The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Yankees pregame: Concern about Teixeira; Valentine gives himself a bad grade08.18.12

Brian Heyman here for Chad again today. Mark Teixeira is out of the starting lineup for the second straight game due to his left wrist inflammation.

“He’s a little bit better today,” Girardi said. “He’s not a player for me today. I wouldn’t imagine so. We’ll see in the next couple of days if we can get him back.”

Girardi is wondering, though.

“Yeah, I’m a little bit concerned if it’s going to get to 100 percent,” Girardi said. “He was better after the few days off a couple of weeks ago. And it seemed to come back a little bit. That raises a little bit of a red flag. You do what you can. Tex is good at playing beat up. He’s used to it in his career. We’ll try to get him back as soon as we can.”

The DL doesn’t appear off the table if the improvement doesn’t continue.

“Everyone plays a little beat up,” Girardi said. “It’s to the point where you’re too beat up to be productive. That’s what we weigh. If we feel that after two or three days, maybe he needs a whole week, we might try to make it like that. Or if he needs two weeks, we’ll do that. We’re going to do what it takes to try to get him healthy.”

Nick Swisher is again at first for Teixeira. Girardi said the Yankees originally had thought about playing Swisher at first before they acquired Teixeira. “I think he’s a very good first baseman,” Girardi said of Swisher, who’s batting .350 with a double, four homers and 11 RBI in the first five games of the homestand.

Girardi said: “What I’ve seen from Swish is he’s been patient, gotten his pitch and he hasn’t missed it. … He’s just in one of those grooves.”

Derek Jeter is the DH for the second straight game. Girardi had planned to DH him Thursday and today (both day games after night games), but Thursday’s plan went bad because Robinson Cano couldn’t start at second due to a stiff neck.

“Sixteen days in a row is the reason why I’ve done it,” Girardi said. “It’s really hard to give him a day off with the way that he’s swinging the bat. He’s our leadoff guy — and especially against left-handers.”

CC Sabathia threw about 20 pitches in the bullpen and pronounced himself ready to pitch Friday in Cleveland.

The Red Sox begin this game at 58-62, 13 1/2 back of the Yankees and 6 1/2 back of the Orioles and the Tigers in the race for the second wild card.

Bobby Valentine gave this summation on how he has done so far as manager: “As far as my job is concerned here and whether I’m doing a good job, I’m not doing a good job. I didn’t get paid to do anything other than to get to the playoffs, win a lot of games, be in the thick of things right down to the end, even be in first place. The team I’m managing is not there. Simple. So my job has not been a good job if I had to assess, but that’s not what I do. That’s not my job.”

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 30 Comments →

Yankees postgame: Home runs galore; Hughes makes a change08.18.12

The Yankees hit five homers in this 6-4 win over the Red Sox, all solo shots. The homer total tied a season high, and not coincidently the previous time also came against Boston pitching.

“Yeah, the home runs, that’s the way they live and they had a whole bunch of them tonight,” Bobby Valentine said after the Sox fell 13 1/2 games behind the Yankees.

This time, they did it with Mark Teixeira sitting out with his inflamed left wrist.

“I feel like we’re playing pretty well with a lot of our big bombers not in the lineup,” Nick Swisher said. “I think it’s a testament to this team’s resiliency.”

Swisher hit one from each side of the plate, the 12th time that has happened for him in a game. Only Teixeira is ahead of him on the all-time list, with 13. Swisher now has four homers in his last five games, giving him 18 for the season. He also has at least one RBI and one run scored in his last six games, which is a career high.

“It just so happens I’m hot right now,” Swisher said. “I felt I picked something up a week ago. … It’s rare you feel good from both sides of the plate at the same time.”

Derek Jeter hit No. 10 on the season/career No. 250, so the Yankees now have 10 players with at least 10 homers, a major-league high. And it ties the franchise record established in 1998.

Phil Hughes threw away a potential double-play ball in the third thanks to a bad grip or he would’ve had seven shutout innings. The four runs in that inning were unearned. But Hughes only gave up four hits in all and is now tied with CC Sabathia for the team lead in wins with 12.

Hughes used his changeup a lot more, especially to righties.

“It was more just being stubborn before,” Hughes said.

“It’s something we’re probably going to use from here on out,” Russell Martin said.

Rafael Soriano’s great season continues. He picked up save No. 30 in 32 tries, so he’s the seventh Yankee to post 30 saves dating to 1969 when the modern save rule came into existence.

The Yankees have won eight of 10. Saturday’s pitching matchup will feature David Phelps and Jon Lester.

Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 317 Comments →

Yankees pregame: Teixeira injured again; eye of Boston storm speaks08.17.12

Brian Heyman here for Chad today. Mark Teixeira isn’t in the starting lineup. He missed two games after injuring his left wrist July 29 when Boston was here last time and then aggravated it with a dive the next game against the Orioles. It was sore and inflamed then, and it’s sore and inflamed again.

“It’s something he’s been battling since he hurt it the first time,” Girardi said. “It got to the point where we’re going to have to give him some time off again. I don’t think that it’s a long-term problem, but we’ve just got to get through this. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s more than a day.

“I’ve been managing it. There’s a lot of things that go on in there that people don’t always know.”

Teixeira didn’t rule out another cortisone shot down the road if it doesn’t improve. He had one the first time.

“The wrist is a little sore, same thing I had two weeks ago,”  he said. “We’ve played 14 days straight. So it’s gotten sore the last few days. We just want to give it a day or two to calm down a little bit.”

The object of the alleged mutiny the last time the Red Sox were in town met the media. Manager Bobby Valentine didn’t delve into specifics about the Yahoo! Sports report earlier this week that many of his players had a meeting with management to complain about him and that some didn’t want to play for him anymore.

“It’s been a real challenging year, a lot of things going on,” Valentine said. “I don’t know if it’s been more than I expected, but it’s been challenging.

“Just the way we like it,” he added with a smile.

Valentine took some blame upon himself for 58-61 record, saying he was very disappointed with the bottom line. And he took an indirect swing at the starting pitching, which has mostly underperformed.

“I don’t think any one thing explains the record or where we are, other than I haven’t managed some situations as well as they should’ve been managed,” Valentine said. “When you talk about the pitching, the only thing the pitching has kind of stressed us on is that we’ve played an abnormal amount of games where we’ve been behind early. That might not statistically be true. It seems it. I think it stressed the offense. Our offense has been challenged at times, and when it’s challenged and stressed, it’s been less fun that normally.”

David Phelps fills in again for CC Sabathia tomorrow in Game 2 of the series. Girardi thinks he can go 90-95 pitches after going 78 in the last start.


Posted by: Brian Heyman - Posted in Miscwith 17 Comments →

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