The game looked golden from the 1st inning to the 9th inning. Bartolo Colon had pitched marvelous, having a shutout through 8 innings, approximately 10 pitches per inning, rounding out to 87 pitches and he handed the ball over to Mariano in the 9th. Thought the game would be over right? Think again.
The Yankees were leading 1-0 going into the 9th inning and while Mariano Rivera was able to get the first out, he gave up back to back singles and a SAC fly which helped the Orioles tie the ballgame. In the most wackiest games of the season thus far, the Yankees were losing pitchers fast. They didn’t want to use Joba Chamberlain or David Robertson, they had used Boone Logan (who got them out of an 11th inning jam), Luis Ayala and Mariano, which didn’t give the Yankees much to chose from but they had one secret weapon: Hector Noesi (1-0). Sure he’s a kid that was JUST called up, but he could pitch in the 12th inning on and keep the Yankees hopes alive, right?
Noesi had done better than that. First batter he faced, he struck out; got into some bases loaded jams but wriggled right out of it and kept the Orioles off the scoreboard. The 15th inning was the oddest by far. The inning started out normally when Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez both singled for base hits off of Jeremy Accardo (2-1), who had pitched since the 14th inning. Orioles went to the bullpen and summoned Michael Gonzalez, who on the first pitch gave up 2 runs (which were charged to Accardo) to Robinson Cano, leaving him at third with a triple. The next batter Chris Dickerson had always wanted to see stars now that he’s on the New York Yankees, but he didn’t want to see them this way. Gonzalez plunked Dickerson in the head, leaving him with a welt on the side of his face. Gonzalez was immediately ejected from the game which stirred another problem for the Yankees and the Orioles. For the Yankees, who was going to replace Dickerson, and for the Orioles, who was going to pitch since they had no more pitchers. The Yankees easily settled there dilemma by putting Jeter in short, moving Nunez from short to Right Field and pinch running was A.J Burnett (it may be 12:30 in the morning, but this is not a typo). The Orioles decided to bring in tomorrow’s starter Jeremy Guthrie to stop the bleeding, which didn’t make sense to fans, seeing that he was going to face C.C Sabathia tomorrow. Brett Gardner was able to seal the door on this game by hitting a SAC fly to score Cano, the second Yankee to bring a runner home on an earned run.
Noesi had pitched the bottom of the 15th and in the beginning it looked like trouble with 2 on and no outs. With Nick Markakis and Brandon Snyder on first and second and with one out, Matt Wieters hit a ground ball which was going to go through for a base hit, until it hit the foot of Snyder thus calling him out on interrferance. One out later, the weary but somewhat happy Yankees were on there way to the clubhouse to talk to news reporters and to get some rest because like John Sterling says, “You can’t predict baseball.” And I can assure you Yankee fans, NO ONE saw this 15 inning game coming.
Note: Nick Swisher had the start today a day after being out with a stomach virus, but was pulled from the 8th inning for Chris Dickerson; Andruw Jones also had the start today, but was lifted in favor of Brett Gardner; Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson both had days off and Girardi refused to use them during the game; Hector Noesi was called up before, but was sent down before he could make his major league debut; Derek Jeter had 2 hits today, which brings his total to 32 hits away from 3,000; Colon who pitched an 8 inning shut out did not get the win, but instead got a no decision.
EDITED NOTE: Jeremy Guthrie who pitched to the final 3 batters of the 15th inning will NOT pitch in the series finale against the Yankees. Brad Bergesen will take his place in the rotation and pitch against CC.
The Yankees had some breaks but they couldn’t capitalize on most of them. Yesterday the Yankees were 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position but were able to get the job done against the Tigers.
In the first inning Jorge Posada hit a two run double scoring Curtis Granderson and Mark Teixeira, but caught a bad break when the ball hopped over the fence, making it a ground rule double and sending Nick Swisher back to third base. There would have been another run in the inning, but Derek Jeter was caught stealing at second base.
In the second inning Brett Gardner started the inning with a ground ball to the right side for a base hit followed by Eduardo Nunez doubling on a line drive to third. While Gardner scored, Nunez was thrown out at third trying to get a triple.
The Tigers came right back when Alex Avillia homered not once, but twice in the ball game, giving the Tigers an opportunity to tie the game. The Yankees had left runners on without getting the job done, giving the Tigers a chance to tie the ball game in the seventh. The Yankees however were able to take the lead again for the final time that night in the ninth inning.
The ninth inning started with a walk to Curtis Granderson, but while Mark Teixeira was batting, Granderson stole second then over-slid the bag and was tagged out. Mark Teixeira was then walked, giving the slumping Alex Rodriguez a chance to do some damage. Alex singled on a ball that was booted by Brandon Inge, sending Tex to second and A-Rod to first. The Yankees broke it wide open on a line drive by Nick Swisher, scoring Mark Teixeira and sending A-Rod to third. The run that broke the game open was while Russell Martin was batting, Jose Valverde (2-1) threw a pass ball that sent A-Rod home. Mariano Rivera got the final three outs of the ninth, sending the Yankees to there seventeenth win this season. Joba Chamberlain got the win after an effective start by Bartolo Colon.
Note: Robinson Cano expects to play in Tuesday Nights game after sitting out with a bruised hand; Jorge Posada raised his average to .150 yesterday after batting 2 for 4 on the night; Brett Gardner raised his average to .211 and has a six game hitting streak.
The New York Yankees don’t have much to worry about when it comes to there starting rotation. The latest New York Yankee to have an excellent outing was Bartolo Colon who is filling in for the ailing Phil Hughes.
Colon (2-1) pitched a career high 8 innings while only allowing one run on seven hits and six strikeouts. The Yankees offense wasn’t as quiet as it was the previous two days when in the first inning after Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez made it on base, Robinson Cano belted a 3 run home run against Mark Buehrle (1-3), giving the Yankees the lead for the whole game.
Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th inning and earned his 8th save of the season.
Note: Mark Teixeira was lifted from the game in the 8th inning and replaced by Eric Chavez. No word yet on why Tex was pulled; Derek Jeter needs 52 hits to reach 3,000 hits; Jorge Posada average wise is the worst hitting starter with an .138 average.
Update: Mark Teixeira had hurt his shoulder yesterday on a diving play, dove again today and it started hurting. So far he’s day to day.
The New York Yankees are getting ready to play the final 2 games of Spring Training before packing it up to New York where the weather is cooler than in Tampa Florida. The Yankees had changed there mechanics, gained new teammates and have lost some old ones. Let’s take a look at what the staring Yankees had been up to.
Derek Jeter: There has been a lot of talk around Derek Jeter during this Spring Training. Starting with Hank Steinbrenner making the comment that some people need to stop “building mansions.” while Jeter is the only one who actually owns a mansion. Jeter was able to shut Steinbrenner up by putting up excellent numbers during Spring Training. Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long had spoken to him about his stride and how to lessen it, which has done wonders for Jeter. Making headlines lately had been both Jeter and Yankees left fielder Brett Gardner, on who will be the lead off hitter. Girardi had came up with the solution that Jeter will bat lead off against left hand pitching. It looks as if Jeter is ready to bounce back after a bad 2010 season which will be a sigh of relief to Yankee fans.
Mark Teixeira: Teixeira had one goal in mind, to turn his slumping from April to March. If Tex is trying to slump in March, it’s not working. He is having a great Spring, and hopefully that same attitude that he has in Spring Training will go beyond into the season. Despite him firing his agent Scott Boras, there hasn’t been much on Tex this Spring Training, which is pretty good.
Alex Rodriguez: If there was someone who had opened eyes during the course of Spring Training, it was Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod has been a home run hitting machine during Spring Training, but people are wondering if he should save all of his energy for the regular season. For the first time since Rodriguez’s hip surgery, he was given the OK to work out at 100%, and Rodriguez had slimmed down since last season. A-Rod’s goal for this season? To bat at least a .300 because as he nicely commented, he is NOT a .270 hitter even though his home run and RBI numbers were amazing.
Robinson Cano: After coming off a MVP type seaosn in 2010, it seems that Robinson Cano is having a tough time getting started. Only batting a .250 average since the beginning of Spring Training, Cano has been heating up towards the end of Spring Training, hitting his second home run during the Twins 7-6 win yesterday. Even though it’s not looking good for Cano right now, there is no doubt he will be on fire during the season, which I predict he will hit 25-30 homers and have approximatley over 100 RBI’s.
Jorge Posada: Our favorite catcher, but he had been stripped from his title and now takes on a new role: DH. Numerically Posada has one of his worst averages this spring, but on the plus side, his on base percentage is where it needs to be. Posada had played some first base during the season when Mark Teixeira was not in the lineup, and even though at first he looked uncomfertable, he seemed to have been looking more comfertable as time went on, but during the regular season first base is Tex’s. In the final year of his contract, Posada said that he would like to put up good numbers for the Yankees to consider him for another contract in 2012, in which Posada believes that if the slight chance the Yankees dont’ want him back he will look for another team. Let’s just get through the season first before we get into the off season okay Jorge?
Curtis Granderson: The Grandy Man can right? Curtis had put up his best Spring Training numbers ever with a .385 average and if Grandy was making a speech, he would be thanking Kevin Long for the tutorial. Grandy’s swing had taken an effect on him, with him hitting 3 home runs. Unfortunately Granderson’s Spring Training was cut short when he suffered an oblique injury during batting practice, with it being uncertain if he will play during the home opener against his former team, the Tigers. Hopefully Grandy can take the swing into the regular season as soon as he gets better.
Nick Swisher: Well, depsite Swisher getting married to Joanna Garcia during the off season, there’s not much to say about the Swishalicious. He’s having a so-so Spring Training, but he is doing well. The most interesting thing about Swisher? He knows how to make the fans, and his teammates laugh. Examples? To catch a fly ball, he jumped into the bullpen and let it fall next to him, earning him chuckles and a talking to by Girardi. Practically what Girardi said was, “That was the best attempt I have ever seen. Don’t do it again.” Besides being the Yankees class clown, he is doing well, but the fans want to see break out numbers from Swisher in the 2011 season.
Brett Gardner: Oh, Mr. Gardner’s spring training. While his average is a mere .255, his on base percentage is a astounding .375 and with 4 stolen bases so far. One thing that might be helping Gardy out though is that he had tweaked his swing. While being laid up during the off season recovering from wrist surgery, Gardner had called Kevin Long and asked him to help him with his swing, which Long commended Gardner for coming to him instead of the other way around. Gardner’s new swing has both his hands on the bat, which worked out well, since Gardner already has his first home run of the spring. The one thing that Gardner is trying to work on is his bunting. While it has improved, he is still frustrated that he is not getting on base with it, but is working hard on it which shows. Gardner was also rewarded with being the lead off hitter against right handed pitchers while Jeter takes over for left handed pitchers.
Russell Martin: Welcome to the Newest Yankee, Russell Martin who was acquired after spending last season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Martin will be the catcher for the New York Yankees, which is why Posada is the DH, makes sense now doesn’t it? Not much to say about Martin except he does well behind the plate, and he seems to work the best with A.J Burnett, since he is one of the only catchers that can catch his crazy curveballs. Martin’s average is so-so with a .250 average, but his on base percentage .368 which means he gets walked…a lot. Russell Martin is doing well with the Yankees, the fans would just like to see all that get into the season. Though we haven’t seen much, we believe Russell Martin is a valuable asset to the Yankees.
With the Yankee hitters all getting into there groove for the season, the Yankees had been looking for 2 pitchers who could be in the rotation ever since Andy Pettite had reitred. Here is the official starting rotation for the Yankees.
1. CC Sabathia
2. A.J Burnett (Moved to the number 2 spot)
3. Phil Hughes (Promoted from the number 5 spot)
4. Ivan Nova
5. Freddy Garcia
The Yankees new long man is Bartolo Colon, in which the Yankees traded Sergio Mitre for Chris Dickerson from the Brewers.
Yes the Yankees are getting into full gear this spring and prepare to take all of there hard work into the season. Will the Yankees win a 2011 World Series and get there 28th pennant? Who knows, but from the looks of things this team is looking really good.
The New York Yankees and the Philadelphia Phillies both proved something during the home and home games. For the Yankees, it is possible to win while working out the kinks of your starting rotation, and for the Phillies, it is possible to lose with a stellar starting rotation. The first game of the spring training season, the Phillies came out on top 5-4, after Colin Curtis dropped a blooped ball in left field, letting 2 runs score. One of the only mistakes Girardi made in that game was taking out every single starting player and replacing them with rookies (minus Colin Curtis and Eduardo Nunez). The Yankees were upset with their loss, but that gave them hope for a win when they reached Clearwater Florida.
Game 2 was a little different. There was no Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, or Mark Teixeira. Girardi had decided to leave them back at Steinbrenner Field to continue working on their batting and fielding. The only 4 starters that made the trip were Brett Gardner, Nick Swisher, Curtis Granderson and Jorge Posada and all four of the starters proved to be useful. Girardi had put Gardner in the lead off spot, just like he had done in the past when Derek Jeter was unable to play, and Gardner brought the magic touch to the Yankees earning a walk in the 4th, but one out later, Curtis Granderson hammered a home run to the left field wall. It was so impressive, YES correspondents Michael Kay and Ken Singleton pointed out they “had never seen Granderson hit a home run to left field before.” Those hitting tutorials with Kevin Long sure paid off with Granderson. In the 6th inning, Gardner started that inning a little differently. He hit a double off minor league pitcher Justin DeFratus. After that, it was all over for the Phillies. Swisher, Granderson and Posada each had back to back to back doubles which lead to the Yankees leading 6-0. The Phillies tacked on 3 runs, but one of the biggest home runs was from someone trying to win a job on the Yankees Major League team, Jorge Vasquez. He hit his second home run, in two games in the 9th inning, replacing Eric Chavez. His power was talked about on blogs after he hit the home run, and if I were Girardi I would heavily consider Jorge Vasquez to get the back up first base job in case Teixeira can’t play. Yankees won Game 2, 7-3.
Now, the Yankees are considering 2 spots for the starting rotation. They already have CC Sabathia, A.J Burnett and Phil Hughes (who I haven’t seen yet in any Spring Training game). The four main pitchers fighting for the two spots are Bartolo Colon, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre and Freddy Garcia. I haven’t seen Freddy Garcia pitch yet, but from what I had saw, I would seriously consider Ivan Nova for one of the rotation spots IF he can go more than 5 innings. During the 6th inning, he always runs out of gas. Bartolo Colon worried me a bit. He was good, but he claimed he wanted to lose 25 pounds during Spring Training. It’s not impossible, but I think he should have considered that during the off season like Sabathia did. Mitre was impressive, but I believe he would be more suited for the bullpen to accompany David Robertson and Boone Logan.
CC Sabathia will take the mound today against the Tigers at 1:05pm Eastern Time. MLB.TV members can listen live with Gameday Audio. The next game to be viewed on Yes is Wednesday’s game which will feature A.J Burnett.