The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for April, 2010

Pregame notes: Sticking with the lineup04.28.10

Yankees Athletics Baseball

Nick Johnson is hitting .135, Mark Teixeira is hitting .129 and Curtis Granderson hasn’t had a hit in a week, but the Yankees lineup tonight is the exact same as it was on Opening Day.

“The concern is short-term, not long-term,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Girardi said he was happy with Teixeira’s at-bats yesterday — “A couple of walks, he hit two bullets,” Girardi said — and the Yankees remain encouraged by Johnson’s on-base percentage. Girardi said there was some discussion of batting Brett Gardner second tonight, but ultimately they kept Johnson in the spot they expected him to hit when they signed him.

“Nick, like Tex, is a proven hitter,” Girardi said. “And I think it’s important that you stick with your guys because you know that they’re going to come around. You try to go with a set lineup. Maybe if you put Gardy up there, it changes Gardy’s game a little bit because of who’s hitting behind him.”

As for Granderson, he’s stuck in an 0-for-17 slide that is the second longest hitless streak of his career. Granderson compared it to a basketball player who can’t miss a 3-pointer one game and can’t hit one the next, or a golfer who drives one ball straight and hooks the next one.

“Nothing is changing,” Granderson said. “You’re using the same bats. You’re going against some of the same guys you’re facing. Night games and night games, day games and day games. The situations are the same. Whatever reason, sometimes you’ve got the feel, sometimes you lose it a little bit.”

Yankees Orioles Baseball

• Girardi said he does not want to catch Jorge Posada four days in a row, and so Francisco Cervelli will catch either tomorrow or Friday.

• Chan Ho Park had another MRI that revealed the same thing as before. “It’s basically still he low, low grade strain but he’s not progressing he way we thought he would,” Girardi said. “Just keep rehabbing him.”

• Girardi said Alfredo Aceves is the only reliever he wouldn’t want to use tonight.

• Randy Winn said his back foot simply slipped on that throw to the plate last night. He’d never had that happen before on a dry field.

• Winn, Johnson, Granderson, Marcus Thames and Boone Logan took the World Series trophy to Bethesda Naval Hospital this morning. Winn said everyone he talked to just wanted to get back with his or her fellow soldiers. “They never waver,” Winn said. “They’re itching to get back. That’s one of the reasons we have to go, to say thank you.”

• Get this, Derek Jeter said he’d never heard of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx until Sweeny Murti, Mark Feinsand and I talked to him about this afternoon. “That thing comes out every week,” Jeter said. “That’s a lot of jinxes.” Of course, Jeter then realized that he and Jorge Posada each made errors last night, the week that they’re on the cover. “So me and Sado were jinxed?” he said.

UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Orioles lineup
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 2B
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Matt Wieters C
Garrett Atkins 1B
Nolan Reimold DH
Lou Montanez LF
Cesar Izturis SS

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 41 Comments →

Opening Day lineup in Baltimore04.28.10

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

LHP CC Sabathia

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 419 Comments →

HOPE Week returning to Yankee Stadium04.28.10

Here’s the press release from the Yankees.

The New York Yankees today officially announced the return of HOPE Week during the upcoming 2010 season. As mentioned by President Barack Obama during the team’s White House visit on Monday, the Yankees’ community outreach event will take place from August 16-20 during the Yankees’ seven-game homestand. HOPE Week will again see Yankees players, coaches and front office staff reach out each day during the week to an individual, family or organization worthy of recognition and support.

Introduced in 2009, HOPE Week brought to light five remarkable stories to provide hope and encouragement to the recipient of the gesture and inspire individuals into action in their own communities.

For the Yankees, HOPE Week is unique in that every player on the roster, along with Manager Joe Girardi and his coaching staff, participates in the stories. Outreach will often take place away from the Stadium so the Yankees can personally connect with individuals in the settings of their greatest personal accomplishments.

“HOPE Week was such an important week for our entire team during our championship run in 2009,” said Yankees Manager Joe Girardi. “It’s great that the Yankees organization will once again allow us to reach out and reward five more inspiring stories during the 2010 season. It should be another special week.”

Fans who know individuals or groups in the Tri-state area dedicated to improving the lives of others can nominate them for recognition during 2010 HOPE Week by visiting https://secure.mlb.com/nyy/community/hope_week_form.jsp. For more information about HOPE Week, fans can visit the Community tab at www.yankees.com. The deadline to submit a nomination is May 10, 2010.

Last year’s HOPE Week introduced fans to community heroes Marco and Jen Chiappetta and their Patchwork of Young Leaders Society, as Yankees players and Joe Girardi joined them in their home and took part in their mentoring program. The Yankees also encountered Tom Ellenson, as well as Ranjit Seal and Melvin Williams, who have each overcome disabilities and serve as inspirational members of society. In addition, the organization held an anniversary celebration for ALS-stricken George Murray, his wife Kim and their four-year-old son Trason, along with their family and friends at Yankee Stadium with Yankees players. The club also hosted an overnight carnival for Camp Sundown participants, who suffer from a rare genetic disorder which does not allow them exposure to UV light.

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Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 250 Comments →

A meal between friends04.28.10

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While the Yankees were in California, Tom Verducci of Sports Illustrated got Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada together for lunch. Turns out, it was the first time those four had eaten together when they weren’t part of a larger group.

The result was this week’s Sports Illustrated cover story, a recorded conversation between the four longtime teammates.

The link above is for an online bonus section not in the magazine, but SI did pass along some excerpts from the magazine piece, including this one.

Jeter: What it comes down to is that I never have to worry about these guys being ready to play.

Pettitte: It’s all about trust.

Jeter: I mean, it never crosses my mind. I don’t have to worry about them. I know they know how to win. I know that’s the only thing they care about. They don’t care about their personal stats.

Rivera: No egos. No jealousy.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 435 Comments →

Best big contract in baseball04.28.10

Obama Yankees Baseball

Who signed the best big-money contract in baseball?

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times writes that it just might be Derek Jeter. From the article:

“I don’t try to sit around and rate what I’ve done,” Jeter said before Saturday’s game at Angel Stadium. “I just try to be as consistent as possible.”

And so he was. Jeter got two hits. The New York Yankees won.

That is what he does. That is what the Yankees do.

The L.A. Times makes the case that it’s either Jeter or Manny Ramirez who has signed the best big-money contract in baseball, but the article seems to tend toward Jeter’s consistency being the deciding factor. Tip of the hat to MLB Trade Rumors for pointing out the link.

• If you’re in the mood for some former-Yankees news, Jeff Karstens has been called up to Pittsburgh to try to solve the Pirates rotation woes. He pitched pretty well in his season debut. The Pirates have already sent former Yankees minor leaguer Dan McCutchen back to Triple-A and put Ross Ohlendorf on the disabled list.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 468 Comments →

Pitching matchups for (the rest of) this series04.28.10

Just realized I forgot to put these up before the start of the series. Sorry about that. Flying across the country and going to the White House kind of knocked me off track. Here are the next two matchups, anyway.

Tonight
LHP CC Sabathia (2-1, 3.00) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (0-2, 3.46)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

Thursday
RHP A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20) vs. LHP Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38)
7:05 p.m., YES Network

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 27 Comments →

Postgame notes: Yankees slide continues04.28.10

Yankees Orioles Baseball

Not a good night for the Yankees here in Baltimore. Dave Robertson had allowed a run in only one other outing this season — the grand slam in the home opener — but tonight he couldn’t put hitters away, and the Yankees couldn’t beat the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

It was the Orioles fourth win of the season, and the Yankees fourth loss in the past five games.

“Usually, when we’re playing teams it really doesn’t make a difference what they’re record is,” Derek Jeter said. “They usually get up for us. Whether it’s the beginning of the season or late in the season. We play teams that are out of it and they do the same thing.”

Tonight, it was Robertson who took the loss, and he earned it. He hit Ty Wigginton with an 0-2 pitch, and that runner became the go-ahead run. He hit a batter and allowed three singles before getting an out. “I got ahead OK,” Robertson said. “When I had an opportunity to get someone out, I just didn’t make the pitch. When you don’t make pitches, guys will hit it.”

Here’s the frustrated Robertson talking about his rough night at Camden Yards.

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Yankees Orioles Baseball

• In almost every way, Phil Hughes was brutal tonight, but he got through 5.2 innings with only one run on two hits. He said he simply could not locate his fastball. “I felt great in the bullpen so I knew I probably wouldn’t be as on as I was the other day,” Hughes said. “In Oakland I was horrible in the bullpen and felt like I couldn’t miss a spot (in the game).” Joe Girardi called the outing impressive because of the way Hughes battled through without his best stuff.

• Girardi on why he didn’t leave Hughes in to face Luke Scott in the sixth: “He had worked so hard and was at 110 (actually 109) pitches,” Girardi said. “We just felt that was enough.” I know Girardi’s going to be ripped for the decision, but at the time, I thought it was the right one. Boone Logan had been pretty solid and Scott splits against lefties have been brutal.

• Hughes did not throw a single changeup. Jorge Posada called for it once and Hughes shook it off. On a night like this, when he couldn’t locate any of his pitches, Hughes said he didn’t want to use the pitch he commands the least.

• Jeter on his ninth-inning error: “I stayed down and it popped up and hit me in my bicep.” That error and Jorge Posada’s throwing error led to that all-important insurance run.

• Girardi said he plans to play Nick Johnson tomorrow as long as he feels OK. Johnson pinch hit and drew a walk in the ninth.

• Didn’t see Randy Winn after the game, so I couldn’t ask him what happened on that throw in the sixth inning. “I’m not sure what happened there,” Girardi said. “I didn’t have a chance to ask him.”

• Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher each had three hits. It was Cano’s ninth multi-hit game.

Both Associated Press photos. The top is of Cano after his fly out to end the third inning.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 269 Comments →

Game 19: Yankees at Orioles04.27.10

YANKEES (12-6)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher DH
Randy Winn RF

RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.19)
Career vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (3-16)
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

RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./MY9

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

WEATHER: Light breeze that’s enough to make it feel much colder than 57 degrees. Temperatures are supposed to stay in the 50s through the game, with a very slight chance of rain (20 percent).

WINN’S IN: Randy Winn is a career .611 hitter with two home runs in 18 career at-bats against Orioles starter Kevin Millwood. He’s still looking for his first hit of the season, though he’s had only 10 at-bats. It took Mark Teixeira 18 at-bats to get his first hit, and that came more than two weeks ago.

MILESTONE WATCH: Derek Jeter needs one double to tie Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees all-time list… Jorge Posada needs three home runs to reach 250 for his career… Mariano Rivera needs two strikeouts to tie Roger Clemens for 10th place on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list… Alex Rodriguez needs two stolen bases to reach 300 and he needs one home run to tie Frank Robinson for seventh place on baseball’s all-time list.

LOOKING TO CHANGE: Only three Orioles have more than five big league at-bats against Phil Hughes, and none has more than 14, so the sample size is small. But Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Luke Scott — the three Orioles with the most ABs against Hughes — have hit .429, .500 and .571 against him. Markakis has 14 at-bats, Jones has eight and Scott has seven.

UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: The Orioles haven’t been winning, but they’ve been getting pretty solid starting pitching, and Kevin Millwood looks pretty solid through two innings.

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: Bases loaded with one out here in the second. Big test for Hughes.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Hughes might have been squeezed on one of those pitches, but there’s really no reason to even come close to walking the No. 9 hitter in that situation. Hughes walks in a run and Mitre is now getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Hughes defense picks him up with a big double play to end the inning. Down 1-0 after two innings, Hughes has plenty of time to get this thing turned around.

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: There ya go. Randy Winn has a hit. Now everyone can go back to hating Javier Vazquez.

UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Gardner reaches first on an error and drives in the tying run in the process. Now the bases are loaded for Rodriguez with a chance to make this a big inning for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Well, Rodriguez crushed the ball, right into the glove of Miguel Tejeda.

UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: Robinson Cano flies out of a ball that was clearly knocked down by the moon. The Yankees will settle for a 1-1 tie after two and a half.

UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: I’ll admit it. I was among those who wondering if we might start to see a real age-related decline in Jorge Posada’s production. So far, that hasn’t been the case at all. The guy’s been crushing the ball, and his solo home run has just put the Yankees in front 2-1 here in the fourth.

UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: Had some internet connection issues for a while, but I seem to be back online. Just when the Yankees seemed to get a break on that Nick Swisher infield single, Jorge Posada rounded too far around second — he seemed to be thinking about third if no one went to cover the bag — and the play ended the inning. Still a 2-1 lead with Hughes going back to the mound for the sixth. Boone Logan getting loose in the pen.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Some wounded soldiers were guests of the Yankees for tonight’s game. Here’s an AP shot of Alex Rodriguez signing for Zach O’Brien.

UPDATE, 9:21 p.m.: Hughes exits after 5.2 innings to the sound of “Hugghhhhesss” from the Yankees fans behind the visiting dugout. It just feels like the start of a huge season for him. Even on a night like this, he got through 5.2 with only one run. Logan is in with Dave Robertson getting loose.

UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Well, Logan walked a guy and Robertson hit a guy, so things have gotten dicey. Then again, Robertson seems to be at his best when there’s a runner or two in scoring position.

UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Something clearly went wrong there. Not sure what happened to Winn, but that throw was just… weird. We’re now tied at 2.

UPDATE, 9:38 p.m.: Man, not a good night for Robertson. The Orioles have already taken a 4-2 lead, and they still have two on with two out. Plus the top of the order is up. Not good at all.

UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: Another three-hit game for Cano.

UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.: Jorge Posada’s kicking the dirt after that single scored another Baltimore run. If not for his throwing error, the runner might not have been in a position to score. It’s 5-2.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,066 Comments →

Pregame notes: Johnson improving, Park not04.27.10

Angels Yankees Baseball

One injured Yankee seems to be getting better, the other seems to be at a stand still.

Nick Johnson said his sore lower back is playable. He can still feel it a little bit, but it’s better than it was in Oakland.

“It doesn’t affect my swing,” Johnson said. “It’s good to go.”

According to Johnson, the plan is for him to get back in the lineup tomorrow. For now, he’ll just take swings. Manager Girardi said it’s possible Johnson could pinch hit tonight.

The news is not so good on Chan Ho Park. After going to Tampa on Monday, Park did long toss yesterday, but when he tried to pitch off flat ground he again felt tightness in his hamstring. He will be reevaluated by a doctor in Tampa tomorrow.

“He’s not progressing as well as we want,” Girardi said. “And we’ll just continue to go slow.”

• Javier Vazquez responded to the criticism from Curt Schilling. “If you listen to what everybody has to say in this world, you’re going to go crazy, man,” Vazquez said. “I never listen to what anybody says, I just go by what the guys in this clubhouse and what I think.”

• Girardi’s take on Schilling’s comments: “Guys are asked to analyze situations, and so they make their analysis. We still believe Javy’s going to be successful, and he’s going to pitch at a very high level for us.”

• Johnson said he changed numbers just to go back to what he wore in his first stint with the Yankees, which was taken during spring training. “I’m not superstitious or any of that stuff,” he said.

• Girardi said the Yankees will start thinking about where to bat Johnson after they’ve got him healthy. He wouldn’t rule out the idea of keeping Brett Gardner in the No. 2 spot.

• Girardi said he liked the idea of giving Nick Swisher essentially a day and a half off. Also: “We’re trying to get Randy going because we like to use all of our players,” Girardi said.

• The Orioles have been terrible this season, but Girardi warned not to overlook them. “This is baseball and a lot of times the tone is set by the starting pitcher,” Girardi said. “Teams that have struggled can get extremely hot too. You want to keep the pedal to the metal.”

UPDATE, 6:26 p.m.: One Orioles note: Today they purchased the contract of RHP Alfredo Simon from Triple-A Norfolk and optioned RHP Kam Mickolio. Simon was 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA through three relief appearances with the Tide.

Orioles lineup
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

RHP Kevin Millwood

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 493 Comments →

Lineup: Another day off for Johnson04.27.10

Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher DH
Randy Winn RF

RHP Phil Hughes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 777 Comments →

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