The LoHud Yankees Blog

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

Off day notes and links: Teixiera starts strong04.01.11

“Last year was awful. It was embarrassing.”

Those are Mark Teixeira’s words after yesterday’s Opening Day home run. It seemed that Teixeira dismissed his slow start last season, saying he always trusted that he would eventually live up to the numbers on the back of his baseball card. This winter, though, Teixiera put extra time and effort into his swing, taking more hacks than usual.

“Sometimes your swing is the last thing you think about,” he said.

Teixiera thought about his swing this winter, and he went to work keeping it in shape hoping to avoid last year’s slow start. He had a terrific spring training, then hit a massive three run home run in the opener.

Today Joe Posnanski posted his prediction of the top 32 players in baseball this season. He has Teixiera barely on the list, coming in at No. 32. It’s probably about right considering last year’s numbers, but there’s certainly the potential for more this year.

“I have a suspicion that this year he will have a massive season,” Posnanski wrote.

Here’s Teixeira after yesterday’s game.

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FanGraphs put the Yankees at the top of their organizational rankings.

• Cool post over at The Yankee Analysts detailing how and when each member of the Yankees Opening Day roster came to the franchise.

• He didn’t have much impact with the Yankees, and now Randy Winn has decided to retire. One of the most polite players I’ve ever met.

• After he was released from Yankees camp, infielder Ronnie Belliard signed a minor league deal with the Phillies.

Ian Kennedy got the Opening Day start for the Diamondbacks this afternoon.

• Some other familiar faces winning jobs in new places: Mark Melancon made the Astros bullpen, Sergio Mitre will be in the Brewers pen, Lance Berkman really did open as the Cardinals right fielder, Juan Miranda started at first base for the Diamondbacks, Shelley Duncan made the Indians bench, Dustin Moseley is in the Padres rotation, Ross Ohledorf is the No. 3 starter for the Pirates, Jeff Karstens and Jose Veras are both in the Pirates bullpen, and Jose Tabata is the Pirates starting left fielder.

Associated Press photo

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Fewer missing pieces than you might expect12.24.10

On the day Cliff Lee signed with Philadelphia, Brian Cashman said this:

“We have a championship caliber team. There are areas that could be improved upon. There are players in this marketplace currently that could assist there, but will we solve all the problems that we have right now? I don’t want to mislead people and say, ‘Yeah, we’ll take care of that right now this winter.’ It doesn’t have to happen in the winter time. We have up through the summer to get everything we need necessarily fixed.”

Those words didn’t carry much weight because the Yankees seemed to have too many holes to ignore. But then again, consider the 2010 Opening Day roster. Aside from Andy Pettitte, the changes from then to now haven’t been especially significant, and most should be considered addition by subtraction. The roster concerns seem to have more to do with performance than personnel.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballLineup
Derek Jeter SS
Still with the team. This time he’s coming off the worst season of his career, not a near MVP season.

Nick Johnson DH
Gone. He had 12 hits last year.

Mark Teixeira 1B
Still with the team. A model of consistency the previous six years, last season he slugged below .500 for the first time since he was a rookie.

Alex Rodriguez 3B
Still with the team. Had 125 RBI in a down year.

Robinson Cano 2B
Still with the team. Emerged as one of the game’s elite players.

Jorge Posada C
Still with the team. Nagging injuries took their toll last season. This time he’ll be the primary designated hitter.

Curtis Granderson CF
Still with the team. Made significant improvements down the stretch last season.

Nick Swisher RF
Still with the team. Finally had an all-star season and moved up from the No. 8 hole.

Brett Gardner LF
Still with the team. A complete unknown at this time last year.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballBench
Francisco Cervelli C
Still with the team. Likely to return to the exact same role as last season.

Ramiro Pena INF
Still with the team. Could return to the utility role. Could be replaced by Eduardo Nunez or an outside candidate.

Marcus Thames OF
Gone. Wasn’t with the Yankees at this time last year. Didn’t sign until just before spring training.

Randy Winn OF
Gone. Also wasn’t with the team at this time last year. Brian Cashman tried to buy low, but Winn made 16 starts before being designated for assignment.

ALCS Rangers Yankees BaseballRotation
CC Sabathia LHP
Still with the team.
Still at the top of the rotation. Still a Cy Young candidate.

A.J. Burnett RHP
Still with the team. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine he could be any worse than he was last season.

Andy Pettitte LHP
Unknown. While he’s considering retirement, he’s also considered the rotation’s most significant missing piece. Injury limited him to 21 starts last season.

Javier Vazquez RHP
Gone. Last winter’s big rotation addition managed 26 largely forgettable starts.

Phil Hughes RHP
Still with the team. And this time he doesn’t have to fight for a spot in spring training.

ALCS Yankees Rangers Baseball

Mariano Rivera RHP
Still with the team. Same as always. Age would be a factor if he were anyone but Mo.

Joba Chamberlain RHP
Still with the team. Not fighting for a rotation spot this time.

Dave Robertson RHP
Still with the team. Had a 2.27 ERA and held opponents to a .207 batting average in the second half last season.

Damaso Marte LHP
Injured. Likely to miss all season. Essentially replaced by Pedro Feleciano.

Chan Ho Park RHP
Gone. Wasn’t with the team at this time last year. Allowed one more hit than Rivera, despite pitching fewer than half of the games.

Alfredo Aceves RHP
Gone. Non-tendered after missing almost all year with a back injury. Pitched in 10 games last season.

Sergio Mitre RHP
Still with the team.
Actually coming off a pretty solid season, in a much better spot than at this time last year.

Associated Press photos of Jeter, Cervelli, Sabathia and Rivera

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Yankees farm update: Pittsburgh edition08.25.10

ph_456027It’s been more than two years since Ross Ohlendorf was a part of the Yankees organization — which is more time than he actually spent in the Yankees organization — but I still find that I click on stories about him and pay attention when his highlights are on television. He’s an interesting, easy-to-like guy who was part of two significant Yankees trades. When his name pops up, you notice.

It looks like Ohlendorf is going to miss the rest of the year because of a strain behind his right shoulder. It some ways, it puts him out of his misery. He has a perfectly respectable 4.04 ERA, but he’s 1-11 as the Pirates ace.

The other guys sent to Pittsburgh in the Nady/Marte trade:

Dan McCutchen is tonight’s Pirates starter. He has solid Triple-A numbers, but a 6.65 ERA in the big leagues. He’s pitched 16 times — seven starts — and has allowed 11 home runs.

Jeff Karstens was supposed to be tonight’s starter, but he’s being skipped because of arm fatigue. He has a 4.98 ERA, but twice as many wins as Ohlendorf.

Jose Tabata is playing well in his first big league season. He’s hitting .310 with three homers. He also hit three homers in Triple-A giving him six for the year. Most he ever hit in a season with the Yankees was five.

The other guys brought to New York in the Randy Johnson trade:

Steven Jackson made six big league appearances this year but ultimately lost his spot on the Pirates 40-man roster. He has a 4.01 ERA in Triple-A, getting a lot of ground ball outs but not many strikeouts.

Alberto Gonzalez is hitting .276 as a utility man with the Nationals. He has 123 at-bats and four RBI. Ramiro Pena has 121 at-bats and 16 RBI.

Luis Vizcaino hasn’t pitched since last year.

Since we’re on the subject of the Pirates and former Yankees:

Chan Ho Park has pitched seven times for Pittsburgh: 7.2 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 4 K. He’s allowed two homers.

Randy Winn is hitting .250 with three home runs and four stolen bases as a part-time player in St. Louis.

Mark Melancon has made three scoreless appearances since joining Triple-A Round Rock in the Astros minor league system. Jimmy Paredes is hitting .290/.313/.409 in Class A with the Astros. It’s almost identical to his .282/.312/.408 pre-trade line with Charleston.

Zach McAllister was assigned to Triple-A Columbus in the Indians system. In his debut last night he went 6 IP, 4 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K. All five runs came in the second inning.

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Right and wrong: The bench05.24.10

Hard to tell the difference between the bench and the lineup these days. Francisco Cervelli and Marcus Thames have seen regular playing time most of the month, Juan Miranda is getting regular at-bats at designated hitter and Kevin Russo has been worth a look in left field. Thames has played in more games than Curtis Granderson, and Randy Winn has played in more than Nick Johnson.

Yankees Mets BaseballWhat’s gone right?

Cervelli and Jorge Posada have played in the same number of games. Posada has outstanding offensive numbers, but Cervelli still has more RBI. In his oversized helmet and bigger-than-expect role, Cervelli keeps getting big hits in big situations. The Yankees took a chance on him this winter, choosing not to sign a veteran backup catcher, and the faith has paid off and then some.

Unless he’s heading for a Hall of Fame career, Cervelli’s numbers are sure to dip at some point, but he looks like a guy who can hit and certainly catch at this level. And he made the decision easy when the Yankees might have been tempted to rush either Jesus Montero or Austin Romine after Posada’s injury.

Other bright spots: Thames’ offensive production against both righties and lefties; Thames’ walk-off home run; Russo’s first major league start; Miranda showing some power; Pena proving his defense can play anywhere.

What’s gone wrong?

Randy Winn
When everyone was healthy, Winn’s primary role was to play right field defense after Nick Swisher’s final at-bat, but occasional duty has been a tough adjustment for the longtime major league starter. Winn has come through in the clutch a few times, but for the year he’s hitting just .213 with a .295 slugging percentage. Both are ugly numbers for a corner outfielder.

If it hasn’t been Winn filling in, it’s been Thames, who’s done more than enough with the bat while continuing to struggle in the field. There will never be a better example than his walk-off home run one night, followed immediately by his game-changing error the next night.

Other problem areas: Pena isn’t expected to hit much, but you’d like to get more than a .211/.244/.237 slash line. Even that’s kind of nit-picking considering Pena’s role on this team and the fact he’s come through more than once. Ultimately, there’s not a lot to complain about on the bench.

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Right and wrong: The outfield05.24.10

For a while there, it was hard to remember what the real Yankees outfield looked like. Curtis Granderson was on the disabled list, Nick Swisher was fighting through a sore biceps and Ramiro Pena was learning to play right field on the fly. Today, the outfield is coming back together. Granderson is rehabbing in Triple-A, Swisher is back in the lineup and the Yankees have added Kevin Russo, a utility man who actually has more than seven games of outfield experience.

Yankees Red Sox BaseballWhat’s gone right?

Speed and power
Granderson was supposed to add a little of both to the Yankees lineup: He was supposed to run the bases, hit home runs and give the Yankees a dependable center fielder for the next few years. He had that huge home run against Boston, then slowed down and limped onto the disabled list.

Instead, the speed and power have come from Brett Gardner and Swisher. Gardner has been one of the team’s more pleasant surprises, and Swisher has the second highest slugging percentage among healthy regulars (behind Robinson Cano).

Other bright spots: Marcus Thames’ offense; Two home runs from Gardner; Swisher’s improved approach at the plate; Good call giving Russo regular time in the Triple-A outfield this season.

What’s gone wrong?

Hurry back Curtis
Through 80 at-bats, Granderson’s overall numbers aren’t great. He’s hitting just .225 without a ton of power and only seven RBI. But with him on the disabled list, the Yankees have been faced with the choice of Thames’ diminished defense or Randy Winn’s diminished offense. There’s no perfect answer there.

After missing most of the month, Granderson seems close to a return, and the Yankees need him to come back better than he was when he left (three hits in his previous 10 games).

Other problem areas: Thames’ defense; Winn’s offense (except for two or three huge hits); Swisher’s seemed-like-it-would-never-go-away biceps injury; Gardner’s .315 OBP as the No. 2 hitter; Colin Curtis and his high ankle sprain in Triple-A.

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Shutout again in Detroit05.13.10

Yankees Tigers Baseball

For a second day in a row, the Yankees have been shutout. This time it was Justin Verlander who overwhelmed the Yankees lineup, shutting down more or less the same group that scored 24 runs in a span of two days over the weekend.

Since those two games in Boston, the Yankees have gone 1-4 and scored 15 runs, six of which came in the ninth inning of last night’s second game, an inning in which a Triple-A call-up fell apart.

“We’re just not getting hits,” Derek Jeter said. “Every season it’s the same thing. There are periods when it seems like you get a lot of hits and other times it seems like you can’t find a hit, but that happens every year. If you could figure it out, then nobody would ever struggle.”

Jeter was 0-for-16 before a lead-off single this afternoon. He had been hitless in four straight games, the third longest such stretch of his career. Marcus Thames was 2-for-13 (.153) during the road trip, Robinson Cano was 5-for-24 (.208), Randy Winn was 4-for-16 (.250) and Mark Teixeira was 8-for-30 (.267). Alex Rodriguez hit .346 and Brett Gardner extended his on-base streak to 15 games, but these past few games have been a down time for the lineup as a whole.

“We basically had about the same lineup as we had in Boston when we scored a bunch of runs,” Joe Girardi said. “Obviously (Detroit) did a good job pitching against us, and we didn’t swing well.”

The Yankees hit a little bit of a lull on their previous road trip. The offense struggled for a few days in Oakland and Los Angeles, but they turned it around with 24 runs in their first three games back at Yankee Stadium.

Three and four road trips are going to happen,” Teixeira said. “As long as we keep playing the way that we’re capable of playing and don’t go crazy and pitchers starting walking guys and hitters start swinging at first pitches, popping everything up. We just keep doing our thing, we’re going to win games again.”

Here’s Jeter.

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Postgame notes: Yankees let one get away05.10.10

Yankees Tigers Baseball

The Yankees had some chances tonight in Detroit.

They loaded the bases in the sixth but couldn’t score a run. They loaded the bases with no outs in the eight, but could only score twice to pull within one. They had their second, third and fourth hitters at the plate in the ninth, but all three struck out.

“They pitched well,” Derek Jeter said. “They made some big pitches. They have some guys in their bullpen who throw pretty hard and get out of some jams.”

Of course, it was hard to ignore all of the former Yankees who played a key role for the Tigers. Austin Jackson drove in a run with a ground out in the third, Johnny Damon went deep off Sergio Mitre in the fourth, and Phil Coke made some huge pitches to help limit the damage in that almost-go-ahead eighth.

“Johnny, he likes playing in games like this,” Jeter said. “I’m sure he’s probably feeling pretty good over on the other side. We’ve seen him do against us on the other side. We’ve seen him do it for us. It’s really not surprising.”

We’ll go with the Joe Girardi postgame audio tonight. Truth is, none of the Yankees had much to say.

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Yankees Tigers Baseball

• The play of the game was obviously Magglio Ordonez’s sliding catch in the eighth. Girardi said he thought it was a double off the bat, but as the ball got into the outfield and he saw where Ordonez was positioned, he knew it would be caught. “I don’t really look where people are playing when I’m hitting, but he made a good catch,” Jeter said. “He was positioned perfectly.”

• Two offensive bright spots for the Yankees: Two more hits for Alex Rodriguez and another home run for Mark Teixeira who has become his productive self this month. “He’s swinging the bat great,” Girardi said. “He lined out again tonight too. It looks like it’s really starting to turn for him.”

• Two pitching bright spots: An overwhelming inning from Joba Chamberlain and five outs from Dave Robertson, who had to pitch around a botched fly ball — Brett Gardner simply never saw it — to get out of a jam. “Robby did a good job,” Girardi said. “He threw the ball well. Maybe that’s what gets him going.”

• I’m sure people are upset about the Randy Winn at-bat in the eighth. He swung at a 2-0 pitch against a pitcher who had been wild, but Girardi had no problem with the decision. “You’re looking for a ball up and he got a ball up,” Girardi said. “It was maybe just a little too up. You’re looking to hit a sac fly so you’re not looking for a ball down, you’re looking for a ball up in the zone. He just didn’t get on top of it enough.”

• Big-time ninth inning by Jose Valverde, who got Swisher and Teixeira on splitfingers, then went after Rodriguez with high-90s fastballs.

Yankees Tigers Baseball

• Sergio Mitre got a lot of ground balls today, and both Girardi and Mitre seemed fairly happy with his execution of pitches, just not the results. “That’s pretty much what I’m supposed to do,” Mitre said. “Keep the ball down. Sink the ball. Get ground balls. First and second innings, I got my ground balls, they just found holes.” The home run by Damon was a mistake pitch, the only none single he allowed.

• Ivan Nova got to Detroit in time for the game, but Girardi didn’t want to hand him a two-run game in his major league debut. “Because it’s close,” Girardi said. “It’s a close ballgame. Serge gave us some innings and Nova is a guy who can give us 100 pitches, 110 pitches. I felt that the bullpen could keep it close and we’d have a chance to win. It’s not that I’m afraid to use Nova in a tough situation, but he’s not used to coming in in the middle of an inning, so I went to Robby.”

• Girardi said he’ll check with Brian Cashman to determine whether the Yankees need to make yet another player move tomorrow.

• We’ll let Damon have the last word tonight: “I always have fire. Always trying to beat the other team. Old teammates or whatnot. I’m just proud of our guys. Our bullpen is our glue on this team right now. We played solid baseball and against a team that was ready. Even though they got in at 4 in the morning, those guys know how to get ready for a ballgame and they just about pulled this one off tonight.”

Associated Press photos.

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Pregame notes: Sticking with the lineup04.28.10

Yankees Athletics Baseball

Nick Johnson is hitting .135, Mark Teixeira is hitting .129 and Curtis Granderson hasn’t had a hit in a week, but the Yankees lineup tonight is the exact same as it was on Opening Day.

“The concern is short-term, not long-term,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Girardi said he was happy with Teixeira’s at-bats yesterday — “A couple of walks, he hit two bullets,” Girardi said — and the Yankees remain encouraged by Johnson’s on-base percentage. Girardi said there was some discussion of batting Brett Gardner second tonight, but ultimately they kept Johnson in the spot they expected him to hit when they signed him.

“Nick, like Tex, is a proven hitter,” Girardi said. “And I think it’s important that you stick with your guys because you know that they’re going to come around. You try to go with a set lineup. Maybe if you put Gardy up there, it changes Gardy’s game a little bit because of who’s hitting behind him.”

As for Granderson, he’s stuck in an 0-for-17 slide that is the second longest hitless streak of his career. Granderson compared it to a basketball player who can’t miss a 3-pointer one game and can’t hit one the next, or a golfer who drives one ball straight and hooks the next one.

“Nothing is changing,” Granderson said. “You’re using the same bats. You’re going against some of the same guys you’re facing. Night games and night games, day games and day games. The situations are the same. Whatever reason, sometimes you’ve got the feel, sometimes you lose it a little bit.”

Yankees Orioles Baseball

• Girardi said he does not want to catch Jorge Posada four days in a row, and so Francisco Cervelli will catch either tomorrow or Friday.

• Chan Ho Park had another MRI that revealed the same thing as before. “It’s basically still he low, low grade strain but he’s not progressing he way we thought he would,” Girardi said. “Just keep rehabbing him.”

• Girardi said Alfredo Aceves is the only reliever he wouldn’t want to use tonight.

• Randy Winn said his back foot simply slipped on that throw to the plate last night. He’d never had that happen before on a dry field.

• Winn, Johnson, Granderson, Marcus Thames and Boone Logan took the World Series trophy to Bethesda Naval Hospital this morning. Winn said everyone he talked to just wanted to get back with his or her fellow soldiers. “They never waver,” Winn said. “They’re itching to get back. That’s one of the reasons we have to go, to say thank you.”

• Get this, Derek Jeter said he’d never heard of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx until Sweeny Murti, Mark Feinsand and I talked to him about this afternoon. “That thing comes out every week,” Jeter said. “That’s a lot of jinxes.” Of course, Jeter then realized that he and Jorge Posada each made errors last night, the week that they’re on the cover. “So me and Sado were jinxed?” he said.

UPDATE, 6:35 p.m.: Orioles lineup
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Ty Wigginton 2B
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Matt Wieters C
Garrett Atkins 1B
Nolan Reimold DH
Lou Montanez LF
Cesar Izturis SS

Associated Press photos

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Postgame notes: Yankees slide continues04.28.10

Yankees Orioles Baseball

Not a good night for the Yankees here in Baltimore. Dave Robertson had allowed a run in only one other outing this season — the grand slam in the home opener — but tonight he couldn’t put hitters away, and the Yankees couldn’t beat the lowly Baltimore Orioles.

It was the Orioles fourth win of the season, and the Yankees fourth loss in the past five games.

“Usually, when we’re playing teams it really doesn’t make a difference what they’re record is,” Derek Jeter said. “They usually get up for us. Whether it’s the beginning of the season or late in the season. We play teams that are out of it and they do the same thing.”

Tonight, it was Robertson who took the loss, and he earned it. He hit Ty Wigginton with an 0-2 pitch, and that runner became the go-ahead run. He hit a batter and allowed three singles before getting an out. “I got ahead OK,” Robertson said. “When I had an opportunity to get someone out, I just didn’t make the pitch. When you don’t make pitches, guys will hit it.”

Here’s the frustrated Robertson talking about his rough night at Camden Yards.

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Yankees Orioles Baseball

• In almost every way, Phil Hughes was brutal tonight, but he got through 5.2 innings with only one run on two hits. He said he simply could not locate his fastball. “I felt great in the bullpen so I knew I probably wouldn’t be as on as I was the other day,” Hughes said. “In Oakland I was horrible in the bullpen and felt like I couldn’t miss a spot (in the game).” Joe Girardi called the outing impressive because of the way Hughes battled through without his best stuff.

• Girardi on why he didn’t leave Hughes in to face Luke Scott in the sixth: “He had worked so hard and was at 110 (actually 109) pitches,” Girardi said. “We just felt that was enough.” I know Girardi’s going to be ripped for the decision, but at the time, I thought it was the right one. Boone Logan had been pretty solid and Scott splits against lefties have been brutal.

• Hughes did not throw a single changeup. Jorge Posada called for it once and Hughes shook it off. On a night like this, when he couldn’t locate any of his pitches, Hughes said he didn’t want to use the pitch he commands the least.

• Jeter on his ninth-inning error: “I stayed down and it popped up and hit me in my bicep.” That error and Jorge Posada’s throwing error led to that all-important insurance run.

• Girardi said he plans to play Nick Johnson tomorrow as long as he feels OK. Johnson pinch hit and drew a walk in the ninth.

• Didn’t see Randy Winn after the game, so I couldn’t ask him what happened on that throw in the sixth inning. “I’m not sure what happened there,” Girardi said. “I didn’t have a chance to ask him.”

• Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher each had three hits. It was Cano’s ninth multi-hit game.

Both Associated Press photos. The top is of Cano after his fly out to end the third inning.

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Game 19: Yankees at Orioles04.27.10

YANKEES (12-6)
Derek Jeter SS
Brett Gardner LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada DH
Curtis Granderson CF
Nick Swisher DH
Randy Winn RF

RHP Phil Hughes (2-0, 2.19)
Career vs. Orioles

ORIOLES (3-16)
Adam Jones CF
Nick Markakis RF
Matt Wieters C
Miguel Tejeda 3B
Luke Scott DH
Ty Wigginton 2B
Rhyne Hughes 1B
Nolan Reimold LF
Cesar Izturis SS

RHP Kevin Millwood (0-3, 3.38)
Career vs. Yankees

TIME/TV: 7:05 p.m./MY9

UMPIRES: HP Wally Bell, 1B Laz Diaz, 2B John Hirschbeck, 3B James Hoye

WEATHER: Light breeze that’s enough to make it feel much colder than 57 degrees. Temperatures are supposed to stay in the 50s through the game, with a very slight chance of rain (20 percent).

WINN’S IN: Randy Winn is a career .611 hitter with two home runs in 18 career at-bats against Orioles starter Kevin Millwood. He’s still looking for his first hit of the season, though he’s had only 10 at-bats. It took Mark Teixeira 18 at-bats to get his first hit, and that came more than two weeks ago.

MILESTONE WATCH: Derek Jeter needs one double to tie Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees all-time list… Jorge Posada needs three home runs to reach 250 for his career… Mariano Rivera needs two strikeouts to tie Roger Clemens for 10th place on the Yankees all-time strikeouts list… Alex Rodriguez needs two stolen bases to reach 300 and he needs one home run to tie Frank Robinson for seventh place on baseball’s all-time list.

LOOKING TO CHANGE: Only three Orioles have more than five big league at-bats against Phil Hughes, and none has more than 14, so the sample size is small. But Nick Markakis, Adam Jones and Luke Scott — the three Orioles with the most ABs against Hughes — have hit .429, .500 and .571 against him. Markakis has 14 at-bats, Jones has eight and Scott has seven.

UPDATE, 7:44 p.m.: The Orioles haven’t been winning, but they’ve been getting pretty solid starting pitching, and Kevin Millwood looks pretty solid through two innings.

UPDATE, 7:52 p.m.: Bases loaded with one out here in the second. Big test for Hughes.

UPDATE, 7:54 p.m.: Hughes might have been squeezed on one of those pitches, but there’s really no reason to even come close to walking the No. 9 hitter in that situation. Hughes walks in a run and Mitre is now getting loose in the bullpen.

UPDATE, 7:56 p.m.: Hughes defense picks him up with a big double play to end the inning. Down 1-0 after two innings, Hughes has plenty of time to get this thing turned around.

UPDATE, 8:00 p.m.: There ya go. Randy Winn has a hit. Now everyone can go back to hating Javier Vazquez.

UPDATE, 8:08 p.m.: Gardner reaches first on an error and drives in the tying run in the process. Now the bases are loaded for Rodriguez with a chance to make this a big inning for the Yankees.

UPDATE, 8:10 p.m.: Well, Rodriguez crushed the ball, right into the glove of Miguel Tejeda.

UPDATE, 8:13 p.m.: Robinson Cano flies out of a ball that was clearly knocked down by the moon. The Yankees will settle for a 1-1 tie after two and a half.

UPDATE, 8:27 p.m.: I’ll admit it. I was among those who wondering if we might start to see a real age-related decline in Jorge Posada’s production. So far, that hasn’t been the case at all. The guy’s been crushing the ball, and his solo home run has just put the Yankees in front 2-1 here in the fourth.

UPDATE, 9:17 p.m.: Had some internet connection issues for a while, but I seem to be back online. Just when the Yankees seemed to get a break on that Nick Swisher infield single, Jorge Posada rounded too far around second — he seemed to be thinking about third if no one went to cover the bag — and the play ended the inning. Still a 2-1 lead with Hughes going back to the mound for the sixth. Boone Logan getting loose in the pen.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

UPDATE, 9:19 p.m.: Some wounded soldiers were guests of the Yankees for tonight’s game. Here’s an AP shot of Alex Rodriguez signing for Zach O’Brien.

UPDATE, 9:21 p.m.: Hughes exits after 5.2 innings to the sound of “Hugghhhhesss” from the Yankees fans behind the visiting dugout. It just feels like the start of a huge season for him. Even on a night like this, he got through 5.2 with only one run. Logan is in with Dave Robertson getting loose.

UPDATE, 9:31 p.m.: Well, Logan walked a guy and Robertson hit a guy, so things have gotten dicey. Then again, Robertson seems to be at his best when there’s a runner or two in scoring position.

UPDATE, 9:32 p.m.: Something clearly went wrong there. Not sure what happened to Winn, but that throw was just… weird. We’re now tied at 2.

UPDATE, 9:38 p.m.: Man, not a good night for Robertson. The Orioles have already taken a 4-2 lead, and they still have two on with two out. Plus the top of the order is up. Not good at all.

UPDATE, 10:01 p.m.: Another three-hit game for Cano.

UPDATE, 10:16 p.m.: Jorge Posada’s kicking the dirt after that single scored another Baltimore run. If not for his throwing error, the runner might not have been in a position to score. It’s 5-2.

Posted by: Chad Jennings - Posted in Gameday Threadwith 1,066 Comments →

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