The Indians, whose 34 home wins puts them second in the Majors, host the Red Sox this week while the Yanks are playing the red-hot Kansas City Royals. The Yanks need to keep on winning (obviously), but it’s always a conundrum when two teams holding down playoff spots face off. Which team should root for? Well, in this case, I have to say the Indians. If the Yanks can take 3 out of 4 from the Royals, and the Indians can take 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, the Yanks would stay 6.5 games back in the Wild Card and move 5.5 games behind Boston. But if not, as long as the Yanks win, they’ll gain ground on some team in front of them this week.
Apparently, A-Rod and C-Rod are looking to buy a $25-million house in Greenwich, Connecticut. That may mean he’s staying in New York past this season. Or not. Who knows? For those of you struggling to pay rent in NYC, that $25 million isn’t even one full year of on-field salary for Mr. Rodriguez.
The Yanks, yesterday, inked discarded reliever Scott Williamson to a Minor League contract. Williamson, formerly with the Orioles, was hurt for much of the season. In just 14.1 appearances spanning 16 games, he had allowed 12 hits while striking out 16 and walking 8. His ERA on the season stands at 4.40. I have to wonder if this deal is another sign that Kyle Farnsworth’s time on the Yanks is limited. The Yanks have demoted him, thanksfully, from the 8th inning role and have numerous arms to replace his in the pen.
Another day, another no-hitter for the Baby Bombers. Tampa had a 7 inning no hitter as the rehabbing Jose Veras and Dan McCutchen combined for the no no. Ian Kennedy had a strong game going 5 with 3 hits and 2 runs. AJax continues to hit as he had a double in the first game and his 7th home run in the second game.
Scranton (def Charlotte 7-2)
Brett Gardener 2-5, 2 R
Kevin Reese 2-3, HR (Grand Slam), R, 5 RBI
Raul Chavez 2-4, 2 R. Can hear Will Nieves footsteps.
Jeff Karstens 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K One more scheduled start before he gets the recall.
Trenton (7-2 def New Britain)
Juan Miranda 2-5, 2B, R, 3 RBI
Alberto Gonzalez 3-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI
PJ Pilitiere 2-5
Gabriel Lopez 2-3, 2 R
Ian Kennedy 5 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 6 K. Good to see Mini-Moose pitch again. He hasnâ€™t pitched since July 12. His last run was the result of a pop up/SF in which the third basemen and SS collided in foul territory.
Tampa (def Lakeland 4-0) Game 1 (7 innings) No Hitter
Austin Jackson 1-4 2B
Jose Tabata 0-4
Tim Battle 2-3, R
Francisco Cervelli 1-3
Kevin Russo 2-3, 2B
Marcos Veccionacchi 1-3, HR, R, 2 RBI Surprisingly this is Vecciâ€™s 1st home run of the year.
Jose Veras 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K
Daniel McCutchen 5 IP, 0 H, 5 BB, 2 K McCutchen has an 11-2 record. Add him to the A list.
Tampa (def 4-3 Lakeland ) Game 2
Austin Jackson 1-4, HR, 2 RBI. Ajax has hit 7 HRâ€™s and .378 since his call up
Reggie Corona 1-3, R, Rbi, BB, SB (20th)
Tim Battle 2-3, R
Marcos Veccionacchi 1-3 2B
Anthony Claggett 5 IP, 7 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K
David Robertson 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. Already on the A list. What a great draft we had in 2006 with RHPâ€™s Kennedy, Chamberlain, Robertson, McAllister and McCutchen picked, as well as the injured Melacon.
Charleston (Ashville def Charleston 5-3)
Mitch Hilligoss 2-4
Josue Calzada 2-4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI
Gabriel Medina 2.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 3 K
Ferdin Tejada 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (LP)
Staten Island (def State College 4-3)
Justin Snyder 1-4, BB, K
Damon Sublett, 3-3, R, BB
Braedyn Pruitt 3-3, R, BB
David Williams 1-3, 2B, 3 RBI
Ryan Zink 6 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K
GCL Yankees Scheduled day off
Again, courtesy of Alan, here is the Down on the Farm report covering yesterday’s games…
Scranton (Charlotte def. Scranton 3-1)
Scranton had only 5 hits.
Andy Canizaro 1-2, 2B, 2 BB
Durazo (DH) 0-4
Eric Duncan 0-4.
Tyler Clippard 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Youâ€™re killing your trade value
Steven Jackson 2.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K Show us another good game.
Trenton (5-4 Trenton def New Britain)
Juan Miranda 1-4, 2B, R, 2 RBI Hitting .307 since his call up.
Cody Ehlers (DH) 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K
Alberto Gonzalez 2-5, 2B, R, K
Aarom Baldris 2-4, 3B, RBI, 2 K
Jeff Marquez 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K They must have put the ballâ€™s back in the humidor.
Charleston (Ashville def Charleston 6-5)
Mitch Hilligoss 1-4, 2B, BB
Seth Fortenberry 3-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, 15th SB
Kevin Smith 2-5, 2B, R
Kyle Anson 2-5, 2B, 2 RBI
James Cooper 2-5, R
Eric Hacker 5 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 4 BB, 1 K
Jessie Hooper 2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 K
Staten Island (State College def SI 7-1)
Justin Snyder 0-4, 3 K Ouch
Taylor Holiday 1-4
Damon Sublett, 0-3
Jose Gil 0-3. 2 E
Zach McAllister 6 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K. 3.47 ERA. Keep an eye on him. Was a smallish control pitcher thatâ€™s grown to 6â€™5â€™and 220 lbs over the last two years and is adding velocity.
Jason Kiley 1 IP, 3 H, 5 R, 2 ER. Thought he was trying out for Tampa Bayâ€™s bullpen.
GCL Yanks (def GCL Indians 6-1)
Abe Almonte 1-4, 2B
Phrylis Cuello 1-5, 2B, R
Andres Perez 2-4, 2B
Melky Mesa 2-4, 2B, 2 R
Ben Blumenthal (C) 4-4, 2B, R, RBI Before we get excited about a catcher batting .307, heâ€™s 24 in GCL
Wilkens De LaRosa 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 4 K (winning pitcher)
Noel Castillo 4 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 K (Save)
Yankee officials and Chien-Ming Wang were on hand with MTA, city and state representatives as the MTA broke ground on the new Yankee Stadium Metro-North stop. For more on this story, check out my post at Second Ave. Sagas.
When the dust settled today, the Yanks managed to win two games against the Devil Rays with Matt DeSalvo and Kei Igawa as their starting pitchers. Things, it seems, are finally starting to fall into place for the previously snake-bitten bombers.
As the Yanks played a long day of baseball, it was a promising two games all around. First, the team moved a season-high four games over .500. They received offensive contributions from everyone. Johnny Damon scored three runs and drove in four. A-Rod hit another home run. Hideki Matsui launched two. Shelley Duncan hit his first big league home run to give him 25 jacks on the year, and Melky Cabrera returned to action with a 3-for-8 day.
On the pitching side of things, Matt DeSalvo and Kei Igawa each pitched well enough to give the Yanks a chance to win, and win they did. It once again took Igawa about 400 pitches to make it through 5 innings, and Matt DeSalvo was yanked after 4.2. But the bullpen did the job with Luis Vizcaino picking up two more wins. Believe it or not, his 8 wins are second overall on the Yanks. It’s hard to believe we were ready to dump him.
More excitingly though are the roster moves the Yanks made. While Edwar Ramirez’s departure was inevitable after Friday’s debacle, the Yanks still couldn’t find room on the team for Chris Britton. Instead, Sean Henn is back. The Yanks now have three lefties in the pen, and I guess this means Torre views Ron Villone as a potential set-up man, Mike Myers as the (largely ineffective) LOOGY and Henn as the mop-up guy.
Meanwhile, the Reign of Wil Nieves came to end today. Nieves, who went 2 for 3 with 2 RBIs, was DFA’d after the Yanks traded Jeff Kennard to the Angels for Jose Molina. Kennard is a 25-year-old career minor leaguer currently pitching at AA. Hopes were originally high for him, but he’s never really panned out.
Molina, meanwhile, is hardly an All Star catcher, but he’s a serviceable back up. He is a career .238/.276/.339 hitter with a reputation as a solid defender. While he’s not going to knock down any doors, he’s a much more viable option off the bench than Wil Nieves was. The Yanks need to rest Jorge a bit more than they have been doing if they expect him to last the season. Molina, one of three brothers catching in the Majors (just in case you didn’t already know that), will fit that role perfectly.
Andy Pettitte goes today. Hopefully, the Yanks will take three of four again from the D-Rays.