Archive for July, 2009
Game 103: Yankees at White Sox • 07.31.09
Pitching: RHP Sergio Mitre (1-0, 5.91).
WHITE SOX (52-51)
Pitching: RHP D.J. Carrasco (3-1, 3.58).
TIME/TV: 8:11, YES.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees are 2-2 on their nine-game road trip and 3-3 in their last six games. They lead Boston by 2.5 games in the American League East after last night’s 3-2 walk-off win by the White Sox.
MORE MITRE: This will be Mitre’a third start since being called up. He has not been especially impressive, allowing 17 hits and seven earned runs over 10.2 innings.
WELCOME BACK: Shelley Duncan joins the club from Triple-A Scranton. He had a .911 OPS there in 90 games, hitting 25 home runs and driving in 75 runs. He also had 14 doubles. He has 57 games of major-league experience with the Yankees, hitting .221 with eight homers in 131 at-bats.
START ME UP: Yankee starters have a 2.61 ERA since the All-Star break.
CABRERA COMES ON: Melky is 5 of 14 on the road trip and 10 of his last 22 overall with four extra-base hits.
RISP REPORT: The Yankees are 8 of 37 (,216) with runners in scoring position on the road trip.
SLOPPY PLAY: The Yankees have committed seven errors in the last seven games.
MISSING IN ACTION: Alfredo Aceves (shoulder) has pitched once since July 21.
SORRY TO SEE IT GO: The Yankees are 18-8 in July.
STREAKING:Nick Swisher has a six-game hit streak, which for him is DiMaggio like. … Johnny Damon has drawn a walk in six straight.
MO-MENTOUS: Mariano Rivera has not allowed a run in his last 16.2 innings. He has converted 25 straight save chances.
Back with more later on.
UPDATE, 5:00 p.m.: Albaladejo optioned … Hairston will not get here today. … Shelley will wear 28.
UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Clayton Richard, Chicago’s scheduled starter, was traded to San Diego in the Peavy deal. Carrasco starts in his place.
UPDATE, 6:42 p.m.: It could be one and done for Shelley. Sounds like the Yankees may keep Ransom and Hairston to expand roster versatility. Girardi talked about being able to use them both. Interesting.
UPDATE, 7:07 p.m.: Jerry Hairston on the trade to the Yankees:
“Whatever they ask me to do, I’ll do it. I can play anywhere. I’m a little shocked right now. I feel a closeness with these guys. At the same time, I’m going to New York where we have a chance to win.”
UPDATE, 7:46 p.m.: Duncan has options and Ransom does not, which could dictate the roster move tomorrow.
UPDATE, 8:01 p.m.: Based on a few conversations in the last 20 minutes, the Mariners wanted Austin Jackson for Jarrod Washburn. The Yankees weren’t going there. Halladay was never an option based on the money left on his contract and the price in prospects. Obviously every team felt the same way as he was never moved.
The Yankees are hopeful — confident, even — that they can get a No. 5 starter via trade in August. That process starts on Monday as players can be put on waivers.
UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: We’re underway at U.S. Cellular Field. Enjoy the game.
UPDATE, 8:51 p.m.: Just a hunch, but Sergio Mitre is not going the distance. Meanwhile, why does every Yankees pitcher slip on the grass here? Brian Bruney slipped last year and blew out his foot. Then Andy Pettitte last night and now Mitre.
3-1 Yankees but the Chisox have the bases loaded and nobody out.
UPDATE, 8:56 p.m.: Melky throws to third, which allowed Podesdnik to tag up from first and get in scoring position. Now a single gives the White Sox the lead. You have to know the score and situation.
UPDATE, 8:57 p.m.: There you go, Thome singles and Chicago leads because Melky wanted to show off his arm instead of making the right play.
UPDATE, 9:02 p.m.: Mitre has allowed 23 hits in 12.2 innings this season.
UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Well, we did it. John Sterling said “Hinke with your best shot” thanks to the contest we had on this blog to find a good home run call. How great is that?
Thanks, Mr. Sterling. And great job by Manger, the reader who came up with it.
Yankees tie it, 5-5.
UPDATE, 10:32 p.m.: Down 6-5 in the bottom of the seventh. Yankees have not been able to get to the White Sox bullpen. They have six outs left to get something going.
UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.: Johnny Damon is never the most elegant player on the field. But you can never question his desire or his hustle. That catch may have saved this game.
UPDATE, 10:53 p.m.: So let’s see, Mitre is the No. 5 starter and Aceves is the reliever who get stretched out to become the No. 5 starter. Not good.
The Yankees need another starter, that’s for certain. The question is who and how at this point. Could it actually get to Kei Igawa?
UPDATE, 11:18 p.m.: Wow, it’s rare when A-Rod makes a base-running mistake. It’s more unusual when he doesn’t hustle. He was guilty of both there. Yankees have played two clunkers in a row.
Back later with reaction from the clubhouse.
Official trade deadline post • 07.31.09
BREAKING NEWS: Via Chad Jennings: Shelley Duncan on his way to Chicago for tonight’s game.
Jarrod Washburn is a Tiger, alas. But here is the official LHYB trade deadline post. Unless the Yankees make a deal, we’ll leave this post up until the game post goes up at 4:30 p.m. or so.
A few particulars:
The actual deadline: 4 p.m. ET today.
Waiver deals: Players who pass through waivers can be traded in August. Many general managers, including Brian Cashman, believe waiver deals will be plentiful as economically mindful teams will be cautious about claiming players simply to block them from a rival.
What the Yankees need: A reliable starter, a backup center fielder and maybe a reliever.
Candidates: Kansas City RHP Brian Bannister, Arizona RHP Jon Garland, San Diego RHP Heath Bell,
Avast, ye hearties: The Pirates are out of players.
Nobody asked me, but …: I think Brian Cashman will come away with a pitcher of some sort before the day is over. His name will not be Roy Halladay, however.
UPDATE, 2:06 p.m.: All quiet in Yankeeland. But the Red Sox are about to get Victor Martinez from Cleveland. Where he plays isn’t certain. But he can play 1B, DH and catch. So they can sit Lowell and Varitek more often. Makes them better offensively but still not better than the Yankees are.
UPDATE, 2:56 p.m.: I didn’t realize until reading some comments that Brian Cashman had an obligation to make a move.
In case you missed it, the Yankees added CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher during the winter. Cashman also didn’t put a player development program into motion with the idea of trading players the first chance he had.
Baseball is changing. Prospects are valuable commodities in the new baseball economy and the Yankees are holding onto the best ones they have.
The Yankees could use another starter. But they have need that all season and they’re still in first place. Plus, deals can and will be made in August. Just calm down.
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Post is reporting the Yankees have traded for Reds utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr.
UPDATE, 4:08 p.m.: They sent Low A ball catcher Chase Weems to the Reds. That appears to be the only deal made by the Yankees.
Scott Rolen to the Reds and Nick Johnson to the Marlins. Toronto had said they would deal Rolen unless they first traded Halladay. Don’t forget, the Manny deal went down late last year.
UPDATE, 4:23 p.m.: The press release from the Yankees:
The New York Yankees today acquired infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston, Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league catcher Chase Weems.
Hairston, 33, batted .254 (78-for-307) with 18 doubles, 1 triple, 8 home runs, 27 RBI and 7 stolen bases in 86 games with the Reds in 2009, appearing at third base (33G), shortstop (31G), second base (9G), left field (9G), right field (5G) and center field (3G). He has hit .271 (71-for-262) with 7 homers in 70 games since May 5 after opening the season with a .156 (7-for-45) average and 1 home run through his first 16 games.
Originally selected by the Baltimore Orioles in the 11th round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft, Hairston is a career .259 hitter with 174 doubles, 47 home runs, 279 RBI and 134 stolen bases in 984 games over parts of 12 seasons with Baltimore (1998-2004), Chicago-NL (2005-06), Texas (2006-07) and Cincinnati (2008-09).
A native of Naperville, Ill., Hairston is a third-generation Major Leaguer with his grandfather Sam playing for the Chicago White Sox (1956), uncle John with the Cubs (1969), and father Jerry with the White Sox and Pirates (1973-89). He and his brother Scott, who is currently an outfielder with the Oakland Athletics, are one of three three-generation families in Baseball history, joining the Boones and the Bells.
Weems, 20, was selected by the Yankees in the sixth round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .260 (45-for-173) with 10 doubles, 1 HR and 14 RBI in 55 games with Single-A Charleston this season. Weems made his professional debut in 2008, combining to bat .220 (18-for-82) with 8 runs, 5 doubles, 1 home run and 10 RBI in 33 games with the GCL Yankees and Charleston.
UPDATE, 4:26 p.m.: Jake Peavy (yes, off the DL) to the White Sox. Apparently he will approve it. Halladay has not been traded.
Yogi Berra will answer your questions • 07.31.09
Now this qualifies as exciting news …
Hall of Famer Yogi Berra has agreed to take questions from readers from The LoHud Yankees Blog and The Journal News.
We’ve had some great people take part in this series — Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Jason Giambi, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes and Brian Cashman — but having Yogi on board is something I’ve been trying to arrange for a while and it’s finally going to happen.
Here is how it will work: You have until Monday at noon to e-mail your question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please, one question per reader. I will then select the 10 best questions and present them to Yogi. The Q&A will be on the blog next week.
Yogi, as you know, is one of the cornerstone players in franchise history. He played with Joe DiMaggio and Mickey Mantle, won 10 World Series. three MVPs and was an All-Star an amazing 15 times. So come up with a good question for him and maybe it will be selected.
Remember, it has to be e-mailed to me by noon on Monday. No questions submitted after that will be considered.
Is Hughes being readied to start again? • 07.31.09
Are the Yankees trying to stretch out Phil Hughes?
July 23: 2.0 innings, 28 pitches
July 24: off
July 25: off
July 26: 1.1 innings, 39 pitches
July 27: off
July 28: off
July 29: off
July 30: 2.0 innings, 35 pitches
Probably not. But he’s certainly throwing more pitches per appearance than the average set-up man would. It’s probably just circumstance, but bears watching. If he throws 45 pitches on Tuesday, something is up.
Regardless, Hughes is at 62.1 innings in the majors after throwing 19.1 at Scranton. He has lot left in the tank.
Today in The Journal News • 07.31.09
Phil Hughes had a rare setback as the Yankees fell to the White Sox in a walk-off.
Johnny Damon doesn’t see Boston’s 2004 title as tainted after David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were outed as PED users.
Sam Borden writes that the only thing ruined was Ortiz’s reputation.
Fans were not stunned by the news. Mike Dougherty has that story. Mike tells me he met two blog readers in the course of working on that story. Mike and Adam, thanks for the help.
Sam also writes that the Mets and Yankees should let the trade deadline pass.
Wrapping it up from Chicago • 07.31.09
How many seemingly innocuous little things can add up to a bitter loss? Let’s count:
• Jim Thome dribbles a ball down the line in the seventh inning and Andy Pettitte slips on wet grass trying to pick it up. He is charged with an error as Thome reaches.
• A.J. Pierzynski grounds to third and Alex Rodriguez lets the ball deflect off his glove. It’s called an error before being charitably being changed to a hit.
• Phil Hughes comes in and gets Carlos Quention to ground into what looks like a sure double play. Except when Robbie Cano tries to turn it with Pierzynski in his face, he has only four fingers on the ball and throws what looks like a wild curveball in the dirt. It skips away from Teixeira, just far enough for a run to score.
• In the ninth, Thome hit a grounder that would have been an out — except that the Yankees were in a defensive shift, so it rolled into center.
• DeWayne Wise, a .185 hitter who into the game as a defensive replacement, wins it with a single up the middle off Phil Coke.
Yikes. It took all that for the Yankees to lose for only the third time in 14 games. Their lead was chopped to 2.5 games. Of course, it didn’t help that they managed only six hits and struck out 14 times against Gavin Floyd and Matt Thronton. Home plate umpire Ted Barrell had a Frank Drebbin strike zone tonight.
No cause for panic, although Sergio Mitre isn’t exactly an ideal stopper tomorrow night. They’ll likely need some offense against Clayton Richard.
But first comes the trade deadline. Stay tuned as we count down the hours until 4 p.m.
Game 102: Yankees at White Sox • 07.30.09
Pitching: LHP Andy Pettitte (8-6, 4.67).
WHITE SOX (51-51)
Pitching: RHP Gavin Floyd (8-6, 4.24).
TIME/TV: 8:11 p.m., YES, MLB Network.
STATE OF THE ‘STRIPES: The Yankees took two of three from Tampa and have won 11 of their last 13. They lead Boston by 3.2 games in the American League East. The Yankees have won 24 of their last 31. They have matched the Dodgers for the best record in baseball.
DARN THOSE SOX: The Men of Oz are in third place in the Central, trailing Detroit by three games. They have lost three straight and six of their last seven. They return home after a brutal 1-6 road trip. The White Sox are 12-13 this month.
ANDY CANDY: Pettitte is 11-9, 4.48 in 22 careeer starts against the White Sox.
IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME: The Yankees have not played Chicago since last Sept. 18. They last played at U.S. Cellular Field April 22-24 of 2008. That’s 15 months ago. They were 5-2 against Chicago last season.
WINNING THE CLOSE ONES: The Yankees are 11-2 in their last 13 games despite outscoring the opposition by only 24 runs.
ALL HAIL MARIANO: The Sandman’s last 17 games: 16.2 innings, 4 hits, 0 runs, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts.
PITCHING POWER: The Yankees have a 3.03 ERA in the 13 games since the All-Star break.
GOOD TIMING: Melky Cabrera is 6 of 15 with five runs scored since Brett Gardner went on the disabled list and he became the everyday center fielder. The Melkman is 9 of 19 overall with seven runs scored and three extra-base hits. The surge has taken him from .274 to .290.
THEY’RE HOT: Jorge Posada has seven RBI, seven extra-base hits and six runs scored in his last 12 games. … Mark Teixeira has an eight-game hitting streak. He is 18 of 52 (.346) since the break with five homers, 11 RBI and seven runs scored. … Nick Swisher is 6 of 18 with three runs scored, three RBI, four extra-base hits and two walks.
OBLIGATORY REMINDER OF HOW GREAT PHIL HUGHES IS: He has allowed two runs in 25.2 innings of relief. His last 16 appearances: 21 innings, 11 hits, 0 runs, 4 walks, 25 strikeouts. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment came yesterday when George Steinbrenner failed to notice how long his hair is.
Back with more later.
UPDATE, 6:58 p.m.: Joe Girardi essentially said they will add a right-handed bat from the minors tomorrow. My money is on Shelley Duncan. … Phil Coke has been dealing with a sinus infection, which explains his recent absence. … It could be a year before Chien-Ming Wang is ready to pitch in the majors again.
A-Rod passed on answering questions about David Ortiz, saying only that the Boston slugger was his friend. … Johnny Damon said he was disappointed to hear the news and maintained his own innocence.
UPDATE, 7:59 p.m.: Bad news, they’re putting the tarp down. Or at least they’re starting to.
UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Yep, tarp is going down. We will not be starting on time.
UPDATE, 8:15 p.m.: Here’s the deal. Rain is expected in the next 10 minutes. That rain will last 30 minutes. Then there will be baseball. So we’re talking 9, 9:15, something like that.
UPDATE, 8:54 p.m.: Tarp is coming up.
UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: 9:15 (ET) first pitch.
UPDATE, 9:15 p.m..: We’re underway in Chicago.
UPDATE, 9:48 p.m.: Melky stays hot with a double. He is 10 of his last 20 with four extra-base hits. Yankees have a chance to score the first run.
UPDATE, 10:26 p.m.: Maybe it’s because I’m sleep, but this has been a snoozer of a game. 1-0 White Sox in the fifth and there have been four hits in the game. Floyd has set down nine Yankees in a row since Melky’s double.
UPDATE, 10:40 p.m.: Yankees tie it as Molina doubles and scores on a Damon single. But Johnny was stranded when Tex and A-Rod whiffed. They are 0 for 6 with four strikeouts against Floyd.
UPDATE, 10:52 p.m.: Swisher is swinging from his heels trying to smack out out against his old team.
Pettitte had a 6.83 ERA at this park in his previous 11 starts here, by the way. He has been brilliant so far tonight: 6 4 1 1 0 7.
UPDATE, 11:02 p.m.: Good call by Girardi pulling Pettitte. Last time he went with him too long.
The scorer, clearly under pressure from the White Sox, changed that A-Rod error to a hit. What a joke. Not that it matters, but that’s a routine play.
Tough spot here for Hughes. He needs a strikeout.
UPDATE, 11:06 p.m.: Brutal. Hughes keeps throwing strikes and gets a DP grounder and Cano throws it away. 2-1 White Sox. Awful inning for the Yankees.
UPDATE, 11:12 p.m.: That would be a heck of a way to lose, on what amounts to three errors.
UPDATE, 11:34 p.m.: Swishalicious! He is loving that, given that he hates Ozzie Guillen. Brand new game 2-2 in the ninth. Coke warming up.
No move today, Shelley tomorrow? • 07.30.09
Another day, another short bench it seems.
All of the usual suspects played for Triple-A Scranton in the first game of their doubleheader today against Durham. However, Chad Jennings reports that Shelley Duncan is not playing in Game 2. Might this mean he will join the team in Chicago tomorrow?
I also feel it’s my duty to report that according to a White Sox press release, the Doobie Brothers will be performing the National Anthem on Sunday in Chicago. Seriously.
I just hope the guy with the really long hair is still with them. Loved that guy.
UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Turns out (thanks, Gayle) that guy is named Pat Simmons and he is still with them! Excellent news. Found this photo, too.
I implore the White Sox to let the Doobies do China Grove at some point. Now that would be great.
Breaking down a few numbers • 07.30.09
Couple of interesting stats I took notice of:
• The starters since the All-Star break: 8-2 with a 2.73 ERA. That’s over 13 games and Jorge Posada started 11 of them. Reports of Jorge’s demise were greatly exaggerated, it seems.
• Brian Bruney had a 3.00 ERA before his unprovoked attack on Francisco Rodriguez. He has a 9.00 ERA since. Next time just keep it to yourself, Brian.
• The Yankees have won 10 of their last 14 road games.
• The Yankees are 49-24 since A-Rod came off the disabled list. They were two games under .500 without him and 25 games over with him. The funny part is he probably won’t get one MVP vote. But the record tells you how valuable he is to that lineup.
• Had the Yankees merely split those eight games with the Red Sox, they’d be 11.5 games up.
• The Yankees arrive in Chicago with a 19-5 record against AL Central teams.
Back later with the lineups. Remember, the game is an hour later tonight.
More trouble for the Red Sox • 07.30.09
It’s a tough day for the sanctimonious in Boston. According to the New York Times, David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez were on the infamous list of 103 players who tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs in 2003. They were pillars of the 2004 and 2007 championship team.
Only a fool would be surprised. Ortiz went from non-tendered in Minnesota to superstar in Boston. Then his power somehow vanished.
Ramirez, meanwhile, is obviously a serial cheater. How dumb is he? He tested positive in 2003 and then got caught again in 2008.
The players have to be furious with the MLB Players Association that this “anonymous survey test” has come back to cause so much trouble. Why were the names recorded? Why were the results never destroyed? Why do anonymous lawyers have the ability to leak the information? Dozens of players are terrified they will be next.
Yankee fans should not be smug about this. Virtually every organization is tainted. But at least this latest report balances out the comical slant of the Mitchell Report.
The immediate question is to what degree this news will affect the Red Sox. Boston has lost eight of its last 11 and Ortiz is already struggling, hitting .224 with only 13 home runs. Might Boston deal for a bat to try and change its fortunes?