The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for April, 2010

Game on04.30.10

Kind of an unlucky start for Andy Pettitte. Bloop single, bloop single, pop fly homer to right for Paul Konerko. That, by the way, was No. 11 for Konerko. That leads the majors and it set a White Sox franchise record for April.

Update, 8:12: It looked like the word “unlucky” could replaced with the words “not sharp” through Pettitte’s first two innings, after allowing four runs and six hits. Maybe he was due for a shaky start. But he has settled down nicely to retire seven straight and is trailing 4-2 after 3 1/2 innings.

Update, 8:20: It’s strange to see the Yankees being contained by Freddy Garcia, who brought an 0-2 record and a 5.82 ERA to Yankee Stadium. But Garcia has mowed down 10 straight since the Yankees reached him for two runs and three hits in the first.

Update, 8:42: The Captain ties the game. That was a nice shot to the left-field seats. Garcia hung a curve. That’s Jeter’s fourth homer. And now it’s 4-4 in the fifth.

Update, 9:02: That’s it for Pettitte, six innings, four runs, seven hits. Overall, a decent job, especially considering how it started. Now it’s Alfredo Aceves’ turn at 4-4.

Update, 9:27: Jeter is finishing off a nice first month for himself, now with a two-run triple off Matt Thornton for the lead. Jeter has four homers and 18 RBI.

Update, 9:31: A Jorge Posada sighting. He just fanned as a pinch hitter for DH Nick Johnson, who had yet another quiet night at 0 for 2 with a walk.

Update, 10:06: Yankees win 6-4. Mariano Rivera finishes it off.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 731 Comments →

Yankees pregame; White Sox lineup change04.30.10

Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium for Chad, just up from some of our pregame access. Jorge Posada said he could have gone tonight, but Francisco Cervelli will start behind the plate instead. Posada’s knee still was clearly swollen. Joe Girardi said he thinks Posada will be able to start tomorrow or Sunday, and that he might be available off the bench tonight. “He is better,” Girardi said.

Girardi also addressed tomorrow’s start for the struggling Javy Vazquez and the potential for fan dissatisfaction if things go south again. “He’s a aware of what could happen tomorrow,” Girardi said. The manager also said that it’s “possible he’s trying too hard.” But Girardi isn’t thinking about alternatives yet in case Vazquez continues down this path.

Girardi said Nick Johnson, who’s back in the lineup, may be taking too many pitches at times, that Mark Teixeira may be starting to come around and that A-Rod has basically been hitting in hard luck.

Here’s the White Sox lineup:

1. Alexei Ramirez SS

2. Gordon Beckham 2B

3. Andruw Jones RF

4. Paul Konerko 1B

5. Alex Rios CF

6. Carlos Quentin DH

7. Mark Teahen 3B

8. Donny Lucy C

9. Juan Pierre LF

RHP Freddy Garcia

Update, 6:28: New lineup for the White Sox. Jones has been scratched with back spasms.

1. Ramirez

2. Beckham

3. Rios

4. Konerko

5. Quentin

6. Teahen

7. Jayson Nix

8. Lucy

9. Pierre

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 241 Comments →

Tonight’s lineup vs. Chicago04.30.10

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Johnson DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner LF

LHP Andy Pettitte

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Lineupwith 55 Comments →

Yankees finally back home04.30.10

Yankees Orioles Baseball

After a train ride from Baltimore — where there were Yankees writers scattered throughout the Amtrak station — I’ve made it back to New York in time to finish a story for Sunday’s paper, pick up some mail at the post office and buy some groceries.  

I’m taking a few days off this home stand, so Brian Heyman will have the lineup and notes from Yankee Stadium. Until then, how’s this for the Robinson Cano leader board?

Cano leads the American League in hits, runs, batting average and slugging percentage. He’s third in home runs, fourth in on-base percentage and fourth in extra-base hits.

“He’s in one of those zones right now,” Derek Jeter said. “Every player wants to be in it, but they come few and far between. It seems like everything he’s doing right now is perfect, and he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him.”

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 175 Comments →

Pitching matchups vs. White Sox04.30.10

Yankees Angels Baseball

Friday
LHP Andy Pettitte (3-0, 1.29)
vs.
RHP Freddy Garcia (0-2, 5.82)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

Saturday
RHP Javier Vazquez (1-3, 9.00)
vs.
LHP John Danks (3-0, 1.55)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

Sunday
RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.00)
vs.
LHP Mark Buehrle (2-3, 4.68)
1:05 p.m., YES Network

In case you don’t know, that’s an Associated Press shot of Pettitte, who’s been outstanding this season.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 187 Comments →

Today in The Journal News04.30.10

Robinson Cano dazzled with both his glove and his bat on Thursday night, helping the Yankees to a 4-0 win that sent the team home on a two-game winning streak. Cano’s night partially overshadowed A.J. Burnett’s, which lasted eight shutout innings.

The game story also has an update on Jorge Posada as well as notes on Marcus Thames, Nick Johnson and Jeremy Guthrie’s tendency to plunk Yankees.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Today in the Journal Newswith 207 Comments →

Pinstripe Bowl gets four-year license04.30.10

Been meaning to put this on the blog for a few days now…

The NCAA’s Football Issues Committee has granted a four-year license to the New Era Pinstripe Bowl, the college football bowl game that will be held at Yankee Stadium. It’s the first the committee has licensed a bowl for a four-year cycle rather than the traditional year-by-year.

“We could not be more excited about bringing this premier college football bowl game to Yankee Stadium and the Bronx,” Yankees President Randy Levine said in a press release. “Yankee Stadium was built to be a premier destination not only for baseball but for other exceptional and memorable events. The pageantry and tradition of college football belongs in Yankee Stadium and New York City.”

The first Pinstripe Bowl is scheduled for December 30 and will be nationally televised by ESPN. Here’s the rest of the press release from the team.

The game will pit the Big East team with the third-best conference record against the Big 12 team with the sixth-best conference mark after the conferences’ respective BCS teams have been excluded from consideration. The conferences have entered a four-year agreement extending through 2013 to participate in the New Era Pinstripe Bowl.

In future years beyond 2010, games will take place no earlier than Christmas Day and no later than New Year’s Day.

Fans can access up-to-the-moment information at the game’s official Web site: www.newerapinstripebowl.com.

The Yankees will have an announcement regarding New Era Pinstripe Bowl ticket availability at a later date.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 50 Comments →

Postgame notes: As good as you can play04.29.10

Yankees Orioles Baseball

A.J. Burnett threw eight shutout innings, Robinson Cano hit two home runs and Marcus Thames continued his dominance against left-handed pitchers. But all anyone seemed to talk about after the game was Cano’s play in the third inning.

“I don’t know if I’ve ever seen anyone make the play better than he does up the middle,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s one thing to get to it. It’s another thing to throw a strike all the time, which he does.”

Nolan Reimold grounded sharply up the middle to start the third inning, and Burnett said he was made at himself because there was “no chance” to get an out on the play. Cano, though, went to his right, threw against his momentum and got Reimold by a step. Burnett stood in disbelief with his hands on top of his head.

“When he threw it I was like, I should be backing up first,” Burnett said. “But when you’re that good, I guess I don’t have to.”

Burnett said he could remember one play as good — Luis Castillo made a great play during Burnett’s no hitter with Florida — but Cano has been playing Gold Glove quality defense to go with his outrageous hitting.

“He’s the best defensive second baseman in baseball,” Mark Teixeira said. “And I’ll take anyone’s challenge on that one.”

Here’s Cano’s postgame.

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Yankees Orioles Baseball

Cano’s game was absurd with the big play in the third inning and the two home runs in the fourth and eighth, but Burnett was awfully good as well.

He’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of his past four starts and tonight was probably his best of the year with three hits, one walk and no runs.

“I’m learning more and more how to throw the ball to both sides of the plate with movement,” Burnett said. “…I felt unbelievable. I don’t feel like I threw a pitch tonight. I wish I could feel that good all the time.”

Being able to pitch with movement to both sides of the plate has been key because Burnett’s still not happy with his curveball. He believes it will come, but it’s not there yet. He estimated that he threw five changeups tonight, but he seemed especially high on his two-seam fastball.

Here’s Burnett’s postgame.

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Yankees Orioles Baseball

• What else can be said about Cano’s offensive production? This road trip he went 17-for-34 (and even .500) with four home runs in nine games. He’s batting .407. “He’s playing as good as you can play,” Girardi said.

• Funny story from Marcus Thames. After Cano’s first home run, Thames went to the plate and Orioles catcher Matt Wieters joked that they needed to check Cano’s bat because it sounded so loud. “All I could do was laugh,” Thames said. “I was like, it’s been sounding like that for a while now.”

• Speaking of Thames, after that brutal spring training, he’s been outstanding this season. He went 3-for-3 tonight and has a .588 batting average, with all but one at-bat coming against lefties. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to do at the plate,” Girardi said.

• Girardi said there was nothing new on Posada. “I don’t expect him to be able to play tomorrow, but maybe on Saturday,” Girardi said. “We’ll have to see.”

• Alex Rodriguez is now hitless in his past 19 at-bats.

• Derek Jeter’s two-hit night moved him into a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. for the most hits by an active player. Griffey’s Mariners were off on Thursday.

• Jeter on Cano: “He’s in one of those zones right now. Every player wants to be in it, but they come few and far between. It seems like everything he’s doing right now is perfect and he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him.”

• Jeter on the end of this 10-day road trip: “We’ve been playing pretty well for the most part. It feels like we really haven’t been home. I think everyone is anxious to get back home. I’m comfortable with how we’re playing.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 132 Comments →

Cano and Burnett send the Yankees home winners04.29.10

Robinson Cano homered twice and A.J. Burnett pitched eight shutout innings to give the Yankees a 4-0 win in the final game of this 10-day road trip. The Yankees were scuffling when they came into Baltimore, but they have now won two in a row and will head back to Yankee Stadium with a 14-7 record that was built mostly on the road. They’ll also return home with arguably the top hitter in baseball. Cano leads the Majors with a .407 average and he leads the team with eight home runs.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

Associated Press photo.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 90 Comments →

Game 21: Yankees at Orioles04.29.10

YANKEES (13-7)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner LF

RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20)
Career vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (4-17)
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS

LHP Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./YES Network

UMPIRES: HP John Hirschbeck, 1B James Hoye, 2B Wally Bell, 3B Laz Diaz

WEATHER: So far this is the nicest night of the three-game series. There’s almost no wind and it actually feels really nice here in Baltimore. I’m sure it will be cold by the fifth inning, but right now it’s terrific.

GREAT SCOTT: The Orioles hitter with the best career numbers against A.J. Burnett? That would be Luke Scott, who has a .400 average, two doubles and two home runs in 15 a-bats. Adam Jones has eight strikeouts in 22 at-bats against the Yankees starter.

SECOND CHANCE: Orioles starter Brian Matusz faced the Yankees in one start last September. Matusz went seven strong innings for the win. The Yankees lineup that day: SS Derek Jeter, LF Jerry Hairston, 1B Mark Teixeira, 3B Alex Rodriguez, RF Nick Swisher, 2B Robinson Cano, DH Shelley Duncan, CF Melky Cabrera, C Jose Molina. Burnett also started that game, with Josh Towers pitching two innings of relief.

ON THE RUN: The Yankees are tied for sixth in the Majors with 19 stolen bases. The last time they had this many in March/April was 2001 when they finished April with 31 steals. Brett Gardner has nine stolen bases, tied with Juan Pierre and Michael Bourn for second in the majors behind Andrew McCutchen, who has 10.

UPDATE, 7:29 p.m.: After two hits and a sac fly gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, Brett Gardner just made a nice catch — not quite a graceful catch, but a falling catch — here in the bottom of the first.

UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: Wow. Wow. Wow. That should have been a single 10 different ways, but Robinson Cano got to the ball behind second base and made a terrific throw to Nolan Reimold to start the third. A.J. Burnett stood in the infield with both hands on his head. Just a terrific play. As the play developed I literally said the word “wow” outloud three times: When he got to the ball, when he made the throw and when Reimold was out.

UPDATE, 8:11 p.m.: Seriously. I can’t imagine there’s a better hitter in baseball right now than Robinson Cano. He just crushed a ball to center field and the Yankees are up 2-0.

UPDATE, 8:18 p.m.: Gardner hasn’t swung and missed on a pitch very often this season, and he wasn’t happy about doing it with two outs and two on here in the fourth. That ended the inning with the Yankees still up 2-0.

UPDATE, 8:49 p.m.: Cano with another double, and Thames follows with another big hit off a lefty. It’s now 3-0 Yankees with no outs in the sixth inning.

UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: That was ball four, so it doesn’t count, but Francisco Cervelli just threw out Cesar Izturis by about five feet.

UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: No brainer to send A.J. Burnett back out for the seventh. He’s well below 100 pitches seems to be having his way with the Orioles.

UPDATE, 9:27 p.m.: There really hasn’t been a lot to say about this game. Burnett is cruising, Cano and Thames are crushing the ball and the Yankees are still in front, 3-0. If things continue like this, it will be a perfect way to wrap up a long road trip.

UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: Seriously. At this point, Cano is just showing off. His second home run of the game has made it a 4-0 Yankees lead in the eighth.

UPDATE, 9:58 p.m.: After eight brilliant innings from Burnett, Mariano Rivera is in to close out the game in a non-save situation.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 384 Comments →

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