Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Kuroda drops third straight start to Blue Jays, 7-2

Hiroki Kuroda gave up 5 earned runs in 5 innings of work tonight as the Yankees disappointingly dropped this rubber game to the Blue Jays, 7-2. Now this kinda stuff can't happen. Kuroda has got to get better NOW. Three losses in three starts is not what this team should be getting from their ace. Also, losing to the Blue Jays, really? Isn't this the same team we just swept without mercy last week? Apparently they got really good in the entire three days the Yankees weren't playing them. But seriously, you gotta win these series against last place teams. Now is not the time to screw up. 

Game Thread: Yankees @ Blue Jays 8/28

The New York Yankees and the Toronto Blue Jays complete their three game set in Rogers Centre tonight at 7:07 pm ET. The pitching match up is Hiroki Kuroda for the Yankees and Todd Redmond for the Blue Jays and it can be seen on the YES network and MLB TV. Kuroda has had his August struggles once again and hopes to bounce back on this final start before the calendar turns and the rosters expand. 

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson DH
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Lyle Overbay 1B
Mark Reynolds 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Chris Stewart C

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

Michael Pineda Resumes Throwing Off Flat Ground

I have to say that I am getting sick and tired of the New York Yankees and how they baby and coddle their pitchers. Michael Pineda is back to throwing off of flat ground after being shut down 26 days ago with stiffness in his surgically repaired right throwing shoulder. Originally the Yankees said that Pineda would be shut down somewhere around 10 days before resuming throwing again and what they really meant was almost triple that and then we will baby the guy back into the rotation so we can waste a second year of team control for NOTHING. #EndRant

Pineda is still hoping to be back with the big league club sometime in September but he will have to be throwing in games before that can happen. The minor league seasons are ending in a week or so not counting possible playoffs for teams like the Trenton Thunder so time is running out for Pineda.

Phil Hughes Still Set To Start On Saturday

The New York Yankees season is on the line and Joe Girardi refuses to do what needs to be done. The same man that benched the highest paid baseball player in history, Alex Rodriguez, not once but three times in last years postseason is afraid to send Phil Hughes to the bullpen. Phil Hughes is scheduled to take his normal turn in the rotation on Saturday at home against the Baltimore Orioles in a game we have to have. David Huff has come in and pitched his behind off out of the pen giving the Yankees length and shut out inning after shut out inning and is getting no respect. I can't say I understand this move, or lack of a move, at all but Joe Girardi is known to be loyal to certain players and this is the perfect example of that.

Eduardo Nunez Scratched Late, Mark Reynolds Plays 2B

Eduardo Nunez left last nights game with an apparent knee injury but was in the lineup today originally before becoming a late scratch. Mark Reynolds will fill in for him and play second base which should be interesting to watch. We all knew that Robinson Cano would probably sit out today as a precaution but when his backup goes down we may be in trouble a little bit. Hopefully they Yankees are just thinking of giving him two consecutive full days off to rest and make sure the knee is fine for the Orioles on Friday.

Hiroki Kuroda New York Yankees Meme

This gave me a little chuckle and I felt like I had to share. No matter what Hiroki you are still my hero, lol.  Enjoy! 

Can The Yankees Do It?

The Yankees have won 13 of their last 19 games, and find themselves 4.5 games in back of a Wild Card berth into the postseason. A lot has been written about their chances of completing a comeback and getting to the playoffs, including something from me. But I'd like to give you some more precise reasons why I think they can get it done.

"I can't wait to hear this."

The Yankees have been hitting very well lately, and over the past 14 days they have the highest team batting fWAR in the American League. During that time they were led by Alfonso Soriano and his 6 HR, 19 RBI, and batting line of .333/.387/.684. Along with Soriano's production, Robinson Cano has hit .418/.448/.618. Curtis Granderson has come back strong as well, and is getting on base over 41% of the time since he returned to the team on August 2nd. Furthermore, Austin Romine has started hitting the ball well. Romine's triple-slash in August (37 plate appearances) is .310/.417/.448. Alex Rodriguez is doing his part too, having hit .284/.369/.473 since coming back.

Let's move to pitching, where Andy Pettitte has started to look like the Andy of old. In his last 3 starts, totalling 19.2 innings, Pettitte's given up just one earned run, and held opposing batters to a line of .221/.284/.309. I've talked a lot of trash on Ivan Nova, but I can't deny him props for what he's done since July 5th. In that time he has thrown at least 6.1 innings, which having an ERA of 2.34, and opposing hitters have batted .238/.309/.316. If Hiroki Kuroda can continue to pitch to a sub-3.00 ERA, and Sabathia can figure out just what in the hell is going on, then Yankee pitching can be a force.

"I got this, boys."

Last season, the Texas Rangers had a 5.5 game lead on the Oakland As, but the Athletics ended up winning that division. That same season, the Chicago White Sox had a 2 game lead on Detroit, yet they not only lost the AL Central to the Tigers, they completely missed the postseason.

In 2011, and Yankees fans are surely happy that I'm bringing this tidbit up, the Boston Red Sox had the best record in the American League. But the boys from Beantown played horrible down the stretch and missed the playoffs.

Back in the glorious year of 2009, before the Yankees defeated the Phillies for their 27th World Series title, the Tigers led the Minnesota Twins by 4.5 games in the AL Central. However, Detroit played so bad that they not only lost the division title, but missed the postseason.

Looking at who the Yankees are chasing for a Wild Card spot, we start with the Baltimore Orioles. So far this month, the Os have lost a series against the Mariners, Diamondbacks (three-game sweep), and Rays. They will start a three-game series against the Yankees on Friday, before going to New York to face them four more times. Baltimore also has 8 games left against the Red Sox, and four against the Rays.

Meanwhile, the Cleveland Indians have played .500 ball in August, including a stretch of six straight losses to the Tigers and Angels. Their pitching has done well over the last month, but is it good enough to overcome an offense ranked last in the AL in terms of batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage? I'm not so sure, and Indians fans are surely biting their fingernails right now.

"We suck again!"

Then there's the Oakland Athletics, who are actually under .500 in August, having gone 11-12. Their offense has been mediocre during that time, while their pitching has been one of the worst in the league. The good news for them is that 20 of their last 31 games are against teams below .500, but the other 11 games against the Tigers, Rays, and Rangers. While Oakland fans surely feel better about their chances than Cleveland fans, they definitely should not start making plans to watch their favorite team in the postseason yet.

Finally there’s the Tampa Bay Rays, who currently have the best record among non-division leading teams in the American League. Over the past month both the Rays’ pitching and the Rays’ hitting have been “okay”. However, their hitting has been among the best in the league over the course of the season, while their pitching has been pretty good too. So the Yankees chances to get above them in the standings will be much tougher. We’ll just have to hope that they falter in their 14 games against the Athletics, Red Sox, Rangers and Orioles. While at the same time hoping the Yankees can get it done against Tampa Bay in their remaining three-game series.

I know it’s hard to imagine the Yankees making the postseason this year, after they played under .500 for an 81-game stretch between May and July (40-41). But you can’t look at those facts and count the Bombers out. I’m not saying the chances are good that we see the Yankees play another game after September 29th, but there’s no way I’m counting them out just yet.

"Let's do this!"

New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays 8/28

The New York Yankees will finish their three game set with the Toronto Blue Jays tonight at Rogers Centre before the Yankees off day tomorrow. The Yanks will send Hiroki Kuroda to the mound to face off with Todd Redmond for the Blue Jays. The game will be televised at 7:07 pm ET on the YES network and MLB TV. If the Yankees have any shot at the playoffs this is a must win game before the off day so let's hope Hiroki can be the hero once again for the Yanks.

Starting Pitching Needs to Step Up

The New York Yankees have completely turned their offense around during the month of August behind Alfonso Soriano, Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano.

The Yankees are third in the AL in homers in August (29), fifth in wOBA (.330) and sixth in OPS (.751)  The Yankees have averaged nearly 4.5 runs per game in Soriano’s 30 games as a Yankees and he trails only Miguel Cabrera in home runs after the all-star break.

Rodriguez (.284/.369/.473/.842 with a 133 wRC+) and Granderson (.291/.412/.456/.868 with a 140 wRC+) have both been terrific since they returned from the DL. Assuming that this continues, the Yankees should have plenty of offense for them to make a run at the second wild car in September. The question will be whether the starting pitching can be good enough.

There have been some good signs and some bad signs out of the starting pitchers lately. Andy Pettitte turning it around and Ivan Nova maintaining his performance have been good ones.

Over his last three starts, Pettitte has allowed just two runs on 15 hits over 19.2 innings. The first of those three starts was the biggest, as Pettitte delivered a huge performance in the opening game of the series in Boston. He allowed three unearned runs over 6.2 innings and gave up six hits, one walk and struck out five. He was given a huge first inning lead to work with, but big leads can evaporate quickly at Fenway Park.

Pettitte’s last two outing came against the Blue Jays and he allowed only one run over 13 innings. Toronto is not a great team but the starts were still very encouraging. When the stakes get raised Pettitte raises his game, which is why I have a lot of confidence in him pitching big games down the stretch in September. You know he is going to battle and not be afraid of any moment. Pettitte’s ERA is now down to a respectable 4.05 for the season.

Nova has not been as dominant in his last three starts, but he has still battled and managed to have good results. That is big for a pitcher who has had the physical tools, but lacked knowledge in just how to pitch. Nova has allowed 27 hits to only 11 strikeouts over those last three starts, but the most amount of runs that he allowed was four over 6.1 innings on August 20th against Toronto. In his previous start, he allowed three runs over 7.1 innings against the Angels and came up with a big performance in a game the Yankees had to have Sunday in Tampa.

The problems in the Yankees rotation are CC Sabathia and Phil Hughes. Hiroki Kuroda has struggled as well over his last two outings, but I will chalk that up to just a blip on the radar for him.

Sabathia has shown signs of improvement but has still been unable to put it all back together. His fastball velocity has improved lately, as he has averaged 93.24 MPH on his fastball in August, including averaging 93.88 MPH and 94.07 MPH over his last two starts. However, as Sabathia has added velocity his control has vanished. He has allowed an abysmal 4.70 walks per nine innings in August.

Sabathia has thrown quality starts in three out of his last four outings, but he still has not been the dominant Sabathia we have come to know over the last few years. He had an egregious performance in the rubber match of the Boston series but got bailed out by his offense.

Then, on Saturday, Sabathia blew a 2-0 lead when he imploded in the sixth inning. He was absolutely dominant over the first five innings with his fastball humming at over 94 MPH and his slider breaking as sharply as it had all season. It all fell apart when Sam Fuld hit a bloop single to lead off the sixth inning and Sabathia could not find the plate out of the stretch. That game is the type of game that the Yankees will need Sabathia to finish down the stretch of the season if they want to make the playoffs.

There seems to be little hope for Hughes to be an effective pitcher at all this season. Hughes has been one of the worst pitchers in baseball this season with an ERA of 4.91, which ranks 80th out of 85 qualified starting pitchers.

With only 30 games remaining in the season the Yankees cannot afford to give any games away, which is essentially what they have been doing by running Hughes out there every five days.

Unfortunately, the options that the Yankees have to replace Hughes are not very appealing. David Huff and Adam Warren are the only in-house options with David Phelps, Michael Pineda and Vidal Nuno all injured.

Huff has thrown 8.1 innings of shutout baseball over his last two relief appearances against Toronto and has only allowed one hit. However, Huff’s 5.25 ERA and 4.74 FIP in almost 300 career innings inspires little confidence. Warren has been o.k. this season, but I still do not believe that he has the stuff to be a good MLB starting pitcher. At the very least the Yankees need to skip Hughes’ start this weekend in Baltimore.

The Yankees are currently five games behind Oakland in the chase for the second wild card. They will have to play close to flawless baseball in September to catch them and they cannot do it without great starting pitching. They have not gotten that consistently since the beginning of the season and it needs to reappear right now for the Yankees to have a legitimate shot at the playoffs.

RiverDogs to Conclude 2013 Season with a Bang

RiverDogs to Conclude 2013 Season with a Bang
Final home stand features four games, two fireworks shows, Mascot Mania and Kids Club Sunday

CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs return home to Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park on Friday to begin their final home stand of the 2013 season. Charleston welcomes in the Rome Braves to Riley Park for four games to conclude what has been a memorable year of baseball at The Joe.

Saturday, August 31, 6:05 pm: Roller Derby Night / Baseball Bingo via Smartphone / Craft Beer Saturday / Blood Alliance Blood Drive:
 It's Roller Derby Night at The Joe! There will be roller derby-themed promotions throughout the night and the Lowcountry Highrollers team will be at the game. The RiverDogs will offer Baseball Bingo with a new twist to the classic game as it will be available to be downloaded as an app to your smartphone so you can follow the action and go for the win simultaneously via your mobile device. Fans can also enjoy craft beer specials that will be on tap including Leinenkugel Summer Shandy, Third Shift Amber Lager and more. The Blood Alliance team will be on-site from 4:30-7:30 pm and everyone who registers to donate will receive a FREE 4-pack of RiverDogs tickets. Plus, kids get the chance to have fun and run the bases after every Saturday home.

Friday, August 30, 7:05 pm: General Dynamic Land Systems-Force Protection Red Shirt Friday / Silent Auction for Uniforms / Piggly Wiggly Postgame Fireworks / Miller/Coors Aluminum Pint Nite: It will be the final Red Shirt Friday of the year as fans who wear red to the box office can save $1 off their ticket OR donate that dollar to local charity Canines for Veterans. "Titus the Wonder Dog" will be on hand to show off his batboy skills and multiple tricks during the game. As part of the final Red Shirt Friday there will be a silent auction during the game to win the unique red, white and blue digi-camo jerseys off the backs of the RiverDogs players. Fans of Dante Bichette, Jr., Greg Bird and Cito Culver can bid online at until Saturday. After the contest, we will again light up the sky over the scenic Ashley River with another Piggly Wiggly Postgame Fireworks show. It's also a Miller/Coors Aluminum Pint Nite as fans can enjoy $2 specials on aluminum pints.
Sunday, September 1, 5:05 pm: Kids Club Sunday / Mascot Mania / Irish Heritage Night: It is another Charleston County Parks and Recreation Commission and Crews Subaru Kids Club Sunday. Every Sunday game features FREE PARKING, members of the Kid's Club get FREE entry to the game and kids eat for FREE (kids 12-under will receive a coupon for a hot dog, Pepsi and chips). Hang out with Charlie, Chelsea and the whole crew as tons of their mascot friends from all over the Lowcountry and beyond take over the park. It is also Irish Heritage Night where we salute all our friends with ties to the Emerald Isle.
Monday, September 2, 6:05 pm: Free Parking / Season Finale Fireworks / Last Supper with Dollar Hot Dogs and Dollar Beers: Don't miss our last game of the 2013 season! We provide FREE parking for our final game and will conclude the night and season on a high and colorful night with one final fantastic fireworks show. Come for the Last Supper that features $1 hot dogs and $1 draft beers of always-smooth Keystone Light.
For tickets or information, please contact the Riley Park Box Office at (843) 577-DOGS (3647) or online at
Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE
Turley's Gem Leads Thunder Past Rock Cats, 5-1
Longest outing of season by Thunder SP sets tone

(Trenton, NJ) - Nik Turley tossed a team-season-high 7.1 brilliant innings and Trenton scored twice in the seventh and eighth innings to break open a close game and defeat the New Britain Rock Cats, 5-1, in the second of a four-game series Tuesday night in front of 5,652 fans at ARM & HAMMER Park.
The win, coupled with a Portland win at New Hampshire, means the Thunder's (66-62) lead for the Eastern Division Wild Card spot stands at 4.0 games over the Fisher Cats (66-69) and Sea Dogs (66-69) with seven games remaining in the regular season.
Turley (10-8) allowed an unearned run in the second inning and then put the clamps on New Britain for the rest of his night. The lefty scattered four hits and four walks while striking out seven batters. He tossed 98 pitches in the longest pitching performance by the Thunder hurler in 2013.
With the score tied a 1 in the bottom of the seventh, Yeral Sanchez connected for a go-ahead two-run home run (2) against reliever Cole Johnson. It was a no-doubter to left field that also scored Carmen Angelini, who had led off the frame with a double.
Angelini struck for an insurance hit in the eighth, driving a two-out, two-run double into left-center against Jose Gonzalez that made the score 5-1. Zach Nuding recorded the final five outs for the Thunder to record his first career save.
After being shutout for the first four innings by Kyle Davies (2 IP, 1 H) and B.J. Hermsen, Trenton tied the score in the fifth when Reegie Corona stroked a two-out RBI single plating Angelini.
Game three of the series is slated for a 7:05 pm first pitch on Wednesday as Trenton tries to edge closer to clinching a playoff spot. Thunder right-hander Scottie Allen (2-0, 1.02) will get the ball for manager Tony Franklin while righty DJ Baxendale (5-6, 5.74) will start for New Britain.
Limited tickets are available through the Thunder box office at (609) 394-3300 or online at Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 6:45 pm.

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

Nunez and Bird Power RiverDogs Past Drive Again

Nunez and Bird Power RiverDogs Past Drive Again
Charleston slams three homers for the second straight day, wins fourth straight

GREENVILLE, SC - Reymond Nunez clubbed two monster home runs, and Greg Bird slugged one as the Charleston RiverDogs went deep three times for the second straight game and defeated the Greenville Drive 8-1 at Fluor Field at The West End on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win.
With the victory, the RiverDogs improve to 34-31 in the second half and 73-60 overall. The Drive fall to 26-36 in second half play and 48-83 overall with the loss.
Greenville's starter Francisco Taveras was not sharp and threw 49 pitches in his lone inning of work surrendering five runs on four hits, two homers, a couple walks and one strikeout. He was tagged with the loss to fall to 2-5.
Following Jose Rosario's one out walk in the top of the first, Greg Bird clubbed his team leading 20th homer of the year. The two-run blast put the Dogs up 2-0 early.
Later in the first inning, Reymond Nunez launched a three-run blast to left and made it 5-0 RiverDogs. Nunez led the way for the Charleston offense with his 2-5, four RBI, two homer performance.
The Drive took advantage of a double and an error to score their only run of the game in the bottom of the first on an RBI groundout by Jesus Loya to cut the RiverDogs' lead to 5-1.
Charleston added a run in the third on Nunez' second homer of the game, a solo shot to center, to increase their lead to 6-1.
Thanks to some questionable defense by Greenville in the fourth inning, two more runs came across for the RiverDogs to push the lead to 8-1. They never looked back.
Eric Wooten spun six solid innings giving up only one unearned run on four hits, no walks, and nine strikeouts. He retired the final nine batters he faced. Wooten earned the win to improve to 2-2.
Tyler Webb threw two scoreless innings for Charleston, and then James Pazos closed it out with a scoreless ninth inning.
COMING UP: The finale of this three game series is Wednesday night at 7:05. Charleston will send out RHP Rookie Davis to make his debut for the Dogs as they go for the sweep, and Greenville will start RHP Sergio Gomez (0-3, 5.28). Fans can listen to the game live locally on ESPN Radio 910AM or online at
Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE.

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/28

On this day in 2007 the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 5-3 but I am not so sure that many people noticed. Everyone was too busy watching the squirrel that was running up and down the foul pole and received multiple standing ovations when shown on the big screen at Yankees Stadium.

On this day in 2008 the New York Yankees were playing the Boston Red Sox for the final time in the old Yankees Stadium. Trailing 2-0 late in the game the Yankees sent up Jason Giambi to pinch hit and he responded by hitting a two run home run to tie the game. The Yankees would later walk off the Red Sox winning the game 3-2 on a Giambino RBI single avoiding the sweep and keeping their playoff hopes alive.