The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 124: Yankees at Twins08.20.11

YANKEES (76-47)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Andruw Jones DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Brett Gardner LF

RHP A.J. Burnett (9-9, 4.61)
Burnett vs. Twins

TWINS (54-70)
Ben Revere CF
Trevor Plouffe RF
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Jason Kubel DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Rene Tosoni LF
Luke Hughes 2B
Matt Tolbert SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (8-9, 5.12)
Liriano vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m., YES Network / MLB Network

WEATHER: The weather has been great here in Minneapolis. Another blue sky. Temperature in the 70s. Very light breeze blowing out to center.

UMPIRES: HP D.J. Reyburn, 1B Ron Kulp, 3B Jim Wolf
There is a three-man crew tonight. Brian O’Nora is out because of a personal medical matter.

THE HITS KEEP COMING: The Yankees have recorded at least 10 hits in each of their past six games, batting .344 (78-for-227) with 26 extra-base hits (13 doubles, three triples and 10 home runs) since August 13. This is their longest streak of games with double-digits in hits this season.

DRIVING THEM IN: Mark Teixeira is the 27th active player to reach 1,000 RBI, and the fifth current Yankee (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Andruw Jones and Jorge Posada). Teixeira is only the sixth player all time to collect at least 1,000 RBI within his first nine Major League seasons. You’ve heard of the other five: Joe DiMaggio, Hank Greenberg, Ted Williams, Al Simmons and Albert Pujols.

RUSSELL’S MUSCLE: Russell Martin has 15 home runs this season, second most among American League catchers and four shy of his career-high of 19 set in 2007 with the Dodgers. He has hit three home runs in his past two games and five home runs in his past nine road games.

UPDATE, 7:19 p.m.: For now, the Yankees have caught a break because Trevor Plouffe didn’t score from second on a hard-hit Joe Mauer double, but Burnett now has to face Morneau and Kubel with runners at second and third and one out.

UPDATE, 7:24 p.m.: Ugly pitch in the dirt by Burnett. It gets by Martin and the run scores on a wild pitch. It’s 1-0 Twins in the first.

UPDATE, 7:26 p.m.: Good throw by Gardner made it a closer play than I expected, but the run still scores on a sac fly and it’s 2-0 Twins.

UPDATE, 7:37 p.m.: First-pitch homer by Valencia makes it 3-0 in the second. Here we go…

UPDATE, 7:43 p.m.: Sharp double down to left. Looks like it just caught the line past third base and Burnett’s struggles continue. Tosoni being thrown out trying to steal was a gift.

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: Visit to the mound after Burnett’s second walk of the inning. Stadium is playing Crazy Train.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Third walk of the inning, and here comes Ayala. Burnett lasted an inning and two third. He got five outs, one of them because his catcher threw out a base runner.

UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: The Yankees got a run in the third, but this is a big hill to climb. Burnett was charged with all five runs in the second inning, and his final line is 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 2 WP. Ugly.

UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Aaron Laffey grew up rooting for the Yankees. Think he expected to make his debut for them in a game like this?

UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: And Laffey just walked in a run. Not good for this Yankees pitching staff.

UPDATE, 9:40 p.m.: Defensive changes. Posada is now at first, Chavez at third, Nunez at short, Martin at second and Cervelli catching. Three catchers on the field.

UPDATE, 9:45 p.m.: In the new lineup, Posada is batting first, Cervelli third and Chavez fourth.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 447 Comments →

Long expects big things from A-Rod, plus other notes02.10.11

Two years ago, the Yankees best hitter was Mark Teixeira. Last year, it was Robinson Cano. Could it be Alex Rodriguez’s turn again in 2011?

“We talk about Cano as obviously one of the best players in the game,” Kevin Long told ESPNNewYork. “Alex had more home runs and drove in more runs in five less weeks. So if Cano’s considered one of the best, what’s Alex considered? I think there’s still plenty of production there.”

In his story, Wally Matthews mentioned Rodriguez’s ugly splits against left-handers last season. Long is well aware of the numbers, and so is Rodriguez.

“I just said to him, ‘Lefties,’” Long said. “And he said, ‘I know.’”

A few more links from today.

• Speaking of Yankees coaches, Larry Rothschild has inherited a thin rotation with uncertainty at the top (A.J. Burnett) and uncertainty at the bottom (the competition for No. 4 and 5). Rothschild thinks Burnett is on the right track, and he’s happy with what he’s seen from Ivan Nova. “Nova’s certainly a young kid with good enough stuff,” he said.

Rothschild also talked today about the state of the Yankees bullpen.

• Over at FanGraphs, Dave Cameron wrote about the possibility of the Yankees making a trade for Francisco Liriano.

• Over at, Buster Olney wrote about Brewers closer John Axford, who spent one largely forgotten year in the Yankees minor league system.

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith 341 Comments →

ALDS Game 1: Yankees at Twins10.06.10

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

LHP CC Sabathia (21-7, 3.18)
Sabathia vs. Twins

TWINS (0-0)
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer C
Delmon Young RF
Jim Thome DH
Michael Cuddyer 1B
Jason Kubel RF
Danny Valencia 3B
J.J. Hardy SS

LHP Francisco Liriano (14-10, 3.62)
Liriano vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:37 p.m. / TBS

UMPIRES: HP Jerry Crawford, 1B Hunter Wendelstedt, 2B Greg Gibson, 3B Brian O’Nora, LF Gary Darling, RF Chris Guccione

WEATHER: Temperatures in the low 60s for first pitch, dropping well into the 50s during the course of the game. Pretty much zero chance of rain. Nothing but blue skies all day today.

MORE OF THE SAME: The Yankees are looking to repeat last year’s Division Series when they came from behind in all three games to sweep the Twins. The Yankees starters allowed just three earned runs in 19 innings in that ALDS, and the Yankees out-homered the Twins 6-0.

SOMETHING DIFFERENT: The Yankees are not hoping to repeat their previous wild card berths. They’ve been the wild card three times before this season and never advanced to the ALCS. The Yankees 95 wins matched their third-most in a season in which they did not finish in first place.

GOLDEN: According to Elias, the Yankees primary infielders combined for a .944 fielding percentage and just 27 errors. That’s the fewest of any Major League team at those positions.

THE CAPTAIN: Derek Jeter has reached base in 48 of 53 career Division Series games. He’s reached in 122 of his all-time record 138 career postseason games.

UPDATE, 8:56 p.m.: Scoreless through the first inning. This place is beyond packed. I can’t believe how many people are here, literally standing in every available space. It’s very loud.

UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: Scoreless top of the second for the Yankees, but the last three batters showed some signs of getting to Liriano. Thames drew a walk, Posada got enough of a ball for a single and Granderson ripped a ball that would have been a double if it were a little closer to the line. Not a good inning, but better than the first for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 9:10 p.m.: It’s basically impossible to hit a home run to center field in this park. Cuddyer just smoked the ball to dead center for a two-run shot and a 2-0 Twins lead.

UPDATE, 9:43 p.m.: Hudson breaking for third base reminded me of Damon in last year’s World Series. That’s a heads up play, and it led to a run. It’s 3-0 Twins in the third.

UPDATE, 10:10 p.m.: Liriano is dealing. He’s through five scoreless, and he’s been pretty economical in his past two innings. It’s still 3-0.

UPDATE, 10:34 p.m.: RBI singles by Cano and Posada have gotten the Yankees back in the game. It’s still a 3-2 Twins lead in the top of the sixth. Two outs, two on and Granderson at the plate.

UPDATE, 10:36 p.m.: Raise your hand if you hated Curtis Granderson three months ago.

UPDATE, 10:52 p.m.: Robertson warming in the Yankees bullpen after Gardner very nearly made a great catch on what turned out to be a two-out double in the sixth. Runners at second and third for Kubel.

UPDATE, 10:55 p.m.: Didn’t see that coming. Kubel walked to load the bases for the rookie Valencia, who was 0-for-2 with two strikeouts against Sabathia tonight. Sam and I were just saying that we’d leave CC in to face the kid. Girardi seemed to agree with us, and Sabathia walked in the trying run, and did it on four pitches.

UPDATE, 11:37 p.m.: Huge strikeout by Robertson. That’s the at-bat when you’d like to have a second lefty, but Robertson gets Thome swinging to strand two and keep the Yankees in front 6-4. Kerry Wood in the eighth. Mariano Rivera in the ninth.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 2,098 Comments →

Game 36: Yankees vs. Twins05.15.10

YANKEES (23-12)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Marcus Thames LF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner CF

LHP Andy Pettitte (4-0, 2.08)
Career vs. Twins

TWINS (22-13)
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer DH
Justin Morneau 1B
Michael Cuddyer RF
Delmon Young LF
Brendan Harris SS
Nick Punto 3B
Drew Butera C

LHP Francisco Liriano (4-1, 2.36)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m./YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Tim Timmons, 1B Tim Tschida, 2B Bob Davidson, 3B Alfonso Marquez

WEATHER: Perfectly beautiful day here in the Bronx. Great day for a game.

Sorry for the lack of pregame notes. I had some issues this morning, but we’re good to go now. The big news was Nick Swisher getting the start in right field. His sore left biceps doesn’t hurt him when he swings right-handed, so he’ll be able to play against Liriano. What happens if there’s a pitching change remains to be seen.

“If skip feels I need to get out of here, that’s exactly what will happen,” Swisher said.

Swisher didn’t feel anything when he fouled a ball off last night, he only felt it on a swing and miss.

“Just don’t swing and miss,” he said. “I know we have a lot of guys down. I don’t want to add to the list.”

Otherwise, not a lot going on.

• Curtis Granderson ran a little bit this morning and felt fine.

• Joe Girardi still hasn’t named starters for next week’s two-game series against the Red Sox.

• Chan Ho Park remains on schedule for a likely return to the bullpen on Sunday.

UPDATE, 12:26 p.m.: Here’s the latest on Nick Johnson. After going on the DL in Boston, he got a cortisone shot and the Yankees are waiting to see if that solves the problem in his wrist. Brian Cashman said that the shot does the trick roughly 50 percent of the time.

“We’re hoping that works,” Cashman said. “But if it doesn’t, we’ll have to take other avenues.”

Those other avenues are pretty limited to some sort of surgery. If the shot has done the trick, Johnson could be back in three weeks or so. If he has to have surgery, it will be another four to six weeks from the time of the procedure before he can pick up a bat. The Yankees should know within the next 10 days whether surgery is necessary.

UPDATE, 1:14 p.m.: I just watched a super slo-mo replay and I’m still not sure whether Brett Gardner caught that ball or not. Doesn’t matter. It was a heckuva play, the Yankees got the call and we’re underway here in the Bronx.

UPDATE, 1:25 p.m.: What do you know, this Alex Rodriguez guy can hit a little. His RBI single has the Yankees in front 1-0 in the first inning.

UPDATE, 1:41 p.m.: Very different play from the one that saved A.J. Burnett last night, but Andy Pettitte made the grab on a comebacker to get out of the second inning with a runner stranded at third. Still 1-0 Yankees.

UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: Slumping Derek Jeter is now 2-for-2 today, and his two-out single here int he second has the Yankees in front 2-0.

UPDATE, 1:57 p.m.: Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner figure it out in center field, Gardner makes the catch and Andy Pettitte is through three innings scoreless.


UPDATE, 2:14 p.m.: Nice play by Robinson Cano to end the fourth with Andy Pettitte still tossing a shutout. By the way, the Yankees are sticking with the pictures of the players in suits on the video board. The one of Mark Teixeira cracks me up.

UPDATE, 2:43 p.m.: Pettitte gets Mauer to fly out, stranding runners at first and second and giving the Yankees starter six scoreless innings. I know better than to doubt Pettitte, but it would have been hard to predict this kind of start to the season. He’s really been outstanding.

UPDATE, 2:48 p.m.: There’s an RBI single by Marcus Thames and a 3-0 lead for Pettitte and the Yankees.

UPDATE, 2:56 p.m.: That’s a stolen base for Gardner and a missed tag for Hudson.

UPDATE, 3:01 p.m.: Randy Winn, not Greg Golson, is in as a defensive replacement in left.

UPDATE, 3:02 p.m.: Huge ovation for Pettitte, who just struck out Morneau before turning the game over to Dave Robertson. That’s 6.1 scoreless innings for Pettitte.

UPDATE, 3:17 p.m.: Damaso Marte bails out Robertson and at least partially redeems himself for last night by striking out Jim Thome with runners at first and second.

UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: Right-hander on the mound, Swisher stays in to bat left-handed.

UPDATE, 3:27 p.m.: Rodriguez had the grand slam yesterday. Teixeira has a two-run shot today. Production from those two will go a long way toward making up for the injuries to Johnson and Granderson. It’s a 5-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 3:36 p.m.: This is the offense the Yankees were used to earlier in the season. Jorge Posada’s two-run homer has made it a 7-0 ball game.

UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.: Two-out RBI single by Joe Mauer has the Twins on the board. Can’t help wondering if Boone Logan, who allowed the run, might be the one sent down when Park is activated tomorrow. He’s thrown 24 pitches already, so he probably wouldn’t be much help tomorrow anyway. I’m guessing the Yankees would rather have the long man Ivan Nova available behind spot starting Sergio Mitre.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 614 Comments →

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