Friday, May 28, 2010

Hokies get off to the Wright start in ACC tournament

After about an hour and half delay, the Virginia Tech Hokies finally got to start their first game of the ACC Championship.  And boy were they ready.

The Hokies took on the mighty Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, a team which the Hokies previously swept.

Georgia Tech started Derek McGuire, who was first team all-ACC, the ACC pitcher of the year and is expected to be a top ten pick in next month's Major League Baseball draft. But, during last night's game the Hokies made McGuire look extremely ordinary.

Virginia Tech starting pitcher Justin Wright was the one who truly put on a phenomenal pitching performance.  Not only did he pitch a complete game, he had a career high 15 strikeouts and only gave up two runs.

Considering how he was shellacked in his last start against UNC, he really exceeded expectations.

The offense helped out Wright's performance by scoring six runs.  In fact, Wright had a lead in the bottom of the first, thanks to a two-run home run by right fielder and first team all ACC, Austin Wates.

All of the Hokies runs came with two-outs.  They loaded the bases twice with less then two outs, and the Yellow Jackets should be fortunate that the Hokies were unable to take advantage of the miscues of the GT pitching staff.

The Yellow Jackets pitching staff allowed five walks and six hits total.

So exactly how good was Wright?  The Georgia Tech head coach put it best.

“We had no answer for Justin Wright," Georgia Tech coach Danny Hall said. "He’s good.”
Virginia Tech head coach Pete Hughes, also had his own opinion on Wright's performance.

“That was probably the best starting performance I’ve seen at this level in my coaching career. It was dominant,” Hughes said.
If the Hokies are able to continue to have games like that, they will be one tough ball club to beat. Their goal is to win the ACC tournament.  

The second baby-step towards that goal begins this afternoon with a game against Clemson.  Sophomore starter Matthew Price takes the hill for the Hokies who hopes to repeat a performance like Wright's.

Yanks get back on winning track against Twins

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Location: Target Field, Minneapolis, MN
Yankees overall record: 28-19
Series MVP: Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera
Quote of the series: comes from closer Mariano Rivera on how Pettitte continues to amaze with the way he's pitching this season
“If there is somebody who can get out of a jam like that, it’s Andy,” Mariano Rivera said. “He made the pitches. All of his composure. Getting it done. I’ve seen it over and over.”
The Yankees made their first and only  trip of the regular season to Minnesota and the new Target Field.  Overall the ballpark is beautiful and one of the nicest ballparks around the league.

Leave it to the Yankees however to experience the first weather related delay in Minnesota since the 1970s.

Tuesday night was truly an interesting game.  AJ Burnett was dealing with Minnesota starter Scott Baker through five innings.  After five innings however, mother nature finally decided to punish the Minnesota sports fans.  The clouds opened up and it began down-pouring.  The game was suspended after a two-hour rain delay.

Luckily for Burnett, as the opposing pitcher, if the Yankees found a way to score in the top of the sixth inning, and the team could hold the lead, Burnett would earn the win.

And that's exactly what the Yankees did.  Derek Jeter hit a solo home run in the top of the sixth to score the only run of the game.  He also helped preserve that lead by making one of his patten jump throws in the bottom of the inning on the defensive side of the ball.

Rivera came in to get the save and the Yankees had won their first game since last Friday.

Just a couple hours later, the second game was set to begin.  This time it was Mr. Reliable, Andy Pettitte versus Francisco Cervelli.

Pettitte has continued to work magic by continuing his tremendous start to the season.  I've haven't seen Pettitte this dominant since his first initial few seasons with the Yankees, 15 years ago.  Not only did Pettitte out-duel Lirano for eight innings, he also lowered his ERA, which now sits at a miniscule 2.62.

The team won with a score of 3-2.  The offense was aided by a double from rookie Kevin Russo, a triple from Brett Gardner and the game winning home run from Nick Swisher.

Pettitte's greatest inning of the night came in the seventh when he got Joe Mauer to ground into an inning ending double play, with the bases loaded.  Rivera then came in for his second save of the day, to preserve the lead.

Thursday's game was Javier Vazquez's first time pitching since leaving his start early against the Mets on Friday. Unfortunately, good Javy was left behind in Queens.

Although Vazquez's ability to limit the damage by the opposing team has improved significantly, he  could still work on it.  He only allowed 5 earned runs, and should have been more if not for the spacious conditions in Target Field.

The bullpen gave up three more runs, making the final score 8-2.

Next Up: The Yankees return home once again for a four game series against the last-place Cleveland Indians.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Pete Hughes deserves a little respect

Yesterday, the all ACC honors were announced for baseball.  Virginia Tech was represented only once for the first team all-ACC team.  Outfielder Austin Wates, a likely first round draft pick in this summer's Major League Baseball draft was the lone Hokie on the team.  Three other Hokies, catcher Steve Domecus, starting pitcher Justin Wright and reliever Ben Rowen made the second team.

The name most noticeably missing from the list was not a player.

No it was Virginia Tech's very own head coach Pete Hughes.

So who was the winner of the ACC coach of the year you might ask?  None other then Virginia head coach Brian O'Connor.

Now I understand O'Connor is a great coach and has really turned the program around at Virginia and kept the team in the top five nationally all season, but I feel that many people are still suffering a bit of a hangover from the Wahoo's trip to Omaha last season.

Hughes has done a remarkable job turning around the program down in Blacksburg.  The team has made the ACC tournament for the first time since 2005.  This also coincides with the teams reentry into the national rankings for the first time since 1992. The Hokies have been ranked for roughly half the season and were as high as #12 prior to a sweep at the hands of North Carolina.

Going into the ACC tournament which begins on Thursday, the Hokies have an overall record of 36-19.  Compared to last season's record of 32-21 and the 2008 season of 23-21, Hughes' determination to turn the program around is greatly visible.

His hope one day is to generate as much excitement over baseball as football and basketball get in Blacksburg.

I truly believe that with a good run in the postseason tournaments this will happen.  After all when I recently talked to Hughes he said the goal of the team was to make it to Omaha.

For now, let's just shoot for winning the ACC tournament and making it to the NCAA regional portion of the tournament.

Then we can focus on Omaha.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mets win first round of subway series

Opponent: New York Mets
Location: Citi Field, Queens, NY.
Yankees Overall Record: 26-18
Series MVP: utility outfielder Kevin Russo
Quote of the series: comes from third-baseman Alex Rodriguez on the struggling Yankees offense
“Absolutely it’s frustrating,” he said, “because we’re capable of so much more.”
What a series. So many words to describe such a miserable series.  The first one that comes to mind is embarrassing. But we'll start with the only positive game of the series.

Friday, the only win of the series, was quite the pitching duel between the two teams.  Starting pitcher Javier Vazquez pitched perhaps his best start since his return to the Yankees.  He pitched six shutout innings of just one hit ball.  Javy was rolling too, he only had 70 pitches after the sixth inning, when he went to go up to bat in the 7th.

Then the injury bug bit again.

While he was batting, he fouled a ball off which struck his finger.  Vazquez didn't even know initially how bad the injury was until he took off his batting glove and saw his finger was bleeding.  Girardi pulled Vazquez immediately.  He is officially listed as day to day and is expected to make his next start.

Friday's game was finished by the bullpen.  The only blip on the radar was the lone run that Mariano Rivera gave up.

On the offensive side, Kevin Russo, a native of New York City, and freshly recalled to the roster had the night of his life.  He got his first major league hit and on his second hit, he tallied his first two RBI's.  The two RBI's provided the two runs of the game, with the final score 2-1.

Saturday's game was more of a different story.  Phil Hughes was once again wild.  He gave up five runs over 5.2 innings.  Hughes pitches were in the strike zone yet he was just missing his pitches.  The Mets hitters hit  42 foul balls and were able to knock his pitch count up considerably.

Unfortunately for Hughes, the Yankee offense was not able to hit anything against starter Mike Pelfry.  They scored one run.  For the night they managed to break through for three runs, but ultimately lost with a score of 5-3.

Sunday's game was much of the same thing, except worse.   CC Sabathia was not good once again.  In fact, he gave up six earned runs in a game where he was matched up against Mets ace Johan Santana.

Santana lived up to his former CY Young status while Sabathia got knocked around.  He gave up two home runs to Jason Bay, who had been struggling all season.  The Yankees were able to rally in the ninth inning but fell short, leaving the bases loaded and losing the game with a score of 6-4.

Thankfully for the struggling Yankees, they have an off day today, which could not have come at a better time.  The offense and the pitching staff need to regroup and put this miserable week behind them.

The Yankees are now a season high six games behind the Rays.

Next Up: The Yankees travel to Minnesota for a three game series at the new Target Field.  This will be the last time the two teams play one another for the season.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Rays sweep Yankees

Opponent: Tampa Bay Rays
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Yankees overall record: 25-16
Series MVP: no one
Quote of the series: comes from manager Joe Girardi and his thoughts on the series
"We battled back in every game here,” Joe Girardi said. “We scored runs. We just gave up too many.”
The Yankees had a chance to sweep the series against the Tampa Bay Rays and would have been only one game out of first place.  Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened with the Rays sweeping the Yankees, leaving the Bombers five games out of first place.

Wednesday's game was rather unforgettable.  AJ Burnett was once again wild and gave up six total runs.  He gave up four in the fourth inning alone.  The offense did their best to rally back yet were ultimately defeated, 10-6.

Wednesday's game also brought bad news on the injury front.  Marcus Thames tripped over his own bat and sprained his ankle.  He is listed as day to day.  It was also announced Jorge Posada has a fractured bone in his right foot and could be out for a month.  Chad Moeller was recalled to take Posada's place yet Francisco Cervelli will continue to start.

Thursday's game brought a beating to lefty starter, Andy Pettitte.  Pettitte gave up three runs in the entire game, doubling his total for the season.  The game began as back and forth offensive action between the two teams.  However, as soon as the two teams were tied in the fourth, Pettitte gave up more runs.

The end result of Thursday's game was a 8-6 Rays victory thus concluding a forgetful series.

Something needs to be done with the roster if this losing streak continues, if not the Rays will run away with the division, similar to a pace that the '98 Yankees did.

Next Up: The Yankees begin inter-league play with round one of the Subway Series.  The Yankees will travel to Citi Field to play the New York Mets.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Posada to the DL

Jorge Posada will be placed on the 15-day Disabled List sometime today.

Yesterday Posada went for a MRI for his ailing right foot that has kept him out of the lineup since Sunday. Joe Girardi announced Posada had a hairline fracture of the foot and would be out 3-4 weeks.

Posada on the other hand believes he will be back sooner.  “It’s not going to take that long,” Posada said. “They can say whatever they want to say. I’ll be here before that.”

Prior to the 2008 season, Posada had never spent anytime on the DL.  This is the third time however, after requiring shoulder surgery in 2008 and missing more time last year due to that shoulder.

The Yankees are expected to call up Chad Moeller to serve as Francisco Cervelli's backup.

The list of injuries is growing for the Yankees.  Currently Posada, Nick Swisher (not on DL), Curtis Granderson, Alfredo Aceves and Marcus Thames are out of commission for the Yanks. Not surprisingly this has contributed to many of the losses the team has had.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Yankees split series with Red Sox

Opponent: Boston Red Sox
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Yankees overall record: 25-14
Series MVP: the Red Sox defense
Quote of the series: comes from Javier Vazquez, who earned the win Monday, on AJ Burnett's antics of throwing a pie in the face during walk off wins.
“I was watching from afar last year, all of the pies in the face from A.J.,” Vazquez said. “I was glad to finally see one in person.”
The short two-game series was definitely a tale of pitching and defense from either side.

Monday's game began as a pitching match up between Yankees starter Phil Hughes and Boston hurler Daisuke Matsuzaka.

Like each of Hughes' starts this season, he started very strong.  Though as the game progressed he got wilder.  He was staked to an early 5-0 lead before eventually giving up five runs himself.  The game was then passed on to the bullpen which for the exception of Chan Ho Park did a great job.

Park returned from the disabled list after a month's stay.  In his first game back, he gave up three runs. All three runs were from home runs, from Yankee killer, Kevin Youkilis and catcher Victor Martinez.

Luckily the offense was not immune to the fastballs Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon throws.  Alex Rodriguez hit a game-tying home run to tie the game at 9 which set the stage for the winning runs.  New Yankee right fielder, Marcus Thames, who was playing for the injured Nick Swisher, hit a two-run, game-winning home run for a final score of 11-9.

Thames was christened to the newest Yankee tradition of a pie in the face after hitting the walk off home run courtesy of Burnett.

Tuesday's game was the complete opposite of Monday's.

CC Sabathia started against Red Sox starter Josh Beckett.

Like much of the series at Fenway two weeks ago, Beckett was awful.  He gave up five runs and was forced to leave the game early due to a tight back.

Consequently, the Yankees filed a protest to the Commissioner's office because Joe Girardi felt the Sox were trying to hide Beckett's injury, thus giving their reliever ample time to warm up.  A decision will have to be made in the next couple weeks regarding the protest, but it is likely the decision will be upheld.

Like Monday's game, the bullpen blew the game.  This time though it was Joba Chamberlain's fault.  He had a 5-1 lead before coming in the inning, and when he left the score was tied 5-5.

In the ninth, Mariano Rivera gave up two runs thanks to a costly error by Thames.  The score of 7-5 at the end of the inning.

The Yanks had a chance to come back in the bottom of the ninth and even scored a run with no runs to make the score 7-6.  They unfortunately were not able to get Robinson Cano in from third with two outs remaining.

Next Up: The Yankees welcome the Rays to the Bronx for a crucial two-game series that will help determine who will win the AL East.  Burnett will get the ball in game one.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Johnson to have wrist surgery

Yesterday, the Yankees announced that designated hitter Nick Johnson, who has been on the DL for a few weeks already will have surgery on his injured right wrist.  The team was hoping that a cortisone shot would help alleviate the pain he was experiencing and allow Johnson to return sooner.  Unfortunately with the surgery, Johnson will now be back in mid-July at the earliest, and early August at the latest, according to manager Joe Girardi
"From the time of the surgery, it's four to six weeks before he can even pick up a bat," Girardi said before Monday night's Yankees-Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium. "And you're talking about a substantial time after that. So this is not a quick fix. It's going to take awhile."

How's NOT signing Johnny Damon looking now Brian Cashman?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Yanks continue dominance against Twins

Opponent: Minnesota Twins
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Yankees Overall Record: 24-13
Series MVP: Alex Rodriguez
Quote of the series: comes from manager Joe Girardi on the value Rodriguez adds to the team.
"I just kind of kept my mouth shut and watched the game unfold,” Girardi said."
The Yankees dominant streak against the Minnesota Twins continued through much of the weekend in the Bronx.  Through Saturday's game the Yankees had beat the Twins 12 consecutive games.  With Sunday's loss, the Twins were able to beat the Yanks for the first time since the 2008 season, this includes a sweep in the 2009 ALDS.

Friday's victory could not have come at a better time for the struggling Yankees.  Rodriguez was 2-3 with a huge grand slam, the 19th of his career, which is the second most all time.  The blast was also Rodriguez' 587th all time, which allowed him to pass Frank Robinson for seventh on the all time home run leader list.  The game also brought a better performance from AJ Burnett after his horrendous start in Boston.  He pitched 6.2 solid innings, allowing only 3 runs overall but only 2 of them were earned.

Saturday's game was more of the same for the Yankees.  Andy Pettitte pitched for the first time in a week and boy did he look amazing.  He allowed zero runs while pitching 6.1 innings. The offense scored seven runs against the Twins.  The offensive hero of Saturday's game was Mark Teixeira.  Texeira hit a two-run home run, proving that he was over his April slump.  Jorge Posada also hit a two run-home run, his sixth of the season showing he was well over the calf strain that kept him out of the lineup during the past series.

Sunday's game was looking like it was going to be a series sweep.  The Yankees had a lead going into the bottom of the ninth inning, with a score of 3-1.  Normally, that is more then enough of a lead for the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera.  Rivera was uncharacteristically wild however. He walked in a run while the bases were loaded and then served up a grand slam.  Consequently, the Yankees were beat 6-3.

Next Up: The Boston Red Sox come to town for a short two game series.  Phil Hughes will pitch game one Monday.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Tigers take three of four from Yanks

Opponent: Detroit Tigers
Location: Tiger Stadium, Detroit, MI.
Yankees Overall Record: 22-12
Series MVP: who else? Phil Hughes
Series LVP: Derek Jeter
Quote of the Series: comes from first baseman Mark Teixeira on the recent losing streak.
"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.”
The Yankees continued their short road trip with a four game series against the Detroit Tigers.  The Yankees played like the weather that hindered over Detroit for the week, ugly.  The offense went MIA as did much of the pitching.

Monday's game, a 5-4 loss was all about Detroit.  The Yankees managed to crawl their way back to make the game close but were unsuccessful.  Former Yankees Phil Coke and Johnny Damon really hurt their old club.  Coke pitched a decisive eight inning, allowing nobody to score with the bases loaded.  Damon hit his second home run of the season which extended the lead for his new club.  Magglio Ordonez made the game saving catch though in the eighth.  He took what would have been a double down the line from Jeter to end the inning.

Tuesday's game was postponed due to wicked rain that was in the Detroit area meaning the two teams had to play a double header Wednesday.  Javier Vazquez started game one and even though he took the loss, he pitched much better then he had in the past.  Vazquez was even pitching on about one week's rest after having his turn skipped in the rotation during the Boston series.  He pitched into the seventh inning and only gave up two runs.  Unfortunately for him, the offense did not show up to the game, but saved everything else for Phil Hughes in the nightcap.

Hughes, once again was outstanding.  He pitched seven outstanding innings, allowed just five hits, no runs and had eight strikeouts.  Six of his strikeouts came with the bases loaded in the first and third innings respectively.  He lowered his ERA to 1.38 and became the first starter to win his first five decisions.  The decision to put Hughes in the rotation as the fifth starter, well now fourth, has really paid off for the team.   The offense showed up to this game also.  They exploded for eight runs, six of which were scored in the ninth inning.  Mariano Rivera also got into his first game this month and was perfect and struck out one.

Thursday's game was back to the anemic offense that haunted the Yanks this whole series. They were also hurt by an unusually wild CC Sabathia who allowed his highest amount of runs all season.  He pitched six innings, gave up nine hits and allowed six runs.  After the game Sabathia said his mechanics were off on his fastball and that's why he was getting hurt.  The offense also had to deal with the fastball throwing machine of Justin Verlander.  Verlander allowed just four hits for the entire game while pitching into the seventh inning.  The final score of the game was 6-0.

The Yankees could not get out of Detroit fast enough following this series.

Next Up: The Yankees return home and take on the Minnesota Twins.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Best Right Fielder in New York History

According to the new show The Lineup over on Madison Square Garden Network, it's none other then Babe Ruth.

A panel of experts got together to determine who was the best right fielder and had to choose between the talented Ruth, Daryl Strawberry, Mr. October himself Reggie Jackson among others New York greats.

The show airs on Tuesdays at 10:30 on MSG. Here's a little background information about the show
“The Lineup: New York’s All-Time Best Baseball Players,” is a new original series and interactive fantasy game that will determine the best baseball players in the history of New York. Each 30-minute episode of “The Lineup” will present a number of nominees for consideration at each position, from the Yankees, Mets, New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers, with one episode dedicated to the best New York manager of all-time. MSG’s Fran Healy will host a panel, consisting of Hall of Fame Mets catcher Gary Carter, former Yankee bullpen ace Sparky Lyle, New York Magazine contributing editor and baseball aficionado Will Leitch, and executive vice president of the Elias Sports Bureau Steve Hirdt. The panel will whittle down a larger list of players from each position and determine the top five from each spot on the diamond. By the end of each episode, they will crown the top player at each position and name him to the official “Lineup” card."

This week the panel will determine who the best center fielder in New York is.

Here's the official word from MSG:

Tune-in to the next episode, Tuesday, May 11th at 10:30PM, when the panel chooses NY's All-Time Best Center Fielder. This will truly be an ultimate debate with so many greats like Willie Mays, Micky Mantle, Joe DiMaggio, Bernie Williams, and more! Who will the panel choose? Tune-in to find out! Photos of the top right fielders here:

If you missed the latest episode, "Right Fielders," check out more extended and uncut footage of the panel discussion here:

Don't forget to make your weekly picks in the 
interactive fantasy game on for a chance at winning a signed baseball from a baseball legend! This week's winner will win a signed baseball from the legendary pitcher Goose Gossage! Each week you play the The Lineup fantasy baseball game is a chance to win more signed memorabilia! 

- Courtney

Yanks take two of three at Fenway

Opponent: Boston Red Sox
Location: Fenway Park, Boston, Ma.
Yankees overall record: 21-9
Series MVP: Francisco Cervelli
Honorable Mention: Brett Garnder, Nick Swisher, Phil Hughes
Quote of the series: comes from Mark Teixeira on Cervelli
"He comes up (last year) and everyone talks about his defense. He’s going to catch, he’s going to throw, he’s going to be great behind the plate,” Mark Teixeira said. “This guy is impressing me more and more every day. He stepped up for a future Hall of Famer. He’s stepping up and doing a great job for Jorge.”
The Yankees were able to continue their winning ways before losing the series finale to the Red Sox, this past weekend.

Friday's game was a clear demonstration of how patient this Yankee offense can be.  Going into the game, the thought was the game was going to be a pitching battle between Red Sox starter Josh Beckett and Yankee youngster Phil Hughes.  Hughes was able to out battle a wild Beckett.  Beckett simply unraveled and allowed 8 runs in the sixth inning while also hitting Robinson Cano and Derek Jeter.  Jeter's plunking came with the bases loaded to allow another run in.  Hughes meanwhile, continued his dominant start to the season by pitching seven effective innings, allowing two runs.  His season earned run average sits at a miniscule 1.69.  This is what manager Joe Girardi had to say about Hughes' start from Friday.

“Beckett struck out five of the first six hitters and it’s not looking like you’re going to get a lot of runs,” Girardi said. “And (Hughes) just matched him.”
Saturday's game was a bit of a back and forth game until the two teams hit a one hour and twenty minute rain delay in the fifth inning.  CC Sabathia was unable to get the win, after only pitching 4 and 2/3 innings.  He needed one more strike to qualify for a win but the umpires called a rain delay before he was able to complete the at bat.  Alfredo Aceves came in and got the win following the delay, yet he had to come out early due to a stiff lower back.  He is considered day to day and the Yankees have no plan to put him on the DL.  The offense exploded following the delay.  Teixeira hit 3 home runs and is finally over his April slump.  Cervelli had five RBI's from Saturday's game.

Sunday's game, mothers day, brought the Jekyl and Hyde  AJ Burnett once again to Fenway.  Up until Sunday's game, Burnett has been virtually unhitable.  Boy did that change.  Burnett allowed eight runs in an overall ugly game.  The defense was not the best and the weather was simply miserable; cold and windy.  With the wind the temperatures were down into the low 30s.  Girardi was ejected for protecting his player, Marcus Thames.  Unfortunatley it did nothing to inspire the team.  Jon Lester was pitching too well to get a hit.

Next Up: The Yankees head to Detroit for a four game series against the Tigers.  Former teammates Johnny Damon and Phil Coke all now play for the Tigers. 

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Johnson to the DL (yet again)

For what seems like the millionth time in his career, Yankees DH Nick Johnson was placed on the 15-day Disabled List this morning.

Johnson has an inflamed tendon in his right wrist.  Johnson originally hurt his wrist in 2008.  Johnson felt his injury after taking a swing in the first inning.

The team placed Johnson on the DL even before he had a MRI.

GM Brian Cashman said it will be "several weeks" before Johnson rejoins the team according to Sam Borden at the Journal News.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How sweep it is! Yanks sweep O's in Bronx

Opponent: Baltimore Orioles
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY.
Yankees Overall Record: 19-8
MVP of the Series: Francisco Cervelli
Honorable Mention: AJ Burnett
Quote of the series: comes from manager Joe Girardi about the recent injury bug that has bitten the Yankees

"Part of what you have to manage is the competitive spirit in them. You have to determine whether it’s just soreness or injury, and does soreness turn into injury. Those are things you have to determine as a manager. It’s usually harder when a guy has mileage. When a guy has mileage, they’ve probably pitched through aches and pains or played through aches and pains.”
The Yankees defeated the Orioles with the strength of their pitching staff over the past three days.  In game one, CC Sabathia was outstanding.  He pitched eight innings and only gave up one run, a home run to Orioles catcher Matt Wieters.

Jorge Posada had to leave Monday's game early with a strained calf.  He had a MRI taken on his calf which came back negative.  Posada has not played since Monday but is expected to be back sometime for the Boston series.

Tuesday's game belonged to AJ Burnett.  He was outstanding.  His curveball is back to the form it was in during the 2008 season when Burnett was with the Blue Jays.  He is baffling his opponents with the pitch and it proved true during Tuesday's game.  He only gave up one unearned run through 7.1 innings.

Burnett could not have won Tuesday's game without help from his catcher, Francisco Cervelli.  Cervelli really stepped up his game with not only his defense but his offense.  He hit his first career triple and drove in two go-ahead runs.

Wednesday's game was a bit of a mixed bag with the results.  The team got the all important win but they were bit by the injury bug yet again.  Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte had to leave after five innings after experiencing stiffness in his elbow.  He was sent to the hospital for a MRI where minor swelling was revealed.  He will most likely just undergo treatment and the team will continue to monitor his elbow.

The concern now is how the injuries will continue to stack up.  Last series, Curtis Granderson was lost.  Mariano Rivera hasn't been available since the weekend, but Joba Chamberlain has taken over the closing duties for the moment.  Then this series both Posada and Pettitte went down.  Hopefully, Rivera, Pettitte or Posada will have to spend time on the DL, otherwise the team could be in serious trouble.

Next Up: The Yankees head back up to Boston to play the Red Sox for a three game series.


Monday, May 3, 2010

Yankees take series from White Sox 2-1

Opponent: Chicago White Sox
Location: Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY
Yankees Record: 16-8
MVP of the series: who else would it be? Robinson Cano
Quote of the series: comes from Nick Swisher on the loss of Curtis Granderson.
Curtis is a tough dude, man," Swisher said. "He’ll be back as soon as he can, no doubt.”
The Yankees returned home after a week and a half on the road and continued their winning ways.  With the victory over the White Sox, the Yankees have now one 7 of 8 series played this season.

Friday night's game was a battle between each side.  Andy Pettitte struggled the most he has all season but still managed to get a win.  He had help from his buddy Derek Jeter, who hit a home run and a triple, while driving in three runs total.  Friday's victory was a bit old-school with help from the old guard all around, including a save from Mariano Rivera.  Pettitte gave up four runs through eight innings.  The team won the game 6-4.

Saturday's game was a back and forth battle between the two teams.   Javier Vazquez was once again awful and could not get out of the third inning.  The team also lost starting center fielder Curtis Granderson, which I wrote about down below.  Granderson strained his groin and will most likely miss a month.  Brett Gardner will take over in center for Granderson.  The bullpen ended up giving the go ahead run in an overall sloppy game for the pitching staff.  The White Sox were victorious with a score of 7-6.

Phil Hughes continued to pitch like an ace during Sunday's game.  Hughes has been absolutely unbelievable as the team's fifth starter.  Although, given the way Vazquez has pitched, Hughes has jumped into the fourth starter role.  He has been pitching like an ace since the season began and would probably be the ace of the staff on half of the teams in all of Major League Baseball.  Hughes even beat Mark Buehrle, who is normally in the conversation for the AL Cy Young every year.  Hughes was aided by Robinson Cano's amazing start with two home runs, one of which was a three-run home run.  Gardner also hit his first home run of the season, and his first since June of last year.  Gardner is hitting well over .300 and if he can keep his offensive production up, the Yanks will be able to cope with the loss of Granderson.

Next Up: The Bombers continue their home stand and take on the Baltimore Orioles, for the second time in less then a week.


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Granderson to the DL

The newest Yankee center fielder is heading for the DL.  

Curtis Granderson strained his groin in yesterday's game against the White Sox, while rounding second base.  He awkwardly touched second while he was on his way to third on Brett Gardner's RBI single.  Granderson had to hop halfway from second to third base.

He was replaced by pinch runner Randy Winn who stayed in the game to play left field, while Gardner moved over to play center.

Granderson was diagnosed with a grade two strain of his groin.  He is expected to miss anywhere from a minimum of two weeks to a maximum of four weeks. 

Gardner will take over in Center while a platoon of Winn and Thalmes will take over in left.  

The team is expected to call up a reliever today to take Granderson's spot until the bullpen gets in better shape.  

You can expect an outfielder to be called up later in the week. 

- Courtney

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Yanks take two of three from O's

Opponent: Baltimore Orioles
Location: Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD.
Overall Record: 14-7
MVP of the series: Robinson Cano for making plays on both sides of the ball
Quote of the Series: comes from Derek Jeter about how Cano is playing this month.
“He’s in one of those zones right now,” Derek Jeter said. “Every player wants to be in it, but they come few and far between. It seems like everything he’s doing right now is perfect, and he’s playing as well as I’ve ever seen him.”
After a visit with the President, the Yankees got back to do what they have been doing all season. Winning.

The team defeated the Baltimore Orioles two games to three after Thursday's series win.

The series started with the O's earning a victory, just their fourth of the season.  The Yankees were bothered by poor defense, especially late in the game from Jeter and Jorge Posada.  The pair made throwing errors late in the game which allowed the go-ahead runs to score.

Wednesday's game allowed CC Sabathia to get back to the way he was pitching all season.  Sabathia, was lit up by the Angels offense last series.  Luckily, for him, the Orioles are among the leagues worst offensive clubs.  Sabathia pitched into the eighth inning and allowed just two runs.  The team won with a score of 8-3.

Thursday's game belonged to Robinson Cano.  Cano hit two home runs, and made a spectacular play in the field that prevented a run from scoring.  Cano went deep in the hole between second and shirt and made a strong throw to get a speedy runner.  Starter AJ Burnett on television replays could be seen saying "wow".  Cano got a fist bump from Burnett after the inning ended.

Burnett himself pitched phenomenally.    He pitched eight innings and allowed no runs in the teams 4-0 victory.  Mariano Rivera came in and earned the save.

Next Up: The Yankees return home after a week and a half on the road and take on the Chicago White Sox.  The Yankees will have 23 of their next games played in New York, with one series being played at Citi Field against the Mets, once inter-league play begins