The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Game 125: Yankees at Twins08.21.11

YANKEES (76-48)
Derek Jeter DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Eduardo Nunez SS

RHP Ivan Nova (12-4, 4.21)
Nova vs. Twins

TWINS (54-70)
Ben Revere CF
Trevor Plouffe 2B
Joe Mauer 1B
Jason Kubel RF
Jim Thome DH
Danny Valencia 3B
Rene Tosoni LF
Matt Tolbert SS
Drew Butera C

RHP Nick Blackburn (7-10, 4.53)
Blackburn vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 2:10 p.m., YES Network / TBS

WEATHER: Day game on our final day in the AL Central. Weather has been absolutely perfect these three days in Minneapolis.

UMPIRES: HP Ron Kulp, 1B Chad Fairchild, 2B Jim Wolf, 3B D.J. Reyburn

UNDER THE SUN: The Yankees are a Major League-best 33-8 in day games this season. They have a .281 combined day batting average (second-highest in Majors) and an American League-most 54 daytime homers. The pitching staff has a 2.96 ERA in day games (second-best mark in the Majors behind Texas).

SUPER NOVA: Ivan Nova is undefeated in his past nine starts, going 8-0 with a 3.90 ERA. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, he is the first Yankees rookie to win eight straight decisions as a starting pitcher since Whitey Ford in 1950.

SECOND AT SECOND: According to SABR’s Trent McCotter, Russell Martin last night became the second Yankee to play both catcher and second base in the same game. Rick Cerone did it in 1990 against Kansas City.

UPDATE, 2:38 p.m.: Well, A.J. Burnett did not have the shortest start of this series. Blackburn is out after three straight walks in the second. He seems hurt.

UPDATE, 2:51 p.m.: A scoring opportunity gets away. Nunez struck out. Jeter flied out. And the Yankees left the bases loaded in the second.

UPDATE, 3:19 p.m.: Nova lost the no-hitter with one out in the fourth. Hardly counts a no-hitter watch, but still. He’s pitching well.

UPDATE, 3:35 p.m.: Rodriguez pops up to leave the bases loaded in the fifth. Second time the Yankees have stranded the bases full. It’s still a scoreless game heading into the bottom of the fifth. The silver lining for the Yankees: Nova has been tremendous.

UPDATE, 3:42 p.m.: Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher let a ball drop between them, and now the Twins have runners at second and third with no outs in the fifth. Looks like Granderson was calling for the ball, but had to pull back because he was about to collide with Swisher, why tried to get out of the way at the last second. Misplayed, obviously, and now Nova needs to get out of trouble.

UPDATE, 3:49 p.m.: Nova stranded the runners with two strikeouts and a ground ball to third. Even against a weak bottom of the order, that’s big-time pitching from the rookie. Still a scoreless game.

UPDATE, 3:56 p.m.: Cano doubles, takes third on a fly ball to left and scores on a sac fly to center. Simple as that, it’s a 1-0 Yankees lead.

UPDATE, 4:16 p.m.: Granderson’s 35th home run of the season is an inside-the-park job off the wall in right-center. To be fair, it would have been out of almost every other park in the world.

UPDATE, 4:17 p.m.: Make it back-to-back. Teixeira just went deep to left and it’s a 3-0 Yankees lead in the seventh.

UPDATE, 4:35 p.m.: I have to think Nova’s finished for the day. He’s given the Yankees seven scoreless, a significant return to form after a sloppy outing last time in Kansas City.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 325 Comments →

Game 47: Yankees at Twins05.27.10

YANKEES (28-18)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Juan Miranda DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Kevin Russo LF

RHP Javier Vazquez (3-4, 6.69 ERA)
Career vs. Twins

TWINS (26-20)
Denard Span CF
Orlando Hudson 2B
Joe Mauer C
Justin Morneau 1B
Jim Thome DH
Michael Cuddyer RF
Jason Kubel LF
J.J. Hardy SS
Alexi Casilla 3B

RHP Nick Blackburn (5-1, 4.50)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 8:10 p.m. / YES Network

UMPIRES: HP Scott Barry, 1B Phil Cuzzi, 2B Chris Guccione, 3B Brian O’Nora

WEATHER: Sunny with temperatures in the high 70s. After that rain on Tuesday, it’s been nothing but perfect weather here in Minneapolis.

TEST FOR JAVY: Javier Vazquez is finally pitching well, but this Twins lineup has been a challenge for him. Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Michael Cuddyer have each hit .300 or better against him, and Jim Thome and Jason Kubel have each homered twice against him.

WELCOME SIGHT: Mark Teixeira needs to break out of a slump, and Nick Blackburn might be the perfect guy to help him. It’s only 10 at-bats, but Teixeira is a career .800 hitter against Blackburn. He has one walk, one home run, six RBI and no strikeouts.

CUTTING IT CLOSE: Nearly half of the Yankees games — 22 of 46 — have been decided by two runs or less, including eight of the last nine.

UPDATE, 8:22 p.m.: Jeter and Teixeira got hits — yes, Mark Teixeira — but Rodriguez grounded into a tough double play to end the threat. Scoreless top of the first, here comes Vazquez.

UPDATE, 8:23 p.m.: Curtis Granderson is not in the lineup for the second game of tonight’s Scranton/Wilkes-Barre doubleheader. He’ll instead make his way to New York.

“Overall body, 90 to 95 percent,” Granderson told Donnie Collins. “There are a couple of things I still need. Long Yankees games are going to be the big test, long innings… The groin is actually good. I haven’t felt anything with it. If you dig in and touch it, it’s still tender to the touch. But I don’t feel anything with it.”

Donnie assured me that he did not actually confirm this “dig in and touch it” piece of information. We’ll have to take Granderson at his word. Investigative journalism has its limits.

UPDATE, 8:31 p.m.: Quite a snag by Teixeira to end the inning, but the Twins got a run and a 1-0 lead.

UPDATE, 9:08 p.m.: I’ve been wrapping up some early stories for the newspaper. In that time, Vazquez has been struggling through this Twins lineup. They scored twice in the second inning and have runners at first and second with two outs here in the third.

UPDATE, 9:33 p.m.: Vazquez has settled in a bit. He stranded two runners in the third and pitched through a 1-2-3 fourth. He’s retired five straight and the Yankees have cut the lead to 3-1.

UPDATE, 9:34 p.m.: Well that’s just terrible luck. Cervelli led off with a single, then Russo lined a rocket toward right field, but Morneau snagged it to turn a double into a double play.

UPDATE, 9:53 p.m.: Kind of a strange start for Vazquez. He’s allowed four runs through five innings, but he’s generally done a good job of limiting the damage. In reality, this could be a blowout at this point, but it’s a 4-1 Twins lead. Vazquez hasn’t looked sharp — four doubles and a triple — but he’s occasionally been able to make big pitches. Just a strange start. Not a good one, but not as bad as it might have been.

UPDATE, 9:57 p.m.: Teixeira’s second hit of the game is a lead-off double in the sixth.

UPDATE, 10:12 p.m.: Here comes park after a Jason Kubel home run has made it a 5-2 Twins lead. It’s amazing the Yankees are still in this game. Vazquez occasionally made some good pitches to get out of trouble, and he also got lucky quite often.

UPDATE, 10:33 p.m.: Welcome back Chad Gaudin. He’s in to face Michael Cuddyer with two on and one out in the seventh.

UPDATE, 10:42 p.m.: I got to see Jason Kubel a few times in Triple-A, and he’s a really nice hitter. He has two home runs and a double tonight, and his second homer has given the Twins an 8-2 lead. It really seemed inevitable that they were going to break this game open eventually. They’ve seemed to hit everything hard.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 849 Comments →

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