The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 93: Yankees vs. Angels07.21.10

YANKEES (58-34)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Juan Miranda DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner LF

RHP Javier Vazquez (7-7, 4.45)
Vazquez vs. Angels

ANGELS (51-45)
Erick Aybar SS
Howie Kendrick 2B
Bobby Abreu DH
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui LF
Mike Napoli 1B
Juan Rivera RF
Kevin Frandsen 3B
Bobby Wilson C

RHP Joel Pineiro (10-6, 3.95)
Pineiro vs. Yankees

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

UMPIRES: HP Paul Emmel, 1B Bill Hohn, 2B Gary Darling, 3B Bruce Dreckman

WEATHER: Upper 80s with a slight chance of rain. A few clouds in the sky. Slight breeze blowing out to right.

WHAT’S LEFT? This will be Hideki Matsui’s first game in the outfield since … July 18. Not exactly a long stretch. It will, however, be his first game in a New York outfield since June 8, 2008.

SENT FROM ABOVE: Javier Vazquez has never recorded a win against the Angels. He’s pitched against them six times goin g0-3 with a 4.38 ERA. If he wins, though, Vazquez will become one of three active pitchers to have beaten all 30 current major league teams. According to Elias, Barry Zito and Jamie Moyer are the only other pitchers to have pulled it off.

YOU AGAIN: Jorge Posada threw out Bobby Abreu trying to steal second base twice last night. It was the first time Posada threw out the same runner twice in a game since Jerry Hairston Jr. — yet another former Yankee — back in 2004. And of course, this postgame stat from last night is worth repeating: Posada has thrown out six base runners this season. Four of them have been Abreu.

UPDATE, 1:25 p.m.: Couple of hits and an RBI ground out in the first inning. It’s enough for a 1-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 1:50 p.m.: Two-run single by Teixeira has pushed the Yankees lead to 3-0 in the third. Jeter led off with a single, Swisher doubled, and both scored on Teixeira’s base hit to center field.

UPDATE, 1:52 p.m.: Make that 5-0 Yankees on Robinson Cano’s two-run shot.

UPDATE, 2:15 p.m.: RBI double from Teixeira makes it 6-0. So far the top three hitters in the Yankees order are 8-for-9 with three doubles and five runs.

UPDATE, 2:35 p.m.: Bobby Wilson is back with a vengeance! His second hit of the day is a two-run homer to cut the Yankees lead to 6-3. Javy Vazquez has looked awfully good today until this inning. Aybar followed the homer with a single, and that’s four straight hits for the Angels, still with no outs. Boone Logan getting loose.

UPDATE, 2:45 p.m.: Cervelli throws out Aybar trying to steal third, then Vazquez strikes out Abreu to get out of the inning.

UPDATE, 3:03 p.m.: Good stat from my friend Tim Britton over at Hideki Matsui has as many Yankee Stadium home runs this season as Curtis Granderson. Matsui just went deep in the sixth to chase Vazquez and cut the lead to 6-5. Robertson now pitching. It was Matsui’s third home run in the Bronx this season.

UPDATE, 3:14 p.m.: Dave Robertson wiggles out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the Yankees lead intact.

UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Joba Chamberlain didn’t make it look easy, but he got out of trouble in the top of the seventh, then Juan Miranda went deep in the bottom half. It’s now 7-5 Yankees.

UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: Paul Emmel, the same ump who ejected Joe Girardi yesterday, has now tossed Brett Gardner for arguing balls and strikes. Gardner seemed to argue briefly, then the argument seemed to be over. As Gardner was getting back in the box, he was tossed.

UPDATE, 3:52 p.m.: All’s well that ends well. Colin Curtis hit for Gardner, hit his first career home run, and got a curtain call. It’s now 10-5 Yankees.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,192 Comments →

Postgame notes: Pettitte wins another one04.24.10

Yankees Angels Baseball

The picture pretty much says it all. That’s Andy Pettitte in the Yankees dugout after today’s eighth inning. He had just retired nine Angels in a row, and he was about to pick up his third win in four starts.

“First couple of starts, I told you guys my stamina wasn’t there,” he said. “I feel like I was fortunate that I’ve been able to get off to the start that I’ve been able to get off to. Now the stamina is there, and when I left spring training I felt like all my pitchers were right where I wanted them to be.”

Erick Aybar was going to be Pettitte’s last hitter no matter what, and he got Aybar to fly out to right, giving him a second straight start of eight full innings.

Pettitte had gotten into some, light trouble in the early innings, but Ramiro Pena made a diving catch and Brett Gardner threw out a runner at third to give him a boost.

“Then he really got on a roll,” Joe Girardi said.

The key for Pettitte might have been the zero walks. His first three games he averaged three walks, but today he allowed none.

“Even though I feel good with my command, I feel like I’ve been walking a few too many,” Pettitte said. “For me, because I usually give up hits, three walks in a game is too many. Hopefully I can keep that down.”

Here’s Pettitte’s postgame interview.

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Yankees Angels Baseball

• Mark down Robinson Cano for his eighth multi-hit game this season, and the fourth four-hit game of his career.

• Brett Gardner has been noticeably better the past few games. Today he had three hits, including a triple. “Any time you hit some line drives,” Gardner said. “I feel like I’ve been swinging the bat better and letting the ball get deep and making better contact.” Gardner is now batting .340, which is better than every Yankees regular but Cano. “He had a hard time getting going, but he worked and worked and worked at it and took the hits however he got them,” Girardi said. “And now he’s hitting the ball hard.”

• Gardner on throwing out Mike Napoli in the third inning: “I thought I had him. I was pretty surprised that he ran, but they’re an aggressive ball club and that’s what they do.”

• Girardi mentioned Gardner, Nick Swisher and Curtis Granderson as potential No. 2 hitters while Nick Johnson is out of the lineup.

• Five of the Yankees runs came with two outs today, including two of them on Francisco Cervelli’s bases-loaded single in the third. That one came after the Angels intentionally walked Granderson to load the bases for Pena and Cervelli.

• The Yankees were night-and-day better against Joel Pineiro this time. “I thought we did a better job of making him get the ball up a little bit today,” Girardi said. “We chased some pitches down in the zone (last time), and if you do that he’s going to be awfully tough. I thought our guys saw him once and made the adjustment.”

Associated Press photos

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 575 Comments →

Game 17: Yankees at Angels04.24.10

YANKEES (11-5)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Curtis Granderson CF
Ramiro Pena 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

LHP Andy Pettitte (2-0, 1.35)
Career vs. Angels

ANGELS (9-9)
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Mike Napoli 2B
Brandon Wood 3B

Joel Pineiro (2-1, 1.77)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 4:05 p.m./FOX

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

WEATHER: Another beautiful day in L.A. Blue sky with temperatures in the high 60s.

TWO AWAY: Alex Rodriguez needs two stolen bases to reach 300 for his career. He will become the ninth player in baseball history with at least 1,500 runs, 2,500 hits, 200 home runs and 300 stolen bases. He would also become one of 16 players to reach 200 homers, 300 stolen bases and 2,000 hits, joining Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter — each of whom has worn pinstripes — as the only active players to reach those totals.

ONE AWAY: After his double last night, Derek Jeter is one away from tying Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees all-time doubles list with 442.

MAN DOWN: The Angels placed catcher Bobby Wilson on the disabled list with a concussion and a strained left ankle. Catcher Ryan Budde was called up from Triple-A. With Wilson and Jeff Mathis on the DL, the Angels have two disabled catchers for the first time since the Molina brothers were both hurt in 2001.

UPDATE, 4:20 p.m.: And the aggressive play continues with Gardner going hard into second to try to break up the double play.

UPDATE, 4:33 p.m.: Another big hit for Swisher, driving in Cano and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 4:41 p.m.: That’s a nice play by Jeter to get the out at second when he had no shot at first. Maybe it’s not a “plus” play, but doing the right thing and going to the right base make a difference.

UPDATE, 4:43 p.m.: Now that’s a plus play. Great grab by Pena, just don’t tell the Angels fan who just yelled, “You’re lucky A-Rod!”

UPDATE, 4:54 p.m.: Very nice play by Howie Kendrick, sticking with it to get the out from shallow right field. Still 1-0 Yankees.

UPDATE, 5:20 p.m.: I know that statistically there’s no such thing as clutch hitters, and I realize that Francisco Cervelli’s numbers might come back down to earth at some point, but so far the guy has really shown a knack for getting hits when they matter. His minor league numbers don’t suggest anything like this, but the guy has been a productive hitter as a reserve big leaguer. That two-run single might very well be the key hit in this game.

UPDATE, 5:23 p.m.: Add an RBI single from Jeter and it’s 4-0 Yankees.

UPDATE, 5:32 p.m.: It’s fun to watch Gardner find that extra gear. When he got to first I wasn’t positive he could get a triple, but as he hit second there was no doubt. His strides seemed to be longer and he was just flying at that point.

UPDATE, 5:38 p.m.: Two outs. Runner in scoring position. Robinson Cano singles to right. It really is a new year for the Yankees second baseman. It’s also a 5-0 lead for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 5:44 p.m.: Nick Swisher adds another RBI single and it’s now 6-0 Yankees. Meanwhile, the Angels just announced that X-rays on Bobby Wilson were inconclusive because of excessive swelling in his ankle. The team is planning to send him for an MRI on Monday.

UPDATE, 6:07 p.m.: The Angels have a run on a double and two fly balls, but Andy Pettitte remains in charge of this game. What a season he’s having so far.

UPDATE, 6:16 p.m.: Brett Gardner has his third hit of the day, ninth steal of the season and he’s just scored to give the Yankees a 7-1 lead.

UPDATE, 6:49 p.m.: With Pettitte at 114 pitches, I have to assume that was his last batter. Eight innings, one run, eight strikeouts and no walks. The guy was dealing today, no doubt about it.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 537 Comments →

Pregame notes: Half day off for Rodriguez, full day for Johnson04.24.10

Yankees Red Sox Baseball

There were a few factors that went into Joe Girardi’s lineup decision this morning in Anaheim.

1. Day game after a night game eliminated Jorge Posada starting behind the plate.

2. Girardi wanted to give Alex Rodriguez a day at DH, and Rodriguez told him today would be a good day to do it.

3. Nick Johnson’s lower back is a little stiff after taking extra batting practice yesterday.

“I’ve had a back issue,” Girardi said. “A little stiff can become a lot of stiff. Let’s keep it a little stiff, but I expect him to be fine. I expect him to be available.”

Mostly, Girardi said, his decision to sit Johnson had more to do with wanting to give Rodriguez a half day off with his first start at DH.

“I think it’s important that Alex gets a DH day,” Girardi said. “He’s swinging the bat so well right now that you hate to give him a full day off.”

Here’s Girardi’s pregame session.

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• Girardi admitted that he would have considered dropping Johnson in the batting order had his regular DH been in the lineup. “We might have dropped him down, we might have left him there,” Girardi said. Assuming Johnson starts tomorrow, Girardi said it’s possible he will not be in the No. 2 hole.

• Girardi said he talked to Johnson about his struggles and Johnson said he went through a similar slump last year. “I said, ‘How do you handle it?’ And he said, ‘Sometimes I become a little more aggressive.’ There was a point last year where he said he became too aggressive, so it’s a fine line. When you’re struggling as a hitter, I think hitters get in a hurry to get going. You don’t want them to become overly aggressive. The bottom line is, you have to get a good pitch to hit.”

• Still haven’t heard anything about the extent of Angels catcher Bobby Wilson’s injuries after last night’s collision at home plate, but Girardi once again said he had no problem with the play. He also had no problem with the fact Teixeira went straight to the dugout without checking on Wilson immediately after the play. “We’re playing for something,” Girardi said. “This isn’t a family reunion softball game.”

• By the way, Girardi said Angels manager Mike Scioscia’s reputation as a catcher was as a guy who would do anything to block the plate. “He used to basically sit on the plate and say come on, I dare you,” Girardi said. “He was tough. He dropped down on both knees and said, go ahead and try.”

• Speaking of tough, you probably remember how good Joel Pineiro was against the Yankees the last time he faced them. Girardi said the key is to lay off the low sinkers. “If the ball starts just above the knee, it’s not going to be a strike,” he said. “But that’s easier said than done when it’s coming in at 90 miles per hour and it’s sharp and late, but you do your best to lay off it.”

• Girardi is very excited that the Northwestern quarterback was drafted.

• Random but hilarious pregame moment: Ramiro Pena got to his locker to find a huge Yankees hoodie hanging among his clothes. It was either put there by accident or as a joke, but regardless, Pena took one look at it and walked across the clubhouse to CC Sabathia’s locker. “CC, is this yours?” Pena said. It was.

Angels lineup
Erick Aybar SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Torii Hunter CF
Hideki Matsui DH
Kendry Morales 1B
Juan Rivera LF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Mike Napoli 2B
Brandon Wood 3B

Associated Press photo

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Notes, Podcastwith 242 Comments →

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