Game 27: Yankees at Tigers • 05.03.11
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez 2B
LHP CC Sabathia (2-1, 2.25)
Sabathia vs. Tigers
Austin Jackson CF
Scott Strickland 2B
Magglio Ordonez DH
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Ryan Raburn LF
Jhonny Peralta SS
Casper Wells RF
Alex Avila C
Brandon Inge 3B
RHP Brad Penny (1-3, 6.11)
Penny vs. Yankees
TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m., YES Network and MLB Network
WEATHER: It’s been pretty rainy all day, but right now things look OK. The tarp was on and then off the field about four hours ago. Both teams took batting practice on the field.
UMPIRES: HP Marty Foster, 1B Bill Welke, 2B Tom Tschida, 3B Jeff Nelson
NEW GUY AT SECOND: Before tonight’s game, the Tigers recalled Scott Strickland from Triple-A and put him in the lineup, batting second between the struggling duo of Austin Jackson and Magglio Ordonez. He was hitting .408 with seven doubles, a triple and two home runs with Toledo. He was leading the International League in batting average and on-base percentage. Will Rhymes was optioned to make room for Sizemore.
THREE IN A ROW: Mariano Rivera has picked up a save three days in a row for the first time since July of 2009. He’s saved three straight games 29 times in his career and has saved three straight days 22 times.
ELEVEN IN A HURRY: Speaking of Rivera, this is the earliest he’s ever reached 11 saves in a season. The previous best was reaching 11 saves on May 5 in 2004. That season started on March 30 — this year on March 31 — and by May 5 the Yankees had played 27 games. They’ve played 26 this year. It goes without saying that when Rivera does something he’s never done before, it’s pretty incredible.
UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Hard to start an inning with back-to-back doubles and not give up some runs. Sabathia allowed doubles to Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore to start the bottom of the first, and now they’ve scored on a ground ball and a sac fly. It’s 2-0 Tigers.
UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: The Yankees put two on in each of the first two innings but couldn’t take advantage. Now they’ve gone down in order in the third.
UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Russell Martin’s RBI double has the Yankees on the board, but Andruw Jones was out by several feet trying to score on a fly ball to right. The Yankees managed to score but not quite tie and it’s 2-1 Tigers in the bottom of the fourth.
UPDATE, 8:42 p.m.: RBI triple by Austin Jackson pushed the Tigers lead to 3-1 in the fifth, and Scott Sizemore followed with an RBI single to make it 4-1. Sabathia seems to have been battling all night.
UPDATE, 8:53 p.m.: Sabathia’s night has gone about as well as he could have hoped considering he doesn’t have it tonight.
UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: Sabathia is struggling and the lineup’s not driving in runs. Can’t add bad base running on top of it all. That’s an ugly top of the sixth and it’s still a 4-1 Tigers lead.
The Sabathia’s started the PitCCh In Foundation, which does a ton of work for inner-city youth. They’ve also contributed to the Boys and Girls Club, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities and Strikeouts for Troops as well as several New York based groups. The Sabathia’s will receive the annual award at the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) Dinner on January 25 at the New York Marriott Marquis in Times Square.
CC was also named one of 10 finalists for the Jefferson Awards for Public Service. It’s given annually to athletes who display an exemplary commitment to service in their community.
A few links and notes from today.
• Jon Heyman once again says the Yankees are still interested in Rafael Soriano. He says Brian Fuentes is also a possibility. The Yankees would have to give up a first-round draft pick to sign Soriano, and they might have to outbid teams that offer ninth inning opportunities to Fuentes.
• Speaking of Heyman, he brings up the possibility of Johnny Damon going to Tampa Bay, leaving Desmond Jenings to open the season in Triple-A.
• All-times saves leader Trevor Hoffman has decided to retire. Mariano Rivera is 42 saves behind Hoffman. Rivera had 33 saves last season and 44 the year before. The fact the number 42 is involved here seems like a good sign, no?
• Brad Penny has agreed to a $3 million deal with the Tigers. At this point it’s easy to forget some of their early offseason moves, but Detroit has done quite a bit to rebuild its team.
• It doesn’t sound serious, but Josh Hamilton has been hospitalized with a case of pneumonia. He’s expected to be released within 24 hours.
• This afternoon — when I wasn’t breaking all of the incredible news surrounding the Yankees these days! — I checked the guide on my TV and found nothing worth watching. That’s when I started flipping through random television nonsense and stumbled upon some sort of live performance by The Shins. Turns out, it was an episode of the Gilmore Girls. Can’t make this stuff up.
Associated Press photo
On behalf of the Steinbrenner family, Hal Steinbrenner this afternoon released an official statement mourning the death of Christina Taylor Green.
“The Steinbrenner family and the New York Yankees organization join the entire nation in mourning Christina and send our deepest condolences to Dallas Green and his family as they deal with this tremendous loss. This is a tragedy that is beyond words and our thoughts and prayers are with the Green family, as well as all of the affected families.”
Dallas Green was a manager of the New York Yankees in 1989 and his son John, Christina’s father, pitched in the New York Yankees organization in 1989 and ’90.
• Mike Lupica did a terrific job of capturing Dallas Green’s emotion in the wake of tragedy.
• Wally Matthews talked to a baseball executive who said the Yankees, ” would be crazy not to at least consider (Andruw Jones).”
• One of those risk-reward pitchers on the free agent market, Brad Penny, seems to be close to choosing a team.
• Interesting work by Doug Gray combining some research to come up with a value-based ranking of each minor league system. The Yankees landed in sixth place (tip of the hat to the guys at River Ave. Blues).
Dreaming of best-case scenarios • 12.18.10
There is no such thing as a can’t-miss, top-of-the-rotation starter on the free agent market. The closest thing — other than Andy Pettitte — might be Carl Pavano, and that’s a tough sell for the Yankees for many, many reasons. One thing the Yankees might try is a high-risk, high-reward, low-dollar signing. They’ve already added Mark Prior on a minor league deal, and one of these starters could have significant upside to go with a small price tag and a large injury risk.
Left hip impingement
Duchscherer has been an all-star starter and an all-star reliever, but a series of injuries have limited his career through seven DL stints. Most recently, a hip injury that wouldn’t quite go away required surgery in early June, limiting Duchscherer to five good starts with the A’s. He previously missed all of 2009 because of elbow surgery and depression, but in 2008 he had a 2.54 ERA in his first full season as a starter.
A shoulder injury began causing problems in 2008. It cost Francis all of 2009 and landed him on the disabled list twice in 2010. He’s had surgery, and last season he kept battling soreness. Francis was a pretty promising young pitcher with the Rockies in 2007, but he’s had an ERA above 5.00 his past two seasons. If he’s healthy, maybe he could bounce back. His best years haven’t been as good as the others on this list.
Shoulder, forearm and elbow issues
I wanted to mention Lowry because he technically fits on this list, but the guy hasn’t pitched in the big leagues or minor leagues since 2007. Various things have gone wrong, and he never quite made a comeback last year. He was a good young pitcher with the Giants, but that was a pretty long time ago, and it’s hard to consider him a viable option at this point, even as a long shot.
Strained right lat
Penny made just nine starts last season before taking his familiar spot on the disabled list, where he also spent much of 2008. Those nine starts were good — he had a 3.23 ERA with the Cardinals — but his rehab didn’t go well enough for him to pitch beyond late May. Penny didn’t pitch well with Boston in 2009, but he finished that season in San Francisco and actually pitched very well for the Giants.
Torn elbow tendon
I decided to include Sheets because his name is on various free agent lists, but truth is, Sheets is not a legitimate option. He’s out at least the bulk of this season, probably all of it — maybe the rest of his career — after Tommy John surgery.
For three straight years, Webb was among the top pitchers in all of baseball. He was the Diamondbacks Opening Day starter in 2009, and he hasn’t pitched in the big leagues since. Webb tried to avoid surgery in 2009, but finally had a procedure in August of that year and coming back has been a struggle. Like Wang, Webb pitched this fall. If the Yankees want to dream big, the best-case scenario probably doesn’t get much better than Webb, who won the Cy Young in 2006 and finished second in 2007 and 2008. At his best, he was kind of a more dominant version of Wang.
Associated Press photo