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

Archive for May, 2010

Game 50: Yankees vs. Indians05.30.10

YANKEES (29-20)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Brett Gardner LF
Chad Moeller C

RHP A.J. Burnett (5-2, 3.55)
Career vs. Indians

INDIANS (18-29)
Trevor Crowe CF
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Travis Hafner DH
Austin Kearns LF
Russell Branyan 1B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Luis Valbuena 2B
Lou Marson C
Jason Donald SS

RHP Justin Masterson (0-5, 6.13)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Doug Eddings, 1B Dana DeMuth, 2B Kerwin Danley, 3B CB Bucknor

WEATHER: Very little breeze on a sunny, 80-degree day.

LOOKING FOR A CHANGE: In his career, A.J. Burnett is 1-4 with a 6.69 ERA against the Indians. That said, the current Cleveland lineup includes only one hitter — Travis Hafner — who has more than eight at-bats against the Yankees starter. Hafner is 5-for-14 with a home run.

KEEPING IT THE SAME: Burnett might have struggled against Cleveland, but Derek Jeter has six consecutive multi-hit games against the Indians, the first Yankee to accomplish the feat since Hall of Famer Earl Combs in 1930. This is, of course, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

TRYING TO MAKE IT 12: Cleveland starter has a personal 11-game losing streak that dates back to August 25 of last season. That’s a stretch of 16 starts and the Indians have scored just 36 runs in those games. Masterson is striking out batters at a rate of 8.8 Ks per nine innings, which is 10th best in the American League.

A LITTLE LIGHT READING: I was scrambling this morning and couldn’t post a Today in The Journal News entry — it’s best not to leave your phone at home when you leave for the stadium — but today’s paper had a story about Juan Miranda’s journey from Cuba to the major leagues. Of course, there’s also the game story and today’s notebook.

UPDATE, 1:52 p.m.: Two singles have given the Indians an early 1-0 lead against Burnett.

UPDATE, 1:53 p.m.: You might not think much of Chad Moeller’s bat, but one great thing about having a veteran catcher is that he knows where to be. Moeller knowing to cover first base after a pickoff attempt just led to an out for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Who says Nick Swisher needs a defensive replacement. That’s a pretty solid catch up against the wall to end the inning with the Indians still holding a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 2:21 p.m.: Back to back strikeouts have stranded Yankees at second and third, keeping the 1-0 Cleveland lead intact.

UPDATE, 2:27 p.m.: Burnett is through five innings with only the one run across the plate. He’s doing his job, now it’s the lineup’s turn. Amazing how this team seems to never have both the pitching and the hitting going at the same time lately. Great offense the past two days, then they get a great start from Burnett and can’t score a run (through four and a half innings, anyway).

UPDATE, 2:43 p.m.: Strikeout, ground out, strikeout. Burnett allowed a lead-off double but stranded the runner in the sixth inning. Two great starts in a row for Burnett.

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: A throwing error by Jeter has cost the Yankees two runs here in the seventh. It could have been the last out of the inning, instead a run scored and the inning kept going for an RBI triple by Jason Donald. Indians lead it 3-0.

UPDATE, 3:18 p.m.: Francisco Cervelli pinch hitting for Chad Moeller with one out and runners at the corners. The crowd here at Yankee Stadium actually went fairly nuts when they saw him step into the on-deck circle. The kid’s come a long way in the past year.

UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: There’s the big hit the Yankees have been waiting for. Jeter singles up the middle, Gardner makes a nice slide at the plate and the Yankees have cut the lead to 3-2 with Granderson coming to the plate to face the lefty reliever Tony Sipp.

UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.: That’s a double off a left-hander for Granderson. Runners at second and third for Teixeira, who has a chance to put the Yankees in the lead.

UPDATE, 3:32 p.m.: Did some folks take a step away from the ledge on that swing? Mark Teixeira’s two-out, three-run home run has the Yankees in the lead 5-3. A.J. Burnett is going back out to start the eighth.

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: By the way, that was Teixeira’s 250th home run.

UPDATE, 3:38 p.m.: Chamberlain is getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 3:40 p.m.: A.J. Burnett with two straight strikeouts to end the eighth. Big time outing from Burnett today. I have to think we’ll be seeing Rivera in the bullpen shortly.

UPDATE, 3:48 p.m.: There’s Juan Miranda’s second hit of the game, an RBI double to push the lead to 6-3 still with no outs in the eighth.

UPDATE, 3:50 p.m.: Make that 7-3 after Cervelli’s sac fly.

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Pregame notes: Sticking with Joba05.30.10

Yankees Twins BaseballYesterday was the Yankees worst loss of the year, and it fell on the shoulders of Joba Chamberlain who has now struggled in three of his past five appearances.

“You put him back out there in the eighth inning today,” Joe Girardi said. “That’s where you go with it… If you gave up on a guy every time that he had three out of five tough days, you know what, we’d run out of players in a hurry. He’s in a little bit of a funk. He’s going to get out of it.”

Aside from his debut in 2007, there seems to have always been a lot of hype and frustration considerable frustration mixed in with expectations of Chamberlain, but I’m not sure the fan frustration has ever been higher than it is right now. Aside from those three outings, Chamberlain has been dominant this month, but it’s hard to overlook his past two weeks.

“This is my fourth year as a manager and I haven’t been through a year that (relievers haven’t struggled),” Girardi said. “It’s just part of the game. I think a lot of times what happens is, it’s much more glaring when it’s your bullpen than any other facet of the game, especially when you’re leading.”

Here’s Girardi’s pregame session.

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• Dave Robertson said he feels fine today, but he’s not available out of the bullpen. “He’s down today,” Girardi said. “Doesn’t feel terrible today, but I won’t use him.”

• Girardi wouldn’t commit to day Jorge Posada will return to the lineup, but he seemed to agree that Posada is fairly close. “I think a lot of it is going to take care of itself when we see him run, which is real close,” Girardi said. As long as Posada is able to run without a limp, Girardi said, a lot of the concern will be gone. They don’t need him to build up speed, only need to know he’s healthy enough to play.

• Posada seemed to think a rehab assignment would not be necessary. “That’s something we would have to talk about,” Girardi said.

• No Robertson in the bullpen today, but Girardi said he doesn’t feel shorthanded. “You’re obviously short on any day if you’re starter doesn’t give you some distance, but I think we’re OK,” he said.

• Why no Francisco Cervelli in the lineup? “We had about a five-hour game yesterday,” Girardi said. “I don’t want to kill this kid. Wednesday he caught all 13 innings and I don’t want to kill him because we’ve got to keep him healthy.”

• If you haven’t seen the video, Kendry Morales was injured yesterday while celebrating a walk-off home run at home plate. “I had never really heard of anyone getting hurt in that situation,” Girardi said. “But I worry now.”

UPDATE, 12:28 p.m.: Indians lineup

Trevor Crowe CF
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Travis Hafner DH
Austin Kearns LF
Russell Branyan 1B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Luis Valbuena 2B
Lou Marson C
Jason Donald SS

RHP Justin Masterson

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Posada hoping to return this week05.30.10

Jorge Posada hit in the cage yesterday, and he hopes to hit on the field today. He hasn’t started running yet, but he remains optimistic that he’ll be back in the lineup by the time the Yankees go to Toronto on Friday.

“I hope before that,” he said.

That seems overly optimistic, but Posada said he’s been encouraged by how strong his foot has felt since the protective boot came off this week.

“It felt better without the boot than with the boot to tell you the truth,” he said.

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Late lineup finally posted05.30.10

The lineup was just posted to the clubhouse door.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Brett Gardner LF
Chad Moeller C

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Postgame notes: Sabathia’s struggles continue05.29.10

Indians Yankees Baseball

Joba Chamberlain took the blame for today’s loss, but CC Sabathia wasn’t exactly happy with his performance either. Through the first three innings he seemed to have nearly unhittable stuff, but in the fourth, fifth and sixth he allowed five runs on six hits and two walks.

“I felt like I kept (the Indians) in the game,” he said. “Every time we scored a couple of runs I would give up a run or two and keep them in the game. We scored 11 runs or 10 runs today while I was up there. I should have just been able to shut them down and keep the game under control.”

Sabathia hasn’t won since May 3 and he’s allowed at least five runs in three of his past four starts.

“Today the stuff was there, against the Mets the stuff was there,” he said. “It’s just bad locations and not being able to make a pitch when I need to.”

Sabathia said the lengthy delay during the third inning — when David Huff was hit by the line drive — was not the cause of his struggles, but clearly something changed after that third inning. He simply looked like a different pitcher.

“CC rolled through the first three innings and it seemed like after that he got out of his rhythm,” Joe Girardi said. “I don’t know if it’s the situation where we have the long bottom of the third when the pitcher gets hit, but he lost his rhythm.”

Here’s Girardi’s postgame session with the media.

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Indians Yankees Baseball• Not the most encouraging stat for the Yankees: After that 21-8 start, the Yankees have gone 8-12 in their past 20 games. “We got off to a great start and we’ve kind of treaded water since then,” Girardi said. “It’s frustrating for us. We expect to win every day.”

• Dave Robertson said the pain in his lower back was directly above the spot where Joe Mauer hit him with a line drive on Wednesday. He didn’t feel it in the bullpen, but he started to feel it on the pitch that hit Trevor Crowe. “It just tensed up a little bit and I couldn’t finish a pitch out there,” he said. Robertson got some ice on it and said he’s not worried about any long-term impact. Robertson had not allowed a run in his past seven outings.

• Curtis Granderson said he did not feel sore after playing in last night’s game and he expects to play tomorrow. He showed up at the park ready to play today. “I was ready to go,” he said.

• Sabathia said the communications between him and Francisco Cervelli had nothing to do with disagreement over pitches. “That was just a sign thing,” he said. “Just missing signs.” It certainly seemed to be more than that, but Sabathia said it was a non-issue.

• Indians catcher Lou Marson said Huff was not talking when he got to the mound, but Huff was able to talk to the training staff. “It happened so quick,” Marson said. “He hit it so hard, by the time the ball was in right field, he was laying there.”

• Huff was back at Yankee Stadium after the game, but he did not talk to reporters. Sabathia spent a long time in the Indians organization, but he didn’t know Huff.

• Two more Sabathia notes: He did not allow a home run, breaking a career-long streak of seven games with one. He is also winless in his past five starts, his longest streak as a Yankee.

• Robinson Cano extended his hitting streak to 12 games, which passed Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter for the Yankees longest hitting streak of the season.

• Alex Rodriguez had gone seven straight games without an RBI, and Mark Teixeira had gone 10 straight without an RBI. Both streaks ended today.

• Jeter hit his 449th career double, tying Bernie Williams for second place on the all-time franchise list behind Lou Gehrig (534). According to Elias, Jeter has more runs (1,602) and hits (2,807) within 15 years of his debut than any other player in Major League history.

Associated Press photos of Sabathia and Robertson with trainer Steve Donohue

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Chamberlain: “I let the team down”05.29.10

Indians Yankees BaseballDave Robertson and Sergio Mitre didn’t do much to help, but the bulk of the seventh-inning blame certainly falls on Joba Chamberlain who was asked to get one out and let six runs score before finally striking out Shin-Soo Choo.

“We had the game where we wanted,” Joe Girardi said. “We had our eighth-inning guy in. We needed four outs from him (counting the eighth). Other guys helped create that issue, but when you hit two guys, you walk a guy, you give up free base runners, it’s going to cost you.”

Chamberlain has pitched 11 times this month. In eight of those outings he’s combined for 9.1 scoreless innings with three hits, three walks and 15 strikeouts. In the other three he’s allowed 10 earned runs in two innings.

“It always comes down to location, it really does,” Girardi said. “That’s what pitching is all about, being able to be down in the zone and living on the outer edges. When you don’t, when they’re up, hitters are going to hurt you. That’s really the common thread.”

As for the bottom line…

“I let the team down,” Chamberlain said. “There’s no long and short of it. I’ve got to make better pitches in that situation. They fought and clawed the whole game and I was supposed to come in and get one out, and I didn’t do my job.”

Here’s Chamberlain.

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Rodriguez: “Your heart stops”05.29.10

Indians Yankees BaseballWhen today’s game ended, Alex Rodriguez left Yankee Stadium and began making his way to New York-Presbyterian Hospital to check on David Huff. Before Rodriguez could get there, Huff was released from the hospital and was back with his teammates in time to catch the bus to the Indians hotel.

Rodriguez asked for Huff’s phone number so that he could call him this evening. Rodriguez wasn’t at the stadium to speak to the media, but he talked to Yankees media director Jason Zillo who passed along Rodriguez’s statement.

“Your heart stops,” Rodriguez said. “You want so badly to take it back. You’re scared. You think of him. You think of his family. You think of a million other places that the ball could have gone other than where it did. Why there? I mean, we’re playing a game. I know it’s a business too, but for all of us, playing it should always be a game first. When something like that happens right in front of your eyes it makes you think long and hard about things much bigger than throwing or hitting a baseball or running around the bases for a few hours a day.”

Associated Press photo of Rodriguez with third-base coach Rob Thomson.

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Stunning loss at Yankee Stadium05.29.10

When Indians starter David Huff was hit in the head by a line drive, Yankee Stadium was stunned into momentary silence, and the place remained relatively subdued as the Yankees built an early six-run lead against the Cleveland bullpen. It was not so quiet when the Yankees own bullpen blew that lead for a 13-11 loss to the team with the second-worst record in the league. Starter CC Sabathia was dominant early, but he allowed five runs in his last three innings before the bullpen imploded through a seven-run seventh. Joba Chamberlain got only one out and was charged with four runs.

Indians Yankees Baseball

Associated Press photo of Huff

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Game 49: Yankees vs. Indians05.29.10

YANKEES (29-19)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Kevin Russo LF
Brett Gardner CF

LHP CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.86 ERA)
Career vs. Indians

INDIANS (17-29)
Trevor Crowe CF
Shin-Soo Choo RF
Austin Kearns LF
Jhonny Peralta 3B
Shelley Duncan DH
Mark Grudzielanek 2B
Matt LaPorta 1B
Lou Marson C
Jason Donald SS

LHP David Huff (2-6, 5.25)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP CB Bucknor, 1B Doug Eddings, 2B Dana DeMuth, 3B Kerwin Danley

WEATHER: A few clouds but nothing that looks too threatening. Nice and warm, very slight breeze blowing out to left.

BAD TIMING: Mike Redmond started at catcher for the Indians last night, and so he’s obviously off this afternoon. Might not have been the best planning from Cleveland. Redmond is actually a career .500 hitter against CC Sabathia.

NEW EXPERIENCE: David Huff is making his first career start against the Yankees. The only current Yankee who has ever faced him in the big leagues is Chad Moeller, who’s 1-for-3 with a strikeout.

HOME SWEET HOME: CC Sabathia has yet to lose at home, going 2-0 with a 3.53 ERA at Yankee Stadium this season.

UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: Just a glove wave from Russo during roll call. Just a 1-2-3 inning from Sabathia during the first.

UPDATE, 1:37 p.m.: Make that six up, six down for Sabathia. Yankees lead 1-0 on a sac fly by Rodriguez.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: Terrible moment here at Yankee Stadium. Alex Rodriguez just lined a ball off David Huff’s head and into right field. Huff is being carted off the field on a board, but he did just give the crowd a thumbs up as the cart drove away. He’s going to be lifted into an ambulance. It’s tough to hit a ball much harder than Rodriguez did.

UPDATE, 2:07 p.m.: Aaron Laffey is taking over on the mound.

APTOPIX Indians Yankees BaseballUPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: Two-out hits from Mark Grudzielanek and Matt LaPorta have tied the game at 3. The Indians have not announced an update on Huff, but the Associate Press has a photo of him being carted off the field.

UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: One hit, three walks and a hit by pitch have given the Yankees the lead again, 5-3, in the fourth inning. Laffey’s control completely left him this inning.

UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Make that 7-3 after Robinson Cano’s two-out, two-run double. Cano is legitimately one of the best players in baseball right now.

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: After a walk by Marcus Thames and a two-run single by Francisco Cervelli, the yankees have pushed their lead to 9-3, still in the fourth inning. Kevin Russo singled to start the rally, and now he’s back at the plate.

UPDATE, 3:11 p.m.: Huff was taken to New York-Presbyterian for tests, but those results aren’t available yet. He was hit on the left side of his head, just above the ear.

UPDATE, 3:25 p.m.: The CT Scan on Huff was negative. He will remain at New York-Presbyterian “for the next several hours” for additional observation.

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Rodriguez picks up another RBI and the lead is up to 10-4.

UPDATE, 4:04 p.m.: Not sure what’s going on with Robertson, but after an RBI single in the sixth, he’s coming out of the game and Sergio Mitre is coming in. Steve Donohue talked to him on the mound, then walked into the dugout with him. There seems to be some sort of injury.

UPDATE, 4:18 p.m.: The Yankees have now seen six hitters this inning and used four pitchers. Even the Yankee Stadium fans are booing Girardi for the latest change. Marte replaced Mitre, got one lefty out, now Chamberlain is in.

UPDATE, 4:28 p.m.: Well this is a fairly stunning turn of events. Chamberlain has allowed a single, walk and a two-run double to let the Indians pull within 10-9. This game was in the bag two innings ago. Oh, and Chamberlain was ahead 0-2 before the double.

UPDATE, 4:30 p.m.: Now the boos are really coming down. A two-run double by No. 9 hitter Jason Donald has put the Indians in the lead 11-10. This is a season-high in runs scored by the Indians.

UPDATE, 4:32 p.m.: Unreal. Chamberlain just allowed an RBI single. He’s now faced five batters without recording a single out.

UPDATE, 4:43 p.m.: Robertson left with a mild lower back strain.

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Pregame notes: Fifteen years ago05.29.10

Yankees Twins Baseball

Pretty quite day here at Yankee Stadium. Day games after night games are usually this way. Players get to the park late, and then they come and go without much fuss. There isn’t a lot going on, and it was the great Jack Curry who brought up This Date in History during Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference.

On this date 15 years ago, Derek Jeter played his first Major League Baseball game.

“Incredible player, incredible teammate, incredible man,” Girardi said. “He just seems to get the most out of everything that he does in life and it’s been fun to watch. It was fun being a teammate of his. It’s fun being a manager of his. He comes to play every day. You have to argue to take him out of the lineup. He’s what you want in a player.”

• Jorge Posada hit off a tee in the batting cage this morning. He seemed to be walking around with ease. Couldn’t tell anything was ever wrong.

• Girardi was happy with what he saw from Chan Ho Park last night. The Yankees had him touching 95 mph, which they hadn’t seen this year. “The velocity was a lot better last night,” Girardi said. “I thought his curveball had more bite to it. He located better. There was a definite difference in his stuff.”

• Kevin Russo is making his first Yankee Stadium start. I hadn’t thought of it until Brett Gardner walked to his locker, two spots down from Russo, and announced that fact to no one in particular. “They’re gonna love him,” Gardner said.

• Speaking of Russo, in high school he beat out LenDale White for the Class 5-A Offensive Football Player of the Year. Both were first-team All-State running backs, but as of today, Russo’s the only one playing for a professional sports team.

• Girardi used Sergio Mitre for one inning last night, and he said that could be a sign of Mitre’s new role now that Chad Gaudin is in the bullpen. “A guy that maybe could throw two days in a row for us,” Girardi said. “Give us an inning or two and maybe bounce back and throw the next day. With Chad we really have two guys who can give us distance and it changes the way we can use Serge a little bit.”

Associated Press photo of Jeter.

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