The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Archive for September, 2010

Postseason tickets on sale Wednesday09.28.10

Here’s the release from the Yankees.

Tickets for potential 2010 American League Division Series (ALDS) and American League Championship Series (ALCS) games at Yankee Stadium will go on sale to the public online at yankees.com and via Ticketmaster phone at (877) 469-9849 and Ticketmaster TTY at (800) 943-4327 on Wednesday, September 29 at 10:00 a.m.

Please note that ALDS and ALCS tickets will not be available for purchase at Yankees Clubhouse Shops or through Ticketmaster outlets.

Due to the limited number of tickets available for sale, those purchasing tickets will be limited to two tickets to one game of the ALDS or two tickets to one game of the ALCS, subject to availability. Orders exceeding the assigned ticket limits will be cancelled without contact from Ticketmaster or the New York Yankees.

Tickets purchased via the Internet for Division Series Home Game 1 and Home Game 2 must be purchased utilizing “print at home” technology. There will be no option for Will Call or express shipping.

Fans are encouraged to visit yankees.com/postseason for complete postseason ticket information, including the refund procedure for any unplayed games. World Series ticket information will be made available at a later date.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 179 Comments →

Thinking back and looking ahead09.28.10

Yankees Blue Jays BaseballA.J. Burnett had never pitched a postseason game before last year. He will surely be remembered at least partially for his ugly, two-inning start in Game 5 of the World Series, but he actually seemed to show the Yankees quite a bit last October.

His only win came in the most important game of the playoffs: Game 2 of the World Series when the Yankees had lost the opener at home and needed some sort of momentum heading into Philadelphia. Burnett went seven innings, one run and out pitched Pedro Martinez, who was sharp.

In his first two starts he allowed three runs and six hits through 12.1 innings. His third start began with a four-run first inning, but he settled in to roll through the next five and give the Yankees a shot. He was good, and Joe Girardi doesn’t seem to forgot things like that.

“Joe’s going to make a decision on his own,” Burnett said. “I don’t have anything to prove. He saw what I did last year in the postseason. Everybody always says that the season doesn’t matter here and the postseason does. He makes the decisions and I want the ball whenever he gives it to me.”

As inconsistent as Burnett’s been, the Yankees don’t exactly have an obvious alternative to round out a postseason rotation. Ivan Nova has also been a bit erratic, and both Dustin Moseley and Javier Vazquez have been shuttled back and forth from bullpen to rotation and back again.

To me, the question of who starts in October is a viable one, but the Yankees best answer might be to stick with Burnett — warts and all — and hope he gives them something similar to what he gave last year.

Here’s Burnett from last night.

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Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 233 Comments →

Postgame notes: What’s next for A.J. Burnett?09.28.10

Yankees Blue Jays BaseballThere are only so many ways to ask the same question, but nearly every writer in Joe Girardi’s office tonight seemed to be searching for new combinations of words that would get to the same point.

How much do the Yankees trust A.J. Burnett right now? Enough to start him in the postseason?

“I’m not going to talk about that now because we’re not in,” Girardi said. “We have to get in first before we can start making decisions.”

Girardi kept coming up with different ways of saying exactly that.

“Yeah I would expect to start in the postseason,” Burnett said. “I just want the ball. Whatever Joe decides, it’s Joe’s decision.”

Tonight, Burnett was bad, and it wasn’t just one or two batters or a couple of missed locations. “It was everything,” he said. There were fastballs down the middle. There was curveballs that “weren’t even close.” Burnett said he threw two good changeups to left-handers, but his changeups to righties were hit.

“You have to get caught up in it,” Burnett said. “It’s a big game, a big night, but the way my season’s been, I’m not going to let it affect me. I’ve been through way worse than tonight.”

Burnett is 4-13 with a 6.67 ERA since the end of May. He’s won one game since the end of July, and tonight was his shortest healthy outing of the season. The only one shorter was the game when he cut his hand in a moment of frustration.

Girardi committed to one thing with Burnett: He will make another regular-season start. He’ll get the ball this weekend in Boston, possibly with Jorge Posada as his catcher.

“He got hit hard tonight, there’s no doubt about it,” Girardi said. “You just have to keep working hard at it. There’s no other way to approach it.”

Here’s Girardi

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Yankees Blue Jays Baseball• The Yankees did not clinch tonight, which means CC Sabathia gets the start tomorrow. “He sure does,” Girardi said.

• Best-case scenario seemed to be pushing Sabathia back to Friday so that he would be on normal rest for Game 1 of the Division Series. “It is what it is and you have to deal with it,” Girardi said.

• The Yankees bullpen tonight: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K.

• Before the game, Girardi said Curtis Granderson has been too hot to sit him even against lefties. In the fifth inning, Granderson hit his 24th homer of the year, continuing his impressive pace since those mechanical adjustments in Texas.

• Mark Teixeira has looked much better the past few days, including a home run tonight. It was a three-run shot in the seventh that made this thing a game and gave the Yankees a chance. “It made it a game,” Teixeira said. “But their eighth and ninth inning guys are pretty good and they locked it down when they had to.”

• Speaking of Blue Jays pitchers, Marc Rzepczynski was outstanding, including six straight strikeouts to tie a Blue Jays franchise record. Girardi said players were coming back to the dugout talking about pitches that looked like knuckleballs. “His ball was moving everywhere,” Teixeira said. “We’ve faced him a few times this year and we’ve never seen him that good. It’s like swinging at a ghost out there. You didn’t know what it was going to go do.”

• Burnett against the Blue Jays this season: 0-3 with a 9.61 ERA in four starts.

• The Yankees have now lost the past eight games against left-handed starters… Nine of their past 13 losses have been by three runs or less… They are 11-14 in September, assured of a losing record in the month.

Associated Press photos of Burnett and Jeter with Teixeira

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 127 Comments →

Burnett takes another step back09.27.10

In what felt like a new low point for A.J. Burnett, the Yankees wildly unpredictable starter faced 16 batters tonight in Toronto and got only seven of them out. The Yankees offense rallied and the bullpen pitched well, but Burnett left a hole the Yankees couldn’t escape in a 7-5 loss to the Blue Jays.

Yankees Blue Jays Baseball

Associated Press photo of Burnett

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 299 Comments →

Game 157: Yankees at Blue Jays09.27.10

YANKEES (93-63)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames DH
Austin Kearns LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP A.J. Burnett (10-14, 5.05)
Burnett vs. Blue Jays

BLUE JAYS (80-75)
Travis Snider LF
Yunel Escobar SS
Jose Bautista RF
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
John Buck C
Adam Lind DH
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
John McDonald 2B

LHP Marc Rzepczynski
Rzepczynski vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:07 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Jeff Nelson, 1B Mark Carlson, 2B Jeff Kellog, 3B Larry Vanover

WEATHER: Dome. Which is nice, because it’s pretty cold up here.

ONE MORE: If the Yankees win tonight, they’ll clinch a spot in the playoffs. They could also clinch if Boston loses.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: The Yankees will play their final six regular-season games on the road. They are 41-34 away from Yankee Stadium this season, the third-best road record in the big leagues behind Tampa Bay (45-32) and San Diego (43-35).

IT’S BEEN A GOOD MONTH: Alex Rodriguez has a home run in four of his past eight at-bats. He has eight home runs this month, his highest one-month total since June of 2008 when he hit nine.

WALK OFF: Last night was the Yankees first walk-off walk since 2004 when Jorge Posada was walked by Jorge Julio in the ninth. The last time the Yankees had a walk-off walk in extra inning was May 9, 2000 when Jim Morris walked Paul O’Neill in the 10th.

UPDATE, 7:21 p.m.: A lead-off double has done the damage here in the first. Otherwise, Burnett has allowed only two routine ground balls, but those were enough to move Travis Snider from second to third, and from third to home for a 1-0 Blue Jays lead.

UPDATE, 7:40 p.m.: John Buck just went deep to left-center field and one of the other writers — not me — called it. It’s 2-0 Blue Jays in the second.

UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Three-run home run by Vernon Wells and this thing has gotten out of hand pretty quickly. It’s already 5-0 Blue Jays in the third.

UPDATE, 8:04 p.m.: Must admit, I wasn’t expecting a start quite like this out of Burnett. He seemed to be showing some signs of getting on track lately, but this was just brutal. He’s out after 2.1 innings. It’s already 6-0 and Burnett is responsible for the runners at the corners.

UPDATE, 8:50 p.m.: Albaladejo and Moseley have done their part to keep the Jays from extending their lead, and red-hot Granderson’s two-run homer has put the Yankees on the board, but Burnett really left them in a huge hole and it’s still a 7-2 game after five.

UPDATE, 9:14 p.m.: It was easy to give up on this game four innings ago, but Mark Teixeira just went deep to make it a 7-5 game in the seventh. The Yankees are very much in it at this point.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 771 Comments →

Pregame notes: Girardi open to starting Posada with Burnett09.27.10

Rays Yankees Baseball

Late last season, A.J. Burnett got on a bit of a roll with Jose Molina as his personal catcher, and so Joe Girardi kept the pair together in the playoffs. This season, Girardi has kept Burnett paired with Francisco Cervelli, but those two have not found the same sort of sustained consistency.

This afternoon, Girardi said he’s considering using Jorge Posada to catch Burnett in the playoffs. It’s under such heavy consideration, Girardi planned to have Posada catch tonight’s game before last night became such a grind.

“In the back of my mind, before we went through last night, I was probably going to start him tonight,” Girardi said. “But with the long game, getting in at 3:30 in the morning or 4 o’clock, I just felt that it was probably in our best interest not to. Originally I had plans to start him.”

Posada said he actually expected to start tonight. He had talked to the coaching staff about the possibility and was hoping to be in the lineup. He wants to catch Burnett in the postseason, but he also seemed to respect the idea of sticking with a hot hand.

“If he has a good game today with Cervelli, you have to respect that move,” Posada said.

Girardi more-or-less said Burnett will have one more start this weekend in Boston. It’s possible, maybe even likely, that Posada will catch that game. Girardi said he would want Posada to catch Burnett in the regular season before pairing them in the playoffs.

“I think that would be important for us to do that,” he said. “That’s something I was looking forward to doing, but the way we played last night, it didn’t make a lot of sense.”

Red Sox Yankees Baseball• Mariano Rivera and Dave Eiland went to work this afternoon to correct a slight mechanical problem that the Yankees believe is causing some command problems. “He’s on the side of the ball a little bit, so it’s not a huge deal,” Girardi said. “They’ll get it figured out quick.”

• Girardi said Eiland noticed the mechanical issue while studying film. Rivera said he’s physically fine, just hasn’t gotten the results lately.

• Right now, CC Sabathia is still scheduled to start tomorrow. Will that change if the Yankees clinch tonight? “That’s something we’ll have to discuss,” Girardi said. “I hope we have to make that decision.”

• Girardi wouldn’t say whether Phil Hughes will pitch again in the regular season. “We’ll evaluate that again when we need to,” he said.

• Brett Gardner has been sitting quite a bit against lefties lately, and Girardi said that’s all to do with Curtis Granderson being hot. He wants to start Austin Kearns, and Granderson has been to hot to take out of the lineup, so Gardner has been the odd man out.

• Interesting note about Mark Teixeira, who’s started to hit a little bit in the past week or so. “I think he’s got that whip back (in his wrist),” Girardi said. He had talked about that he didn’t have quite that snap that he needed.” That’s obviously because of the bone bruise in his hand. As that’s healed a little bit, Teixeira has bounced back.

• Celebration if the Yankees clinch a playoff spot but not the division? “The division is very important to us and home-field advantage is very important to us,” Girardi said. “I left it up to the players, and if they want to celebrate, I respect that. However they want to do it, they worked very hard this year, and they should do what they want.”

UPDATE, 6:30 p.m.:Well, there were no more panic emails waiting for me today, instead only a series of “You screwed up the rotation!” emails. Hard to argue with any of those.

Obviously I goofed and typed A.J. Burnett when I meant Andy Pettitte for Wednesday’s series finale here in Toronto. I obviously haven’t had much of a chance to change it until now, but I’ll make the fix. Sorry for any confusion. If the Yankees were going with Burnett on one-day’s rest, I assure you I would at least give that news it’s own headline.

Anyway, here’s the Blue Jays lineup.
Travis Snider LF
Yunel Escobar SS
A.J. Burnett RF
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Andy Pettitte C
Adam Lind DH
Edwin Encarnacion 3B
John McDonald 2B

Associated Press photos of Posada and Rivera

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 40 Comments →

Yankees sticking with pretty standard lineup09.27.10

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames DH
Austin Kearns LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C

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

Pitching matchups in Toronto09.27.10

Rays Yankees BaseballTonight
RHP A.J. Burnett (10-14, 5.05)
vs.
LHP Marc Rzepczynski (2-4, 5.75)
7:07 p.m., YES Network/MLB Network

Tuesday
LHP CC Sabathia (20-7, 3.26)
vs.
RHP Kyle Drabek (0-2, 4.91)
7:07 p.m., MY9/MLB Network

Wednesday
RHP A.J. Burnett (10-14, 5.05)
LHP Andy Pettitte (11-3, 3.17)
vs.
LHP Brett Cecil (14-7, 4.20)
7:07 p.m., YES Network

Associated Press photo of Burnett

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 242 Comments →

A new day begins09.27.10

Red Sox Yankees Baseball

What a difference a win makes.

Last week, my inbox was flooded with email after email of absolute panic. One went so far as to say it was guaranteed, no doubt about it, that the Yankees were going to lose every remaining game.

With one win, the Yankees have locked up at least a tie for the wild card. They’re a half game out of the division lead, and their magic number to clinch a playoff spot is one. Between the Yankees and the Red Sox, there are 13 chances for that “one” to happen.

“I think it’s a huge win for us because we’ve been scuffling and we’ve lost some leads late in games or we wouldn’t necessarily be in this position,” Joe Girardi said.

For the past two or three weeks, Girardi has managed as if this were April or May, and he’s taken a lot of heat for it. He’s rested his regulars off and on all year — especially when his regulars have been banged up or coming back from injuries — and for better or worse, Girardi did the same down the stretch. The playoff chase did not affect his decision making until Saturday night when he decided to push Phil Hughes into a game that wasn’t quite must-win, but certainly felt must-win.

It will be somewhat lost after all of the late drama of Sunday night, but Hughes could not have been better. If that’s the guy the Yankees are going to have in the playoffs, he might be their best option for Game 2. In what had to be the biggest start of his career, Hughes laid the early groundwork for the Yankees biggest win of the season.

“It’s not really any pressure taken off,” Hughes said. “We know we still need to win these next games coming up. It’s not like we’re a lock to go, and we’d still like to win the division as well. We have to play well these last six games and see what happens.”

Associated Press photo of Hughes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 164 Comments →

Postgame notes: “It’s a lot better feeling in that clubhouse”09.27.10

Red Sox Yankees Baseball

My ride to the airport is picking me up in less than five hours, so I’m probably going to make this one pretty quick.

The magnitude of tonight’s game more or less speaks for itself. The Yankees made it clear they wanted and needed to win when they tabbed Phil Hughes to start on fewer than 24 hours notice. There was already panic from the fan base, but there was suddenly urgency from the team itself.

Hughes could hardly have been better. Alex Rodriguez hit perhaps his biggest home run of the year. The rest of the bullpen picked up Mariano Rivera. Eduardo Nunez stole third base to change the complexion of the ninth. Juan Miranda had the green light to swing away at a 3-1 pitch in the 10th, but watched the game-winning ball four sail inside.

“That’s a really big win for us,” Joe Girardi said. “We still want to win our division, we still want to get home-field advantage, and we’re fighting like crazy to do that. But it’s a lot better feeling in that clubhouse tonight than it has been lately, that’s for sure.”

Here’s Girardi’s postgame.

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Red Sox Yankees Baseball• Ever seen an MVP candidate serve as nothing more than translator for a September call-up? It happened tonight when Miranda was surrounded by reporters and asked Robinson Cano to help him out. Miranda will speak broken English to a small group, but a crowd makes a little more nervous. “Every player’s dream,” he said. “Just come in and get a chance in a big situation like that and do the job.”

• Girardi on why he stuck with Miranda: “We still had things we could have done. I could have put Berkman at first. I could have put Posada at first. Okajima can be tough on right-handers too, and Juan Miranda is a guy that can get a fly ball and we felt comfortable with him in that situation.”

• Nunez was running on his own. “I give guys the green light,” Girardi said. “I tell them, if they can get the bag, get the bag because it puts pressure on people.” Would Girardi have sent Nunez? Girardi kind of hesitated and said, “It just worked out well.” Fair enough.

• Rodriguez has four home runs in his past eight at-bats. He’s suddenly one away from another 30-homer season, something that seemed literally impossible earlier this year.

• To be perfectly honest, when Rodriguez drew the walk in the ninth, I was already working on a paragraph about his second home run of the game. I wanted to be ready if he hit a walk-off, and he’s been so hot I really believed he was going to do it.

• Cano is hitting .611 with 25 RBI with the bases loaded this season. His bases-loaded single tied the game after the Rodriguez walk in the ninth.

Red Sox Yankees Baseball• Rivera has now blown three of his past six save opportunities. He’s allowed a run in three straight appearances, the second time he’s done that this year. “I don’t think it’s anything I have to adjust,” he said. “It’s nothing that I have to do. I have to get them out, definitely, but it’s just making the pitches. It happens.”

• As for the four stolen bases against Rivera in the ninth, Girardi put it pretty simply: “They got some good jumps off Mo,” he said. Rivera on the stolen bases: “I got there and all of a sudden there are guys on base and guys running all over the place.”

• Rodriguez on Daisuke Matsuzaka: “I’ve never seen Matsuzaka throw the ball as well and sharp as he threw it tonight.”

• Hughes on leaving with a 1-0 deficit: “I figured I didn’t pitch well enough to win us this ball game. Matsuzaka was tremendous, but you kind of had a feeling we could push across a run. We just needed to get out of that jam that I put us in.”

• A lot of credit also to Dave Robertson for getting out of that jam. Robertson getting out of the seventh, “was a big turning point for us,” Hughes said.

• Hughes might not have said it, but all of the Yankees seemed to know and appreciate how very good he was tonight. In a huge playoff type start, he gave the Yankees their longest outing since his previous start, and did it after finding out late last night that he was starting. “It’s not like the four days in between you’re zeroed in on your next start,” he said. “I had plenty of time to mentally prepare for it.”

• Hughes hasn’t been told whether he’ll pitch again this season.

• We’ll give the last word to Rodriguez, who seemed to think back to Greg Golson’s throw in Tampa when talking about Miranda’s walk tonight in the Bronx. “Whoever would have through in February that Golson and Juan Miranda down the stretch would help us win two big playoff-atmosphere-type games,” he said.

• I didn’t do a very good job of making this quick. See you all in Toronto.

Associated Press photos of Miranda’s mob, Teixeira with Rodriguez and Hughes coming out of the game.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 67 Comments →

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