Saturday, September 5, 2009

Holiday Weekend Cop Out Recap

I'd rather win ugly than lose pretty, but man that was a tough game to watch today. That, coupled with it being Saturday on a holiday weekend, means it's cop-out-bullet-point-style-recap time. And away we go:
  • Andy Pettitte wasn't great, needing 101 pitches to get through six innings and throwing just under 60% of them for strikes. He issued an uncharacteristic five walks and gave up four runs. He wasn't helped by some defensive miscues, including a mental lapse on his own part when he failed to back up the third baseline in the sixth, costing him his fourth and final run on the day. After the extra innings needed from the bullpen over the past two games, it would have been nicer if Pettitte could have turned in another stellar start covering 7 or 8 innings. But, he still did his job, gutting his way through six on a day when he clearly didn't have his best stuff and keeping the team in position to win.
  • The Yankee offensive all at once had both a good and a bad day: good in that they were able to put 21 runners on base over the course of the afternoon, bad in that they left 14 of those runners on base and went a miserable 5 for 19 with runners in scoring position.
  • Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira both hit big home runs. Cano's solo shot gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead in the fourth. Teix's solo shot in the fifth broke a 2-2 tie and gave the Yankees a lead they would not relinquesh.
  • Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both reached base three times, Cano four times. Melky Cabrera also reached three time, going 2 for 4 with an HBP and 2 RBI.
  • David Robertson, Brian Bruney, and Phil Hughes finished off the game with three scoreless innings. D-Rob K'd one, Bruney K'd the leadoff hitter, got a fly out, and was then yanked after issuing a walk. Hughes worked 1.1 perfect innings with 3 Ks in getting his third career save.
  • The Red Sox lost again, pushing the lead to 8.5 games.
  • As previously speculated, the Yankeed did in fact recall Josh Towers. Kevin Cash, out for the year with an injury, was released to make room on the 40 man roster. Towers will provide added bullpen depth with Mitre going tomorrow and the double header on Monday.
  • Mariano Rivera threw his bullpen session before the game and reported no problems. He should be available tomorrow.

Enjoy the evening folks. Back with a preview tomorrow.


Game 136: Join Together

After being held to only one hit last night, the Yankees' bats figure to have a better showing today. Having Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher back in the line up will probably help, but not as much as swapping Brett Cecil for Roy Halladay, one would think.

The rookie lefty has a 5.42 ERA in 16 starts this year which have spanned only 83 innings (just over 5 per outing). His WHIP is an unsightly 1.639 because in addition to giving up 102 hits in those 83 innings, Cecil has also walked 34. The Yanks faced him the day after the Fourth of July at the Stadium and knocked him around for 7 runs in 3 2/3 IP.

Andy Pettitte gets the ball for the Yankees today. After CC Sabathia he's been the Yanks most reliable starter since the All-Star break. The team has gone 7-2 in his past 9 starts and he's picked up the win in four of those. Over that span, he's struck out a batter per inning, and has a 2.35 ERA and WHIP of 1.000.

I'm not going to be around during the game today, but if you are at your computer, be sure to check out our pal Jason's Heartland Digital Living Room. He'll be hosting a live chat similar to the one's we've had before and if you spend any time in the comments section here, you know that Jason always has some insightful things to say. Head over and pop in, and don't forget to tell him we sent you.

You don't have to play,
You can follow or lead the way,
I want you to join together with the band,
We don't know where we're going,
But the season's right for knowing,
I want you to join together with the band.

A-Rod Just Can't Get Anything Right

Thanks to Henry from the Global Sports Fraternity for sending this one along.

Streak Snapped At Seven

Entering last night's game, both starting pitchers had been struggling. One of them righted his ship last night, and unfortunately for the Yankees, it wasn't Joba Chamberlain.

Chamberlain had problems right out of the gate and his defense didn't do much to help him. With one out in the first, Eric Hinske, in right field for Nick Swisher, played an Aaron Hill liner into a double. Later in the inning, Ramiro Pena, at shortstop for Derek Jeter, booted a grounder, allowing a second Toronto run to score.

Joba worked around two singles in the second, then gave up another run in the third. He exited after 59 pitches through three innings of work, giving up 6 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned, 2 walks, and 2 strikeouts. At the very least, after the game he didn't insist that he pitched well.

Roy Halladay on the other hand was dominant: perfect through four and two thirds and a no-hitter through five and a third. The Yankees threatened only once, in the sixth, using a Pena double and walks by Hinske and Mark Teixeira to load the bases with two outs. Alex Rodriguez came to the plate as the tying run, but it wasn't to be last night. Doc fanned him for one of his nine strikeouts on the night. Halladay didn't allow another baserunner for the rest of the game, finishing with a one hit, three walk shutout.

After Chamberlain exited, the four September call ups in the pen finished the game. Mark Melancon went two innings and allowed two hits, a walk, and a hitbatsman in giving up one run. Jonathan Albaladejo followed with a scoreless inning, then Mike Dunn made his Major League debut.

As we mentioned Tuesday, Dunn has a propensity for both walks and strikeouts. That, coupled with the nerves of making his first Big League appearance, led to a forgettable debut for Dunn. After retiring Rod Barajas on a screaming liner to left, Dunn threw ten consecutive pitches out of the strikezone. He recorded the second out on a fielder's choice, then walked his third batter of the inning, ending his debut. He would be charged with the final two Toronto runs on the night. Edwar Ramirez closed it out with a scoreless inning and a third.

Once again, the Yankees ended a long winning streak heading into a holiday weekend. Given the pitching situation, this one figured to be an uphill battle from the first pitch. At the very least, they managed not to burn through the top bullpen arms and to get some work in for the guys who are on the roster strictly for depth purposes. With an afternoon game today, the Yanks will have a quick opportunity to redeem themselves.