Archive for May, 2010
Yankees postgame stuff • 05.31.10
Derek Jeter got hit in the left hamstring by an 89 mph Mitch Talbot fastball during the second inning of Monday’s 11-2 win over the Indians and came out after a single in the seventh.
“We won’t really know until tomorrow,” Joe Girardi said about his condition. “He got hit in the back of the hamstring and it stiffened up. So I just said, ‘I’m going to take you out and get some ice on it.’ We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.”
Jeter left without speaking to reporters. But Nick Swisher said: “I’ll bet you a million dollars he’ll be in the lineup tomorrow.” …
Brett Gardner cut the top of his right thumb sliding into second when he was caught stealing in the seventh. He had a band-aid on it and said he should be fine for Tuesday night against the Orioles. …
At some point, these opposing managers are going to wise up and not issue an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira so A-Rod can hit with the bases loaded. “It’s been amazing what he’s done what that’s happened,” Girardi said.
Because after this latest grand slam, Rodriguez is now 5 for 5 with a walk, a sac fly, three homers and 18 RBI in the seven times it has happened.
“I would appreciate if we’d keep those numbers to ourselves and not share them with other managers,” A-Rod said with a smile. …
Even though he’s off to the best start of his career at 7-1, Andy Pettitte said he will evaluate after the season whether to retire. He said his ultimate decision will be based on when he feels it’s time to be with his family more, and that he can’t envision pitching much longer. …
Swisher had the best May and best month of his career, finishing at .374 with 34 hits. He had seven homers and 17 RBI for the month. He hit .164 the last two Mays combined. …
Curtis Granderson got another hit off a lefty, a seventh-inning single off Rafael Perez, making him 8 for 34 (.235) with no homers and three RBI. The lefty-hitting center fielder had done some other damage against a lefty in this series that marked his return from the DL. He smacked a double Friday and another one Sunday off reliever Tony Sipp. Granderson hit .183 against lefties for the Tigers last season.
“His at-bats have been pretty good,” Girardi said. “I don’t always look at just numbers. I look at at-bats. He’s hit the ball deep to center a number of times off of lefties. He’s had a couple of hits off of Sipp in this series. He looks comfortable. He’s getting a good pitch and he’s putting a good swing on it and hitting it hard. So we’ve been happy with his at-bats against lefties.” …
The Yankees’ starting 1-5 batters merely went 36 for 80 (.450) with nine doubles, five homers and 29 RBI in the four-game series, and they scored 29 runs. …
The team is 3-1 so far on this mostly soft stretch of 16 games against the Indians, Orioles, Blue Jays, Orioles again and Astros. …
OK, that’s it for now. Back at Yankee Stadium Tuesday when Baltimore is in. Lefty Brian Matusz is down to start for the Orioles and Javier Vazquez is scheduled to go for the Yankees, who have already won five of six against the O’s.
Yankees supporting women artisans of Rwanda • 05.31.10
Here’s the press release from the Yankees.
On Wednesday, June 2, the women of Yankee Stadium will join forces with Same Sky (www.SameSky.com) to honor the survivors of the 1994 Rwandan genocide, and in particular, the HIV positive women artisans who have handcrafted bracelets through the organization’s trade-not-aid initiative to effect change in Rwanda.
Founded in 2008 by Francine LeFrak, Same Sky is a fair-trade company whose mission is to inspire a movement of women empowering women as part of the global effort of lifting women out of poverty by giving them the tools to become entrepreneurs and lead self-sustaining lives. The bracelets are made of hand-blown glass beads and are crocheted by women artisans. Each bracelet carries the signature of the woman who made it.
Purchasing a Same Sky bracelet allows the wearer to become a part of the movement empowering women everywhere under the same sky. All proceeds from the sales of Same Sky bracelets go directly toward training and employing more women artisans in Rwanda.
DATE: Wednesday, June 2, 2010
TIME: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
PLACE: YANKEE STADIUM, H&R BLOCK SUITE LOUNGE, ON THE SUITE LEVEL
HOSTED BY: Francine LeFrak (Founder of Same Sky), New York Yankees Vice President and Assistant General Manager Jean Afterman, Mindy Franklin Levine and Sadye Zillo.
ALSO ATTENDING: The Honorable Agnes Gasana, wife of Rwandan Ambassador to the United Nations Eugene-Richard Gasana; Women of the New York Yankees organization, Legends Hospitality, YES Network and Securitas.
Yankees lineup stays hot against Cleveland • 05.31.10
Alex Rodriguez had six RBI, Robinson Cano hit his 11th home run and Brett Gardner had three hits in an 11-2 win against the Indians. Rodriguez, Cano and Gardner were three of six Yankees with multiple hits, and the big day from the offense made an easy winner out of Andy Pettitte who was outstanding yet again. He pitched seven innings, walked none and allowed just four hits.
Associated Press photo of Rodriguez’s grand slam.
Yankees vs. Indians, Jeter injury update • 05.31.10
Update, 1:15: Effective first inning for Andy Pettitte with a strikeout, two foul outs and just an infield hit allowed.
Update, 1:22: A-Rod has not had a good first two months in the homer department, with just six entering today’s game. But his RBI single here in the first gives him 36 RBI, second on the team to Robinson Cano’s 37.
Update, 1:28: The 2-1 pitch from Pettitte to Jhonny Peralta didn’t look in a bad spot, but the third baseman went down and got it and sent it the other way to the right-center seats to tie the game here in the second. It was his 100th career homer.
Update, 1:34: C.B. Bucknor just blew that call at second on what would have been an inning-ending double play. On the replay, Robinson Cano clearly had his foot on the bag when catching A-Rod’s and then relayed to first. But Pettitte got out of trouble.
Update, 2:12: Pettitte has given up just a run and four hits in his four innings. Now we’ll see if the Yankees can get anything going against Mitch Talbot, who has allowed a run and four hits in his three innings.
Update, 2:24: Nick Swisher led off this inning with a double, making this best month of his career in hits. That was No. 33. Brett Gardner just singled him home with two outs for the 2-1 lead.
Update, 2:33: That’s eight in a row set down by Pettitte, 2-1 heading for the last of the fifth. Pettitte came into this 10th start with a 2.62 ERA, the best of his career through nine starts.
Update, 2:42: Talbot has now hit both Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez. But the rookie has now stranded six baserunners. This Indians series has been tougher than it figured to be. So it’s 2-1 heading for the sixth.
Update, 2:59: That’s 14 in a row put down by Pettitte. Still 2-1 heading for the last of the seventh.
Update, 3:09: Brett Gardner just got thrown out stealing for the second time. The stolen bases have been harder to come for a while now. Gardner just snapped a streak of 13 without one on Sunday.
Update, 3:12: Something’s up with The Captain. Jeter just came out of the game for a pinch runner after grounding a single into center. He was hit by a pitch in the left hamstring in the second and also had a slide into second on a failed double-play try in the fifth. Talbot is also out and Rafael Perez is on the mound.
Update, 3:17: OK, we got the announcement. Jeter left the game with tightness in his left hamstring.
Update, 3:23: Well, this one appears to be broken open. Rodriguez’s grand slam off Chris Perez here in the seventh sailed over the center-field fence for a 6-1 lead. It was his 20th career slam, passing Eddie Murray for sole possession of third on the all-time list. Only Lou Gehrig (23) and Manny Ramirez (21) stand in front of A-Rod. Robinson Cano made it back-to-back homers. His 11th made it a six-run lead and extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
Update, 4:16: Yankees win, 11-2. A-Rod finished with six RBI. The Yankees took three of four and outscored the Indians 37-20.
Yankees pregame/Posada update • 05.31.10
Brian Heyman here at Yankee Stadium today for Chad. The big pregame news involved Jorge Posada. He ran the bases and did sprints in the outfield for the first time and pronounced his right foot good to go. He’s eligible to come off the DL tomorrow. It remains to be seen if he will. Posada said he prefers to stay with the team and not to make a rehab assignment. Joe Girardi said, “That’s something he might not have to do.” Girardi said he would see how Posada’s foot feels tomorrow from the running. Posada thought the hairline fracture would take three weeks to heal, but he said, “It feels good.”
David Robertson’s mild lower back strain also appears to be healed. “It feels good,” he said. “They rubbed it all out.” Robertson thinks he can relieve today, but Girardi said he would “probably stay away from him.”
OK, here’s the Cleveland lineup:
1. Trevor Crowe CF
2. Mark Grudzielanek 2B
3. Austin Kearns LF
4. Travis Hafner DH
5. Jhonny Peralta 3B
6. Shelley Duncan RF
7. Matt LaPorta 1B
8. Lou Marson C
9. Jason Donald SS
Mitch Talbot RHP
Lineup for Cleveland finale • 05.31.10
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner LF
The Yankees are going with their regular lineup this afternoon against the Indians. I’m not covering the game, but obviously we’ll have updates from the stadium on the blog.
The Yankees are coming off a big, come-from-behind win against Cleveland on Sunday. They are also hoping to get Jorge Posada on the field for some running. If that happens, he could be close to a return to the lineup.
A way to get it done • 05.30.10
After striking out two straight batters, Mariano Rivera finished today’s game by leaping over a fragment of broken bat, knocking down a comebacker and making the play for the final out.
“Mo is by far the best athlete on this team and I think anyone would tell you that,” Mark Teixeira said. “You should see him pregame catching fly balls in the outfield. You should see him run and workout. If he had decided 20 years ago to become a center fielder, he’d probably be a Hall of Fame center fielder too.”
Joe Girardi agreed.
“I’m not sure a lot of pitchers could have made that play,” Girardi said. “They might have gotten out of the way of the bat and not caught the ball, or vice versa. It was a really amazing play. I’ve always talked about Mo, what a great athlete he is, and that’s what we saw.”
Rivera, of course, only laughed when a group of reporters huddled around his locker and asked about it.
“It’s an out,” he said. “You have to find a way to get it done.”
Associated Press photo of Rivera with Francisco Cervelli.
It feels like Mark Teixeira had a bad month of May. Until tonight’s game he had gone 56 at-bats without a home run, and he went through one five-game stretch with only one hit.
But taken as a whole, May has been a pretty solid month for the Yankees first baseman. He’s hit .281 this month, with six home runs and 25 RBI. It’s not a Hall of Fame month, but it’s not a bad month.
“Overall, I’ll take the May that I’ve had and extrapolate it though the rest of the season,” Teixeira said. “You take two good weeks and two bad weeks and you still have a good month. Unfortunately I did go through a little stretch there in the middle of the month when I didn’t hit the ball well.”
Today was his fourth multi-hit game in the past seven. The power hadn’t come back, but he was showing signs of turning things around again. The 250th home run of his career could hardly have come at a better time.
“I’ve been feeling really good the past couple of days,” Teixeira said. “I think since the second game in Minnesota I’ve been feeling really good at the plate. You have that confidence no matter what the count is, no matter what the situation is. I’m going to put a good swing on it.”
Here’s Teixeira speaking after the game.
• Nick Swisher said he’s OK after slamming into the wall in the seventh. He was a little banged up for a moment, but he stayed in to get a big single in the bottom of the inning. “He said his shoulder’s a little sore,” Joe Girardi said. “He also knocked the wind out of himself. He swung the bat fine after that, but I’m curious to see how he’ll feel tomorrow.”
• Chad Moeller is also fine after having his hand stepped on in the fourth inning. “If he wouldn’t have gotten off of it, it could have been really bad,” Moeller said.
• Girardi on why he didn’t turn the game to Joba Chamberlain in the eighth: “A.J.’s pitch count was fine. He was throwing well. He’d done a good job against Choo and Choo was starting the order. I had Joba up, but as long as A.J. was continuing to get outs I was going to let him go.”
• Girardi had Marcus Thames available on the bench, but he said there was no temptation to pinch hit for Curtis Granderson against the lefty reliever Tony Sipp in the seventh. “Let’s go back to his last at-bat against Sipp the other day,” Girardi said. “He had a double as well. There was no temptation whatsoever.”
• Granderson on the perception that he can’t hit lefties: “It’s been my mark since people started writing about me in Baseball America when I got drafted. I was too slow to play center field. I didn’t have enough power to play in the corners. I was going to be a fourth outfielder. All these different things that people kept saying I can’t do. I always try to prove things wrong, but I still have a long way to go. I haven’t done anything to eliminate all of that conversation.”
• Postgame, Girardi sounded even more optimistic about Jorge Posada than he had been pregame. “If he feels good tomorrow you might even see him run on the field,” Girardi said. “If he’s OK to do that, we could have a player fairly soon.”
• Pretty good line from Swisher about his play for the final out of the fourth, after which he fired the ball to the infield, apparently hoping to get a fourth out. “I’m not going to admit I didn’t know there were three outs,” Swisher said, laughing all the way. “I told Robbie, I just wanted to make sure you had the ball as soon as you could so you could hand it out to one of the kids in the stands.”
• Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 13 games. He has 12 hits in his past five games and during the streak is batting .455 with eight doubles and 14 RBI.
• Swisher hit .372 with seven homers and 17 RBI in May. His 32 hits matched the most hits he’s had in any month of his career.
• Derek Jeter now has seven consecutive multi-hit games against Cleveland. His error tonight was his first of the month.
Associated Press photos of Teixeira, Swisher and Gardner, and Gardner scoring in the seventh. Plays at the plate don’t get much closer than Gardner’s slide in the seventh.
A different short of change • 05.30.10
All spring A.J. Burnett talked about the development of his changeup, but the development of his two-seam fastball seems to have made a bigger difference this season. Burnett still goes to the changeup occasionally — very occasionally — but he’s started mixing quite a few two-seamers, and that was the pitch Joe Girardi praised after tonight’s dominant start against Cleveland.
“I know they’re an aggressive team and they can hit,” Burnett said. “I was just trying to attack and get early contact. Not trying to blow it by them or get in strikeout counts so I can strike them out. It was pretty much attacking guys and pitching to contact and trusting my stuff.”
Pitching to contact helped Burnett last through the eighth inning. Of his final 10 outs, five were strikeouts, four were ground outs and only one was hit in the air.
“I didn’t really know he threw one before I got here,” catcher Chad Moeller said. “Being on the other side it was always a straight four-seamer. He has great life on it. It’s really helpful for him going in to right-handers and for balls away to left-handers, as far as to try to get a ground ball.”
In or out, the bottom line is to keep the two-seamer in the bottom of the zone. Or lower if necessary.
“Down being the emphasis,” Moeller said. “And let it move.”
Yankees bounce back against Cleveland • 05.30.10
One day after their worst loss of the year, the Yankees bounced back with one of their best wins. A.J. Burnett was lights out through eight innings, and the rejuvenated offense came to life with a five-run seventh that sent the Yankees to a 7-3 win against the Indians. Juan Miranda and Francisco Cervelli added a pair of insurance runs in the eighth, but the big hits belonged to Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira who had a two-run single and a go-ahead home run, both with two outs in the seventh. Burnett struck out eight, walked none and allowed only one earned run.
Associated Press photo of Burnett