” That sucks. Kei Igawa is heading back to Triple-A Scranton as well.

Triple-A Scranton (2-1 win over Durham)
Austin Krum, LF: 1 for 3, 1 BB
Kevin Russo, 2B & Brandon Laird, 3B: both 0 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Mike Lamb, 1B & Jordan Parraz, RF: both 0 for 4, 2 K – double sadface
Jesus Montero, C: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 1 K
Terry Tiffee, DH: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 K
Greg Golson, CF: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI – 12 for his last 38 (.316) with one double, two triples, and a homer
Doug Bernier, SS: 1 for 4, 1 K
Adam Warren, RHP: 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 6-2 GB/FB, 1 E (fielding) – 60 of 96 pitches were strikes (62.5%) … two runs allowed in his last 29 IP (four starts)
Eric Wordekemper, RHP: 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 2-0 GB/FB – 18 of 31 pitches were strikes (58.1%)
Randy Flores, LHP: 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 2-0 GB/FB – 11 of 15 pitches were strikes (73.3%)

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Open Thread: Hooray for CC

Two game losing streak? Kaput. CC Sabathia made sure of that this afternoon with eight splendid innings, giving up just one run in garbage time. Eight times he’s started after a Yankees loss this year, and six times he’s ended the schneid and pitched them to a win. That’s what the man is here to do. Bravo.

Anyway, here is your open thread for the night. A game will be shown on MLB Network, but the teams depend on where you live. Talk about whatever your heart desires there though, go nuts.

Cashman: Jeter could ramp up rehab today

Via Conor Orr, Brian Cashman said there’s a chance that Derek Jeter will ratchet up his rehab from a calf injury today to include “more functional stuff.” All Jeter has done so far is throw and get treatment, so I assume “functional stuff” includes some running and hitting. There’s a pretty good chance the Cap’n will need more than just the minimum 15 days on the disabled list, especially since calf problems can linger for a while. He’s eligible come off the DL on Wednesday.

Game 75: Big Stoppa

Photo © Samara Pearlstein

The Yankees are nursing a baby two-game losing streak, so it’s up to the big man to step in and show everyone who’s boss. He’s won six of his last seven and is looking to become the first pitcher to rack up 10 hyper-important W’s in 2011. To stop him, the Rockies send out Aaron Cook (4.67 ERA/3.36 FIP). Meanwhile, I continue on my nefarious weekend writer plot to take over the entire website. Muahahaha. Nothing to see here, folks, just the lineup…

Brett Gardner, LF
Curtis Granderson, CF
Mark Teixeira, 1B
Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Robinson Cano, 2B
Nick Swisher, RF
Jorge Posada, DH
Eduardo Nunez, SS
Francisco Cervelli, C

CC Sabathia, P

You can catch the game on YES at 1:05 pm. Woo.

Rival execs think Cashman’s ready to leave

Buster Olney spoke to executives from around the league recently (Insider req’d), and the feeling is that this season will be Brian Cashman‘s last as Yankees GM. “I think maybe he’s finally had it,” said one GM. “That’s a job that will take a lot out of you.” “I don’t think he has any idea how different his life would be if he wasn’t general manager of the Yankees,” said said another exec.

Cashman said yesterday that’s he’s not worried about his future, only that he doesn’t intend to talk about a new deal until after the season, per team mandate. Olney says it’s the uncharacteristic honesty that has him thinking Cashman’s ready to leave, echoing what I said last week. He also reminds us that it appeared as if Cashman was going to leave on three other occasions, only to return at the behest of the Steinbrenners. I think it’s 50-50 that he stays, the lowest odds I’ve ever given these situations.