Game 108: Hello, old friend

Who could forget? (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

It’s been what, two and a half months since the Yankees last played the Red Sox, and obviously a lot has changed since then. Javy Vazquez, tonight’s starter, has done a complete 180 and been the team’s best and most consistent starter since that series. The Yanks have added a few pieces, most notably Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood, and both Jorge Posada and Curtis Granderson have returned from the disabled list. Mark Teixeira is back from the dead, ditto the bullpen.

The Red Sox, meanwhile, have lost Dustin Pedroia, Kevin Youkilis, and Jason Varitek to injury. Jacoby Ellsbury is back though, same with Josh Beckett. Most importantly, the Yanks were three games back in the division at that time. Now they’re on top by half-a-game. A slim margin indeed, but I’ll take it. Boston, meanwhile, is six full games back in the division and in need of a huge surge this month if they want to make some noise in a playoff race.

On this very date last season, these same two teams kicked off a four game series in Bronx, and I’m sure you remember what happened. The Yanks won all four games, including that epic 15-inning scoreless game, effectively burying the Sox and claiming the top spot in the division for good. I’ll happily take a repeat of that, and that starts with a win tonight.

Here’s the lineup…

Jete, SS
Swish, RF
Tex, 1B
A-Rod, 3B
Robbie, 2B
Berk, DH
Grandy, CF
Cerv, C
Gardy, CF

And on the bump, it’s Javy Vazquez.

First pitch is scheduled for a little after 7pm ET, and you can watch on either My9 locally of MLB Network national. Enjoy the game folks.

Report: Yankees will keep an eye on Guillen

From the please be a cruel joke department, the Yankees will reportedly keep an eye on the recently designated for assignment Jose Guillen. I have absolutely no idea where Guillen would fit in with both Marcus Thames and Austin Kearns already on the roster. He doesn’t get on base (.308 OBP over the last three years), hits for nothing more than decent power (.164), doesn’t have any defensive value (-21.6 three-year UZR), and by all accounts is a bit of a jerk. Am I missing something here? There’s no reason for the Yanks to be interested in him, pass.

Aceves, Pettitte inch closer to returning

At long last, it sounds like two key members of the pitching staff are close to returning. Al Aceves, out since May with a lingering back issue, is scheduled to throw a bullpen session tomorrow, and if that goes well he will make his first rehab appearance on Tuesday. It’ll be his first game action since hitting the disabled list. I suspect the Yanks will be extra careful given the nature of Aceves’ injury, so he could still be two full weeks away from returning. Either way, that’s the best news we’ve gotten on his condition in weeks.

Meanwhile, Andy Pettitte went ahead and did the bullpen thing today. The braintrust will sit down tomorrow and determine the next step. The initial diagnosis called for four or five weeks on the shelf, and right now he’s on track to return just shy of that if he makes two rehab starts. Good news all around, can’t wait to have them both back.

Details for the RAB/FanGraphs Live Discussion

Tomorrow’s the big day, the first ever FanGraphs and River Ave. Blues Live Discussion in New York City. It will be held at the Florence Gould Hall, which is at 55 E 59th Street (between Park and Madison). The event starts at 9 a.m., and you’ll want to get there early. Ben, Mike, and I (and a few others) are the opening act.

Here’s one last reminder of the details…

NY Baseball (9:00am – 9:40am)

Joe Pawlikowski, Mike Axisa, Benjamin Kabak (All, Matthew Cerrone (, and Mark Simon (ESPN) will be discussing all things baseball in NY. Moderated by Carson Cistulli.

Baseball Media (9:45am – 10:30am)

Jonah Keri (Bloomberg Sports) will host a panel comprised of Will Leitch (Deadspin, New York Magazine), Michael Silverman (Boston Herald), Matthew Cerrone(, Alex Speier (, and David Biderman (WSJ) to discuss how baseball media coverage has changed in recent years and will continue to evolve.

Baseball Stats (10:40am – 11:15am)

Jon Sciambi (ESPN), Mitchel Lichtman, Sky Kalkman (Beyond the Boxscore), Dave Cameron, and David Appelman will discuss where advanced baseball stats are right now and where they’ll be headed. Moderated by Carson Cistulli.

Bloomberg Sports Presentation (11:20 – 11:35)

Bloomberg Sports will make a presentation of a brand new product.

FanGraphs Q&A (11:40 – End)

Dave Cameron, Carson Cistulli, Bryan Smith, Joe Pawlikowski, Mike Axisa, and David Appelman will take questions until we’re officially kicked out (a little after 12:00).

Afterparty (3:30pm – Game Over)

Additionally, we’re going to host a game-watching party for attendees to gather at a local watering hole and view that afternoon’s Boston-New York match-up together. Those who make it to the event will be invited to join us for several more hours of fun later in the afternoon. Details and directions will be given at the event.

You can get your tickets for $15 plus $1.36 surcharge in advance, or risk a sellout and pay $20, cash only, at the door.

We hope to see plenty of RABbers there.

Ticket’s available for Monday’s game

A reader has a pair of tickets available for Monday’s game against the Red Sox. The seats are located in Section 224, Row 13, Seats 15 & 16, which are on the third base side, middle deck. Face value is $150 per ticket, so it’s $300 for the pair. Here’s the caveat, you have to be able to meet the seller in Astoria, Queens to pick them up.

Remember, it’s a day game Monday, with a 2:05pm start. The pitching matchup features Dustin Moseley vs. Jon Lester. Email me if interested, and I’ll put you in contact with the seller.

Update: The seller says he could meet in Manhattan or Queens.

Yankees sign 6th round pick Gabe Encinas

Via Jim Callis, the Yankees have signed 6th round pick Gabe Encinas to an above slot $300,000 deal. Encinas, the 205th overall pick, was rated as the 133rd best prospect in the draft by Baseball America, and 95th by Keith Law.

Drafted out of a California high school, the 6-foot-4, 200 lb. Encinas is arguably the best pitching prospect the Yanks drafted this year. His fastball sits in the low-90’s and he also offers a sharp curve and one of the best changeups among this year’s high school crop, but what sets Encinas apart is his smooth delivery and feel for pitching. He’s proven adept at changing speeds and setting hitters up. The signing deadline is just ten days away, so there’s going to be a whole bunch of signings trickling in soon.