The LoHud Yankees Blog

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


Mid-day notes and links: Shields, Jeter, Moncada, Hamilton02.04.15

James Shields

A few things worth having on your radar this Wednesday afternoon.

• According to Jon Morosi, James Shields is expected to pick a team by the end of this week. While Morosi mentions the Yankees as a team recently connected to Shields, there’s no real indication that the Yankees are a favorite or even heavily in the mix. Signing Shields would certainly represent a change of course for the Yankees this offseason, though it’s easy enough to make a case for such a signing, especially if Shields’ market has dipped his contract demands into the three-year range. He’s been really good the past four years.

• Not sure it means much, but it’s interesting: There’s a report out of Buffalo that during the 2014 season, Derek Jeter looked into purchasing the Buffalo Bills. It’s well known that Jeter would like to become a team owner some day, though it’s been assumed that he would like to own a baseball team and not a football team. Might have been little more than an opportunity he wanted to explore. Jeter’s also reportedly going to appear on the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show later this month. So in Jeter’s first few months of retirement he’s going to be an online publisher, a comedy performer, and he was never a football owner. It’s a weird world, folks.

• Until Yoan Moncada signs somewhere, be prepared for plenty of stories about teams that are interested and teams that might be favorites. Basically any team with money to spend will be involved because it seems there’s not a team out there that doesn’t think of Moncada as an overwhelming talent. Last night, Buster Olney singled out the Dodgers. This morning, Peter Gammons mentioned the Dodgers, Yankees and Red Sox along with the Tigers. Also, it’s worth mentioning that two other Cuban players seem to have defected this week during the Caribbean Series.

• Looking elsewhere in baseball, Josh Hamilton needs shoulder surgery and could miss Opening Day. That contract with the Angels has been quite the mess.

• A quick heads up on two baseball-related charity events: First, tonight in Manhattan, MLB Network’s Matt Vasgersian will be a guest bartender at Foley’s (18 W. 33rd St.). He’s helping raise money for Welcome Back Veterans, a non-profit organization that provides PTSD treatment to military veterans and their families. Second, the Baseball United Foundation is hosting a lunch fundraiser with former Yankees and Mets starter Doc Gooden. It’s happening February 21 in White Plains, and they’re calling it — simply enough — Lunch With Doc, and you can get tickets at lunchwithdoc.com. Baseball United is working to promote the game of baseball in Ireland.

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Miscwith Comments Off

Game 96: Yankees at Rays07.21.11

YANKEES (57-38)
Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Eduardo Nunez 3B
Chris Dickerson LF

LHP CC Sabathia (14-4, 2.64)
Sabathia vs. Rays

RAYS (51-45)
Ben Zobrist DH
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
B.J. Upton CF
Justin Ruggiano RF
Kelly Shoppach C
Casey Kotchman 1B
Elliot Johnson SS
Sam Fuld LF

RHP James Shields (8-8, 2.60)
Shields vs. Yankees

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

WEATHER: On last day under the big, white dome.

UMPIRES: HP Alfonso Marquez, 1B Ed Hickox, 2B Ed Rapuano, 3B Dan Iassogna

LIMIT THE DAMAGE: The Yankees allowed eight hits last night. According to Elias, it was the most hits the Yankees had allowed in a shutout win in the past 13 years.

LIMIT THE LONG BALL: The Yankees now gone eight straight games without allowing a home run, matching their longest such streak since 1999 when they also went eight straight without a homer. The last time they went more than eight games without a home run was in 1984 when they went 11 in a row without allowing a home run.

LIMITED AT THE END: The Yankees bullpen has not allowed a run in the past five games, allowing just four hits and three walks with 19 strikeouts in 11.2 innings during that stretch.

UPDATE, 7:29 p.m.: So much for the homerless streak. That ended with Evan Longoria’s two-out shot in the first inning. It’s 1-0 Rays heading into the second.

UPDATE, 8:07 p.m.: Soriano pitching one inning for Tampa tonight. He threw 16 pitches and allowed two hits and one earned run. He walked none and struck out none.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Hey look, Gardner bunted. That’s a two-out bunt single in the fifth. It’s still 1-0 on that first-inning homer.

UPDATE, 8:26 p.m.: Jeter goes down swinging to end the inning. Shields and Sabathia locked in another terrific pitching matchup.

UPDATE, 8:36 p.m.: Sometimes  you give up a triple to a fast guy at the bottom of the order. Walking Johnson was the real problem for Sabathia here in the fifth. I’m sitting next to Sweeny Murti who pointed out that Sam Fuld’s RBI triple went into the right-field corner with a runner at first base. It was basically the same situation as the flip play, and sure enough, it ended with Jeter running across the infield to be in the exact same spot he was in against the A’s.

UPDATE, 9:00 p.m.: After a two-out Nunez single, Girardi made the logical move and brought Granderson off the bench to pinch hit. He flied to left and it’s still a 2-0 Rays lead heading into the bottom of the seventh.

UPDATE, 9:22 p.m.: Don’tchaknow. Robinson Cano comes through with a two-out RBI double to right, scoring Jeter and pulling the Yankees within 2-1 in the eight. Shields is done, Gomes is in to face Swisher. This is the first sign of life from the Yankees offense. Shields was terrific.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 687 Comments →

Game 88: Yankees vs. Rays07.10.11

YANKEES (52-35)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Andruw Jones RF
Eduardo Nunez 3B

LHP CC Sabathia (12-4, 2.90)
Sabathia vs. Rays

RAYS (49-39)
Ben Zobrist 2B
Elliot Johnson SS
Evan Longoria DH
B.J. Upton CF
Sean Rodriguez 3B
Kelly Shoppach C
Casey Kotchman 1B
Brandon Guyer RF
Justin Ruggiano LF

RHP James Shields (8-7, 3.56)
Shields vs. Yankees

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

WEATHER: Another nice day here at the stadium. Looks like the Yankees won’t have any trouble playing their final game before the all-star break.

UMPIRES: HP Ron Kulpa, 1B Gary Cederstrom, 2B Derryl Cousins, 3B Jim Wolf

MORE ABOUT JETER: For the first time since May of 2009, Derek Jeter has an extra-base hit in four straight games. He’s hit safely in 19 of his past 22 games and has 10 extra-base hits in his past 22 games after collecting just seven in his first 45 games this season.

UP NEXT: A four-hit game by Jeter would move him into a tie with Al Kaline for 26th place on baseball’s all-time list. He’s seven hits from tying Wade Boggs for 25th.

AFTER THE BREAK: The yankees played 18 of their first 22 games after the all-star break against teams at or below .500. The Yankees will be on the road for 42 of their final 74 games.

BERNIE CHIMES IN: Bernie Williams is in Arizona for several all-star game festivities, and before taking the stage on Saturday night, he passed on the following message to Jeter:

“Congratulations, Jeet, on No. 3,000. I wish I could have been at the Stadium today, but I was certainly glued to the TV in my hotel room in Arizona. In true Jeter fashion, you did not limp into the 3,000 hit club, but absolutely blew the doors off of it. I celebrate with you, your family and friends, all your teammates through the years, the Yankee organization, and baseball fans around the world. While the home run for number 3,000 is what everyone will remember from this day…knowing you…you probably are more satisfied with that eighth inning single up the middle that won the game. I was privileged to have the best seat in the house to see the majority of those 3,000 hits, and so many of your greatest moments, and while today is yet another one of those moments to add to your amazing career in pinstripes, I know there is still a lot more to come. Just exhale, enjoy it, and know what an honor it was to be your teammate for so many years. Tonight, my last song is dedicated to you my friend.”

UPDATE, 1:16 p.m.: Robertson is in! Dave Robertson has replaced David Price on the American League all-star roster.

UPDATE, 1:46 p.m.: Sabathia is in! CC Sabathia has also been named as an all-star game replacement. He is — oddly enough — replacing Tampa Bay starter James Shields. Obviously Sabathia won’t be going to the game, so he’ll be replaced by Alexi Ogando of the Rangers.

UPDATE, 1:49 p.m.: My only guess is that Nunez thought he was either going to be hit by the throw or out on the tag. Otherwise, I can’t really explain the last-second slide into first. My initial reaction was that he had seriously injured himself, but apparently not.

UPDATE, 1:51 p.m.: There’s 3,004, a bunt single down the third-base line. Really, really nice bunt by Jeter.

UPDATE, 1:53 p.m.: I don’t see any reason to have Granderson bunting in that situation, but I sit next to Marc Carig of the Star-Ledger during home games, and really hates the sac bunt strategy. I mean really, really hates it. His reaction when Granderson squared to bunt was epic. Off the charts, epic.

UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: Just showed a U.S. women’s soccer update on the big screen. Huge game-tying goal, and the crowd erupted here at the stadium. The game was on in the Yankees clubhouse pregame (or at least the leadup to the soccer game was on in the clubhouse pregame).

UPDATE, 2:22 p.m.: The women’s soccer game is over, and the big video board tells me the U.S. won. It also tells me that there was more scoring in that soccer game than we’ve seen today at Yankee Stadium. Still scoreless in the sixth.

UPDATE, 2:46 p.m.: Sabathia forgets to cover the bag. Upton forgets there’s only one out. Call it even.

UPDATE, 2:54 p.m.: Two base-running mistakes by Robinson Cano, and he’s rewarded for each one of them. Should have been doubled off at first, goes to third on a horrible throw from Upton. Should have been picked off at third, scores on a throw into foul territory. It’s 1-0 Yankees. They aren’t all as pretty as yesterday.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 234 Comments →

Spring Training Game 6: Yankees at Rays03.03.11

YANKEES (2-3)
Brett Gardner LF
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Russell Martin DH
Eric Chavez 1B
Jesus Montero C
Eduardo Nunez 2B
Brandon Laird 3B
Ramiro Pena SS

RHP Freddy Garcia (12-6, 4.64 in 2010)
Garcia vs. Rays

RAYS (1-4)
B.J. Upton CF
Johnny Damon LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Manny Ramirez DH
Matt Joyce RF
Dan Johnson 1B
Sean Rodriguez 2B
Kelly Shoppach C
Tim Beckham SS

RHP James Shields (13-15, 5.18)
Shields vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:05 p.m., not on television

WEATHER: You’re my blue sky, you’re my sunny day. Allman Brothers? Anyone?

UMPIRES: HP Fieldin Culbreth, 1B Paul Emmel, 2B Tim Timmons, 3B Chad Fairchild

ON THE LINE: This will be Freddy Garcia’s first spring appearance. He seems to be an early favorite for one of those open rotation spots, so this is a chance to maintain that position. Eric Chavez is also getting a start at first base to prepare for a possible backup role there, and Jesus Montero will try to continue making a case for the backup catcher spot.

CERVELLI UPDATE: Truth be told, there’s really not much of an update on Francisco Cervelli. The Yankees sent his MRI results to New York where the team doctors are reviewing them this afternoon. Joe Girardi said Cervelli looked better today, but the team won’t know anything until later today, maybe even later tonight.

OTHER PREGAME NOTES: Because of travel I couldn’t really post a normal set of pregame notes. Here are some quick hits.

• Andrew Brackman threw off a mound this morning. He’ll throw a simulated game this weekend.

• Jorge Posada is specifically scheduled to do some first base drills in the coming days. If Chavez makes the team, he’ll be the primary backup at first, but Girardi has named Posada and Nick Swisher as alternatives if Mark Teixeira needs a day off.

• Russell Martin is expected to catch four or five innings tomorrow.

• Garcia will pitch two innings today. Bartolo Colon will pitching three innings tomorrow.

ALSO PITCHING TODAY: Ivan Nova, Dellin Betances and Adam Warren are the first three listed in the bullpen. Rule 5 picks Robert Fish and Daniel Turpen are also on this trip.

ALSO PITCHING FOR TAMPA BAY: The Rays have only two relievers listed behind Shields: RHP Juan Cruz and LHP R.J. Swindle.

UPDATE, 12:55 p.m.: Just finished listening back to Girardi’s pregame media scrum. He said Gene Monahan expects to have results from the team doctors by the late afternoon.

“Just talked to Geno,” Girardi said. “We’re waiting for our doctors to review it in New York. He had the tests here. He did feel a little bit better today but there’s still some concern and we’ll just wait to see what they say before we announce if there’s anything or it’s just a bruise… I don’t know if they would want him to go to New York, but as of now I have not been told that.”

UPDATE, 1:15 p.m.: The Yankees went down in order in the top of the first. Here’s Garcia for his first action of the spring. Sorry, misspoke there. Gardner walked, stole second and was picked off at second. A 1-2-3 inning, but not necessarily down in order.

UPDATE, 1:18 p.m.: Nice first inning for Garcia. Ground ball to second, pop up to short and a strikeout of Longoria, who couldn’t hold up against an offspeed pitch.

UPDATE, 1:34 p.m.: Very nice, heads up play by Eduardo Nunez to end the second inning. With the runner after first breaking for second, Nunez was on his way to cover the bag when Sean Rodriguez slapped a ground ball to the right side. Nunez had to retreat to make the play, but didn’t have time to get the out at first. He instead looked to third and got Matt Joyce trying to go first to third on the play. He also made a nice play going back to make a catch in shallow right-center. That’s it for Garcia: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.

UPDATE, 1:40 p.m.: Garcia threw 20 pitches, 14 for strikes (sorry, upon a re-count, it’s 14 strikes for Garcia, not 13). Here’s Nova for the bottom of the third. It’s still a scoreless game. Eric Chavez’s second-inning double in the Yankees only hit.

UPDATE, 1:48 p.m.: A single got past Laird on the left side, but Brett Gardner fielded and threw home to get Tim Beckham out at the plate.

UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.: The defense keeps coming for the Yankees. Nice diving stop for Laird at third base and a nice scoop by Chavez at first base to get Longoria out to start the fourth inning.

UPDATE, 2:04 p.m.: And now a double play to end the fourth inning, with Chavez starting it, Pena making the turn and Nova stretching at first to complete the play and end the inning. Nova threw 25 pitches, 16 strikes.

UPDATE, 2:17 p.m.: Mild surprise. Here’s Nova for a third inning of work. Not really a shock that he’s stretched out for this many, just didn’t get a heads up that Nova was good to go for three innings today.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 660 Comments →

Game 146: Yankees at Rays09.15.10

YANKEES (88-57)
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Lance Berkman DH
Jorge Posada C
Austin Kearns LF
Colin Curtis RF

RHP Phil Hughes (16-7, 4.26)
Hughes vs. Rays

RAYS (87-57)
John Jaso C
Ben Zobrist 2B
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Matt Joyce RF
Dan Johnson DH
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Jason Bartlett SS

RHP James Shields (13-12, 4.98)
Shields vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:10 p.m. / YES Network and ESPN

UMPIRES: HP Lance Barksdale, 1B Ed Rapuano, 2B Tom Hallion, 3B Ron Kulpa

WEATHER: Dome sweet dome.

THE DAY AFTER: After last night’s win, the Yankees are now 17-4 in games immediately following a shutout loss since the start of the 2008 season. They are 12-3 in their past 15 such games.

NOT AN EVERYDAY EVENT: Last night, Jorge Posada hit the Yankees second pinch-hit home run of the season. Colin Curtis had the first back on July 21. Posada’s was the Yankees first extra-inning pinch-hit home run since Matt Nokes hit a two-run shot on May 8, 1993 to beat Detroit. It was Posada’s fifth career extra-inning home run. According to Elias, only Jason Giambi, Carlos Pena and Albert Pujols have more among active players.

NICE, ROUND NUMBER: Mariano Rivera reached 30 saves last night. It’s the 13th time in his career that he’s save 30 in a season. Rivera has saved 30 games in eight straight seasons, the second-longest streak in baseball history behind Trevor Hoffman.

UPDATE, 7:35 p.m.: Phil Hughes gets through a 1-2-3 bottom of the first after Robinson Cano gives the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the top. As my friend Marc Carig pointed out, the Yankees seemed to be doing a better job against Shields’ changeup in the first inning.

UPDATE, 7:38 p.m.: Off the bat, I was thinking double for Kearns. Clearly Kearns was thinking the same. Matt Joyce, apparently, thought otherwise.

UPDATE, 8:09 p.m.: Cano and Berkman have started the fourth inning with back-to-back singles. Meanwhile, Phil Hughes has plowed through the Rays lineup his first time through the order. He looks strong, much better than the last time he skipped a start. Maybe that relief inning was a good idea.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: The Yankees stranded a couple of runners in the top of the fourth, but Hughes worked a hitless bottom half to keep the 1-0 lead intact.

UPDATE, 8:40 p.m.: Phil Hughes has allowed two base runners, and now both have scored. Dan Johnson just hit his fourth home run of the year, a two-run shot that stayed just inside the right-field foul pole. It’s a 2-1 Rays lead.

UPDATE, 9:13 p.m.: Momentary panic for the Yankees, but Derek Jeter seems to be OK and Joe Maddon seems to be arguing that the pitch hit the bat first. Either way, Jeter’s at first and Maddon has been ejected.

UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: The replay makes it look like Jeter got away with one there, and Granderson made it count with a two-run home run to put the Yankees back in front 3-2 in the seventh.

UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Dan Johnson’s second home run of the night, fifth of the season, has put the Rays back in front 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh.

UPDATE, 9:35 p.m.: After a two-out single by Carlos Pena, Hughes is done and Chamberlain is in. Two mistakes to Johnson have turned an otherwise very good start into a potential loss.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,198 Comments →

Game 104: Yankees at Rays08.01.10

YANKEES (66-37)
Derek Jeter SS
Lance Berkman 1B
Mark Teixeira DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Austin Kearns LF
Ramiro Pena 3B

LHP CC Sabathia (13-4, 3.15)
Sabathia vs. Rays

RAYS (64-39)
B.J. Upton CF
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Willy Aybar DH
Sean Rodriguez 1B
Jason Bartlett SS
Kelly Shoppach C
Gabe Kapler RF
Reid Brignac 2B

RHP James Shields (9-9, 4.79)
Shields vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 1:40 p.m. / YES Network and TBS

UMPIRES: HP Bill Welke, 1B Mike DiMuro, 2B Tim Welke, 3B Scott Barry

WEATHER: Not a cloud in the dome.

CLEANING UP: Even if Alex Rodriguez were in the lineup, Robinson Cano might be a better clean-up option for the day. He’s coming off a monster game last night, plus Cano is a career .438/.455/.969 hitter against Shields. Rodriguez has a career slash line of .217/.333/.435 against him.

TOUGH TO SIT: Girardi on the decision to sit Rodriguez against the Rays: “It’s not September 25. We have 58 games left and if I run him out there and he gets hurt today, people are going to say, ‘Why did you play him 14 games in a row?’ You just have to be smart about it. You can’t make too much of this series because you have lot of days left.”

ANOTHER FIRST: Now that Kerry Wood is in the Yankees clubhouse, the team has 10 first-round draft picks, and that’s not including supplemental first-rounder Joba Chamberlain. Of those 10, only Derek Jeter and Phil Hughes were drafted by the Yankees.

UPDATE, 2:10 p.m.: Not Lance Berkman’s most graceful moment on a baseball field. A blooper gets over his head for an RBI single and a 1-0 Rays lead. I feel like Teixeira would have caught it.

UPDATE 2:45 p.m.: Four strikeouts in a row for Shields, including the side in the fourth inning. It’s a 3-0 Rays lead after a two-run third inning that included two infield singles.

UPDATE, 2:50 p.m.: Jeez, what a day for Berkman. No errors, but three botched plays. The latest is a one-out single in the fourth inning. It was a slow roller to the right side and Berkman had to rush to make the play, but he fumbled the ball trying to scoop it with his glove. It was ruled that the runner would have beaten him to the bag anyway.

UPDATE, 2:58 p.m.: That play had to feel great for Berkman, who made a diving stop to save at least one run. It’s the second out of the inning, up to Sabathia to get Brignac to end the fourth with the Yankees still within 3-0.

UPDATE, 3:00 p.m.: Sabathia gets out of it with a popup.

UPDATE, 3:08 p.m.: Ramiro Pena flied out to shallow left field to end a streak of six straight strikeouts for Shields.

UPDATE, 3:20 p.m.: Maybe the arm helps explain it, but for whatever reason, Robinson Cano seems to turn the line drive, 4-3 double play more often than any second baseman on the planet. Bases loaded in the fifth, he just snagged a line drive and doubled of Willy Aybar to end the inning and take Sabathia off the hook. Still 3-0 Rays, and Shields has been dealing.

UPDATE, 3:28 p.m.: Look at that, it’s a hit for Lance Berkman. The 0-for-6 nightmare is over!

UPDATE, 3:54 p.m.: Girardi pulls out his big bat with one on and two outs in the sixth, pinch hitting Rodriguez for Kearns.

UPDATE, 3:57 p.m.: A-Rod goes down looking.

UPDATE, 4:01 p.m.: Rodriguez stays in at third, Gardner goes to left and will lead off next inning.

UPDATE, 4:07 p.m.: Sabathia’s day is done after two outs in the seventh. Here’s Kerry Wood making his Yankees debut.

UPDATE, 4:09 p.m.: There’s the curveball, and that’s a strikeout looking for Longoria.

UPDATE, 4:19 p.m.: Berkman went from being ahead in the count 3-0 to grounding into an inning-ending double play. Not a good day.

UPDATE, 4:37 p.m.: Saw some of the good and the bad of Kerry Wood in that outing. All three outs were strikeouts, but he walked two and allowed a weak single. Give a lot of credit to Chad Gaudin, though. He stranded the bases loaded with a strikeout, giving the Yankees a shot in the ninth.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,014 Comments →

Game 41: Yankees vs. Rays05.20.10

YANKEES (25-15)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira DH
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Randy Winn LF

LHP Andy Pettitte (5-0, 1.79)
Career vs. Rays

RAYS (29-11)
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Ben Zobrist 2B
Evan Longoria 3B
Carlos Pena 1B
B.J. Upton CF
Willy Aybar DH
Dioner Navarro C
Gabe Kapler RF

RHP James Shields (4-1, 3.00)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./MY9 and MLB Network

UMPIRES: HP Larry Vanover, 1B Mark Carlson, 2B Angel Campos, 3B Jeff Nelson

WEATHER: Temperatures in the 70s. Not a cloud in the sky. Beautiful way to wrap up the home stand.

HOME SWEET HOME: Yankee Stadium is nominated for Sports Facility of the Year at the third annual Sports Business Awards presented by Sports Business Journal tonight at Manhattan’s Marriot Marquis. The stadium is up against Cowbodys Stadium, Staples Center and Citi Field.

GOOD HITTIN’: Robinson Cano has a 1.000 slugging percentage in 26 career at-bats against Tampa Bay starter James Shields. He has a .462 batting average with two home runs, two triples and four doubles. Nick Swisher has only two hits in 11 at-bats against Shields, but both hits were home runs.

GOOD TIMING: Alex Rodriguez is batting .410 with four doubles, three home runs and 28 RBI with runners in scoring position this season. He is 4-for-7 with 12 RBI with the bases loaded. In his career, Rodriguez has hit 20 home runs that tied the game or put his team in the lead in the ninth inning or later.

UPDATE, 7:21 p.m.: Three batters into the game, the Rays have a 3-0 lead. Double. Single. Home run. Dave Eiland has already made a trip to the mound to talk to Pettitte.

UPDATE, 7:47 p.m.: Two years covering Juan Miranda in Triple-A, I never once saw him bunt. He must have read a sign wrong, and he followed the foul bunt with his second homer of the season. I’ve seen him do that a lot. It’s now 3-2 Rays.

UPDATE, 7:51 p.m.: The Yankees have extended their Player Development Contract with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre through the 2014 season. See what happens when you make the field drain properly! Those are a lot of great people working in Scranton. I’m happy to see the Yankees are sticking around.

UPDATE, 7:57 p.m.: That’s a heckuva pickoff move by Pettitte. Zobrist was frozen and the Yankees are out of the inning.

UPDATE, 8:03 p.m.: These Yankees can run a little bit too. Beating the Rays at their own game, the Yankees got back-to-back bunt singles and have tied the game at 3.

UPDATE, 8:24 p.m.: B.J. Upton lost the ball in the air, and Juan Miranda is now a double and a triple short of the cycle. He’s also — I imagine — exhausted at third base.

UPDATE, 8:30 p.m.: Sac fly by Randy Winn has tied the game at 4. He hit the ball deep but Carl Crawford made the catch on the warning track.

UPDATE, 8:43 p.m.: Rocky fifth for Pettitte. Single, walk, single have given the Rays a 5-4 lead and Dave Robertson is getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 9:06 p.m.: Pettitte allowed his third home run of the night, and with that, his night was done. Dave Robertson breezed through three straight to end the inning — and maybe get himself going again — but Pettitte left with a 7-4 deficit.

UPDATE, 9:36 p.m.: Frustration seems to be pretty thick here at Yankee Stadium. Chan Ho Park has given up a home run and the boos immediately started. It’s now 8-4 Rays.

UPDATE, 9:47 p.m.: Joe Girardi is not at all happy about the strike zone, but the fact remains that the Yankees are getting beat up tonight. Unless they have another big rally in them, this is not a good way to end this home stand.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 823 Comments →

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