The LoHud Yankees Blog

A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News

Game 139: Rays at Yankees

Posted by: Peter Abraham - Posted in Misc on Sep 07, 2009 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

YANKEES (88-50)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Matsui DH
Swisher RF
Cano 2B
Cabrera CF
Hairston 3B
Molina C

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (10-8, 4.29).

RAYS (72-65)
Iwamura 2B
Gross RF
Longoria 3B
Burrell DH
Aybar 1B
Zaun C
Upton CF
Brignac SS
Perez LF

Pitching: RHP Andy Sonnanstine (6-8, 6.62).

TIME/TV: 7:05, YES/MLB Network.

STATE OF THE STRIPES: The Game 1 win was accompanied by the Red Sox and Angels losing. So the Yankees again lead the division by 8.5 games and the American League by six.

MINOR-LEAGUE MOVES: Via Chad Jennings and Mike Ashmore, here is what we know:

Scranton’s playoff rotation:

Game 1: Romulo Sanchez
Game 2: Ivan Nova
Game 3: Kei Igawa
Game 4: Zach McAllister
Game 5: Anthony Claggett

Big step-up for McAllister, who has yet to pitch above Double-A. Great test for him at the end of the season.

Also: Eric Duncan has been activated off the disabled list. RHP Grant Duff, RHP Jose Valdez and C P.J. Pilittere were called up from Trenton. Trenton also demoted RHP Adam Olbrychowski and RHP Phil Bartleski to Tampa for the Florida State League playoffs.

BURNETT’S BURNOUT: A.J. Burnett is 0-4 with a 6.54 ERA in his last seven starts, allowing 49 hits (seven of them home runs) and 19 walks over 42.2 innings. He has not won a game since July 27.

BULLPEN UPDATE: Via Jake Thomases, who is covering the games at the Stadium, Girardi said he will speak to Mo and Hughes between games, but his inclination is to stay away from both when he goes to the pen in Game 2. When asked, Rivera, who had’t yet spoken to the manager, said he could go again.

MORE NOTES: These via the Yankees:

• The Yankees have won 10 of their last 13, 26 of their last 34, 37 of their last 50 and 50 of their last 68.

• They are 38 games over .500, matching the high point of the season.

• The Yankees have won five of their last six games against the Rays and improved to 7-5 vs. Tampa Bay in 2009. They are 21-12 vs. the Rays in the Bronx since the start of the 2006 season.

• The Yankees are 36-22 (.621) against AL East opposition this season and have won 24 of their last 30 against division foes.

• Yankees relievers are 12-0 with 10 saves (in 11 chances) and a 3.34 ERA since Aug. 5. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 12-game winning streak by the Yankees bullpen sets a new franchise record (surpassing 11 game streaks by the 1940, 1961, 1999 and 2000 clubs).

UPDATE, 6:27 p.m.: Just heard from Chad Jennings in Scranton. Austin Jackson was 2 for 2, which raised his batting average to .300. Dave Miley then took him out of the game.

It’s a little thing, but congrats to A-Jax on his great season. Over 132 games, he had 67 runs scored, 23 doubles, nine triples and four home runs. He drove in 65 runs and stole 24 bases in 28 attempts. He walked 40 times and struck out 123 times.

Keep in mind that Austin is only 22 and reached AAA for the first time this season. I would think the Yankees start him there again next season with the idea of seeing if his power and plate discipline improve. He has worked hard these last two years and really made a big leap. But given his talent, he can get even better.

I’m certainly no scout. But I’ve seen Austin play for a few years now and he has come a long, long way. He’s also getting stronger. He can be a 15-homer guy in the majors.

UPDATE, 7:04 p.m.: Game 2 is about to start. Enjoy the game, everybody.

UPDATE, 8:14 p.m.: I’m listening to the game at home while doing expenses from the road trip. Suzyn Waldman just made an excellent point. The Yankees are pounding Sonnanstine the second time through the order. Now its incumbent on A.J. Burnett to hold this lead.

This could prove to be a really big day for the Yankees in terms of the respective races.

UPDATE, 8:16 p.m.: A healthy lead also would enable Joe Giardi to stay clear of Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera tonight and leave them fresh for tomorrow night.

UPDATE, 8:28 p.m.: The Panda drives in another run. The Yankees are rolling and Joe Maddon’s hair might turn gray again before this day is over.

Very professional effort by the Yankees today. Brutal game in Toronto yesterday then a doubleheader today isn’t an easy assignment and they have handled it well.

Meanwhile, Lou Gehrig is safe until tomorrow.

UPDATE, 9:01 p.m.: Given that he has played every inning of the twinbill thus far, wouldn’t it be a good time to take Jeter out of the game? The Yankees are going to win and they have Ramiro Pena on the bench. Might as well at this point, the record isn’t falling today.

UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Yankees have 17 hits today and none of them by Derek Jeter. What are the odds of that?

UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Derek stays in the game, draws and a walk and is run for. He finished 0 for 8 today. Now the tickets for tomorrow and Wednesday will be the ones people want.

UPDATE, 9:39 p.m.: How about an at-bat for Shelley Duncan and an inning for Mike Dunn? Seems like a good game for it.

UPDATE, 10:24 p.m.: Poor Mike Dunn struggling to throw strikes in an 11-1 game.

UPDATE, 10:28 p.m.: That’s a sweep as CC and A.J. get the job done.




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