Monday, May 14, 2012

Yankees @ Orioles 5/14/12


Nova allows two runs in the bottom of the first, highlighted by an Adam Jones double that I am surprised did not go THROUGH the wall. Nova is all over the place with his pitches and it looks like tonight is just going to be one of those nights for the Yankees.

Derek Jeter passes Robin Yount with a single this game and Alex Rodriguez has two hits to start the Yankees offensive rally. 

Nick Swisher comes up big with a 2 RBI double to tie the game up at 2. Swisher leads the Yankees in RBIs with 26 RBI's this season. 

Curtis Granderson hits a home run to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead! The Grandy Many Can!

Xavier Avery triples to tie the game at 3's and JJ Hardy hits a two run home run to give the O's a 5-3 lead as the sky opens up!

Raul Ibanez reaches on a fielding error and two runs score to tie the game up at 5.

Mark Teixeira hits a two run home run to put the dagger in the O's and give the Yanks a 7-5 lead. 

Eric Chavez gets an insurance run with a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees an 8-5 lead

Yankees win 8-5

Win Tonight & It's A Winning Streak

Tonight the Yankees will face the Baltimore Orioles in Camden Yards in the first game of a quick two game series. The game will be televised on YES Network at 7:05 pm ET. Ivan Nova will look to start a new winning streak for the Yankees and will be facing Jason Hammel.

Here is tonight's lineup

Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez LF
Eric Chavez 3B
Russell Martin C

Series Wrap: vs. Mariners 5/11-5/13

Game One

Although sweeping the Mariners is not something that's out of the realm of possibility for the Yankees, they were going to be facing "King" Felix Hernandez in Game 1 of a 3-game set. So it would take a heck of a start by Hiroki Kuroda for that to happen, as well as a big hit or two from the offense.

Well, for starters, Hiro got it done. Kuroda went 7 innings, giving up only 2 runs off of 6 hits. Not that it was all good, as he did walk one more batter than he struck out, and he only struck out 2 guys. The 2 home runs he gave up weren't a nice sighting either, but the fact he held Dustin Ackley and Jesus Montero to solo shots helped to limit the damage. The only inning that didn't go so well was the 5th, in which Kuroda gave up two singles, a walk, and a stolen base. But Hiro struck out Brendan Ryan, and then got Ichiro to ground out, ending what could have been a big inning for the Ms.

It took four relievers to get the last 6 outs, ending with David Robertson getting the final two in the game (it was a non-save situation).

Robinson Cano came into the game on an 8-game hit streak, 3 of them being multi-hit ones. Robbie kept it going, and then some, Friday night as he went 4-for-4, raising his batting average over .300 for the first time since the 2nd game of the season. ARod and Tex chipped in a couple hits a piece, but the two biggest hits came off the bats of Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones, who each hit home runs (Raul's was a 3-run homer, while Jones' was good for 2 runs).

Yankee fans could exhale as the team was able to beat one of the best pitchers in the game, making their chances of sweeping the series a whole lot better.

Game Two

Well, for those that hated "The Trade" yesterday was a feather in their caps, as Jesus Montero hit a home run. So what about the other part of the trade involving the Yankees dealing away Hector Noesi?

The good news for the haters is that Hector went 7 innings. The bad news is that he gave up 5 runs (all earned) on 6 hits, although he did strike out 4 without walking a batter. Mark Teixeira, Raul Ibanez, and Russell Martin each hit doubles off of Noesi, while Jayson Nix and Ibanez hit home runs in the 2nd and 4th innings respectively. Derek Jeter had a couple of singles, raising his average to .376. Chris Stewart and Robinson Cano each chipped into the effort with singles, giving the Yankees their 3rd straight win, and 5th win in their last 6 games.

Phil Hughes started this one for the Bombers, and gave the team his best performance so far this season. I think the threat of being knocked out of the rotation in favor of David Phelps and Andy Pettitte lit a fire under his ass, as Hughes went 6.2 innings while giving up only 3 runs in his start last Sunday. In that game Phil threw 115 pitches in those 6.2 innings, but this time he not only threw 3 less pitches, but did so while going another inning.Philthy went 7.2 innings, allowing the Mariners to score only 1 run, while striking out 4 and walking just one hitter.

Boone Logan was the only reliever Girardi needed, as he tossed 1.1 innings while giving up 1 run on 2 hits, striking out 4, to earn his first save of the season.

Game Three

The Yankees had a chance to sweep their 2nd series of the season (Boston doesn't count as the 3rd game in that series was postponed), and were facing 37 year-old Kevin Millwood. Millwood had a 5.88 ERA going into this game, and got pretty beat up by the Detroit Tigers in his last start (5 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 3 K, 5 BB), so things were looking good. But Kevin started off really well, retiring the first 7 batters he faced, until Eric Chavez hit a double. That was followed by a Russell Martin walk, but the DP returned to haunt Derek Jeter... ending the threat.

Thanks to a couple singles and a walk to lead-off the bottom of the 5th, the Yankees were able to push a run across when Martin drew another walk. But this inning ended the same as the 3rd... with a GIDP by Jeter.

The team had another chance to do some damage in the 8th after Millwood was removed from the game for reliever Tom Wilhelmsen. Chavez singled, Jeter singled, and ARod walked to load the bases. Unfortunately Martin and Granderson each struck out in the inning, giving the team 2 outs. Robinson Cano drew a run-scoring walk, but Mark Teixeira ended things with a K. The bottom of the 9th started off interesting with a Nick Swisher double, but Nick was throw out trying to stretch it into a triple. Not sure why he did that, as the team was down 4 runs at the time, so getting that extra base meant nothing. Not to mention the ole "don't make the 1st or 3rd outs at 3rd base" thing. Ibanez and Chavez then flew out to end the game.

Oh yeah! This was Andy Pettitte's first start since the 2010 ALDS. How could I forget?

Andy looked great in the first 3 innings, as he had only allowed one man to reach thanks to a walk. The 4th inning started off great too, as he was able to get Casper Wells and Ichiro to ground out. But a walk to that Montero guy led to a 2-run home run off the bat of Justin Smoak. Things got interesting for Andy in the 6th, as Casper Wells hit a 2-run home run as well after Dustin Ackley led off the inning with a single. After Suzuki grounded out for the first out of the top of the 6th, Montero, Smoak, and Alex Liddi singled to load the bases. Larry Rothchild came out to talk to Pettitte, and promptly threw an inning-ending double play ball to Mike Carp. Mr. Pettitte got Michael Saunders to ground out before being taken out of the game.

Cody Wade and Clay Rapada each gave up a run, throwing a total of 2.2 innings. But the runs didn't turn out to matter anyway, as the Yankees were denied the sweep with a 6-2 loss.

Series Awards

Jake Taylor Award*
Raul Ibanez - 3/10, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR, 1 2B

Gentry Award*
Curtis Granderson - 1/11, 1 R

Rick Vaughn Award*
Phil Hughes (yep) - Game 2: 7.2 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K

Kelner Award*
Andy Pettitte was the only guy that pitched near "bad", but there's no way I'm giving this award to him in this one.

Next Series

@ Baltimore Orioles 5/14 - 5/15


*The awards are named after one of the best baseball movies of all time... Major League.

Jake Taylor Award - Awarded to the most valuable position player. Named after the hard-nose veteran catcher that, despite making the league minimum, was the heart and soul of the 1989 American League East winning Cleveland Indians.

Gentry Award - Awarded to the least valuable position player. Named after the very first man cut from the 1989 Cleveland Indians, #47 Gentry. A man so insignificant he wasn't even given a first name.

Rick Vaughn - Awarded to the best pitcher in the series. This one is, of course, named after the "Wild Thing". The man that made Clu Haywood look silly in the division deciding game.

Kelner Award - Awarded to the worst pitcher in the series. Named after the Opening Day starter for the '89 Indians. Not a good game for Mr. Kelner, as Indians' announcer Harry Doyle famously quipped "thank God" after Kelner left the game. And yet another bad player without a first name.

Meet A Prospect : Angelo Gumbs

Meet a Prospect is back and this time it is really with a prospect and not a look back at current players. This edition we will all be introduced (or re introduced) to Yankees infield prospect Angelo Gumbs. Angelo Gumbs is a Greedy Pinstripes reader and follower on twitter (@GreedyStripes) so let me introduce you all to Mr. Angelo Gumbs.

In the 2010 first year players draft the Yankees selected Angelo Gumbs in the second round and signed him for $750,000K. Gumbs was signed to play 2B but also played a lot of center field in his career and short stop and he excelled in both positions. He wears #21 to honor his favorite player Roberto Clemente.  The website Baseball Beginnings even touted Gumbs as the bets athlete in the entire draft, saying:

An athlete. Chance to be true 5-tool player, with grades 50 or better in each tool. Whippy and strong athletic body; could play SS or CF. Should become multi-platform offensive and defensive threat.

Here is the write up before the draft that Baseball Beginnings had for Gumbs, from the same link above.

ANGELO GUMBS, SS-CF, Torrance HS (2010 Draft)6-2, 180
Bats Right, Throws Right
Games Seen 1, Innings: 7 (Spring 2009, Junior year at Angel Stadium)

PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION: Lean athletic and muscular build, strong forearms and hands, long fingers; High athletic legs; still physically maturing, like night and day between sophomore and junior years. Natural athlete.

STRENGTHS: Way above-average athletic actions. Fast arm, feet move, good arm action and footwork. 4.25 runner to 1B from RH side, fast first step, starts and stops on bases. Instinctive fielder; possess game-awareness, soft hands on defense, plus-range as SS. Fast hands at plate.

WEAKNESSES: Still growing as a hitter. A little too armsy and long with swing right now, and a little flat at times. Needs experience regularly hitting with wood against good pitching. Will need to show he can get his hands inside the good fastball. Power is a few years down the road.

SUMMARY: An athlete. Chance to be true 5-tool player, with grades 50 or better in each tool. Whippy and strong athletic body; could play SS or CF. Should become multi-platform offensive and defensive threat.

GRADESHit          35/50
Power   30/70
Run        50/50
Arm       60/60
Field      60/60
Overall Future Potential:  58

Angelo is down in Charleston right now with that very talented Riverdogs team. I recently saw on twitter that he has been asked to start playing the outfield for Charleston, which I think is an interesting move considering how well he plays short stop. The good thing is the kid is going to know how to win by the time he reaches the majors at the rate he is going after winning the New York Penn League title with Staten Island last year and looking like he is on the favorite to win it this year with the Riverdogs. 
It is hard to get excited for a guy that is so far away from the majors but we have to remember that Angelo was drafted at age 17 and straight out of high school. There are going to be a lot of growing pains and tweaking that the coaches have to do before we see a finished product here. I personally, and I got killed for this, think he is the better short stop of the two that he gets lumped together with, Cito Culver. I think if we have a true heir apparent to Derek Jeter in our minor league system you are reading about him right now.