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

Postgame notes: A steady force in the Yankees lineup

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Jun 01, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Curtis Granderson said he still checks the lineup sheet everyday. He walks into the clubhouse every day not sure whether he’ll be starting or where he’ll be hitting. He doesn’t take it for granted that his name will be there, in the No. 2 hole, playing center field.

“Always,” he said. “I still check to see that.”

Might be time to take it at least a little bit for granted. With three hits and a home run tonight, Granderson further established himself as the Yankees most consistent hitter and one of the most dangerous hitters in baseball. He’s closed his most glaring hole: The inability to hit left-handed pitchers.

He’d never before hit more than five home runs off lefties in a single season. This year he leads the Major Leagues with nine home runs against lefties. The latest was a two-run shot against Brett Anderson, a guy who had not allowed a left-handed extra-base hit this season and hadn’t allowed a left-handed home run since August of 2009.

“Anderson is as good as it gets,” Joe Girardi said. “It’s hard to believe. The adjustment that this guy has made is remarkable.”

Granderson leads the Yankees with 17 home runs and 41 RBI. He’s hitting .284, and actually has a higher batting average against lefties than against righties.

“The big thing is just trying to use what we’ve been working on, Kevin Long and myself,” Granderson said. “Just being there ready to hit. Being down, being consistently in a position to attack the baseball and hopefully recognize pitches (and) lay off some pitches. It’s still a constant battle.”

For Granderson, the battle might be constant. For the Yankees, the one constant has been Granderson.

Here’s the center fielder.

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• One night after Bartolo Colon pitched a complete game, Freddy Garcia pitched seven good innings for his fourth win of the season. These two just keep getting it done. “You play here, you want to do good,” Garcia said. “You want to have a chance to go to the playoffs and World Series with this team.”

• The biggest out for Garcia came in the fourth inning when he walked Kevin Kouzmanoff to load the bases before inducing an inning-ending grounder from Andy LaRoche, who had tripled the inning before. Garcia said he was pitching around Kouzmanoff specifically to face LaRoche.

• The scariest out for Garcia came in the sixth when Kouzmanoff lined a comebacker that somehow found Garcia’s glove for a double play. “That was lucky,” Garcia said. “Almost got hit in my face. I don’t even know how I caught that ball.”

• This was Garcia’s 300th career start in the American League. He’s the fifth active pitcher to reach that mark.

• Back-to-back nights, the Yankees have faced very good starting pitchers and scored almost immediately. “We’ve been able to do it the first two nights here, getting a couple of two-run homers here,” Girardi said. “That’s real important. Anderson’s got outstanding stuff and an outstanding slider. You don’t see a lot of home runs in this ballpark, but he gave up his first one to a lefty.”

• It was a botched play that sent Mark Teixeira home on an unusual double steal. “When things are going right, they’re going right,” Girardi said. “You get some hits to fall in that aren’t necessarily hit the hardest and that’s when you can score a lot of runs.”

• Russell Martin was taken out because Girardi plans to have him catch tomorrow. His toe is fine.

• Everyone else who was pulled late in the game is also fine. Girardi was just giving them a late-inning break in a blowout.

• Alex Rodriguez went 3-for-4 and he’s now 7-for-9 with 21 RBI in 11 plate appearances after Mark Teixeira has been intentionally walked. He’s hitting .383 in his past 14 games.

• Teixeira extended his season-high hitting streak to eight games. He’s hitting .303 during the streak, but he did have his streak of six straight games with an RBI snapped. That was the second-longest RBI streak of his career.

• Derek Jeter is now 17 hits away from 3,000 after a 2-for-4 night that included a pair of infield singles, a walk and a stolen base. “He started off the game with a base hit,” Girardi said. “He’s been really good about getting on his first AB for us and setting the tone.”

• The Yankees have now won nine straight games against Oakland. It’s their longest winning streak against the A’s since August 6, 1964 through August 18, 1965 when they also won nine straight.

Associated Press photos



25 Responses to “Postgame notes: A steady force in the Yankees lineup”

  1. Wang IS Taiwan June 1st, 2011 at 2:55 am

    For Granderson, the battle might be constant. For the Yankees, the one constant has been Granderson.

    Nice, Chad.

  2. Ghostwriter June 1st, 2011 at 6:20 am

    The Yanks lead the league in team ERA at the 53-game mark of the season. Who would seen that coming last spring? Who would have predicted that we would lose Hughes for the first several weeks of the year, and still lead the league in pitching? Colon, Garcia, and Burnett deserve a ton of credit for their efforts through this point in the season.

  3. GreenBeret7 June 1st, 2011 at 6:43 am

    The Yankees are 4th in team ERA, behind the A’s, Mariners and Angels. The Yankee pitching staff doesn’t lead in any category.

  4. Ghostwriter June 1st, 2011 at 6:57 am

    Not according to ESPN:

    The Yanks are tied with Seattle at 3.35, followed by Oakland at 3.38 and Toronto at 3.79. No, scratch that. You’re right– there is something wrong with the ESPN site–the number of games is wrong.

  5. Wang IS Taiwan June 1st, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Speaking of sites being off — has anyone noticed that the MLB standings goes wacko immediately following games? E.g., it will say -3.5 or things like that. It corrects itself several hours after the games have all ended, but I never saw this happen in years past. Am I missing something?

  6. GreenBeret7 June 1st, 2011 at 7:02 am

  7. Ghostwriter June 1st, 2011 at 7:05 am

    Wang IS Taiwan June 1st, 2011 at 6:59 am

    Speaking of sites being off — has anyone noticed that the MLB standings goes wacko immediately following games? E.g., it will say -3.5 or things like that. It corrects itself several hours after the games have all ended, but I never saw this happen in years past. Am I missing something?

    I never seen that. At which site does it happen? I’ve noticed a funky lag in updating some stats but not others at ESPN. But the standings always has seemed stable. This morning’s glitch is just weird, not only are the ERAs fouled up, wins and losses don’t add up to the number of games played. Weird. However, they did have the Yanks at 36 and 23–I would sign up for that in a second! :)

  8. Ghostwriter June 1st, 2011 at 7:06 am

    Thanks, GB!

  9. Wang IS Taiwan June 1st, 2011 at 7:08 am

    I do enjoy the fact that the Sux are at 10th, with an ERA of 4.12 after their pitching staff (well, their whole freakin’ team) was hailed as practically the best team EVER assembled.

  10. Wang IS Taiwan June 1st, 2011 at 7:09 am


    The standings at ESPN are always correct. That’s where I invariably turn after the MLB bugs out. I typically don’t use ESPN to check for other stats, though.

  11. blake June 1st, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Freddy Garcia the QS machine strikes again and so does the offense.

    One of the more impressive wins of the season as Anderson is very good. The offense feels like its getting close to clicking finally. If the Red Sox would have scored 10 runs in a game Anderson started then they would be called a runaway train juggernaut offense.

    2 games up in the LC on June 1…..ill take that.

  12. PacoDooley June 1st, 2011 at 7:33 am

    Just think about the fact that Freddy Garcia now has a better record and significantly lower ERA than Cliff Lee. Yes, you want Lee in a must win game, but its amazing that both Colon and Garcia have thus far pitched to better stats than Lee. And that is with Lee getting the NL bonus included in his stats while the Yankees pitchers have the AL East penalty included!

  13. Ghostwriter June 1st, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Considering that Oakland has only given up 200 runs in 56 games, getting 15 off them in back to back games is pretty good.

  14. blake June 1st, 2011 at 7:44 am

    I was looking at Garcia’s stuff on fangraphs…..fastball velocity is about the same as last year. The big difference is that he’s throwing a lot more curveballs and splitters and a lot less changeups than a year ago. He threw 22.8% CUs last year…down to 8% this year.

    The guy knows how to pitch.

  15. 86w183 June 1st, 2011 at 7:48 am

    the last three days is the team we thought we’d be seeing. Some power, clutch hitting, a little bit of speed and quality pitching. We just didn’t expect it from Colon or Garcia to this level — although I must say I was an advocate for signing Garcia long before it happened. I just love having guys who know how to pitch.

    Lee had a great run there for awhile, but my concern about him has always been that he lives on pinpoint command. He doesn’t have the margin for error other aces like CC, Doc Halladay and King Felix have. Yanks biggest need is still a lefty in the pen…. that and a return to form by Swisher and/or Posada.

  16. blake June 1st, 2011 at 7:49 am

    Jeter is now hitting. 304 with a. 779 OPS on the road this year.

  17. blake June 1st, 2011 at 7:53 am

    Its true that Lee relies on pinpoint command more than other elite starters…he has good stuff but its not overwhelming. He would have helped the Yankees…..but Cashman may not have signed either of Colon/Garcia if they had landed him. That contract has the potential to be a big overpay as Lee doesn’t have a history of providing great regular season value as CC and some other starters do.

  18. John in Ohio June 1st, 2011 at 7:53 am

    That photo of Curtis looks like he’s in the old “Wasssup?” commercials.

    I’m glad Joe read this blog the day I suggested to put him in the #2 slot and leave him there.

  19. NYY fan in NH June 1st, 2011 at 7:59 am

    Very happy to see the Yanks turning it around. Beating good pitching always helps, but to see Jeter hitting and MVP Granderson killing LHP. Tex is on fire and Arod hitting better. Still need to figure out the DH and Swisher, but at least they got 1rst place back.

  20. Erin June 1st, 2011 at 8:29 am

    Very appropriately, we are now in Curtis Granderson month. ;)

    btw, love that picture of Alex and Robbie. So cute.

  21. Erin June 1st, 2011 at 8:31 am

    John in Ohio June 1st, 2011 at 7:53 am
    That photo of Curtis looks like he?s in the old ?Wasssup?? commercials.



  22. MTU June 1st, 2011 at 8:57 am

    All I can say is Austin who ?

    Although I must admit Kennedy is doing very well for the Snakes.

    The excellent Pitching has caught most everyone off guard.

    You might be right Blake. The O starting to click ?


  23. MTU June 1st, 2011 at 9:01 am

    New thread==>

  24. blake June 1st, 2011 at 9:02 am


    Ask said, the offense was going to hit stride at some point. They have too many good hitters with long track records not to.

    My only real worry with this team is that the rotation still carries a lot of risk. Most rotations do but there are questions there as to how long they can perform the way they are.

  25. MTU June 1st, 2011 at 9:06 am


    Of course.

    Until then enjoy we the ride.

    I’d still take a look at Danks. He’s way better than his record indicates.

    Hughes should be back after the TD as well.

    The Posada question looms large.

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