Thursday, April 4, 2013

Andy proves Dandy as Yanks avoid sweep with 4-2 victory over Red Sox

If you made a bet with someone that Andy Pettitte was going to be the first Yankees pitcher to lead the Yankees to victory, then congratulations. You're correct. If you made a bet with someone that Mariano Rivera would come in the 9th inning and save the game as he's done time and time again for the Yankees, then congratulations. You're correct. Now, if you made a bet that a player like Robinson Cano would hit a HR before players like Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli, then you'd be wrong. As a matter of fact, a lot of people didn't see those HR's coming. In the end, the Yankees were able to shut the door on the Red Sox and avoid the sweep with a 4-2 victory.

Andy Pettitte pitched 8 innings of one run baseball before handing it over to his longtime teammate and friend Mariano Rivera to shut the door on the Red Sox. Rivera did give up a run, but that is easily overlooked because:

a) The Yankees won

b) It's his final season

c) He's Mariano Rivera.

The Yankees offense was supplied with a two run single by Lyle Overbay in the second, which plated both Travis Hafner and Eduardo Nunez. Brett Gardner followed with a solo home-run in the third and Francisco Cervelli hit his own in the seventh after the Red Sox scored their run off Pettitte to bring the lead back to three runs for the moment.


-- Brett Gardner went 2-for-3 tonight with a home run, a walk and a great defensive catch. Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-3 tonight while flashing the leather. Francisco Cervelli was 1-for-2 with a HR and a walk.  Andy Pettitte pitched 8 innings of one-run ball. Mariano Rivera received career save #609.


-- Robinson Cano went 0-for-3 and now he's batting .091. It's a small sample size but that's his average for the Red Sox series. Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-3 and his average is .111. Again, it's a small sample size.

What's Next: 

The Yankees are going to fly off to Detroit to play the Tigers in a 1 p.m. match-up. Honestly, who made the schedule. Anyway, tomorrow's pitching match-up is Ivan Nova vs. Doug Fister.

Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees 4/4

The Yankees continue the regular season with the rubber match between them and the Boston Red Sox. The Yankees will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to make his debut and he will be facing off against Ryan Dempster. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on MLB Network and YES.

1. Gardner CF
2. Cano 2B
3. Youkilis 3B
4. Hafner DH
5. Wells LF
6. Suzuki RF
7. Nunez SS
8. Overbay 1B
9. Cervelli C

Yankees Release David Aardsma

Like Clay Rapada yesterday, today David Aardsma has been released.

There was hope that the Yankees had gotten lucky signing Aardsma so cheap, as David had saved 69 games for the Mariners between 2009 and 2010. Unfortunately it didn't work out as his penchant for only being able to go an inning at a time made it so the Yankees had no real use for him. Not with Rivera, Robertson, and Chamberlain already set to handle the 7th through 9th innings. Not to mention Boone Logan in there too.

David's a really nice guy. I'll never forget him asking us to change his wife's picture in our Wives and Girlfriends section, as his wife Andrea didn't seem to care for our original one. Although I liked seeing the goofy side of her. Oh well.

Best of luck to Mr. Aardsma, and maybe we'll see him in New York again someday.

Kuroda Scheduled To Start Monday

Although the results of an X-Ray on Kuroda's fingers came back negative, there were still some doubts as to whether Hiroki would make his next start. However it's been determined that he suffered nothing more than a bruise, and therefore is on track to make his next scheduled start in Cleveland on Monday.

If for whatever reason Kuroda's hand isn't healing like expected, things could change. But for now this is great news in the wake of way too many injuries.

Overreacting To Two Games

"I'm looking at the sky, and it doesn't seem to be falling quite yet."

I haven't exactly been pleased with what I saw in the first two games. A run differential of -9 is not easy on the eyes, neither is a team triple-slash of .221/.293/.324. Or how about a team ERA of 7.50! Yikes!

That doesn't mean you can disregard the fact that we're only two games into the season, though. We still have almost 99% of the season to play, so it's a little early for all the Chicken Little impersonators to pop up. If these two games happened in the middle of June then nobody would think anything of it. But since it's the first two games, and everybody is watching intently after an always-long offseason, the negatives get blown way out of proportion.

If you've spent any time on Twitter during the first two games you'd think the Yankees' season was already over with. Here are some reasons why I'm not freaking out like some...

  • Are you really worried about the Yankees top two pitchers in the rotation? After all, CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda combined for 6.1 innings, and gave up 6 runs on 12 hits. Then I guess Phillies fans should be concerned about their top two starters, Cole Hamels and Roy Halladay, seeing as how they combined for 8.1 innings, giving up 10 runs on 13 hits. To be fair, Phillie fans do have reason to worry about Halladay. Anyway...
  • The Baltimore Orioles, whose team wRC+ was a below-average 96 in 2012, currently own a team wRC+ of 180. Going by the logic of some "fans", the Orioles are going to destroy the league with their bats this season. 
  • Tampa Bay has a run differential of -2, meaning their incredible pitching staff has given up more runs than they've scored. In Game 1 Rays reliever Jake McGee, who had an ERA of 1.95 last season, gave up 5 runs while only getting two outs. In Game 2 starter Jeremy Hellickson gave up 5 runs and 8 hits in 6.1 innings. Not to mention that their closer, Fernando Rodney, had a blown save thanks to giving up a lead-off walk and double. Should we change our opinions of the Rays pitching?
  • In 2009 the Yankees lost their first two games to the Baltimore Orioles. In those two games their 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 4-26, while their starters for those two games (CC Sabathia and Chien-Ming Wang) combined to go 8 innings, giving up 13 earned runs on 17 hits and 8 walks, while striking out nobody. That team, as you may recall, went on to win the World Series.
  • The Toronto Blue Jays, who many picked to win the American League East this season, are also currently 0-2. What's more is that the Jays have only scored 3 runs this season, while Jose Reyes and Edwin Encarnacion (their lead-off and clean-up hitters) have combined to go 2-14 with 0 extra-base hits. And the reigning National League Cy Young winner and current Toronto ace, RA Dickey, gave up 5 hits while walking 4 in his 6 innings of work. 
  • The Yankees actually hit the ball well off of Clay Buchholz, but the balls weren't dropping for base hits. 23% of the balls put into play off of Clay were line drives (much better than Clay's career LD% of 18%), and the Yankees batting average on balls in play (BABIP) in that game was a lowly .238. So it's not "going out on a limb" to say the offense got a little unlucky in Game 2.
  • Seeing Travis Hafner and Vernon Wells hit a home run in last night's game was great, as they are two players that are coming into this season as questions marks (they are also batting .333 and .429, respectively). Another guy with question marks in the Yankee lineup, Kevin Youkilis, is hitting .375 after batting .280 in Spring Training. The guy that's supposed to carry the offense this year, Robinson Cano, has two strikeouts and only a single in 8 at bats.
  • And the biggest thing to keep in mind is that the team is without four of their nine "true" starters. Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez combined for a fWAR of 10 last season, and are currently being replaced by four men (Eduardo Nunez, Vernon Wells, Lyle Overbay, and Kevin Youkilis) who last year combined for a fWAR of 1.9.
So you'll have to forgive me if I don't jump on the "the sky is falling" bandwagon right now.

Game 3 Lineup: Red Sox vs. Yankees

The Red Sox are attempting for the sweep. The Yankees are attempting to prevent the sweep. This should be good. Here's the lineup.

Lineup vs. Red Sox:

Brett Gardner CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 3B
Travis Hafner DH
Vernon Wells LF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 2B
Francisco Cervelli C

Andy Pettitte LHP

Morning Bits: 0 for the Season, Teixeira aims to be back May 1st, Pettitte in the cold

mug3Good morning all.   Not looking good so far as the Yankees are 0-2 and Kuroda left the game early last night.   Let's get the morning going with some links.

-- Barry Bloom of writes that Mark Teixeira is targeting a May 1st return.   (what will the Yankees record be then?)

-- Scott Cacciola of The New York Times writes that Kuroda and the Yankees pride are hurting.

-- Andrew Marchand of ESPN NY looks into Pettitte pitching in the cold.

This Day In Yankees History 4/4

This Day In Yankees History... April 4th

On Opening Day in 1989 Yankees starter Tommy John ties a record by playing in his 26th professional season of Major League Baseball. John would beat the Twins 4-2 for his 287th win.

On Opening Day 1994 the Yankees assembled the largest crowd ever at Yankees Stadium when 56,706 fans piled in to watch the Yankees beat the Rangers 5-3 behind a strong performance behind Jimmy Key.