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Postgame notes: “My moment is coming to play every day”

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcast on Jul 02, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

Eduardo Nunez won’t be the Yankees starting shortstop much longer, and he knows that. Best-case scenario is that he’ll be in the lineup two more days. If he’s playing much longer than that, something’s gone wrong with Derek Jeter’s rehab.

“I’m Eduardo Nunez, I’m not Derek Jeter,” Nunez said. “He’s a Hall of Famer. I’m this young guy. I have to learn a lot and do my best… I know he’s coming back, but I play hard, and one time my moment is coming to play every day. These two weeks have been an opportunity for me to show my manager, my staff and everybody that I can play (every day) one day in my career.”

Nunez made this team because of his bat, and after tonight’s 4-for-4, he’s hitting .309 as Jeter’s replacement. The eighth-inning insurance run he drove in gave the Yankees some breathing room on a night they seemed to hold their breath a lot.

The obvious knock on Nunez is his defense. He has a strong arm and plenty of range, but he’s showing some of the inconsistency that you might expect, but not necessarily like, from a young player. Tonight, his biggest throw was a good one. After dropping a throw from Curtis Granderson, then losing track of how far away the ball had rolled, Nunez saw Jose Reyes break for third base and fired a strike to Alex Rodriguez.

The throw beat Reyes, and that’s why the Yankees got the call. Rodriguez thought he got Reyes’ jersey. Reyes thought Rodriguez missed him altogether. Jerry Layne made the call, and Nunez had squashed the Mets last chance to get back in the game.

“He belongs here,” Mark Teixeira said. “He’s a guy that’s going to play in this game a long time, and he’s showing with this stretch here, these past couple of weeks, that he can play at this level.”

Said Joe Girardi: “When you have guys go down, a lot of times it’s kids who have a chance to step up. And he’s stepped up big time.”

I messed up while recording Nunez, but here’s Girardi’s postgame interview. Nunez actually did his interview in the press conference room, and let out a sigh of relief when it was over. He did a nice job, though. Handled himself really well in there.

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The Reyes play at third base will probably be the most talked about play of this game. Nunez said the throw from Granderson was “a good sinker” and he lost track of the ball a little bit after it bounced away.

Jose Reyes: “I thought I had a good chance to make it to third base, that’s why I went there. He called me out. That’s part of the game… (The umpire) was running to third base. I don’t know if he got a good view. I thought I got there safe but he called me out.”

Eduardo Nunez: “I think we have the play very close and have to throw perfect. I did my best.”

Alex Rodriguez: “I think I just touched a little bit of his sleeve. I saw the replay three or four times and I couldn’t even tell then… I wasn’t sure. I thought I got a little bit of the sleeve. Whether I did or not, you guys had a better view than I did.”

Umpire Jerry Layne: “You see what it is. It was a close play at third base, and I’m not going to comment about the ejection. I had him tagging him, you know, on the side by the belt/buttocks area for an out… I called what I saw.”

• Ivan Nova had runners on base all night, but got away with one run in five innings. His strikeout of Angel Pagan with the bases loaded in the fifth was arguably the most important at-bat of the night. “He was in trouble his share tonight,” Joe Girardi said. “But he did a good job making big pitches when he had to.”

• Girardi said Nova was going to pitch one more inning at the most, and when he had a chance to break the game open in the top of the sixth, he decided to go to the pinch hitter. He said he also liked the matchup of Luis Ayala against the bottom of the Mets order.

• Why go to right-hander Cory Wade to replace right-hander Ayala when Lucas Duda pinch hit in the sixth? “Ayala is more of a sinkerballer,” Girardi said. “You think about left-handed hitters, a lot of times they’re low-ball hitters. He has the curveball and changeup, where Ayala has the slider. They’re just two different guys, and htat’s why I like him in that situaton.”

• Ultimately, I have no idea why Girardi decided to let Boone Logan bunt for himself in the eighth inning, but it worked.

• Robinson Cano didn’t score on a Nunez single that dropped between players in the sixth inning. Girardi said Cano couldn’t tell whether it was caught, and since he wasn’t sure, he retreated. It was easy to see third base coach Rob Thomson waving him home. “It’s a tough read for Robbie,” Girardi said. “If you make the wrong read and he catches it, you’re out. If you make the wrong read and he doesn’t catch it, you’ve still got another shot.”

• Girardi said he was hoping to not use Mariano Rivera tonight, but with the top of the order coming up, he didn’t want to take any chances. “That situation with what’s coming up in the order with Beltran and Murphy, I wasn’t going to mess around,” Girardi said.

• Four scoreless innings from the bullpen, including key outs from Cory Wade and Boone Logan. “It makes it easier for us now that we have an idea exactly what we have,” Girardi said. “In the beginning when we were calling people up, you had to learn them as quick as possible and try to figure out which situations they’re most capable of being successful, but we’ve had them a little while and it definitely helps out to have that little background when you’re bringing them in.”

• Nick Swisher has a season-best eight-game hitting streak. He’s hitting .379 during the streak.

• Hard to imagine Rodriguez’s ninth-inning double staying in the park at any other stadium. “I wasn’t sure, but I thought it was (gone),” Rodriguez said.

• Brian Cashman said before the game that it’s unlikely Jeter will play the full nine innings tomorrow.

• Cashman also said Rafael Soriano threw a 32-fastball bullpen and could be back the first series after the all-star break — that’s best-case scenario — but Eric Chavez had a mild setback with a strain in his back. He’s eligible to be back next week, but Cashman said that probably won’t happen.

Associated Press photos, unfortunately there weren’t any good ones of Nunez tonight so we’re leading off with a shot of Granderson

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42 Responses to “Postgame notes: “My moment is coming to play every day””

  1. Vineyard Yankee July 2nd, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I hope that Baseball goes to a more balanced schedule so we continue to play different teams and not so many games with AL East opponents. Make the games more interesting to watch and see players like Fielder, Braun, Votto, Bruce, Tulo and Cargo. Especially these NL Teams, 17 and 4 over the last 21 I believe. On a roll.

  2. Giuseppe Franco July 2nd, 2011 at 12:51 am

    This isn’t a new topic but I wonder when ownership will finally cave and move in the fences – or at least shrink the outfield walls so that you don’t have to hit the ball 450 ft to clear the wall.

  3. West Coast Yankee Fan July 2nd, 2011 at 12:56 am

    I really enjoy inter-league games, the Colorado and Brewers series were really enjoyable. Getting to see players like Tulo, Fielder, etc.

  4. GreenBeret7 July 2nd, 2011 at 12:56 am

    The problem wasn’t Jerry Layne’s call. It was the third base umpire for whatever reason being in left field. Layne shouldn’t have had to cover the play.

  5. 4 NYY July 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 am

    # Vineyard Yankee July 2nd, 2011 at 12:45 am

    I hope that Baseball goes to a more balanced schedule so we continue to play different teams and not so many games with AL East opponents. Make the games more interesting to watch and see players like Fielder, Braun, Votto, Bruce, Tulo and Cargo. Especially these NL Teams, 17 and 4 over the last 21 I believe. On a roll.

    ====================================

    Totally agree with you, so tired of ending games against some in the A. L. by June. ( or whatever it is ) Kind of ridiculous. The number of interleague games played is enough for me, and I hope they keep changing who Yanks and everyone else plays each year. But we need much more balance in A.L, Never understood why they swithced Brewers without adding another team . Yanks sure sell out almost every where they visit. Good for the game.

  6. Bronx Jeers July 2nd, 2011 at 1:14 am

    On the post game they were saying Alex’s glove may have touched one of Reyes’ braids. :lol:

    That would be awesome.

  7. Vineyard Yankee July 2nd, 2011 at 1:16 am

    4 NYY July 2nd, 2011 at 1:07 am

    Good point about ending games with some AL teams by June. I was thinking about it and there are just too many games with the Red Sux for example, so many takes the luster out of playing them. Less games, less often might make the ones we have with them more intense.

    For me when we are playing the Brewers, Reds, Rockies I just look forward to them more so than the Orioles, Blue Jays etc.

    Definitely good for the game imo. I thought it was funny tonight that the attendance was the largest so far in the history of Citifield. Fred Wilpon must have liked that.

  8. Vineyard Yankee July 2nd, 2011 at 1:19 am

    Bronx Jeers July 2nd, 2011 at 1:14 am

    On that play I was trying to imagine Reyes in Yankee pinstripes without his braids and the facial hair. For some reason I just couldn’t see it. He would look almost naked !

  9. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I don’t want them to do away with the divisions but I do wish they would balance the schedule a bit…..it only makes sense for everyone to play each other more equally with the WC and especially if they add another.

    I’ll also say that I’ve enjoyed getting to see some of the NL guys……I watch a lot of baseball other than th Yankees games but when you see a player 3 straight days you get a better feel.for.what they are about…..I’ve liked interleague this year….but that then the Yanks dominated it.probably had something to.do with that :)

  10. MTU July 2nd, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Blake-

    What the heck are you doing up so early ?

    I thought only I did that.

  11. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Im not saying the Yankees should sign Reyes at all costs or anything…..I just think they shouldn’t cross it off the list.

    Jeter is still plenty good enough defensively and I still believe he’s going to figure out a way to get closer to what he was offensively…..but he turns 38 next season and will turn 39 in 2013…..so you have to at least consider the future at that position. Reyes is 28 and will have 3-4 prime seasons on his next contract…..SSs are so tough to find….they may be comfortable enough short term with Jeter and have a “cross that bridge when we get there” mentality regarding the long term at SS and that’s fine….but players that play that position at a high level and are under 30 rarely hit the market…..

  12. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 am

    MTU,

    My son rises with the roosters and makes sure everyone else does as well :)

  13. MTU July 2nd, 2011 at 7:50 am

    What do they do with Jeter ?

    Are they willing to take on another huge contract ?

  14. MTU July 2nd, 2011 at 7:52 am

    Blake-

    That’s what I thought. The alarm went off. The one that sounds just like a baby wailing.

    :)

  15. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 7:58 am

    MTU,

    Those are the rubs. You would have to have a conversation with Jeter at the end of the season and just see how he felt about them checking into Reyes and if he would be flexible if they aquired him and it made the team better. I think they could work out a system where he had days at 3B and RF…..its tricky and I don’t know what hes going to get. He’s more valuable and younger than Crawford so his agent will probably use that as a comp or starting point…..don’t know if I would pay that. Again I think think you consider it……he’s hitting the market probably a year earlier than would be ideal. If he were hitting Free agency after 2012 then signing him would likely be a lot less complicated.

  16. MTU July 2nd, 2011 at 8:03 am

    Blake-

    It sounds too convuted but ya ‘never know.

    I’m off to play Daniel Boone again.

    Catch you later. Have a good one.

    :)

  17. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 8:06 am

    A lot depends on what they do with Montero and how open the DH spot is also. If he’s ready next year to catch a lot then that opens up DH for Alex or Swisher…..or they could move Swisher this winter if a deal made sense. You never know how things will play out.

  18. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Safe travels MTU

  19. Yogi Mantle July 2nd, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Blake, I tend to lean toward the way you do regarding the divisions. I think they are currently too heavily weighted to division series and that should be lightened up more. Especially when you have a tough division, and the wild card talk of it being extended to more teams.

    I think it will either expose some teams that are in other divisions as not being as good as the division play makes them look. This could have the effect of making them up their game more.

    I’m not a huge fan of interleague play mainly because that used to be the point of the World Series and All Star games. It can be enjoyable watching some of the players that are in the other league playing, and gets the Yankees to ballclubs that we don’t normally get to see. I guess having grown up with the best record teams go to the World Series has some bearing in my views.

    I also just don’t see the love of the lack of DH in the National League play. Sure, there are some strategic moves that are made, but most times it is the same type of move they make in every game with rare exceptions. I can’t get excited over a double switch or watching a pitcher bat for low average. No one talks about the moves a manager makes in the NL the next day, it is always about plays made on the field. I agree with Girardi that the series played in NL parks/ NL rules, should be limited so they don’t go a week playing without a DH, putting the DH in a role of PH instead for too long, or putting them playing in the field at a position they aren’t all that great at.

  20. GreenBeret7 July 2nd, 2011 at 8:21 am

    Zambrano isn’t likely to be traded until after the trade deadline. he’s on the DL with a lower back strain.

  21. RhapsodyInBlue July 2nd, 2011 at 8:23 am

    This old man river he keeps on rolling.

  22. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 8:24 am

    Yogi,

    Yea when you’re talking WC its not fair to the teams in better divisions who have to.more or less play a tougher schedule than teams say in the AL West…..I say keep the divisions and.balance the schedule or at least closer to balanced.

    I like interleague…..I think it sparks interest and makes.money for the teams who.can then reivest into their product…..but there is too much of it and they play the same series too much……there shouldn’t be 2 subway series every year for the same reason the Yankees and Sox shouldn’t play 18 times or whatever a year.

  23. blake July 2nd, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Colon is back today!

  24. MaineYankee July 2nd, 2011 at 8:32 am

    GB7

    Reading the post from last night I thought you had re-upped.

    That was quite a battle raging here.

    Of course you was able to fight with both hands behind your back considering the foe.

    “It’s better to keep your mouth shut and let people think you’re a fool than to open your mouth and prove it.”

    I guess he never heard that quote.

  25. 86w183 July 2nd, 2011 at 9:04 am

    The worst thing about possibly having two 15-team leagues is that you have to have interleague play all year long. The Yanks should be playing the Red Saux in September not the Padres. The scheduling just doesn’t work.

    You could add two teams to the AL making 16 teams in each league. That’s easier from a scheduling perspective.

    Seven of the top 30 TV markets in the country do not have MLB franchises:

    # 20 Sacramento
    # 22 Portland, Oregon
    # 24 Charlotte
    # 25 Indianapolis
    # 27 Raleigh-Durham
    # 29 Nashville
    # 30 Hartford-New Haven

    You also have three huge markets that have only one team:

    # 4 Philadelphia
    # 5 Dallas
    # 7 Boston

    Just a thought

  26. RSM July 2nd, 2011 at 9:17 am

    Jeter is more sure handed than Nunez, who is young and should continue to improve with more playing time, while Jeter can only continue to decline.
    Nunez has better range and a better arm. He hits for better average with more power, and is faster on the bases. All for 1/30th the price.
    The Jeter era was awesome, but it’s over. The sooner Cashman and Girardi realize that, the better off the team is.
    And by the way, they don’t need Reyes. Going after him would be a colossal mistake. Spending a total of about $45M/yr (Jeter + Reyes) for one position that can easily be filled by a very good, cost controlled in house alternative makes no sense whatsoever.

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