The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Archive for August, 2012

Mariano speaks, Soriano listens08.29.12

Mariano Rivera was in the Yankees clubhouse yesterday. Turns out, he was also in Rafael Soriano’s head.

“I know he sees every game,” Soriano said. “(Monday) night he saw the game, and he come to me and say, ‘Why you got to throw so many sliders? You’ve got a good fastball. Come back with your fastball and you can throw your slider anytime.’ … I said, all right, let me try to do something different.”

The result was what Joe Girardi called Soriano’s best stuff of the season, and what Soriano called his best day of the year.

“(Rivera)’s talked to Dave Robertson a little bit before too,” Russell Martin said. “When he has something to say, you listen. He knows what he’s doing, and he’s been doing it for a while. For me it’s kind of like when Derek comes and talks to me about hitting. You’ve got to be all ears. I wish he would’ve been right behind me yesterday so I would have done it differently. He definitely had a good fastball tonight, but his slider was just as good.”

For today’s series finale, Soriano is supposed to go through his pregame routine and then tell Girardi whether he’ll be available to pitch. He’s pitched three days in a row.

“I don’t think you ever see Sori get too high or too low,” Girardi said. “He’s pretty level-headed like that. Anyone who has a night where sometimes things get away from you, you’re going to be a little bit upset about it, but maybe pitching angry — I didn’t see him gritting his teeth. He bounced back great, and I think it’s because he’s even-keeled.”

Associated Press photo

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Postgame notes: “Figured this would be a good team to use it against”08.28.12

By the time he came set, went into his delivery and threw his final pitch of the night, Phil Hughes had already shown his new weapon a few times, but it was perhaps most noticeable when Adeiny Hechavarria went down swinging to end the seventh inning.

Hughes got rid of his cutters earlier this season, and he scrapped his slider years ago, but tonight he used a sort of hybrid pitch to great effect in a game the Yankees badly needed a strong start out of him.

“I was working on a little cutter/slider hybrid deal in the bullpen and I figured this would be a good team to use it against because they have a lot of right-handed bats in that lineup,” Hughes said. “… I was just kind of messing around with it during catch, threw a few at the end of a bullpen one time and it was decent, so I just kind of started to mix it a little more in. In our scouting report meetings before today’s game, (Larry Rothschild) said, ‘Do you feel comfortable going to it if you need to? Not a whole lot obviously, but just something?’ I said, yeah. The first one was a 3-2 to Torrealba that I threw. After that, Russ and I found a few more spots to use it.”

Hughes made it clear that he doesn’t expect this to become a go-to pitch, but it’s something to keep hitters off his fastball in fastball counts. The cutter was supposed to be that pitch, but Hughes kept getting hurt with it.

“I was talking to Alex after the game and he said, a bad cutter is a BP fastball, whereas a bad slider at least does something,” Hughes said. “It’s a little bit offspeed. If I don’t execute the pitch, at least it’s something that’s not close to speed with my fastball. At least it’s maybe doing something. Even if it’s backing up, it’s going down or something like that. So, even if I don’t throw a quality one, the odds of it getting hammered somewhere are a little bit less.”

Hughes guessed he threw his slider/cutter fewer than 10 times in maybe five different at-bats, and he noted that the Blue Jays didn’t have had that pitch in their scouting report, which won’t be the case against the next team he faces. He’s still a fastball pitcher, with a curveball and changeup as his primary offspeed pitches. This just gives him a fourth pitch to mix things up now and then.

“I’ve relied on my fastball a lot more (lately), and certainly me throwing a few cutter/sliders is not going to alter that,” Hughes said. “I still need to make sure I trust my fastball and throw it aggressively. In every fastball count, I don’t want to have to throw this (hybrid) pitch. I still need to be an aggressive guy that throws a lot of fastballs, but Encarnacion’s worn me out the last few of starts and it was just something to show him. I didn’t get any outs against him with it, but it certainly had a few spots in the game tonight.”

• Russell Martin had a good way to describe the way Rafael Soriano pitched tonight. “Looked like there was a little anger,” Martin said. “He took it out the right way. Some guys that get angry kind of lose control but he was in control.” After last night’s letdown, Soriano pitched a perfect ninth inning with two strikeouts. Joe Giradri said Soriano’s stuff was as good as he’s ever seen it.

• Here’s Soriano: “I think tonight be the best day that I’ve had this year. I’ve got to come back tomorrow and do my routine. I’ll let (Girardi) know if I can pitch tomorrow. Maybe I need the day.”

• Dave Robertson and Soriano have each pitched three straight days. Girardi said Robertson is certainly not available tomorrow, but Soriano might be. Depends on how Soriano feels tomorrow. Robertson had never before pitched three straight days with the Yankees.

• Play of the night had to be Robinson Cano’s double play, right? Hughes actually had a rough sixth inning with two walks and two hard-hit balls, but Andruw Jones tracked down the fly ball to right and Cano leaped in the air to snag the line drive. Cano then fired to third base to turn a hard-hit ball into a double play. “Probably one (second baseman who can make that play),” Girardi said. “It’s an incredible play. I thought he had no chance at third, but it’s an incredible play at a crucial time. I wasn’t even sure if he was going to catch it to begin with, and then you get the double play, it’s icing on the cake.”

• Yankees starters are 9-2 with a 2.46 ERA in 13 starts at Yankee Stadium in the month of August, holding opponents to four earned runs or less in each of those starts.

• Hughes had back-to-back rough starts earlier this month, but he’s since lasted seven innings in three straight outings, allowing a total of three earned runs. “Sometimes you can have those bad thoughts going into your work days and then your next start and sometimes it can snowball a little bit,” Hughes said. “Especially after the April that I had, I felt like I really needed to bounce back from that and be able to do that. I think every time I’ve had a rough start, I’ve been able to either back it up with a good one or maybe two starts down the line have a good one. It hasn’t been the ideal year, but I’ve been able to bounce back from a few rough ones, which is all I’m trying to do.”

• That last strikeout in the seventh inning was the 500th strikeout of Hughes’ career.

• Steve Pearce went 0-of-2 with a walk and a run scored in his Yankees debut. “He takes a walk, he advances on a ball in the dirt, Russell does a good job with two strikes of getting him over, and then you get a sac fly,” Girardi said. “It was the little things that those guys did in the middle of the order that helped us win that game. We’re missing some guys that we usually put in against left-handers, Tex and Al, and those are some pretty bats and those are their spots. These guys did a nice job in that role today.”

• According to Elias, Pearce was the first player to hit cleanup in his first game with the Yankees since Glenallen Hill on July 24, 2000.

• Another day, another hit for Nick Swisher who’s now hitting .341 in 20 games since moving into the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Girardi said Swisher would likely remain in the No. 2 spot even after Teixeira and Rodriguez came off the disabled list.

• On the flip side, Andruw Jones is really struggling. “He’s a guy that we know can get really hot against left-handers,” Girardi said. “I think it’s important that we get him going and we’re trying. Andruw’s been through this before where he’s struggled and come out of it in a big way, and I’m hoping it happens. We still expect him to be productive.”

• Pedro Feliciano continued his rehab assignment a third of an inning with Double-A Trenton. It’s the first time he’s pitched on back-to-back days since his rehab started.

• Final word goes to Girardi: “If you’re going to make it to the playoffs and you’re going to make any noise in the playoffs, you have to have (consistent pitching). That’s the bottom line. The teams that pitch the best are usually the teams that are left over in October. Consistency is the important thing. CC had a great start in his comeback. Kuroda has been really consistent. Hughesy’s been consistent. Freddy’s been pretty good and Phelpsy’s done a nice job for us. For us to continue to try to get to where we want to get, we have to have that.”

Associated Press photos

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Hughes comes through in one-run win08.28.12

With no Mark Teixeira, no Alex Rodriguez and no extra-base hits, the Yankees played small ball tonight. They needed their pitching staff to do the bulk of the heavy lifting, and Phil Hughes delivered seven strong innings for a 2-1 win against the Blue Jays. Hughes struck out five and allowed four hits, lowering his ERA to 4.02 while picking up his 13th win. A solo home run by Adeiny Hechavarria — of all people — gave Toronto its only run. The Yankees scored their runs on a three singles in the third inning, and a sacrifice fly in the fourth. Dave Robertson and Rafael Soriano each pitched for a third straight day to close out the win.

Associated Press photo

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Game 129: Yankees vs. Blue Jays08.28.12

YANKEES (74-54)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Steve Pearce DH
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

RHP Phil Hughes (12-11, 4.15)
Hughes vs. Blue Jays

BLUE JAYS (57-70)
Rajai Davis LF
Colby Rasmus CF
Edwin Encarnacion 1B
Adam Lind DH
Yunel Escobar SS
Yorvit Torrealba C
Mike McCoy 2B
Moises Sierra RF
Adeiny Hechavarria 3B

LHP Ricky Romero (8-11, 5.63)
Romero vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network

WEATHER: Actually feels very nice outside. Clear sky. Wind blowing out to right a little bit.

UMPIRES: HP Ed Hickox, 1B Chris Conroy, 2B Mark Carlson, 3B Angel Hernandez

TOUGH LOSS: According to Elias, Monday’s loss was the Yankees first home loss in a game they led by two or more runs with two outs in the ninth since August 18, 2000 against the Angels when the Yankees led 8-3 after the eighth and allowed five runs in the ninth, including a game-tying three-run homer by Mo Vaughn off Mariano Rivera. The Yankees lost 9-8 in 11.

GUEST OF HONOR: Uganda’s Little League World Series Team, the first-ever team from Africa to participate in the LLWS, will be the Yankees’ guest tomorrow.?As part of their visit, the Ugandan team will be on-field for Yankees batting practice and participate in roll call in Section 203 at the start of the game.

ON THIS DATE: Happy birthday today to three members of the 1977 World Series championship Yankees: Ron Guidry (1950), Lou Piniella (1943) and Mike Torrez (1946).

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: Hughes is through five innings scoreless. Of course, the Yankees only hit of the day is a leadoff single by Jeter. Four of their first seven hitters have struck out.

UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: Swisher stays hot with a two-out RBI single in the third. Now the Yankees need Cano to come through against a left-hander, something he’s had a surprisingly hard time doing this season.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Granderson’s sac fly went to deep center field, scoring Pearce who got into scoring position in the first place by taking second base on a ball in the dirt. The Yankees are scratching out their runs today and they lead 2-0 heading into the fifth.

UPDATE, 8:31 p.m.: Hughes gives up a lot of home runs, we all know that, but a solo shot to Adeiny Hechavarria? That’s ugly. One of the worst hitters in the big leagues took Hughes deep to cut the Yankees lead to 2-1. Even so, Hughes has pitched well tonight.

UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Hughes has run into some trouble, but he’s getting away with it. In the sixth he walked two batters, gave up a deep fly ball and let Escobar hit a rocket line drive to second base. Yet he managed to get three outs — Cano turned the line drive into a double play — and he’s through the sixth inning with a 2-1 lead.

UPDATE, 9:07 p.m.: Good, quick seventh inning for Hughes. That’s probably it for him, and it’s hard to be disappointed by one run through seven innings.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 217 Comments →

Pregame notes: “Going to be as optimistic as I can”08.28.12

If September 1 weren’t three games away, it’s likely Mark Teixeira would have landed on the disabled list today. The Yankees believe he’ll miss at least a week, and they recognize that two weeks or more is a very real possibility. Essentially, the Yankees decided to play a man short for these three games rather than risk Teixeira being healthy enough to play early next month but remain unavailable because of the DL.

“You might have to revisit something,” Joe Girardi said. “You’re looking at three games, basically. Our feeling is, we’ll take that chance.”

For tonight, Teixeira’s replacement in the cleanup spot is newly acquired Steve Pearce, who’s here specifically to hit left-handed pitching. Girardi said he wanted to keep the top three hitters together — “They’ve been swinging the bat good so let’s get them up as many times as we can,” he said — and lining up hitters after those three is a bit of a crap shoot. These numbers are vs.LHP this season:

Pearce: .275/.345/.490
Martin: .227/.358/.489
Granderson: .228/.319/.479
Jones: .210/.279/.442
Nix: .247/.284/.416
Ichiro: .233/.242/.264

Agree or disagree, there’s certainly logic in the batting order.

What the Yankees really need is to get Teixeira back sooner than 15 days (and Alex Rodriguez fairly soon as well). Derek Jeter missed three weeks with a Grade 1 calf strain last season, but Teixeira believes he can come back sooner.

“The doctor looked at the MRI and said it’s not as severe,” Teixeira said. “You can have the same injury. One person’s pull is a week, another person’s is a month. It’s just the way it is. … I’m hoping it’s a week. It might be as much as two. I’m going to be as optimistic as I can. You guys know me. I’m a very positive person. I’m just going to really try to be positive here and hopefully I’ll be back as soon as possible.”

• Alex Rodriguez ran the bases, fielded groundballs and took live batting practice this afternoon. “I think my legs are coming,” he said. “I see light at the end of the tunnel. My expectation is to come back and come back at full strength to help this team win.”

• Rodriguez said he would like to get into a rehab game or two — and Girardi says that seems possible — which means some minor league team might be adding a significant bat for the playoffs.

• Andy Pettitte threw three sessions of roughly 20 pitches apiece this afternoon. All pitches were thrown off flat ground, but for the last session he went through something close to his usual windup and delivery. “He actually looked really good,” Girardi said. ““Our hope is it’s a mound, a bullpen, (that Pettitte does next). We’ll have to see how he feels in the next couple days.”

• If Pettitte does throw a bullpen next, it would be either Friday or Saturday.

• Girardi wasn’t sure whether Ivan Nova would try to play catch Wednesday or Friday, but the plan is for him to throw a baseball again this week.

• To make room on the roster, Casey McGehee was optioned to Charleston. He was sent all the way down to Low-A because that season will end sooner, and McGehee can be called up sooner. The way I’ve always understood the rule is this: When a player is optioned, he has to remain optioned for 10 days unless there’s a big league injury. The 10-day rule still applies for September call-ups, unless the player’s minor league season ends. In McGehee’s case, the Yankees Triple-A, Double-A and High-A teams are still in the playoff hunt. Low-A Charleston is not, which means that team’s season will end on September 3 and McGehee will be eligible to return.

• Girardi said he’s been encouraged by Martin’s recent at-bats, which is why he’s hitting so high in the order. “I really like the Russell is swinging the bat,” Girardi said. “He’s really got to try to change his luck a little bit.”

• Rafael Soriano said his pitching hand felt fine last night, he just didn’t have a good night. Being hit by that line drive the night before had no impact on him.

• Pearce said he was surprised to learn the Yankees had traded for him. He was playing extremely well with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the first two months of the season, but at that time the Yankees didn’t have room for him on the big league roster, and he floated to Baltimore and Houston before finally landing at Yankee Stadium. “I was playing well, which was the only reason I used the opt-out date,” he said. “I wanted to come up through the Yankees organization, but it was a numbers thing. I had to move on. … When you join an organization, you don’t want to stay in Triple-A the whole year. This is definitely what I envisioned and I’m really excited to be here.”

Associated Press photos

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Pearce starting at DH08.28.12

Casey McGehee is no longer on the roster.

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Steve Pearce DH
Russell Martin C
Curtis Granderson CF
Andruw Jones RF
Jayson Nix 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

RHP Phil Hughes

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 422 Comments →

Miley named IL Manager of the Year08.28.12

This one had to be an easy choice for voters in the International League. Despite playing all of their games on the road this season, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees are one win away from a division title, and for that, manager Dave Miley has been named the league’s Manager of the Year for the second time in six years. None of the Yankees Triple-A players were named to the International League postseason all-star team. Here’s the announcement from Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Manager Dave Miley has been named the 2012 International League Manager of the year. The award is voted upon by International League’s managers, coaches, media and club representatives. This is the second time that Miley has received “Manager of the Year” honors having previously won the award in 2007, his first season with the SWB Yankees.

Despite having to play its entire season without a true home stadium while PNC Field in Moosic, Pennsylvania undergoes a $43.3 million reconstruction project, the Yankees have posted the second best record in the International League at 81-47 and are 12 games over .500 both in “home” games (40-28) and road games (41-29).

“It is really difficult to adequately describe the job Dave Miley has done in the 2012 season,” said New York Yankees Senior Vice President of Baseball Operations Mark Newman. “Dave has met the extraordinary challenge of leading a team playing 144 games on the road with extraordinary success. No one could be more deserving of this award.”

Miley previously won the award after the 2007 season, the first of four consecutive North Division titles for the Yankees. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is poised to win its fifth division title in six years as a Yankees affiliate with a “magic number” of one with six games left in the regular season.

“It has always been about the coaches and players surrounding me,” said Miley. “Just like it has been every year, once again this season, the Yankees have given me great coaches to work with and great players to manage.”

Miley picked up the 1,600th win of his minor league managerial career with a win over the Buffalo Bisons on April 13th and won his 500th game as the Yankees Triple-A Manager on May 12th with a win over the Durham Bulls. In 21 seasons as a minor league manager he has compiled a 1,678 – 1,271 record. He has been the only manager in SWB Yankees history and is seven seasons as the manager of the Yankees top affiliate he is 563-430. Including 2012, Miley has posted a winning record in 19 of his 21 seasons on the bench.

“What Dave has done with his team would be impressive in a normal situation,” said SWB Yankees President and General Manager Rob Crain. “With the challenges he and his staff encountered this year, his efforts have been nothing short of remarkable.”

Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as a franchise is now third all-time in the International League with five managers of the year in its 24 year history. Miley leads the SWB skippers with two and is joined by Lee Elia (1992), Marc Bombard (2002) and John Russell (2006) as the other Scranton/Wilkes-Barre managers to take top honors.

Associated Press photo of Miley, Chris Dickerson and trainer Darren London (who was named the IL Trainer of the Year)

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“I guess the show goes on”08.28.12

What do you say after a night like last night? What do you say when the division lead is getting tighter, key games are on the schedule and another marquee player is hurt?

Remember when Dave Robertson tripped carrying boxes during spring training? Was that supposed to be some sort of warning shot?

The Yankees have since seen Joba Chamberlain all but destroy his ankle on a trampoline, Michael Pineda blow out his shoulder before throwing a meaningful pitch, Brett Gardner suffer multiple setbacks from an injury that was supposed to keep him out only a few days, Mariano Rivera tear his ACL shagging fly balls, Andy Pettitte break his ankle on a comebacker, Alex Rodriguez break his hand on a changeup and now Teixeira strain his calf on a foul groundball.

“You know how many teams have had injuries?” Derek Jeter said. “Look at Boston. They’ve had injuries. Toronto’s had injuries. It seems like everyone in our division (had had injuries). That’s part of the game. That’s one thing people don’t take into consideration when we start seasons, when they start to figure out who’s going to win. Injuries are a part of it, so we have to play through it.”

The Yankee are still in first place. Jeter’s old saying — win your games and you don’t have to worry, or some variation of that — still holds true. Someone else will be at first base tonight. Someone else will be batting cleanup. And the Yankees will have another game to play.

“We’re going to have to step it up, man,” Nick Swisher said. “We’ve been dealing with stuff like this all year. As bad as it is to say, I guess the show goes on, you know?”

Associated Press photo

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Postgame notes: “I knew something wasn’t right”08.28.12

That picture up top was taken after Robinson Cano’s second home run tonight. The Yankees were winning, Mark Teixeira was smiling and — even though we didn’t know it at the time — medical tests on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte had been encouraging. It was going to be a good night.

Literally two pitches later, Teixeira fouled off a pitch, and as he started to come out of the box toward first base, he felt something give in his calf.

“I had a groundball foul ball and I took the first step put of the box and felt something kind of grab,” he said. “I thought I could run through it, finish the at-bat. I drew the walk. Instead of loosening up as I was running, it tightened up more. … (Running the bases) I knew something wasn’t right. It was severe enough that I knew I needed to get out of the game.”

Within a few hours of that picture, the Yankees had blown a lead, lost a game and been forced to imagine life without another key piece of the batting order. Teixeira might not land on the disabled list, but he’s certainly not going to play the rest of this series, very likely won’t play the rest of this week and even his worst-case scenario of missing two weeks might not be worst-case enough. Derek Jeter also had a Grade 1 calf strain and missed three weeks last season.

“Calves can be really tricky,” Joe Girardi said. “We’ve seen that from guys. I’m concerned.”

Already playing without Rodriguez — not to mention playing without Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner and Michael Pineda — the Yankees now have to shakeup the lineup yet again, finding someone else to bat behind Cano. Derek Jeter, Nick Swisher and Cano have been awfully good lately, but it’s hard for three guys to carry a team, especially through the key games coming up.

“It’s very frustrating,” Teixeira said. “We’ve had our share of bad luck as most teams in baseball have. We’ve just got to fight through it. We’ve had guys step up all year for us, so whether it’s a week or two weeks, whatever it may be, we’ll have guys step up.”

• Losing Teixeira would have been bad enough, but losing a winnable game on top of the injury left that Yankees clubhouse awfully quiet tonight. “For anybody on our team, that’s tough to watch,” David Phelps said.

• Obviously the three-run homer to Colby Rasmus was the crushing blow in the ninth, but Rafael Soriano had a chance to end the game a batter earlier when he was ahead 0-2 with two outs against Rajai Davis. “He just made a mistake with an 0-2 slider, the second hit,” Girardi said. “And then he left a slider up for the home run. He’s been so good for us. We’ve seen him close so many games for us and do a great job. Tonight just wasn’t his night.”

• As for the 11th, Derek Lowe said his pickoff throw was just too far to the right. “It’s inexcusable,” he said. “It’s not that hard to throw it to the guy, and it didn’t happen.”

• Didn’t see Jayson Nix after the game, but I have to think his opinion of the groundball that scored the winning run would be the same as everyone else

Lowe: “I think in that situation, I didn’t have a thought that he’d go. It’s smart base running. You take advantage of where the ball was hit.”
Jeter: “There’s nothing you could do. (McCoy) went back to third. (Nix) did exactly what he was supposed to do, throw the ball to first. He just made a good play. It’s different if he initially starts going home, but he did exactly what he’s supposed to do. That’s just a good play on (McCoy’s) part.”
Girardi: “He doesn’t have time to look the runner back. It’s great baserunning by McCoy. That’s exactly what you teach. If the ball’s hit a little harder, they can’t do that, but it was the perfect ball.”

• Robinson Cano had the ninth multi-homer game of his career, and his second of the season. It was the 14th time the Yankees had a multi-home game this season — they had 20 last year — and it continued a strong stretch of games for Cano, who seems to have bounced back from that two-week slump.

• Nick Swisher might be just as hot as Cano right now. Swisher is hitting .342 with six homers and 20 RBI in 19 games since moving up to No. 2 in the order. He’s the fifth Major League switch hitter to reach 20 homers this season (of course, Teixeira is among those who got there before Swisher).

• Derek Jeter’s ninth inning homer was his second career home run in the ninth inning or later that tied the game or gave the Yankees the lead. He also had a walkoff against Keith Foulke in 2005.

• Jeter was hitless in 13 career at-bats against Casey Janssen coming into that at-bat. “He threw a ball right down the middle and up,” Jeter said. “Pretty sure he didn’t want it to be there. I don’t pay attention to what I’ve done in the past off someone, but I’m pretty sure it was a mistake on his part, and it barely got out.”

• For the most part, David Phelps looked pretty good. He made two key mistakes — a changeup that Adam Lind hit for a homer and a cutter that Yorvit Torrealba hit out — but otherwise, another solid start from the Yankees rookie. “A couple of pitches left up in the zone and got hurt for it, but other than that, I felt like I had good command of my stuff tonight,” Phelps said. “Felt like I made some good pitches when I needed to.”

• One complaint from Phelps: “Any time we score runs, it’s real important to go out and put up a zero just to keep the momentum going on our side. Both times we scored runs I went out and gave it up. It’s frustrating.”

• If you missed it in the earlier post, here’s Girardi on Alex Rodriguez and Andy Pettitte: “Alex will take BP tomorrow and Andy will do another flat ground. They’re both healing great. After that flat ground, our hope is that maybe we get him in a bullpen.”

• Pedro Feliciano pitched a scoreless inning with Double-A Trenton tonight. He struck out two and walked one. “Hopefully, I do my job here and open the eyes of Girardi and the big team and they call me up,” Feliciano told Mike Ashmore. “My surgery was the same as Chien-Ming Wang, and he took two years to pitch. I’ve been 11 months. I think I’m ready. I think I’m ready to help the team.”

• Final word goes to Teixeira: “Every game is important. We’ve weathered the storm so far; we’re still in first place and we’re still fighting. A tough one tonight, but we’ve had plenty of guys that have gone down and we’ve had people step up.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Noteswith 400 Comments →

Teixeira has Grade 1 strain08.27.12

Real quickly, with more coming later…

• Mark Teixiera has a Grade 1 strain of his left calf. He felt it on that foul ball in the fourth, tried to stay in the game and knew he was legitimately hurt while he was running the bases. “It could be seven days, it could be two weeks,” he said. Derek Jeter had a Grade 1 calf strain last season.

• Alex Rodriguez has been cleared to take batting practice tomorrow.

• Andy Pettitte will throw another flat ground tomorrow, and if that goes well, he could progress to a mound.

• Everyone seemed to be in agreement that Jayson Nix did the right thing on that groundball in the 11th. “He didn’t have time to look the runner back,” Girardi said. “It was just a great baserunning play by McCoy.”

• Rafael Soriano did not speak to the media after tonight’s game.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 432 Comments →

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