(Check the updates for comments from a MLB umpire on Pat Venditte)
Notes: A-Rod has hit in seven straight (12 of 25, nine RBI, four home runs, 10 runs scored). … Johnny Damon has hit in five straight (11 of 24, five runs). … Derek Jeter has hit in eight straight (10 of 32, six runs, five RBI). Jeter has reached base safely in 34 straight interleague games. … The Yankees have won seven straight and 10 of 12. … Giambi is 0 for his last 9 with five strikeouts. … Yankee pitchers have struck out 40 in the last three games. … The Yankees have won 12 of 15 at home. … Bobby Abreu is 2 of his last 25. … Jose Veras has thrown nine consecutive scoreless innings. … Jose Molina has 13 doubles. That’s more than Giambi (11), Jeter (10) and Melky Cabrera (9).
UPDATE, 4:27 p.m.: Ian Kennedy has a rehab game scheduled for Monday. He’ll throw 50 pitches for the GCL team.
Also heard from Phil Hughes. He will start playing catch on Wednesday. He has started lifting weights. So good news for IPK and the Franchise.
UPDATE, 6:04 p.m.: Talked to Brian Bruney. He threw a 30-pitch bullpen today and did some running in the outfield for the first time since he was injured. So that’s two bullpens for Bruney. “It’s going to take some time but I’m getting there,” he said.
UPDATE, 6:05 p.m.: As promised, I went to speak to the umpires today about Pat Venditte. Crew chief Charlie Reliford invited me into their locker room. Get this: There is no major-league rule regarding a pitcher like Venditte.
“The only rule is what when a pitcher is on the rubber, a batter cannot change boxes,” Reliford said. “But there is no penalty for switching, you just tell him he can’t do it.”
The MLB Rules Committee (which meets infequently) will have to address the situation and decide what Venditte can and can’t do. Reliford believes that ultimately Venditte would have to stick with one arm once an at-bat starts. But what if the batter switches sides during the at-bat. “Good question,” he said. “That’s something that will have to be decided.”
Reliford said that each minor league uses the Major League rules but can modify them as needed. “That’s what the kid’s league will have to do now,” he said. “It’s a very interesting thing.”
The umpires get a bad rap sometimes but Reliford was very gracious with his time.
UPDATE, 7:15 p.m.: A little cloudy but a nice night in the Boogie Down for the Yankees and Reds. A comfortable 75 degrees at the grand old ballpark.
Fascinating matchup (to me, at least) between old-timey Mike Mussina and young gun Edinson Volquez. I have a couple of stories to write but I’ll check in with updates as time permits.
UPDATE, 7:23 p.m.: Can somebody explain this to me? An opposing player hits a home run (Joey Votto in this case). The person who catches it is pressured into throwing the ball back on the field. So the outfielder throws the ball in and the ball boy sitting on the first base line has a dozen people begging for it. He flips it to one of them.
So it’s not cool for the person who catches the ball to keep it. But some dope sitting behind first base can keep it? How does that work?
UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: It’s one thing to be aggressive. But the Yankees have so far run into outs with Bobby Abreu and Derek Jeter at the plate? Why let Volquez off the hook by giving him outs? Make him work and get into Cincy’s middle relief.
Meanwhile. Brian Runge has an interesting strike zone.
UPDATE, 8:06 p.m.: It would be interesting to look back at Cano’s errors. I bet 75 percent of them have come on “easy” plays that he makes casually.
UPDATE, 8:33 p.m.: Those intentional walks don’t ever seem to work out well for Joe Girardi, do they? I understand Jay Bruce is damn good. But Jolbert Cabrera was 2 for 2 off Moose.
Meanwhile, good hustle by Bruce to score from first and a heck of a slide by Cabrera around the glove of Molina.
UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: That no defense playing Derek Jeter just saved a run by going to his left, making a diving stop and flipping to Cano for a force.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: If you were managing another team and there was a grounder to first base, wouldn’t you have whoever was on base keep running? The Big G just can’t make a throw.
UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: Big spot for The Big G here. He is hitless in his last 11 at-bats with six strikeouts. This would be a good time to snap out of it.