Coming into tonight’s game, no one would have thought that Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner would be the ones to stop the bleeding to a Yankees 6 game skid, as they defeated James Shields (4-2) in a 6-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The game was tied going into the third when the Rays took a quick 1-0 lead over the Yankees with an Elliot Johnson home run, but the Yankees were quick enough to tie the game at one in the 4th after A-Rod hit it out, showing signs that the home run power was still there. A-Rod then homered again in the 6th inning. The Yankees scored 2 runs in the 6th giving them a 4-1 lead, helped by Jorge Posada’s 2 for 3 night and a beautifully placed bunt single by Brett Gardner. Yankees had gotten into a jam in the 6th when Ivan Nova (4-3) had the bases loaded which was when David Robertson was summoned from the bullpen. Robertson struck out both B.J Upton and Casey Kotchman preserving the Yankees lead by 3. The Yankees got two more in the 9th with a Russell Martin base hit, a Brett Gardner double and a Derek Jeter single which gave the Yankees a 6-1 lead.
In the 9th, the Rays stumbled into some trouble when Gardner made a catch, but wearily looked towards Curtis Granderson. The Rays thought that the ball hit the catwalk, which in Tropicana Field signifies a home run. Umpires took it to the video room and looked at the replay. The play was called an out and Gardner had made the catch. Rays scored 1 run in the 9th before turning the ball over to Mo who got former Yankee Johnny Damon to ground out, snapping the 6 game skid.
Note: This is Brett Gardner’s first 3 hit game this season. He raised his average to .265 surpassing Jeter, Teixeira, Rodriguez and Martin; After striking out three times, Jeter got a base hit, giving him 34 hits til 3,000; This is A-Rod’s first homer game since April 24th; After Saturday’s controversial day for Jorge Posada, he had a 2 for 3 night with a double and a single; Nick Swisher sat out tonights game with a stomach virus. Girardi said that Swisher was throwing up the night before which prompted Girardi to call up Chris Dickerson from AAA Scranton; Rafael Soriano was placed on the 15 day DL with elbow soreness. MRI’s were done and the tests shown inflammation. Soriano expects to start throwing in 10 days prior to coming off the DL.
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 wanted to leave this home stand with a bang, and certainty they did against the Toronto Blue Jays.
The pitching match-up seemed a little threatening. It was Ivan Nova (1-2) against Jesse Litsch (2-1) and fans were wondering if Nova was going to get a win. In the first inning after Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson grounded out and struck out, Mark Teixeira hit a home run giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead, but they didn’t keep the lead for long when Adam Lind hit a home run that snaked the foul pole to tie the game.
The Blue Jays were in the lead in the third inning when Rajai Davis manufactured his own run by earning a walk, swiping second and third and coming home on a Jose Bautista ground ball to shortstop. The Yankees didn’t take it lying down and in the 5th inning the Yankees scored 4 runs.
It started on a Jorge Posada double and Brett Gardner single. Posada scored on a Derek Jeter’s fielders choice only Yunel Escobar couldn’t get Gardner at third. Curtis Granderson put the finishing touches by blasting a 3 run shot giving the Yankees the lead for the rest of the game.
After Joe Girardi used Chamberlain yesterday, he gave him the day off and went to David Robertson in the 7th inning. Robertson went a third of an inning on a strikeout, but there were 2 runners on and 2 outs thus Girardi bringing in Boone Logan. A ground ball came right back to Boone Logan, but he unknowingly caught the baseball before throwing it to first to get out of the jam. Rafael Soriano had a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera had a perfect ninth to give the Yankees there 16th victory of the season.
Note: Eric Chavez pinch hit for Robinson Cano in the 7th inning. The cause was a bruised hand, Girardi said that Cano was day to day; Phil Hughes goes to see specialists in St. Louis tomorrow; Brett Gardner had a perfect day today with a single and 2 walks. His average is now .200; Jorge Posada had his first extra base hit today raising his average to .133.
As A.J Burnett (4-1) took the field, anybody could see that he was ready to take on the Toronto Blue Jays against Kyle Drabek (2-1).
Burnett had worked himself into some jams, starting with Rajai Davis getting to third base due to a miscalculation by Curtis Granderson though the Yankees were able to bounce back from the 1-0 deficit in the first.
Russell Martin had an RBI single and Derek Jeter hit a SAC Fly to plate Granderson in a 3 run second inning. In the third inning the bases were loaded and two runs scored on Eric Chavez and Brett Gardner’s RBI singles before Drabek was taken out in the third inning. Since then it was lights out pitching for the Toronto Blue Jays.
The score was 5-4 in the 7th inning when Joe Girardi went to his bullpen. Joba Chamberlain pitched a perfect seventh inning with just 6 pitches, Rafael Soriano had a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera had a scoreless ninth to shut the door on the Jays. The Yankees had secured there 15th win this season.
Curtis Granderson and Brett Gardner congratulate each other in the still from today’s Yankees 6-3 win over the Orioles. The game wasn’t an easy game unlike the 15-3 win the Yankees had the night before. In a pitching battle Jake Arrieta v.s Freddy Garcia, it was pretty matched. The Orioles had collected 14 strikeouts while the Yankees rolled 13 K in the ultimate pitching duel.
The first two runs scored on a hard single by Derek Jeter and a 2 run homer by Curtis Granderson. Afterwards Arrieta slowed down and started striking out Yankees. In the 5th inning, Alex Rodriguez had grounded into what would have appeared to be a double play, until Cesar Izturis bobbled the ball, unable to get A-Rod meanwhile scoring Granderson on the play.
The Orioles responded in the 7th inning, when Joba Chamberlain gave up a 2 run homer to the struggling Mark Reynolds, making it 3-2 Yankees. The game would have went to the Orioles but Joe Girardi seemingly made 2 good plays. One of them was to put Mariano in the game, the other was to leave speedy left fielder Brett Gardner in. On a long drive to left field, Gardner made an over the shoulder catch before jumping the wall on a game saving catch which if it got over his head, the Orioles would have won it.
Mariano Rivera however was unable to get through the 9th inning without giving up the run in the bottom of the 9th, however Nick Swisher and Russell Martin tagged teamed to gun down Robert Andino at home plate, which made it a tied ball game. The Yankees started off there 10th inning with a Derek Jeter single, a Mark Teixeira single but everything went downhill when with one out A-Rod hit a fly ball which should have gotten Jeter home, until Adam Jones and Matt Wieters tagged teamed and got Jeter out at the plate. They say Karma comes right back around doesn’t it.
The 11th inning experienced a 45 minute rain delay before the inning continued, the Yankees capped 3 runs on 3 errors made by the Baltimore infield which didn’t go well with there pitcher Jason Berken (0-1). Boone Logan (1-1) had pitched the 10th inning and the first batter in the 11th before Joe Girardi went to his bullpen and retrieved Buddy Carlyle for mop up duty, which led to the Yankees 6-3 win. The Yankees (12-6) are currently in first place after sweeping the Orioles, sending Baltimore (8-12) down to there third straight game.
Note: Rafael Soriano did not pitch the 8th inning due to back stiffness. Soriano is expected to pitch tomorrow.
Joe Girardi is one happy Yankee this week when he and Brian Cashman reached a deal for 3 years into 2014 with 9 million dollars under his belt. Girardi’s contract was the first one to close a deal after the 2010 season is over. The 3 other main contracts that now need to be negotiated are Andy Pettite, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. Girardi acted as if his contract never expired when asked about the lineup for the Yankees in 2011 with him saying “There may be changes to the lineup.” (Hint: Derek Jeter may be moved down, Brett Gardner may move up).
Mariano Rivera is asking for 2 years for his contract which he hope will last him into 2013, not wanting another 1 year deal, Andy Pettite is still determining whether to return to baseball or to retire this season and Derek Jeter is hoping to extend his contract despite his poor season. Now that Joe Girardi has his contract, it’s now time to focus on 3/4 of the Core Four (Posada’s contract expires at the end of next year) and their contracts. Will Mariano get his 2 years, will Jeter prevent Gardner from getting the leadoff spot, and will Andy Pettite retire? These are all questions and more to find out soon.
Just 3 days after the Yankees were eliminated from the playoffs, trades, contracts and releases are flying all over the place, and it may be a little too hard for Hal Steinbrenner to deal with.
Let’s start with the contracts shall we? Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettite’s contract expired on Friday after the Yankees lost to the Texas Rangers, and the head of the Yankees expects to sign all three of them, if Pettite is still interested in playing next year that is. He is back to square one again, trying to contemplate whether to play another season or retire to spend more time with his family. Jeter is expecting a contact raise for him to play for another 4 or 5 years. Jeter is already 36 years old, which means if they extend his contract he will be at least 40 or 41 when his contract will expire again. Mariano Rivera has no problems with being sign, so there’s no drama there even though he is 41 years old.
For Kerry Wood, the Yankees would LOVE to sign him for his amazing pitching performance before the bullpen went to Mariano Rivera, but other teams are interested in him. Another prospect that they are interested in is Carl Crawford who is now a free agent after spending his season with the Tampa Bay Rays. In my opinion, I wouldn’t want the Yankees to sign Carl Crawford for the main reason…he’s a LEFT FIELDER, which defeats the whole purpose of having Brett Gardner there. Gardner brings more to the table than Crawford does. Gardner has a strong arm, is very fast and has the inside swing perfected. The only thing that Gardner can perfect this off-season is his bunting. Another prospect that the Yankees plan on getting is Cliff Lee. After the Cliff Lee deal went out the window in July, the Yankees will try again during the off season. I think if we get Cliff Lee, we will definetley see a 2011 World Series, but I am getting ahead of myself. We would need Cliff Lee to accept the New York deal first. And with Andy Pettite contemplating his decision of returning to baseball, Cliff Lee would be an excellent replacement of Pettite decides to retire.
The Yankees released pitching coach, first baseman and starting pitcher Dave Eiland, Lance Berkman and Javy Vazquez. Eiland had proved he wasn’t capable of commanding his pitchers, Lance Berkman only had July to October on his contract and Javy Vazquez wasn’t the starter anyone had hoped for. He was 10-10 during the whole year which was horrible. We all realize that A.J Burnett was just as bad, but there is a difference between Javy and A.J: A.J had a HUGE contract ahead of him. The Yankees may be out of the 2010 season, but 2011 brings more huge prospects, better pitching and who knows, maybe the Core Four (Jeter, Posada, Pettite, Rivera) will all return next season and help us through a Yankees World Series victory. There not getting any younger you know.