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Yankees pregame: More Mariano

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Misc on Aug 12, 2011 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

The day after Mariano Rivera’s third straight outing in which he allowed at least one run – and this time it was a three-run homer – Joe Girardi was warning against thinking this is the beginning of the end for the 41-year-old closer.

“I think people, when players are older, are always looking for a sign,” Girardi said. “There are too many times when that sign is not there yet, but they’re looking hard for it. As I said about Derek (Jeter) when he was going through a little bit of struggle, I wouldn’t bet against him. And lo and behold, he gets hot. He’s been playing extremely well.

“(Rivera) has had a couple of days in a row where he has given up runs. I remember in 2009, he kind of got off to that slow start and people were saying, ‘Is this the beginning of the end?’ And let’s not forget, I think he threw two innings in Game 6 against the Phillies. He might have given us five outs against the Angels.

“I wouldn’t be too quick to jump to conclusions.”  

Rivera has given up an extra-base hit in a career-high-tying three straight games, allowing a homer in each of the last two.

“Great hitters go in slumps and you say, ‘Wow, can you believe this guy is in a slump this long?’ ” Girardi said. “It’s just the game of baseball. Mo has been so close to being automatic that when he has a blip, it’s more of a news story than somebody else.”

Girardi doesn’t see any mechanical failure.

“He looks to me the same as he’s looked for years,” Girardi said.

So what would be a bad sign? 

“I think if he got in a lot of three-ball counts,” Girardi said. “If he starts walking people or starts really getting behind people and not having the ability to throw strikes, I would say something was really off. But we’re not seeing that. We’re seeing him throw strikes. We’re seeing him miss a little bit and guys are hitting him.”  

*Phil Hughes gets the ball tomorrow against the Rays, standing on the mound and presumably the bubble, because the rotation is about to be hacked from six to five. A.J. Burnett is presumably standing on the bubble with him. But he doesn’t have another start before a decision is made. Freddy Garcia is Sunday’s scheduled starter.

“Our idea is to pare things down, but you wait to see what happens tomorrow; you wait to see what happens Sunday,” Girardi said. “I don’t really have to make a decision until Monday. We can prepare guys to start, but I don’t have to make a decision. I’m more worried about tonight.”    

Tonight CC Sabathia will try to bounce back against Tampa Bay after allowing a season-high seven runs against the Red Sox.

“Whether it’s in a bounce-back (game) or not a bounce-back, I expect him to be really good,” Girardi said.

There will also be a rematch between Jeter and David Price, who served up that homer for his 3,000th hit here on July 9.

“It was a special day right before the All-Star break when Jete and Price matched up,” Girardi said. “It ended up being a great day for our club as well, a 5-4 win.”

 
 

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70 Responses to “Yankees pregame: More Mariano”

  1. Villa Nova-Ya August 12th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

    Ugh. Repost (I didn’t see the new thread before I hit the submit button):

    You know, I think the Mariano stuff is like “man bites dog” in nature. But I also think there might be a macabre fascination among the media with regard to who spots the downfall first.

    And I don’t have a huge problem with that – I mean it is a story. I just think in the meantime, poor Mo has to answer those stupid questions that aren’t just about the game at hand, but whether or not he thinks he’s done. I mean, come on!!!

    (Not to mention, If Mo is nursing a minor ache or pain, does anyone think he’s going to tell anyone???)

  2. m August 12th, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    I cant see AJ getting bumped. No matter what happens.

  3. Villa Nova-Ya August 12th, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    m -

    When you take into account any and all factors, I’d agree with you.

  4. Abe Peteraham August 12th, 2011 at 5:15 pm

    I’m gonna say gi joe sends nova down, it’s an easy tenure decision, takes guts out of it..

  5. tomingeorgia August 12th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    Villa,
    Whatever it takes, I think Girardi gives Mo a couple of days off, achy or not.

  6. m August 12th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

    JF,

    Watching limited amount of Fenway games, it seems that the park plays small. Booming hits off the monster turn into singles with the right bounce, etc, etc.

  7. Jerkface August 12th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    M,

    Fenway inflates everything except HRs, its a great hitters park (And of course you can snag cheapies to RF and over the monster)

  8. m August 12th, 2011 at 5:21 pm

    Villa,

    Hughes will probably be on the short end of the stick, but with the season he’s having that’s understandable.

    Just can’t see them pulling AJ out now. He’s pitched well at times, just given up homeruns at inopportune times.

    If he pitches like drunkard then I say yeah, he won’t be in the postseason rotation. But we’ve got a sizeable lead in the WC race.

  9. m August 12th, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    JF,

    I see what you mean. It does rob the defense out of lazy fly balls and some line drive outs in LF that you would get at any other field.

  10. blake August 12th, 2011 at 5:28 pm

    Jim bowden just said he thought Montero was going to be up by Aug 31…..that he was going to catch in the big leagues…..and that he was going to hit in the middle of the Yankee lineup for years.

  11. Wave Your Hat August 12th, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Fenway I’ve always thought is surprisingly good for lefties as it often turns fly outs hit the opposite way into singles and doubles.

  12. kd August 12th, 2011 at 5:30 pm

    sounds awesome to me. i really wonder why he’s not up yet

    if he’s going to be here for years, let him learn at this level with jeter and posada showing him the way to do things

  13. Wave Your Hat August 12th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    JF-

    I don’t think AGon will continue to sport a .400+ OBP, I just think Fenway will boost his OBP going forward to more than his career norm (excluding 2009 and this year). How much more is the question, but he could hit .300+ in Fenway pretty easily.

  14. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Unless Phil is absolutely dynamite, I don’t see AJ getting removed – which I don’t have a problem with. I might have a problem if Phil is really good, but if he’s “eh”, I’m not going to make a stink about AJ in the rotation. Phil has rarely found consistency and even since he’s been back up his stuff has fluctuated. Hopefully he’ll have that good curve again. Either way, neither one will be in the post-season rotation, so they will both be in the pen (as mop up men) in the playoffs.

  15. blake August 12th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    Gonzalez ‘s BABIP this year is WAY higher than his career avg. He’s never hit anywhere close to .350 before.

  16. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    As to Mo, I couldn’t be less worried about him.

  17. Wave Your Hat August 12th, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    “Gonzalez ‘s BABIP this year is WAY higher than his career avg. He’s never hit anywhere close to .350 before.”

    blake, good to see you but you’re late to that party.

  18. 108 stitches August 12th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    Burnett to the bullpen. He’s done nothing to solidify his role as a starter and wouldn’t have to face a lineup the 2nd / 3rd time around when he’s easily figured out.
    Why should salary be an issue ?

  19. blake August 12th, 2011 at 5:40 pm

    Wave,

    Sorry I’ve been working …..Ill have to catch up.

  20. mick August 12th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Either way, neither one will be in the post-season rotation, so they will both be in the pen (as mop up men) in the playoffs.
    ===================
    Wrong! if they’re not good enough to start, why replace real relievers with 2 failed starters?

  21. blake August 12th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    I bet AJ could dominate in Japan……is the Ham Fighters on his no trade?

  22. tomingeorgia August 12th, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    108,
    The salary is a sunk cost. The problem is finding out how AJ can help the team for the next couple of years, so I agree with you. It isn’t a matter of keeping his trade value high!

  23. Wave Your Hat August 12th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Have to run. I’m nervous about the pitching matchups this weekend. On the other hand the Rays are run-challenged. I think we split 2-1, but CC needs to win tonight (series-wise, not season-wise).

  24. mick August 12th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    . The problem is finding out how AJ can help the team for the next couple of years, so I agree with you.
    ==========================
    The best way might be to shore up the pitching staff and eating some salary when they trade him away.

  25. Red Lobster August 12th, 2011 at 5:44 pm

    Hughes got a raw deal in all of this.

    He was rushed up here when he was still eligible for like 3 more AAA starts. Then he was skipped, then he was put in the pen for an inning, then apparently throwing 13 pitches was enough to get him skipped again. Now he is pitching for his job on 11 days rest. He is also competing with a guy who has no realistic chance of losing his spot in AJ. Then he is going to the pen to be a 6th inning/long man. Then on top of all that, his GM was trying to pry him off for Jimenez while claiming like 10 other guys were off-limits. How do you think that makes Hughes feel?

    He wasn’t officially Wally Pipped, but pretty close. He got a few starts back and only really had 1 bad one, and he is probably going to be regulated to low leverage pen innings when he should be starting game 2-3 in the playoffs. An 18 game winner should get treated better than that. And they wonder why they never develop any starters. I’m not even a big Hughes guy, but he doesn’t deserve to lose his spot to medocrity like AJ. We are in August and have a 9 game lead for a playoff spot. An innings eater like AJ doesn’t have value to us the final 6 weeks of the year… seeing if Hughes can be a playoff starter for us has much more value than placating the headcase AJ.

  26. tomingeorgia August 12th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    blake,
    The tall tatooed AJ would be a sensation in Japan, particularly as a blond.

  27. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    blake August 12th, 2011 at 5:28 pm
    Jim bowden just said he thought Montero was going to be up by Aug 31…..that he was going to catch in the big leagues…..and that he was going to hit in the middle of the Yankee lineup for years.
    ////

    That’s cool. Bowden has always liked Jesus, & one of the few even to concede defensive improvements…he seems to like our top guys a lot…just hope he’s not projecting what he thinks should be done, rather than some insight on what the Yanks will do…he said Montero was untouchable, before he was offered for Lee…Also said Betances was just about untouchable, but then we heard he was being offered in Ubaldo…I hope he has the goods…

    ////
    Anybody:
    Has there been anything on Cervelli being yanked in favor of Martin as C battery mate? Maybe they didn’t like the way he handled C last time or, dare I hope, their weaning C off him so they can finally, finally, FINALLY….FREE JESUS…?!!!!!?

    Thanks

  28. mick August 12th, 2011 at 5:50 pm

    It’s about time Martin and CC got together.
    After all the playoffs are a little more than a month away.

  29. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

    REd Lobster, all players have to deal with trade talk – Phil had to deal with worse in 2007 with the Santana talks and all. Nova threw a monkey wrench into the works because he’s been much better than everyone thought he’d be. I will say that I think the Yankees could have handled Hughes better. If they weren’t going to give him a long rope (he’s had only a few starts up here since his return), then they never should have brought him up in the first place. The fact that Nova was needed to pitch in DA should not have derailed their plans for Hughes. If they sent him down, then why didn’t they send him down after the Baltimore game? If they didn’t want to do that, then why not send Phil down?

    I don’t think the inning in the pen was a big deal at all – he did not do his job, period. I suspect he was going to pitch a few innings if needed, but the fact that he didn’t and that they skipped him still on Wednesday means that Nova had been chosen over him. So again, they should have just sent Phil down to AAA.

    All that said, this is life that most young players have to go through. He’s no longer the hot young prospect and he’s going to have to prove he’s more than a one half wonder with an inability to stay healthy. I hope he forces the Yankees hand by pitching well on Saturday, but if he doesn’t, then he’ll have to make the best of it in the pen like other pitchers with something to prove.

  30. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Also, why should he come close to starting game 2 or 3 of the playoffs? Colon and Garcia have been great and Nova’s been better than he is. Even if he stays in the rotation, he’s not starting in the playoffs.

  31. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Well Phil had better pitch a no-hitter:

    BryanHoch Cashman says Burnett’s struggles “overblown,” pleads for objectivity. Sounds like Hughes could be odd man out of rotation

    **This does not surprise me. I said days ago that Cashman came on the radio and insisted that AJ was not being removed. In addition, he has repeatedly said in the papers that AJ has pitched better than Hughes – both he and Joe have said it. They are down on Phil, that’s pretty clear.

  32. upstate kate August 12th, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    JAP
    I don’t really think Cervelli is CC’s personal C, it has just worked out that way. CC doesn’t mind throwing to him, and Martin needs time off. It made sense to have him catch yesterday, day game after night game. It makes sense to have him not catch AJ, Martin seems to do better w/ him. I would highly doubt Cervelli would catch in the playoffs.

  33. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    That comment by Cash is silly. AJ has not been that bad this year, but he’s been so mediocre – unlike last year where he had a few good games, he really hasn’t had any “wow” games this year. Pleading for objectivity? Wow.

  34. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    Wave Your Hat August 12th, 2011 at 5:29 pm
    Fenway I’ve always thought is surprisingly good for lefties as it often turns fly outs hit the opposite way into singles and doubles.
    ///

    It is good for lefties who go the other way, but it’s not great for our slug lefties not named Cano…neither Tex nor Swisher are all that useful for left-center or shots off the wall…if it was their home park, then they’d perhaps try to make adjustments…that’s how lefties really take advantage, by either being an opp field hitter to begin with or changing their swing there..that’s it’s good to help RHB enhance their slug numbers can’t be disputed (check out Youkilis, Pedroia slug H & A splits) & it’d be dynamite for a pair of power RIGHTIES in Alex & Montero, because of the wall they’d get pitched away (as Alex does) & hit shots into the BP :D . The Yanks once briefly considered swapping Joe & for Williams…alcohol was involved, but Williams wasn’t exactly a go the other way guy & Dimag would have had much better slugging numbers in Fenway…

  35. mick August 12th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    “Our idea is to pare things down, but you wait to see what happens tomorrow; you wait to see what happens Sunday,” Girardi said. “I don’t really have to make a decision until Monday. We can prepare guys to start, but I don’t have to make a decision. I’m more worried about tonight.”
    ========================================================
    Joe saying he DOESN’T have to make a decision til Monday means one thing.
    Room needs to be made for Alex. Someone is going down, not to the pen.
    Guess who that someone is…..I hope he pitches a no-hitter this Saturday.

  36. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:55 pm

    More:

    eboland11 Cashman: “I think A.J.’s been good.” Said decision hadn’t been made but reading tea leaves made it sound as if AJ isn’t going anywhere.

    eboland11 Cashman: “I think the stuff on AJ’s been a little overblown.”

  37. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    Joe D, that is

  38. fantasygame101 August 12th, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I think AJ will be ok if they told him to pitch 5 innings with 110 percent efforts every time. It was good until the 6th inning, Girardi should have known better than to go for 6th innings out of AJ. Having said that, maybe we can exchange high salary with the cubs, soriano for aj.

  39. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 5:57 pm

    upstate kate August 12th, 2011 at 5:54 pm
    JAP
    I don’t really think Cervelli is CC’s personal C, it has just worked out that way. CC doesn’t mind throwing to him, and Martin needs time off. It made sense to have him catch yesterday, day game after night game. It makes sense to have him not catch AJ, Martin seems to do better w/ him. I would highly doubt Cervelli would catch in the playoffs.
    ///

    Ya nevah know….:(. Hope that’s right…FREE JESUS :D

  40. randy l. August 12th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    “Hughes got a raw deal in all of this.”

    … ad on the other hand nova really deserved to be sent down last time?

    nova is better right now.

    that’s it. end of story.

  41. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

    Cashman sounds very defensive; I suspect he’s tired of taking it on the chin about a signing he felt he had to make (better AJ than Lowe) and will defend AJ regardless. I don’t have a problem leaving AJ in the rotation, but this is now really silly

  42. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    Then Randy, did you want Hughes to stay in AAA when he was ready to start?

    I really suspect Phil is going to be made a reliever sometime next year as the Yankees have so many young kids to try and develop and it’s pretty clear that he doesn’t have priority over some of them.

  43. fantasygame101 August 12th, 2011 at 6:00 pm

    what reporter’s expect cashman to say that AJ is so bad that if not for his salary, AJ would have already been release?

  44. yankee21 August 12th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    Unless Hughes is absolutely lights out tomorrow, there is no way in hell he will be named the winner of this so called final starter competition.

    With Joe G and Cashman downplaying Burnette’s suckitude, it is clear this is a competition in name only.

    If Hughes doesn’t get the job he should be sent to AAA to stay stretched out and pitch. They do not need another BP guy they will eventually need another starter.

  45. Bret The Hitman August 12th, 2011 at 6:01 pm

    The Yankees were forced to overpay for AJ because the Braves were courting him heavily and I believe they offered a comparable contract. AJ should’ve bolted to the NL. He’d have been much better off.

  46. mick August 12th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    What’s the difference where Phil pitches. At this point it’s all an audition for postseason baseball.
    The 6 man is out. Phil is going down to pitch. They all have to. You don’t know who you will need come playoffs.

  47. blake August 12th, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    What Cashman means is…..it wasn’t THAT bad of a signing

  48. upstate kate August 12th, 2011 at 6:03 pm

    JAP
    that is my story and I am sticking to it :)

  49. mick August 12th, 2011 at 6:04 pm

    Hughes’ future is not in the bullpen.

  50. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Cashman has been blunter than ever this year. He’s also got this thing where if people push him one way he digs in even deeper in defiance…

    His offseason comments on Jorge showed this whole Posada as DH thing has been tried in a kangaroo court: “He’s not catching anymore…he’s the DH…unless he plays himself off it…”

    If I could italicize the last part, I would.

  51. tomingeorgia August 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Some people here only need one emoticon: the frowney face.

  52. fantasygame101 August 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    IF AJ wins, I hope they treat him like a 5 SP. 5 innings thats it even if his pitch count is only 15 and pitching a complete game.

  53. Bret The Hitman August 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Yankee21,

    I agree with that. They don’t need Phil Hughes in the pen. Starter insurance is far more valuable for this club. The pen is stacked without Phil. But you have age and injury questions in the rotation. Plus Phil’s continued development should matter and they should log as many innings for him as possible. He’ll get more innings in AAA.

  54. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Blake, yep. I think it’s a mixture of the fact that he’s not happy with Hughes and is going to make him work to get back to where he was (a starter) and he’s trying to defend his signing. I don’t think AJ should be removed, BUT if the reason he is not being removed (or one of them anyway) is because Cash feels he has to defend this signing, then Cashman needs to go right now.

  55. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    upstate kate August 12th, 2011 at 6:03 pm
    JAP
    that is my story and I am sticking to it
    ////

    kate, I hope you’re right, & I really hope Bowden’s right…

  56. Laura - I Bleed Blue August 12th, 2011 at 6:06 pm

    “eboland11 Cashman: “I think the stuff on AJ’s been a little overblown.””

    And I think Cashman has been smoking crack. AJ has been horrible two years straight. I can understand the Yankees not wanting to admit that it was a bad signing, but to say that AJ’s situation has been overblown just makes Cash look bad.

  57. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Bret, his development matters if they think he’s going to be here long term. I’m not sure they think that’s the case and they want to win right now. Whatever upside Phil has over AJ, it’s not anything they are giving credence to. It’s about who they think will pitch better right now. AJ has been steadily mediocre and Phil has been up and down – I think they value the reliable mediocrity of AJ over Phil’s erraticness because I’m not sure they think that Phil is going to be that good this year.

  58. mick August 12th, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    They rushed Phil back from AAA. Now they will correct the wrong decision and let it play out.
    Meanwhile AJ, Colon and Garcia will battle for a playoff start.

  59. Bret The Hitman August 12th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    Betsy,

    True but if he’s not part of the long term plan then it would make more sense to keep him stretched out as a starter and advertise him as a starter for a trade.

    He’s going to AAA.

    Mark my words.

  60. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    I’ve been ready for Cashman to go for months. His getting defensive about this whole thing is ridiculous. Just send Phil down for the remainder of the AAA season and then stick him in the pen for meaningless innings in the playoffs.

  61. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 6:09 pm

    Hughes will be in the 2012 rotation. It’s one thing to try & deal a guy when you decide he can’t help you NOW, but he has the offseason and the rest of the year to again become a viable starter for the Yankees…CC, Hughes, Nova is probably on tap for 2012…wonder if Andy makes a comeback…said he might play next year…

  62. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 12th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Wouldn’t be great if instead of crying and kvetching and spinning out of control and predicting all kinds of dire happenings everyone had the ability to wait and watch? You bet it would be! But alas, human nature (well human nature for some) intervenes and zappo! The world gets turned on its head.

    My nature is to expect the best, so therefore I automatically believe that Mo is going through his twice-a-season rough patch and all will be well.

    I believe the best time to deal with something as reality is when it is indeed reality.

    That said, is there any problem with discussing the what ifs? Of course not. The danger, IMO, comes when someone is convinced that the damn has broken while the damn is still standing straight up. Kind of the chicken little syndrome constantly revisited.

    JMO of course, but I can’t see where waiting ’til the game is over before you call “game over” is anything but, well, sage.

    :)

  63. Betsy August 12th, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Bret, I don’t think they will get anything for him. It would take a long time to get his trade value to the point where you could get something decent, so IMO, they will put him in the pen in the hopes that his two pitches will be sufficient. It has yet to be determined whether he can ever maintain velocity as a starter…….

  64. mick August 12th, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Phil is insurance.
    It’s all about right now, not the future.
    Right now doesn’t mean the regular season either.
    It’s all about the postseason.
    Next year Hughes and AJ could be memories.

  65. m August 12th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    I don’t hear anything defensive in what Cashman is saying.

    AJ hasn’t been awful the entire season. GB7 has posted positive stats about AJ all season. Players are never as bad as they are portrayed here.

  66. tomingeorgia August 12th, 2011 at 6:14 pm

    trisha,
    Nice to see you again, and I agree. Parsing every at-bat, every inning, thinking of “what ifs”, tires me out. I hope Phil is lights out tomorrow, but I actually have a contest to watch tonight, Go Yankees!

  67. J. Alfred Prufrock August 12th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    Hughes has a pretty low maintenance delivery…he may just have 2nd year syndrome (after starting for a season)…I don’t expect he’ll have velocity issues going forward, based on what’s happening now…
    ///

    GO YANKS!
    GO DELLIN! (pitching to Bryce Harper tonight).

  68. mick August 12th, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    M is right.
    Hughes going down is being spun by Cash.
    He’s doing the right thing.

    NEXT====>>>>>>>

  69. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 12th, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    tomingeorgia, I always feel so uplifted when you’re here and posting. :)

    Nothing like a kindred spirit!

  70. randy l. August 12th, 2011 at 6:37 pm

    i think the yankees have to ask themselves what are the chances that both garcia and colon are healthy for the next 6 weeks with the increased innings that they are having this year.

    i would put hughes in triple a to be ready at a moments notice to replace anyone that needs replacing.

    it’s not a demotion. it’s taking one for the team.


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