Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Game 33 Recap

1. Brett Gardner slapped a single the other way with one out in the first inning. After Mark Teixeira flew out to center field and Bonderman made two attempted pickoffs to first, Gardner stole second on a 0-1 pitch to Alex Rodriguez. Replays showed that he was probably out on the throw (which should have ended the inning) but he was called safe. On the next pitch, A-Rod served a slider into right field, scoring Gardner and giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

2. Derek Jeter worked a one out walk in the third inning and stole second easily with Garnder at the plate. Gardner struck out looking but Teixeira followed with a single to right that plated Jeter and put the Yankees up 2-0.

3. The Tigers loaded the bases with one out in the fourth inning on a walk by Johnny Damon, a single off the bat of Magglio Ordonez and another base knock by Brennan Broesch. Phil Hughes buckled down though, getting Alex Avila to swing under a fastball at his knees and Don Kelly to pop out to Robinson Cano in shallow right. This was about as much trouble as Hughes got into all night and he wriggled out of it with relative ease.

4. The Yankees added some insurance runs in the 9th inning; 6 of them to be exact. Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch but erased by a force out grounder by Randy Winn. Greg Golson then picked up his first Major League hit on a soft fly to center and Frankie Cervelli flipped a single to roughly the same spot, scoring Winn and extending the lead to 3-0.

Jeter came up next with the bases loaded and chopped one to the shortstop, but Ramon Santiago came home to prevent the run the scoring. Gardner fell behind 0-2 but eventually hacked an infield single back up the middle that allowed all of the runners to advance and made the score 4-0.

Teixeira then followed with a two run single to shallow center and A-Rod ripped a ribbie double down the left field line, putting the Yanks ahead 7-0.

Rookie Alfredo Figaro, who replaced Phil Coke, uncorked a wild pitch that allowed Teixeira to score. Figaro intentionally walked Robinson Cano (who lead off the inning) and gave an unintentional free pass to Randy Winn, brining up Greg Golson. The rookie would not get his first two Big League hits in the same inning as he lined out to right to end the frame. By that point, it was 8-0 Yankees.

Despite the wide margin, Mariano Rivera pitched for the first time in the month of May and didn't miss a beat, sitting down the side in order. Yanks win eight to zip.

IFs, ANDs & BUTs
  • Phil Hughes was excellent again tonight, throwing seven shutout innings. Aside from the trouble in the fourth that we mentioned above, he didn't allow a runner to advance past second base. He struck out eight while allowing just six baserunners (five hits and a walk). Seventy one of his 101 pitches were strikes, as he threw mostly four-seamers (62 of them) and cutters (28) with the occassional curve (11).

  • Hughes' pitch count escalated quickly and was at 41 after two innings and 72 through four. However, his final three frames were 6, 6 and 10 and he was able to complete seven strong with a few left in the chamber.

  • Jeremy Bonderman didn't pitch badly. He allowed six baserunners and struck out seven over seven innings of two run ball, but like Javy Vazquez earlier today, his offense did him no favors and he got tagged with a tough loss.

  • Jay-Z and Eminem were in the booth with Michael Kay and Ken Singleton during the bottom of the 4th inning. I was in a bar at the time without the sound on but will most certainly rewatch it later and figure out a way to make fun of it.

  • Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless eighth inning and - surprise, surprise - was back down to his normal velocity of 95 or so with his fastball. He did have three extremely nasty sliders that clocked in at 89, 90 and 88. The first one got Scott Sizemore to ground out to to third and the last two induced whiffs from Magglio Ordonez.

  • Mark Teixeira went 2-5 with 3 RBIs and a run scored.

  • Brett Gardner also had an excellent night, going 3-5 with an RBI and two runs scored.

  • My favorite Brett moment was when he tagged up from first on a long fly ball all the way back to the warning track by Mark Teixeira. Austin Jackson was tracking it the whole way back and Gardner, knowing he was going to catch it, was back on first base when it hit his glove and essentially stole second on the throw.

  • Pena's walk in the 9th was his first time on base all day. He was bad at the plate and might have looked even worse when he struck out swinging on a slider in the dirt in the 7th that wasn't even close.

  • Phil Coke, who entered today's game with a 1.69 ERA, was at the center of the 9th inning meltdown. He was charged with 4 runs in an inning and a third and now sports a much less impressive ERA of 3.63.

  • While it appeared that Nick Swisher was pulled in favor of Randy Winn for defensive purposes in the 8th, it turns out that he actually left the game with a sore biceps and is day-to-day. This streak of injuries would be funny if... actually there are no circumstances under which it would be funny at this point. MAKE IT STOP, GOD, PLEASE MAKE IT STOP!
It's another matinée tomorrow (1:05) and if all goes well we should be doing a live chat for it.

Game 33: We've Got Tonight

After tying their longest winning streak of the season at six, the Yanks have lost three straight and are now in the midst of their lengthiest losing skid of 2010. Tonight they look to stop the bleeding and salvage a chance at halving the series with Detroit.

Their hopes rest with Phil Hughes as he gets the ball for the sixth time this season tonight. Last time out he picked up the win behind seven strong innings of two run ball in Boston, although with the implosion by Josh Beckett giving up just two was overkill.

In his previous five starts, Hughes has been nothing short of excellent, allowing just six runs in 32 innings while striking out 31 and allowing 30 baserunners. His FIP of 2.77 and xFIP of 3.86 are quite a bit higher than his ERA of 1.86, based on a high strand rate (84%), low BABIP (.213) and tiny HR/FB (2.9%).

The last time Hughes was in Detroit was during his first start of last year and he pitched six shutout innings, allowing two hits and two walks. The game was tied heading into the seventh but the Yankees dropped 10 runs in the top half of the inning and blew the game wide open. Not really relevant to tonight's game but fun to look back on.

Righthanded Moneyballer Jeremy Bonderman takes the mound for the Tigers this evening. After missing the better part of the the past two years due to blood clots in his Axillary Vein and subsequent pain in his pitching shoulder, Bonderman is back in the Tigers rotation this season.

He carries a 5.74 ERA but his peripheral numbers suggest that he should be doing much better (3.50 FIP). However, his numbers don't include the game he started against the Indians on Saturday which got cancelled in the fourth inning with the Tigers leading 7-6. A nasty thunderstorm saved Bonderman from an ugly line as he gave up six consecutive hits before getting pulled during the third inning.

Yes, the Yanks lost earlier fairly humiliating fashion, but that's okay. They've got another chance to find a way to win before we turn the page to tomorrow.

We've got tonight, who needs tomorrow?
Let's make it last, let's find a way.
[Song Notes: Yeah this song is all sorts of sappy, but Bob Seger is a Detroit institution for fuck's sake. I would have used Night Moves but there was no way to chop and twist those lyrics to make any sense in this context whatsoever.]


Yankees: The top five in the order are the same as earlier but Swisher slides up to sixth, where Posada was before. After DH'ing this afternoon, A-Rod is at 3rd. Marcus Thames is starting, playing left field and batting seventh despite the fact that Bonderman is right handed and Comerica's outfield is massive. No love for Greg Golson, apparently. Frankie Cervelli is obviously catching this one and Ramiro Pena, fresh off of killing the Yankees' chances to win by 20% at the plate will play short and bat 9th.
Jeter DH
Gardner CF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Thames LF
Cervelli C
Pena SS
Tigers: Like the Yanks, the top five in the order are the same as they were this afternoon. Ramon Santiago shifts over the shortstop, Scott Sizemore comes in at second, Alex Avilla catches and Don Kelly (real person?) plays third base.
Austin Jackson, CF
Johnny Damon, DH
Magglio Ordonez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Brennan Boesch, LF
Alex Avila, C
Don Kelly, 3B
Ramon Santiago, SS
Scott Sizemore, 2B

Game 32 WPA Chart and Notes

Like your first girlfriend said, "That was, uh, quick".
  • The best thing to come out of this on was the fact that Javy Vazquez pitched pretty well. Amazingly well compared to how he had fared thus far in the year. However, he had absolutely no margin for error. He had one bad inning - the sixth - during which he allowed four hits - all singles - and gave up the only two runs of the game. The offense never helped him out before or picked him up after that. It's his fourth loss of the season and the first one he really didn't deserve.

  • Rick Porcello was working quickly and the Yanks were hacking away. He induced 15 grounders to just four fly balls and struck out two over seven scoreless innings. Ricky needed just 91 pitches to cruise through seven innings and aside from loading the bases with two outs in the second, was never in much trouble.

  • Randy Winn had a good day at the plate, walking twice and knocking a single (one of only four hits for the Yanks).

  • Ramiro Pena left five men on base and made four outs in three plate appearances. Yeah, he was really bad, but the only reason we are focusing on him is that Vazquez, Winn and Boone Logan all managed not to suck.

  • Why did Kevin Russo pinch run and not Greg Golson in the 9th inning? For that matter, why wasn't Russo starting at 3B instead of Pena?

  • That was the first time the Yanks were shutout this year. In fact, they had scored three or more runs in every game except one so far. It was bound to happen eventually, I suppose.

  • At just two and a quarter hours, this was the second shortest game of the year (not counting the rain-shortened game against the Rangers at the Stadium). CC Sabathia's complete game loss in Oakland against Dallas Braden was the quickest.

  • Apparently there will be no more roster moves today, meaning that Jonathan Albaladejo and Juan Miranda are both stuck in limbo. Or Detroit, which would be worse. Good luck with your doubleheader, Scranton!
Back with the preview for the late game in a few.

Game 32 (Progressive) Recap (Liveblog?)

**I'm going to be typing up a recap as the game goes along and figured I might as well just publish it as I go. Comments, as always, are welcome but since we didn't announce this beforehand I don't know who's going to be hanging around.**


1st Inning - Both Rick Porcello and Javy Vazquez got through the first inning in order. Porcello induced three groundballs, all of which went to shortstop. Austin Jackson hit a strong line drive off of Vazquez but Randy Winn was right there. Javy then struck out both Johnny Damon and Magglio Ordonez swinging - Damon on a low fastball and Mags on a slider.


Top 2nd - Leading off the frame, A-Rod hit a weak grounder down the third baseline and Robinson Cano followed with a single back up the middle. Jorge Posada hit a deep drive towards the gap left center but Austin Jackson had enough time to settle under it comfortably.

Nick Swisher fell behind 0-2, fouled off three straight pitches and then lifted a change up into right center for a single, moving Cano to third. Randy Winn then walked on four pitches to load the bases for Ramiro Pena. El Nino fell behind 0-2 and then hit a routine fly to center to end the inning.

Bottom 2nd - Vazquez got Miguel Cabrera to ground to short and Jeter pulled off an awkward 360 throw. Teixeira had to make a long reach but was able to come up with. Up next, Brennan Broesch then popped out to Posada behind the plate. Brandon Inge struck out swinging to end the inning.


Top 3rd - On the first pitch of the inning, Derek Jeter grounded out to first base. Porcello then walked Brett Garnder on four pitches and he promptly stole second. Mark Teixeira grounded out to first, advancing Gardner to third. A-Rod then lofted a deep fly ball to right field but Boesch make a nice grab up against to well to rob A-Rod of at least an RBI.

Bottom 3rd - After getting Ramon Santiago to fly out to left, Vazquez induced a soft grounder to Gerald Laird that Jeter had to range to his right for. Jeter picked it cleanly and made the throw in time but Teix couldn't come up with the scoop. For whatever reason, the slow-footed Laird drew the attention of the Yankees at first while Adam Everett hit a soft fly to left and was actually running when Austin Jackson struck out on a high fastball to end the inning.


Top 4 - Cano led off by chopping one over Porcello's head that landed softly, but the throw by the second baseman Santiago beat him to the bag. During Jorge Posada's at bat, Brandon Inge dropped an easy pop up in foul territory and gave him new life, allowing Jorge to pump the next pitch to the gap in right for a double. Porcello blew Nick Swisher away with a high fastball for the second out of the inning. Randy Winn, drew another walk, this time on five pitches. Again Ramiro Pena came to the plate with two outs in an RBI situation. Again he fell behind 0-2. Again he stranded the runners, this time striking out swinging on the high cheese. The bottom of this lineup is where rallies go to die.

Bottom 4th - Vazquez got Damon and Ordonez out on balls that didn't leave the infield and probably should have caught Miguel Cabrera looking on a 1-2 slider at the knees. Miggy lofted the next pitch to center for an out, so no harm, no foul. This game is flying, no? It's almost as if they know there is another game tonight...


Top 5 - Damon had a looooooong run to catch a deep fly towards the visiting bullpen by Derek Jeter but hauled it in pretty comfortably. The Captain can't buy a hit. After Garnder chopped out to second, Teix did the same and was just a hair late to first. Still no score halfway through the game and just over an hour in.

Bottom 5 - Vazquez struck out Boesch and got Inge to ground out to third to put the first two away quickly. But then he issued two back to back walks to Santiago and Laird prompting a visit from Dave Eiland and Posada. Javy then came right back and struck out Adam Everett on three straight pitches: a curve high in the zone followed by a fastball down and away and a heater up and in. That was his first tough inning and he's thrown only 68 pitches.


Top 6 - A-Rod, Cano and Posada all grounded out, bringing Porcello's total number of wormburners up to 12. It was just a 9 pitch inning for Slick Ricky P, bitch can you beat that?

Bottom 6 - Austin Jackson led off the home half with a sharp single through the left side of the infield. AJax was going on a 0-1 pitch to Damon and Johnny punched it to right field for a single, moving Jackson to third. Magglio hit a force out to short that plated the run and allowed the Tigers to draw first blood. 1-0 Detroit.

Cabrera and Boesch followed with consecutive singles, putting the Tigers up 2-0 but Javy got an inning ending double play from Inge to escape further trouble.


Top 7 - Nick Swisher banged a line drive right off Porcello's shoulder that caromed over him to shortstop. He was unhurt and it probably saved him a hit because Everett fielded the ball and made the throw in plenty of time. Randy Winn grounded a single up the middle, getting on base for the third time today, but Ramiro Pena grounded into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Pena is singlehandedly killing the offense today.

Bottom 7 - Santiago flied out to center and... OH MY GOD MICHAEL KAY WAS JUST SINGING EMPIRE STATE OF MIND. Worst. Cover. Ever. Okay he said that Jay-Z might be on during the second half of the double header. That's cool but please never let that happen again.

Anyway, Gerald Laird worked the count full before flying out to left and Adam Everett struck out to end the inning. Again. Because he sucks at hitting.


Top 8 - Right hander Ryan Perry, who pitched 1/3 of an inning Monday, came into the game. Porcello threw seven shutout innings and used just 91 pitches but apparently Jim Leyland had seen enough out of him.

Jeter was robbed of another hit by a diving Ramon Santiago. Seriously, can he just buy one? He has a lot of money. Brett Gardner blooped one to center field but it was right at Austin Jackson and Teixeira struck out looking. Runs, please?

Bottom 8 - That's all for Javy Vazquez. Seven innings, two runs, seven strikeouts, five hits and two walks. Solid work, even if it wasn't good enough to put him in line for the win. And Joe Girardi calls on... Boone Logan. Really?

Logan pitched a 1-2-3 inning though, getting AJax, Damon and Ordonez with just 10 pitches.

It's now or never for the Yanks.


Top 9 - Jose Valverde on to close it out. He gets A-Rod to ground out to third and Cano to fly out to left. Jorge Posada worked a walk, and is pinch run for by Kevin Russo. Nick Swisher came to the plate as the tying run and Russo took second on defensive indifference on the first pitch.

Swish took the first four pitches of the AB and the count was leveled at 2-2. He swung over the fifth one, a splitter low in the zone and Valverde takes a mock shit on the mound.

Game over in a scat scant 2:15 as the Tigers win 2-0.

Game 32: So Hard To Find My Way

They say it's hard to win a four game series. They also say that it's hard to sweep a double header. If the Yankees want to give themselves a chance to do the former tomorrow, they'll have to pull off the latter today.

On the mound for the Tigers is Fack Youk Hall of Famer Rick Porcello, who is still the youngest player in the American League. When he wasn't throwing a charging Kevin Youkilis to the ground last year, the New Jersey native was on his way to throwing 170 innings to a 3.96 ERA.

Porcello struck out 89 batters over that span in 2009, a rate of just 4.7 per nine innings (the 10th lowest in the Majors among pitchers with 150 or more innings). He also had a relatively high HR/FB rate (14.1%) but managed to keep his ERA down with a low BABIP of .281 and by getting very stingy (and/or lucky) in high leverage situations.

This year, last two trends have totally reversed. Porcello is getting pounded when the stakes are at their highest and has allowed a .396 BABIP in his first 30 innings. Not coincidentally, despite having similar strikeout and walk rates and a lower HR/FB (9.1%) in 2010, the kid is holding a 7.50 ERA after six starts.

As we've explored in the past, Vazquez has had his own difficulties in high leverage situations and this year has been no different. Opponents have hit .333/.389/.733 off Javy in the 18 most important plate appearances (based on Leverage Index) that he's had this season - a big part of the reason that his ERA is an unseemly 9.78 after five outings. A ridiculous 22.2% of his fly balls have gone for home runs this year, nearly double his career rate, and he's managed to strand just 62.5% of baserunners, down from his overall mark of 70.7%.

Of course, batted ball statistics and strand rates aren't solely based on luck. Unlike Porcello, who has been largely consistent from this year to last, Javy has been throwing with less velocity (two miles an hour slower) and less command, walking more than three times as many batters as he did in '09. In other words, he has to improve the way he's pitching, not just wait for probability to even things out.

Vazquez was skipped last time through the rotation so that he could work on his mechanics and as he admitted, also to help him mentally. Of course, those two things are very much intertwined. Feeling uncomfortable on the mound can lead to a pitcher's motion getting out of whack, which can cause his pitches to miss their locations, which can lead to bad results, which can further drain his confidence, etc, etc, etc.

Hopefully Javy's extra side sessions and time off did him good. The break had the same intended purpose that basketball coaches have when they call time out to slow down a run by the opposing team: to stem the tide and allow the players to collect themselves. I don't know if it really works or not but every coach seems to do it.

Vazquez will have a big ballpark behind him this afternoon and he'll be a long way from the Bronx. His only decent start of the season came under similar conditions in Oakland, so today seems like as good of a time as any for Javy to finally rediscover his groove.

You can say what you want,
You can do what you do,
But sometimes some things are chosen for you,
The life that you want and the life that you’ve been given,
Are sometimes not even the life you’ve been living.
[Song Notes: Jackie Greene has toured with Phil Lesh and Friends, Bob Weir & Ratdog, Susan Tedeschi, Buddy Guy, B.B. King and played a run of shows with Gov't Mule in 2009. I first heard him play this tune at a Phil show and have been a fan ever since.

Apparently he's a big baseball fan as well and took some time last November to write about a connection that we make pretty much every day:
I’ve noticed a lot of similarities between baseball and music. Baseball is a game of failure, it’s been said. Music is kind of the same way. I figure, writing a song is a lot like hitting. They say you have to write a bunch of bad songs before you get a good one.

Seems to me, it’s like hitting. If you can write 3 good songs for every 10, you’re doing pretty damn good. It sort of works for albums too: If there are 3 hits on a 10 song record…. (hey, we even call them “hits”)…Wow!! If there are 4 hits on a 10 song record…..that’s like a Ted Williams album cycle right there!! (Who was the last recording artist to hit over .400?)

Bob Dylan’s lifetime musical batting average is probably .390. He’s like the Ty Cobb of songwriting. Some say he’s just as much of an asshole too. Go figure.]


The lineup remains the same as it would have been had they played last night. A-Rod DH's with Ramiro Pena at third. Brett Gardner moves back into the two spot, with Nick Swisher dropped to seventh.

Right now, it appears that the roster move entails Greg Golson replacing Alfredo Aceves. Golson is listed on the roster, and since it's been less than ten days since his demotion, he has to be added in place of a DL'd player. That said, I'm not sure I understand this move. The concerns entering the day were bullpen depth and left-handed DH. This addresses neither. Golson provides outfield depth that is needless with Kevin Russo still on the roster.

Juan Miranda remains in Detroit and may be activated between games. If not him, Jonathan Albaladejo is allegedly on standby in the event the bullpen is overused in the first game. That would seem to indicate that one way or the other, Golson is leaving town after the first game. He might even make to Columbus in time for the back end of Scranton's doubleheader tonight. I'm sure they could use him; the combination of the weather and the injuries for the big club is wreaking havoc on Scranton's roster. [UPDATE 1:05 PM: Girardi says Golson is staying for both games, so just disregard all that I suppose]
Jeter SS
Gardner CF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez DH
Cano 2B
Posada C
Swisher RF
Winn LF
Pena 3B
Austin Jackson CF
Johnny Damon DH
Magglio Ordonez RF
Miguel Cabrera 1B
Brennan Boesch LF
Brandon Inge 3B
Ramon Santiago 2B
Gerald Laird C
Adam Everett SS

Fack Youk Field Trip: Trenton Thunder

Despite living about a half hour away, I hadn't been to a AA game in New Britain in nearly seventeen years. Just for reference purposes, the last time I went, New Britain was still a Red Sox affiliate, they still played at Beehive Field - named for then owner Joe Buzas (who incidentally was the Yankees Opening Day shortstop in 1945 while Phil Rizzuto was serving in World War II) - the Yankees' AA affiliate was still the Albany-Colonie Yankees, and pitching phenom Brien Taylor was the centerpiece of their roster.

New Britain is now in their sixteenth season as the Twins' AA club, and in their fifteenth season in their new ballpark. And with the Trenton Thunder in town and the Yankees' 2008 supplemental first round pick Jeremy Bleich slated to pitch, I decided to take a trip to the park and catch the game, a 2-1 Thunder victory.

Bleich had struggled a bit through his first six starts of 2010, walking 23 batters through 30 innings, while only striking out 19. For one night at least though, he put things back together. He faced the minimum through three. The only baserunner he allowed in the first third of the game came on a four pitch leadoff walk in the second, and he was subsequently erased on a caught stealing.

There was one out in the fourth when Bleich surrendered his first hit, a high chopper off the bat of Ben Revere, good for an infield single. A hit by pitch later in the frame left Bleich in a two out, two on jam, but he used his second strikeout of the inning the end the threat.

He issued another leadoff walk in the fifth, but erased the runner on a double play ball. In the sixth, he allowed a two out single, then promptly got the runner on a pick off/caught stealing. The only real jam he faced came in the seventh, Number three hitter Rene Tosoni led off with a well struck double. Bleich got cleanup hitter Chris Parmelee to bounce to second, moving Tosoni to third.

That pitch left Bleich with a pitch count of 89 on the night, and manager Tony Franklin went to the pen. Corey Arbiso retired all five batters he faced over an inning and two thirds, but the first of those outs was an RBI groundout that plated New Britain's only run of the night.

For the evening, Bleich went six and one-third, gave up three hits, one run, walked two, struck out five, and hit a batter. The two walks are a positive sign; Bleich issued fewer base on balls in just one start this year, and his other two-free-pass-start lasted only five innings. The five strikeouts tied a season high. I had him at 89 pitches, 55 strikes (61.8%), and needing fewer than 15 pitches in every inning but the fourth. It was easily his best start since his first of 2010.

The stadium gun wasn't working last night, but several of the Trenton starters (D.J. Mitchell, David Phelps, and Lance Pendleton, I think) were sitting across the aisle from me charting pitches. They had Bleich at 87-89, and from what I could tell and overhear, his velocity remained fairly consistent from the first through his exit in the seventh. In the fifth, I noticed several fellow lefties having a hard time getting around on his fastball, fouling several off the other way. He went with the fastball mostly, mixing in the occasional curve at about 79. He threw back-to-back change ups on the number eight hitter in the third, getting two ugly swings and misses, but I don't specifically recall any other change ups.

As for the bats, the two Thunder runs came early on. Austin Romine, DHing for the second straight day, led off the second inning and reached second base on an E6, one of three errors New Britain shortstop Estarlin De Los Santos made on the night. Romine came around to score on a subsequent E6.

The other run came in the third. Marcos Vechionacci jumped all over a first pitch fastball, and absolutely crushed it to dead center. It's 400 feet straightaway, plus what looks to be about a twenty foot fence, and his blast cleared it easily on a chilly night where the ball wasn't carrying well.

Some other thoughts and observations:
I was a little disappointed that Romine wasn't catching, especially considering he had DH'd on Monday as well. However, today's getaway game begins at 10:30 AM, so it could just be that the team plans to catch him tomorrow and didn't want to catch him a night game before a day (morning?) game.

Romine's father, Kevin, spent the 1983 season playing in New Britain.

Jose Gil caught in place of Romine and showed off a pretty nice arm in gunning down one of two would-be basestealers.

Austin Krum went 2 for 4, including a bunt single. His legs were good enough to get him on base, but not quite good enough to keep him there, as he was caught stealing after the bunt. The whole park knew he was going. New Britain pitcher Carlos Gutierrez threw over three times; twice Krum barely made it back safely. They also pitched out when the count was 1-2, but that was not the pitch on which Krum chose to run.

David Adams went 1 for 4 on the night, with two Ks and a GIDP. But his one hit was a rocket of a liner right back up the middle, that narrowly missed Gutierrez.

Trenton didn't draw a walk all night.

Arbiso was impressive in relief. He retired all five batters he faced, two by strikeout.

Grant Duff, who narrowly missed being added to the 40 man roster this past off-season, worked the ninth for the save. It was a bit of a high wire act. Though he had the best velocity of any pitcher to take the mound all night at about 93 MPH, he was wild. He fell behind each of the first three hitters he faced 2-0, and allowed the winning run to come to the plate with two outs before closing it out.

Not only was the bulk of Trenton's starting rotation sitting across the aisle from me, former Yankee Steve "Bye-Bye" Balboni was seated about three rows behind me. There was also a scout there with a Diamondbacks hat and credentials, and probably three or four other scouts who weren't so conspicuous.
David Phelps, who has been impressive thus far in 2010 starts this morning's game. I'd like to catch that one as well, but it's just not in the cards today. Trenton returns to hard-hittin' New Britain at the end of next month. Maybe I can make another visit then.

Post-Rainout News and Notes

Good morning Fackers. I could have sworn there was a preview here last night, where'd it go? Both Jay and I were out of play (more on that later) when game was officially rained out, so it took us until later on in the evening to update the blog. Sorry about that; it happens sometimes. Fear not, the preview will be back this afternoon.

Because of the rainout the Yanks and Tigers will play two today, a split doubleheader with games at one and seven. The double dip has all sorts of ramifications and there's a host of other notes, so let's get to it:
The Yankees didn't even play yesterday but there injury situation still managed to deteriorate. Alfredo Aceves' back isn't getting better. In fact, it's getting worse. Word on Monday was that he was improving and that his problems at Fenway Saturday may have been caused by a bad hotel bed and sleeping on the floor. Yesterday the story changed. Aceves apparently felt further pain when warming up Monday. He's been diagnosed with a bulging disc in his back and is DL bound.

Placing Aceves on the DL will open a roster spot for the Yankees, but there's no word yet on how it will be filled.

While Juan Miranda was summoned to Detroit yesterday, he was never officially recalled. He likely will be activated today, but because of the doubleheader, it may not happen until between games. All of it is dependent upon how the Yankees choose to massage the pitching staff through three games in the next 27 hours or so.

Because Aceves is going to the DL, the team has a bit more freedom with their roster moves. Because the next recall will be replacing an injured player, both Romulo Sanchez and Mark Melancon are eligible for recall, despite the fact that neither has been down for the requisite ten days since their most recent demotion. Sanchez however is not an option, as he still requires rest following his outing in Fenway on Sunday night.

Another potential roster option entails keeping a pitcher on standby to be activated between games in the event the bullpen is used heavily in the afternoon game. This could be a bit trickier. Melancon would not be a candidate for this, as he only can only be recalled to replace an injured player. So in order to use him this way, the Yankees would have to carry Aceves on the roster through the first game, which would hamstring the bullpen. Jonathan Albaladejo would be a better candidate for this type of move.

In positive injury news, Chan Ho Park will make rehab appearances in Extended Spring Training today and Friday. Barring any setbacks he could be activated as soon as Sunday.

One thing that is certain at this point: the pitching match ups for today will remain the same. Last night's scheduled starters, Javier Vazquez and Rick Porcello, will pitch the afternoon game. Phil Hughes and Jeremy Bonderman will take the night cap.

Also of note, last night's game was scheduled to air on MY9. Both of today's games will be on YES, which is good news for those of us stuck in an office during the matinee with the capability to stream the YES telecasts.

The combination of the doubleheader and no scheduled offdays until the 24th will leave the starting rotation in a bit of a spot come the next turn through the rotation. Yesterday's rainout leaves the team without a fully rested starter for Sunday. Thankfully, skipping Andy Pettitte this week will provide some help in this situation. Pettitte is scheduled to return to the rotation Saturday. Sergio Mitre, who wouldn't have been available for relief duty until Friday, will likely make another spot start on Sunday.
That ought to cover it for the moment. We'll keep you updated on the roster moves throughout the day.