The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Archive for September, 2011

Nova starting tomorrow09.30.11

Ivan Nova will “start” tomorrow’s resumed game. Freddy Garcia will pitch Sunday.

“After that, I can’t tell you how we’ll
do it,” Girardi said.

The Yankees and Tigers will now play four days in a row, Saturday through Tuesday.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 256 Comments →

Game 1 suspended09.30.11

Tonight’s game has been suspended. It will resume tomorrow night, picking up exactly where it left off in the middle of the second inning.

Game 2 has been pushed back to Sunday at 3:07 p.m.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 474 Comments →

ALDS Game 1: Yankees vs. Tigers09.30.11

YANKEES (97-65)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

LHP CC Sabathia (19-8, 3.00)
Sabathia vs. Tigers

TIGERS (95-67)
Austin Jackson CF
Magglio Ordonez RF
Delmon Young LF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Alex Avila C
Ryan Raburn 2B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Brandon Inge 3B

RHP Justin Verlander
Verlander vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:37., TBS

WEATHER: Feels perfect outside. Very slight breeze. Not hot or cold. Just a gorgeous night.

UMPIRES: HP Tony Randazzo, 1B Eric Cooper, 2B Gerry Davis, 3B Dan Iassogna, LF Ted Barrett, RF Bill Welke

CLOSER AT THE BEGINNING: Mariano Rivera threw out the ceremonial first pitch, and he threw it to Jorge Posada. Pretty cool.

BEEN THERE, DONE THAT: CC Sabathia is making his eighth career Game 1 start, including all round. He ties Whitey Ford and Roger Clemens for the second-most Game 1 starts all time behind Greg Maddux (11). His five career Game 1 wins are tied with John Smoltz and Red Ruffing for the most in postseason history. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Sabathia has started Game 1 in each of the club’s five postseason series, going 3-1 with a 3.41 ERA (31.2IP, 12ER). The five straight Game 1 starts is the longest such streak in club history.

WINNING: The Yankees have swept each of their past two ALDS matchups, both against Minnesota. Their current six-game winning streak in ALDS games is tied for the longest all time.

ONE AWAY: With one hit, Posada will pass Kenny Lofton for the fourth-most postseason hits all time. Posada currently has 97. Derek Jeter is the all-time leader with 185… Jeter needs two homers to tie Bernie Williams for the second-most postseason home runs all-time with 22.

Update, 8:46: Sabathia was dominant in the first expect for that one pitch to Young. Of course, that was a big one, a solo homer to put the Tigers up 1-0.

Update, 8:56: Brian Heyman to continue the in-game blogging. It’s 1-1 on A-Rod’s RBI bouncer. And it’s raining.

Update, 9:08: Rain delay. The home plate area was becoming a muddy mess.

Update, 9:15:  Bad news if you’re a player assigned to Triple-A by the Yankees next season. You’re living out of a suitcase. The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees will have six home venues because of reconstruction at PNC Field — Rochester, Syracuse, Batavia, Buffalo, Allentown and the Red Sox’s Triple-A home in Pawtucket.

Update, 9:37: The tarp is coming off. There’s more rain in the forecast into tomorrow night.  

Update, 9:49: Tarp is back on. It’s raining hard.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 840 Comments →

Pregame notes: “You don’t want to let him beat you”09.30.11

Is it possible for one of the best hitters in baseball to sneak under the radar?

Miguel Cabrera leads the Majors in batting average and on-base percentage. He ranks fourth in slugging, and his OPS is second only to Jose Bautista. But he’s a secondary focus on this Tigers team, where Justin Verlander gets so much attention that Cabrera seems like a piece of the supporting cast.

“If he plays another eight to 10 years, he could go down as one of the greatest hitters of all time,” Joe Girardi said. “If you get in situations, you don’t want to let him beat you.”

Girardi would know. He managed Cabrera in Florida.

“It was a young man who, at a very young age, really knew how to hit and really knew how to play the game,” Girardi said. “I was impressed with his knowledge of the game and understanding how to play the game, and we had a very good relationship.”

At this point, you know all about the Yankees. You know Robinson Cano has been moved up to third in the lineup, you know Alex Rodriguez is coming off an injury and you know Curtis Granderson spent the year emerging as one of the game’s most dangerous hitters. You also know all about Verlander and CC Sabathia, a pitching matchup custom-made for Game 1. You know this is the division series, and the Yankees have the home-field advantage.

What’s we’ll find tonight is how the Yankees plan to approach the most dangerous hitter in the Tigers lineup, a guy who’s not getting the most buzz in Detroit, but who could make the biggest difference in this series if the Yankee choose to face him.

“That’s why we went out and got Victor Martinez,” Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. “… We feel very comfortable with Victor behind Miguel right now. There’s no question about that. He’s a very professional hitter. He’s knocked in over 100 runs. There’s never a perfect lineup but we think we have the guy to hit behind him.”

Here’s Girardi’s pregame press conference.

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• Leyland announced that Rick Porcello will be his Game 4 starter. That means they’re planning to use Verlander in Game 5. Girardi said he’s sticking with his decision to use Sabathia in Game 4 and Nova in Game 5.

• Girardi said all of his roster decisions were “pretty much as anticipated.” They wanted to keep their regular bullpen, and they felt comfortable with Jesus Montero as the backup catcher. A.J. Burnett is basically the long man, which seems to have lessened the need for Hector Noesi.

• Will Burnett be the fourth starter if the Yankees advance to the ALCS? “There’s a good possibility, yes,” Girardi said.

• Girardi expects to pinch hit Montero for Jorge Posada if the Tigers bring in a left-hander late in the game. In using Montero, the Yankees will eliminate their backup catcher, but Girardi will take that chance and lose his DH if something happens to Martin at that point.

• Austin Romine will stay with the big league club. So will Bartolo Colon. Ramiro Pena has already gone to Tampa to stay sharp, and lefty Raul Valdes will head down there on Sunday.

• Girardi didn’t rule out the idea of using Colon later in the postseason, but it doesn’t seem especially likely. “It’s possible. We’re going to have him continue to throw. He’s probably going ot stay with us though, but we’ll have him continue to throw and maybe the extra rest will help him.”

• Chris Dickerson became an important piece because the Yankees want to use him for late-inning defense in Detroit. “You look at the outfield in Detroit, how big it is, it’s nice to have Dickerson,” Girardi said.

• The seventh, eighth and ninth innings are obviously spoken for, but Girardi said he considers Phil Hughes to be a candidate for key spots in the sixth. “I’ll look at matchups,” Girardi said. “We’ve used Wade and Ayala and Boone in those situations. Not afraid to use Hughsey in those situations either.”

• The Yankees plan to stick with this lineup throughout the series.

• Girardi’s reaction to news that Terry Francona is out as manager in Boston: “These jobs are precious, there’s no doubt about it. There’s expectations. A lot of times they’re extremely high expectations when you’re in certain towns. We understand that when we take the job. High expectations are better than no expectations. You do enjoy it and you enjoy your time when you’re there. Tito has done a great job there. I’m not sure what’s going to happen, but I know he’s done a great job.”

Austin Jackson CF
Magglio Ordonez RF
Delmon Young LF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Victor Martinez DH
Alex Avila C
Ryan Raburn 2B
Jhonny Peralta SS
Brandon Inge 3B

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 219 Comments →

Lineup as expected for opener09.30.11

Joe Girardi just met with the beat writers and said Alex Rodriguez’s knee is perfectly fine. No surprises in the Game 1 lineup.

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 752 Comments →

LoHud Yankees chat begins at noon09.30.11

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 423 Comments →

Yankees finalize division series roster09.30.11

Luis Ayala
A.J. Burnett
Freddy Garcia
Phil Hughes
Boone Logan
Ivan Nova
Mariano Rivera
Dave Robertson
CC Sabathia
Rafael Soriano
Cory Wade

Russell Martin
Jesus Montero

Robinson Cano
Eric Chavez
Derek Jeter
Eduardo Nunez
Alex Rodriguez
Mark Teixeira

Chris Dickerson
Brett Gardner
Curtis Granderson
Andruw Jones
Nick Swisher

Designated hitter
Jorge Posada

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 76 Comments →

Big games and big results from the big man09.30.11

Justin Verlander is impossible to overlook. He’s been too good this season, too good to think there’s any other pitcher in this division series capable of having a bigger impact.

Surely squaring off against a pitcher like that sparks something extra inside of CC Sabathia.

“I wish I could sit here and say yeah, but no, not at all,” the Yankees ace said. “I still have to go out and do my job. Like I said, I’m out pitching against the Detroit Tigers and that lineup. I really can’t get myself concerned with what he does.”

Sabathia is the Yankees answer to Verlander, and the two are very familiar with one another having spent so much time together in the American League Central. They’ve already met once this year. It was on Opening Day. Both took a no-decision.

“CC’s a horse,” Derek Jeter said. “He wants to be out there. He’s a guy that wants to finish his games. He’s been our ace. He’s been the guy that we look to for big games and big results, and we have a lot of confidence in him.”

This is the key matchup. In a five-game series, a 1-0 lead is huge. The Yankees and Tigers are going with their best.

“I have a ton of confidence in CC,” Joe Girardi said. “This is a guy that’s been doing it for a long time. He’s been doing it in the postseason for us as well. He’s a guy that gives you a ton of innings, but he gives you quality innings. I have a ton of belief. You know he’s not going to panic. If he gets in a tough situation, he’s going to continue to make his pitches.”

Here’s Sabathia during yesterday’s press conference.

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Don’t forget, we’re doing a chat here on the blog today at noon. See you there!

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Podcastwith 575 Comments →

Projected roster, minor honors, the Rays bold choice09.29.11

Based on the bits and pieces that have been revealed about the Yankees division series roster, there’s only so much room to tweak pieces. Jack Curry tweeted a projected roster earlier tonight, and the groups make sense.

Projected position players: Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez, Brett Gardner, Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher, Andruw Jones, Russell Martin, Jorge Posada, Jesus Montero, Chris Dickerson

When Dickerson said he was on the roster, that seemed to nearly wipe out the possibility of carrying Austin Romine. If Montero’s not going to DH, and Martin’s going to catch every game, Romine shouldn’t play much of a role.

Projected pitchers: CC Sabathia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, Luis Ayala and Phil Hughes.

The Tigers have only one impact left-handed hitter, so there’s little need for a second lefty specialist, and with Hughes and Burnett in the bullpen, a long guy like Hector Noesi isn’t especially necessary. Could cut a reliever to carry Romine, but there’s a greater chance of wanting the extra arm than the spare catcher.

• The Detroit Free Press takes a look at the Tigers projected division series roster. It includes former Yankees minor league catcher Omir Santos, along with more familiar — and more obvious — former Yankees Austin Jackson, Wilson Betemit and Phil Coke.

• On the flip side, the Free Press wrote a little bit about Curtis Granderson playing against his former team.

• I covered Austin Jackson’s last year in the Yankees system. “I definitely envisioned myself playing center field one day for them,” Jackson said. “But things happen for a reason. I got the best opportunity I ever got in baseball being traded over the Tigers.”

• Check out the Rays: They’re going with Matt Moore in Game 1 of their division series. They used up their top starters against the Yankees, so they’re going with the kid. Gutsy. Really gutsy.

• Rawlings awarded a series of minor league Gold Glove awards, recognizing one minor league player at each position, choosing from a pool of players at every level. Two Yankees were recognized: Brandon Laird won the minor league Gold Glove at third base, and Austin Krum won the award in left field.

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 553 Comments →

Workout notes: “Told you we had a good team”09.29.11

This really didn’t feel like a new day. So much happened yesterday, and so much of it happened so late, that yesterday seemed to bleed into today. I never went to bed last night, and the Yankees didn’t get home from Tampa until early this morning.

That’s why Joe Girardi opened this afternoon’s press conference by saying up front that he wouldn’t be answering one of the most basic questions.

“Let me just start out by saying, and I’m sure this question is going to be asked, we do have the roster put together, but I have not had a chance to talk to everyone,” Girardi said. “So as soon as I get a chance, I will share it with all of you. Most of us got to our homes about 5 in the morning. You can understand why a few players aren’t here yet.”

Before you get too upset at Girardi, it’s worth noting that Jim Leyland also refused to announce his roster. So, for now we’re stuck waiting for an official group of 25 Yankees will be active for tomorrow’s division series.

It was a large group of Yankees that went through today’s workout, which seemed to be cut short — only slightly — because of a massive storm that rolled through quite suddenly. It had rained earlier in the day, but the Yankees were going through batting practice when the sky turned almost instantly black. It honestly looked a little bit like nighttime while the Yankees wrapped up as much BP as they could possibly take on the field.

Eventually they retreated back into the clubhouse, then back to their homes and apartments, and tomorrow the games that matter finally get started.

“Just because people weren’t picking us to win the World Series (in spring training), doesn’t mean we didn’t believe it,” Mark Teixeira said. “At the same time, it’s nice to say, ‘Hey guys, told you so. Told you we had a good team.’ We don’t go out there trying to disprove people’s theories or hypothesis of what’s going to happen in the season. What we do is try to win every single game, and at the end of the year, it worked out for us.”

• Girardi confirmed what was suspected: That Jorge Posada will be his everyday designated hitter this series. All of the Tigers starters are right-handed. “I don’t live in the past,” Posada said. “I live in the future. I live day-by-day, and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

• Girardi on Alex Rodriguez: “If last night was a postseason game, I’m playing him. That’s the bottom line. As I said, the time of year, we had to be somewhat cautious with some of our players, because I would hate to lose a player on the last day of the season… I have no doubt that he’s healthy enough to play every day.”

• Jesus Montero is also healthy enough to play. “I saw him today,” Girardi said. “He’s fine. He got hit on the outside of the last two fingers. He’ll have a bruise, but I saw it. There wasn’t really any swelling. He’s okay.

• Because Girardi wouldn’t announce a roster, he wouldn’t announce whether Austin Romine is going to make the team as a backup catcher. With Montero healthy enough to play, and not expected to get any DH starts, he could serve as the backup catcher this series.

• Obviously A.J. Burnett hasn’t officially made the roster, but it’s clear he’ll be an active part of the division series bullpen. “You want to see how quickly he can warm up,” Girardi said. “That’s something we got an idea about (last night), and I feel that he can do it if he has to do it.”

• If the Yankees carry Burnett and Phil Hughes with Mariano Rivera, Dave Robertson, Rafael Soriano, Cory Wade and Boone Logan, that’s already a seven-man bullpen. Hard to imagine they’d carry more than eight, which would leave room for only one of Luis Ayala, Hector Noesi and Bartolo Colon.

• Girardi on his conversation with Burnett about moving to the bullpen for at least this round: “He was good about it. We talked about it, and I gave him the option, because he had just thrown about 100 pitches on Sunday, and it would have been his throw day, his bullpen day anyway. He said, ‘Yeah, I want to give it a shot.’ I said, ‘I’m going to have you face one hitter, that’s it. I can’t tell you exactly when it’s going to be, but I’ll try to give you sufficient time to warm up.’ He was great about it.”

• Leyland announced only his first three starters: Justin Verlander, Doug Fister and Max Scherzer. He didn’t say whether Verlander will pitch Game 4 on short rest. Girardi has committed to Sabathia pitching that game.

• Remember Josh Hamilton in last year’s ALCS? Given that context, Girardi was asked how he’ll approach pitching to Miguel Cabrera. “We understand the type of hitter Miguel Cabrera is and how you have to be careful with him,” Girardi said. “I think the biggest difference between this lineup with Detroit this year and maybe last year was the addition of Victor Martinez and how Avila has arrived. But in saying that, we will be careful with Miguel Cabrera.”

• Told this seemed like a lengthy continuation of yesterday. At one point, Derek Jeter was asked what he thought about yesterday’s wild finish to the baseball season. “What happened?” Jeter said. “I’m tired right now. I don’t know what happened.” He was kidding. I think.

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 106 Comments →

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