Saturday, August 17, 2013

RailRiders lose heartbreaker to rival Iron Pigs

MOOSIC — It's the story of the RailRiders' season.

The hitting was good, but untimely. The starting pitching was strong, but the relief pitching not so much. And finally, be one hit away from a win ... but end up losing.

All of those things were true Saturday, as the RailRiders lost to the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, 4-3, in 11 innings.

With barely two weeks left in the season, the RailRiders now sit 7.5 games back in the wild card race. But forget about that, as Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is six games below .500. How about we just focus on hitting .500?

Despite the loss, the RailRiders did have their highs in the game. Melky Mesa was the undisputed player of the game for the RailRiders, reaching base twice and driving in two runs, in addition to making a run-saving, diving catch in centerfield.

Batting .357 with three home runs in the past 10 games, it appears Mesa has hit his stride.

David Herndon turned some heads in relief, throwing 15 strikes and just one ball in his inning pitched.

And it was pretty cool to see former Baltimore Orioles outfielder Corey Patterson throwing 55 MPH knuckleballs for the RailRiders. Patterson, however, did give up the game-winning home run. 

Check out the full box score and game summary here.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter for all updates concerning the RailRiders!

Kuroda struggles as Yankees drop middle game to Red Sox, 6-1

Hiroki Kuroda, who has pitched very well lately, gave up 5 runs (3 earned) over 5.2 innings of work today as the Yankees dropped this weekend's middle game to the Red Sox without any sort of fight, 6-1. I guess every good pitcher struggles every once in a while, but it sucks that Kuroda's bad game had to come against, of all teams, the Red Sox. 

The Yankees only run in this one came on an RBI Groundout by Ichiro Suzuki in the top of the fifth inning. Besides that, Alfonso Soriano went 2-for-4 with two singles, Lyle Overbay went 3-for-4 with two singles, a double, and a run, and Vernon Wells went 1-for-1 with a pinch-hit single. Again, this one sucked, but it won't ruin the season. Hopefully the Bombers will play better tomorrow. 

A Rod Accuses Yankees Of Hiding Labrum Tear

In the latest episode of the Bronx is Burning II Alex Rodriguez and a member of his legal team, Joseph Tacopina, are accusing the New York Yankees of hiding MRI results last September/October. I refuse to call this the Alex Rodriguez show, because that is exactly what it is, because he would just enjoy that too much.

Alex is accusing the Yankees of deliberately trying to injure their third basemen further to where he could not come back at all for the rest of his career. Tacopina says the Yankees had the MRI results on A Rod's hip showing a torn labrum and hid them from everyone and continued to throw him out there against the Detroit Tigers and Baltimore Orioles last season in the post season.

Tacopina has also attacked Randy Levine saying that Levine told Yankees team doctor Dr. Brian Kelly to make sure that A Rod never went to the field again. Dr. Kelly is the doctor who examined A Rod after the season and found the tear in the hip labrum that cost him most of his 2013 season. Levine obviously denies all these accusations and says the team is willing to release all the records that they have if anyone requests them. Levine says the Yankees have nothing to hide but Tacopina says he has copies of some "damning" emails between Levine and Rodriguez so here we go.

Someone is lying and I look forward to reading about this for the remainder of the seasons and all off season long. Please sense the sarcasm there! This has got to be the worst part of being a blogger, which I love don't get me wrong, when you have to report and keep up with all this senseless childish drama and accusations. I hate it and I hate that all this has happened between the Yankees and Alex Rodriguez this season. At this point it is hard to side with or believe A Rod so I guess we will just have to wait and see how this one turns out.

Game Thread: Yankees @ Red Sox 8/17

The Yankees travel to Fenway Park to take on the Boston Red Sox this afternoon in the always fun FOX Saturday afternoon baseball game. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda for the Yanks and John Lackey for the Red Sox and it can be seen at 4:05 pm ET. What can I say about Hiroki Kuroda that has not already been said and beat into the ground? The guy has been a legit Cy Young Award candidate and the savior to the Yankees season to this point.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Stewart C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Go Yankees!!

New York Yankees @ Boston Red Sox 8/17

The New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox play their second game of this three game weekend set today at Fenway Park. The Yankees will send Heroki Kuroda to the mound, yes I know it's Hiroki, to face off with John Lackey. The game will be televised at as a part of that always dreaded FOX Saturday afternoon game at 4:05 pm ET.

Should The Yankees Trade For Dan Haren?

Three days ago Dan Haren cleared waivers, and since then a lot of Yankees fans have talked about the possibilities of the Yankees trading for the Nationals' right-hander. 

"Look into my eyes."

If you look at his totals for this season, they aren't very impressive. Haren's ERA this season sits at 4.82, which is not a whole lot better than Phil Hughes' ERA of 4.97. If you take into account that Dan would be moving from the National League to the American, then I wouldn't blame people for wondering if Haren and Hughes are pretty much one in the same.

But they're not.

For one, Haren doesn't walk as many batters. Phil is walking 2.5 batters per nine innings, while Dan's rate is currently only 1.7 per nine. It's not like Hughes is having a strange season in that department, as just a couple of seasons ago that rate was a career-high 3.3. Meanwhile, Haren has never had a BB/9 higher than 1.5 in his entire career. 

The biggest difference between those two pitchers is what they've done lately.

In July and August, spanning eight starts, Phil Hughes has an ERA of 5.27. On top of that high ERA, opposing batters are hitting .290/.339/.537 off of him during that time frame. His only quality starts then are against two struggling teams... the Twins on July 2nd, and the Angels a couple of nights ago. Notice the time between those quality starts too.

Meanwhile, Dan Haren has only thrown seven starts since the beginning of July. But in those 7 starts you'll see quite a gap between him and Hughes. Haren's ERA during that stretch is 2.30, while opposing hitters have only managed a batting line of .191/.250/.283. Only once in those seven games did Dan fail to go at least 6 innings, as he was only in for 5 innings against the Pirates on July 22nd. I wish I could give him a free pass on that start, but even though Pittsburgh is in first place in the NL East, they still have a poor offense (they've only scored 471 runs this season, which is actually less than the Yankees).

"LESS than the Yankees? Yikes."

By the way... Haren has 10 more strikeouts during that time, and that's in one less start. At the same time, Danny has 2 less walks as well. Not that it's all rosey, because Dan Haren is prone to the long-ball just like NOT-Philthy (yes, I know that not long ago I fought for Hughes, but alas... I was wrong). While Phil's home run rate is 1.7 per nine innings, Haren's is right there at 1.6. However, while Phil's rate has risen in each of the last three years, Haren is only a couple of seasons removed from a rate of only .8 home runs per nine innings. So I can see Dan improving in that department.

Now that we've seen that Dan Haren would be a big improvement over Phil Hughes in the rotation, the question is... what would it take?

Well, I looked at who the Nationals will have around next year, when they'll surely try and compete again. The fact is, they won't have many holes to fill. 

The only offensive roles that may need to fill are a backup catcher, as Kurt Suzuki is likely headed to free agency as he hasn't been good enough for the Nats to pickup his $8.5 million option for 2014. And since Danny Espinosa has been awful, Washington may be interested in a backup shortstop as well. 

Therefore, Francisco Cervelli, who the Yankees may want to deal away due to his connection with Biogenesis, seems like a viable candidate for trade. However, I'm not so sure about that. If Wilson Ramos had been replacement level, then I could see that team's desire to have a good alternative behind the dish. But the 25 year-old has held his own with the bat, so I wouldn't expect the Nationals to be interested in Cervelli or any other catcher.

The only real trade chip the Yankees have at shortstop is Eduardo Nunez, and I use the term "real" very loosely here. I can't see Nunez attracting much attention at all, thanks to him simply being a bad hitter. A triple-slash of .262/.310/.369 in 713 MLB plate appearances is not going to make anybody's mouth water. On top of that, the Yankees may need Nunez around since Derek Jeter may not be able to handle that many games as the starter at short.

That leaves us with pitching, where the Nationals will need to look at a 5th starter. They have Gio Gonzalez, Jordan Zimmerman, Ross Detwiler, and of course Stephen Strasburg for the rotation next year. Then again, Ross Ohlendorf has looked good this season, even in his two starts. But I can't help to think they would rather keep him in the bullpen. So I'm sure the right starting pitcher would pique their interests.

Like any team, Washington wouldn't mind picking up another bullpen piece. And that's where a deal for a starter could work out, since if the guy they trade for can't handle starting, they can always send him to the bullpen to see if they can get some value out of the guy. 

That's why I'm thinking of offering Washington Adam Warren.

"At least he doesn't want to send me to Boston. Ewwww."

Warren has an ERA of 4.32 in 58.1 innings in Major League Baseball. That doesn't look great, but keep in mind that that number is skewed thanks to a horrible one-game debut in 2012, in which he got shelled by the White Sox (6 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, and only 1 K in 2.1 innings). But in 2013 Adam's ERA is 3.54 after 14 relief appearances. And don't worry about his ability to start, as he started 53 games between 2011 and 2012 in AAA, where his ERA was 3.66.

Add in the fact that Adam Warren is only 25 years old, meaning he could improve on those numbers (not to mention joining an easier league to pitch in), and I think we have a solid trade on our hands.

Game 122 Lineup: Yankees @ Red Sox

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson DH
Eduardo Nunez SS
Lyle Overbay 1B
Chris Stewart C

Hiroki Kuroda LHP

Happy Birthday Jorge Posada!

Keeping with my theme of the #42...


42 years young today!

I only know this because he is exactly 8 years older than me.

Happy birthday to you too Bryan!

Mark Reynolds Home Run Call From John Sterling

"You're on the Mark, Reynolds"

Wow, original home run call there from John Sterling. Maybe he did not have enough time to come up with something creative and he was free-styling it. If that is the best he could do we may have seen the best we will ever seen from the legend that is John Sterling. Disappointing home run call.

Cats Outlast Thunder in 15-Inn Marathon, 5-4

(Manchester, NH) - In a game where Trenton ran out of available pitchers after 11 innings, two position players managed to extend the game until two outs in the 15thbefore the New Hampshire Fisher Cats ultimately scored and won, 5-4, in the longest game of the season Friday night at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium. 
Kenny Wilson's walk-off infield single off of Jose Gil, who is normally a catcher, plated Ryan Schimpf from second base with the winning run to end the 4 hour, 55 minute marathon. Neither team had scored since the third inning before Wilson's game winner.
The Thunder (65-59) dropped their second-straight one-run contest, and third-place New Hampshire (60-63) moved within 4.5 games of Trenton for the Eastern Division Wild Card spot with 18 games remaining in the regular season. The two teams play again on Saturday and Sunday.
Utility infielder/outfielder Casey Stevenson entered on the mound for Trenton in the bottom of the 12th and pitched two scoreless innings to keep the game moving. He did not allow a hit. Gil (0-1) then took over in the 14th and worked out of a two-on, no-out jam with a double play and a strikeout.
In the 15th, Gil walked Schimpf to leadoff the inning. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Schimpf to second, Gil induced a flyout from John Tolisano for the second out of the inning. But Wilson followed and hit a soft ground ball into shallow right that was picked up by the out-going second baseman Jose Pirela.
Schimpf rounded third base as Pirela picked up the ball, and realizing he had no play at first base Pirela wheeled and threw off-balanced to home plate. Schimpf slid home safely just before the tag of the catcher Francisco Arica to end the game.
Trenton squandered early leads of 3-0 and 4-1, as the Fisher Cats connected on back-to-back home runs from Gabe Jacobo (two-run) and Kevin Nolan (solo) off of Rigoberto Arrebato in the bottom of the third that tied the score at 4.
After the Thunder collected four runs on eight hits in the first three innings against New Hampshire starter Marcus Walden, the Trenton offense was shut out on only five hits over the final 12 innings.
Game two of the series is slated for a 7:05 pm first pitch on Saturday night. Thunder left-hander Nik Turley (9-6, 3.74) will pitch against right-hander Marcus Stroman (6-4, 3.22). Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:50 pm.

Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Charleston Stays Hot, Wins Fifth Consecutive

Charleston Stays Hot, Wins Fifth Consecutive
Moves into sole possession of third place in the SAL Southern Division

CHARLESTON, SC – Greg Bird hit his team leading 18th homer of the year and Evan Rutckyj tossed five solid innings to become Charleston’s first 10 game winner this season as the RiverDogs defeated the Rome Braves 8-4 in the series opener on Friday night at State Mutual Stadium in Rome, GA. The win is Charleston’s fifth straight.
With the win, the RiverDogs advance to 28-26 in the second half and 67-55 overall. Rome falls to 26-28 in the second half and 62-61 overall with the loss.

Charleston got the scoring started on back-to-back doubles by Ericson Leonora and Reymond Nunez in the top of the second inning to go up 1-0.

It stayed that way as both starters cruised until the top of the fifth inning when the RiverDogs added two more runs on RBI singles by Jake Cave and Greg Bird to make it a 3-0 game.

In the bottom of the fifth, Rome got on the board. With runners at second and third and two outs, Jose Peraza pulled a base hit through the left side to drive in a couple and cut the Charleston lead to 3-2.

In the top of the sixth inning the RiverDogs pushed their lead to 4-2 with a Jackson Valera liner that hit the pitcher Wes Parsons, trickled into shallow center, and brought home Reymond Nunez to score. Parsons had to leave the game with an injury after being struck in the leg with the liner one out into the top of the sixth.

The Braves were right back at it in the bottom of sixth matching the RiverDogs’ run on Tyler Tewell’s two out RBI single up the middle to score Edison Sanchez and make it a 4-3 game.

Charleston blew it open in the top of the seventh inning. After a walk to Angelo Gumbs with one out, Greg Bird launched a towering two-run homer to right and put the RiverDogs up 6-3.

Rome made it 6-4 Charleston with a run in the bottom of the seventh, but a costly error in the top of the ninth on shortstop Jose Peraza allowed two more runs to score for the Dogs and push their lead to 8-4. Vicente Campos threw two scoreless innings to close it out and collect his second save of the year for Charleston.

Greg Bird led the way offensively for the RiverDogs turning in a very impressive 2-3, single, homer, three RBI, two walk performance. He now leads the team with 18 homers and 74 RBI’s. Reymond Nunez had a nice game as well going 3-5 with a couple doubles, a run scored, and an RBI.

Charleston’s starter Evan Rutckyj allowed two runs on five hits in his five innings of work to earn the win and improve to 10-8. He became the first RiverDog to get to 10 wins this year, and just the fourth in the South Atlantic League in 2013 to achieve that feat.

James Pazos allowed a couple runs on a couple hits and a walk in his two innings of relief for Charleston.
Rome starter Wes Parsons got tagged with loss to fall to 5-7. The righty gave up four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings.


Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original post can be seen HERE

Derek Jeter's Latest Addition To The Wives & Girlfriends

Derek Jeter probably has one of the nicest lineups of woman, past and present, than any man this side of Hugh Hefner and has another beauty to add to the list. Reports are linking Derek to Hannah Davis who is being called, in some circles, the new Kate Upton. I'm just saying I would settle for the "old" Kate Upton especially if she goes on clearance. Check out Jeter's latest trophy and gift basket receiver by checking out the Yankees Wives & Girlfriends section of the site.

Hideki Matsui To Be Honored In Trenton August 28

(TRENTON, NJ) - On July 28 at Yankee Stadium, 2009 World Series MVP Hideki Matsui officially retired from Major League Baseball as a member of the Yankees. On Wednesday, August 28, the former Yankee great will be honored by the Thunder as well. Hideki will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Thunder take on the New Britain Rock Cats and he'll be wearing the same Thunder jersey and hat from his rehabilitation assignment with Trenton in 2006.

During the game, six lucky Thunder fans will win autographed Hideki Matsui items. The items include 3 Yankees Magazines with Hideki on the cover, an autographed picture of him with the Thunder in 2006, an autographed baseball, and a very rare dual Yankees World Series MVP baseball signed by both Hideki and Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson.

August 28 is Verizon Wireless Night at ARM & HAMMER Park and the Thunder will be giving out statues of Hideki's former Yankees teammate Andy Pettitte to the first 2,000 fans ages 14 and over.



Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/17

On this day in 1933 Lou Gehrig became the "Iron Horse" passing Everett Scott's consecutive games played streak when he played in his 1,309th straight game. Gehrig would finish with 2,130 consecutive games played before he fell ill to what is now known as Lou Gehrig's disease.

On this day in 1948 the Yankees held a ceremony for fallen slugger Babe Ruth and an estimated 100,000 fans walked past and gave their respect to the Bambino. Ruth would have a real funeral two days later at St. Patrick's cathedral.

On this day in 2002 the Yankees second basemen Alfonso Soriano hit a home run off Seattle Mariners pitcher James Baldwin to become the first second baseman in Major League history to hit 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same season.