Friday, August 30, 2013

Yankees beat Orioles 8-5 despite Sabathia's struggles

Despite CC Sabathia giving up 5 earned runs in just 5.2 innings of work, the Yankees, led by a five-run fifth inning, were able to out-slug the Orioles tonight for a thrilling, 8-5 win. Sabathia was doing alright up until the fourth inning in this one, but that was when he lost his edge, giving up 3 runs and blowing the team's 2-1 lead. But like I said, they scored five times in the fifth. First, Reynolds doubled home a run. Second, Ichiro hit a go-ahead two-run home run. Finally, Cano hit a two-run single. By then, the score was 7-4 Yankees and the game was all but over. I've seen better games, but this one was still fun. Let's hope the Bombers play like this throughout the Holliday weekend. 

Game Thread: Orioles @ Yankees 8/30

Time is running out and it is do or die time for both the Baltimore Orioles and the New York Yankees as they begin a three game set tonight at Yankees Stadium. The pitching match up is CC Sabathia for the Yankees and Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles and the game can be seen at 7:05 pm ET on the YES network, MLB Network, and of course MLB TV. CC Sabathia showed a five innings glimpse last start that he still has that ace ability in it so he will look to build on those five innings tonight and put the Yankees back in the win column. Lord knows we need the wins and they are especially essential with us playing head to head with a team we are chasing in both the AL East and both Wild Card slots.

Here is the Yankees lineup

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes and get your Yankees Tickets for this game and all the games this weekend in this huge set right here on TGP.

The Orioles Are Picking Up The Yankees Scraps Again

Remember last year when it seemed like every single guy that the New York Yankees released the Baltimore Orioles picked up a week later? Well it's happening again with the Orioles signing of Dan Johnson today. We reported last night that the Yankees released Dan Johnson after he had spent the entire season down in AAA with the Scranton Wilkes Barre Railriders and today he has already found a new set of teammates in Baltimore. I am a bit surprised because I figured the Yankees released him with the thought process of giving Johnson a shot at a September call up with rosters expanding but the Orioles signed him to a minor league deal so who knows. I guess we will find out just what Baltimore's way of thinking was regarding this deal on Sunday.

JR Murphy Likely To Be A September Call Up Sunday

Rosters expand in Major League Baseball this Sunday on September 1st from 25 man roster to 40 man rosters and JR Murphy is expected to be one of those players to come up. Murphy is not currently on the 40 man roster but he has to be protected after this season anyway and is only a 60 day DL transfer for Corban Joseph away from being added to the roster. The Yankees love carrying three catchers in September and it was either call up JR Murphy or stick with two catchers so this is the route the Yanks are going.

MLB Slows Down Signing Of Cuban Defecting Players

Via Mike Axisa on River Avenue Blues:

Major League Baseball has implemented a new rule which will slow down the process for Cuban players defecting their native country to gain residency in another country. The Office of Foreign Assets Control used to require a general unblocking license which could be easily and quickly acquired, sometimes in less than a month, and does not require any kind of written paperwork or anything official. Now a license is required to declare residency which will require a written application from the player as well as the individual responding to the application as well. This could delay Cuban defecting players from signing with major league teams as much as six months now and I cannot agree with it after seeing players like Rafael DePaula's Visa issues get drug out so long but I understand the whole business and legal aspect behind it as well so it is what it is.

South of the Border...from North of the Border!

Wow. At that start of that road trip (six games in Tampa and Toronto) I really thought the Yankees would reel in their wild card foes and get ready for one more stretch. Instead they go 2-4. Let's recap: Kuroda had an AWFUL two starts on the road--in Tampa he looked like he was pitching the Home Run Derby, and in Toronto, Chris Stewart made a horrible throw to first to score two extra runs, in addition to all the home runs. Our very own Daniel Burch issued an apology for being too hard on Hero on Twitter or whatever. Burch, no need for an apology! We're all just spoiled Yankee fans who are trying to cope with only a second playoff absence in 19 years, CC's been awful, half the team was hurt, nothing's gone right...we can't be blamed for acting a little "upset" (understatement.)

One of the few bright spots on the road trip was Andy Pettitte. He threw a flawless game Tuesday night in Toronto; seven innings, five hits, two walks, three K's, NO runs. Andy's really improved his past three starts (two against the Jays, one in Fenway), giving up only one run in 19.2 innings. He's brought his ERA down from 4.71 on August 5th (his lowest point in Chicago when he couldn't get through the third), to 4.05 now.

Mike Francesa's been saying over and over that the 11 games between September 5th and 15th (home against the Sawx and a road trip to Baltimore and Bahstan) will decide if the Yankees have anything left. I have to agree with him looking ahead--the Yankees have the Orioles over the weekend and the White Sox for three games. The Yankees have gone 4-2 against the Orioles at home, which they usually do anyway. Last year they split a four-game set with a better pale-hose team at home, so I have to imagine they at least take two of three. If I had to make a prediction, however, if the Yankees do anything less than splitting those six games, you can pretty much kiss the division goodbye (if you haven't already), and then after those 15 games it'll be plainly obvious where their fate lies.

As far as their foes go, for the wild card...Oakland has a pretty easy September, outside of two sets with the Rangers...the Indians have a three-game set with the Orioles next week, but then it's really just a bunch of White Sox, Royals, Twins and Astros series...Tampa Bay actually has a really tough September; they open with a west-coast road trip, then their final two home-stands include the Sawx, Rangers and Orioles...and then the O's have the Yankees twice, the Sawx twice and Tampa once.

So you be the judge; compare the Yankees' tough first half of the month to all these other teams' September. They're five games out; hopefully it'll be a month for the ages.

'Till Next Time!

Neil Dwyer @neildwyer1993

Phil Hughes Star Pushed Back To Monday

The New York Yankees have announced that they are pushing back Phil Hughes next start from Sunday afternoon against the Baltimore Orioles to Monday in an afternoon game against the Chicago White Sox. The Yankees have very little room for error here so if they are not going to take Hughes out of the rotation at least he will be pitching against one of the worst teams in the American League and not against a team that is in front of us in the playoff hunt. Hughes has allowed five home runs in 14 IP against the Orioles this season and owns a 2.00 WHIP and a 7.00 ERA this season when facing Baltimore.

Baltimore Orioles @ New York Yankees 8/30

The New York Yankees begin hosting the Baltimore Orioles tonight in a pivotal three game set at Yankees Stadium which could really decide the Yankees fate for the rest of the 2013 season. The Yankees are running out of times and teams that they should beat up on and it is now or never for them to beat a legit playoff contender and find themselves facing a struggling Baltimore team at the right time. The Orioles are ahead of the Yankees in the standings so the Yanks can make up some serious ground over the weekend with a sweep or a series win at the minimum. The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound hoping to turn his season around and he will be facing off with Miguel Gonzalez for the Orioles. The game will be televised at 7:05 pm ET on the YES network, MLB network, and MLB TV.

Game 134 Lineup: Orioles vs. Yankees

Brett Gardner CF
Derek Jeter SS
Robinson Cano 2B
Alfonso Soriano LF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Curtis Granderson DH
Mark Reynolds 1B
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Austin Romine C

LHP CC Sabathia

Hiroki Kuroda Is Tired & We Shouldn't Be Surprised

I want to begin this post by apologizing to all our followers and readers both here and on twitter. I am frustrated and do not exactly take losing well especially against a team like the Toronto Blue Jays with our best pitcher on the mound in Hiroki Kuroda. When the Yankees got down 6-0 early I went as far, again in frustration and in anger and not in common sense thinking, as to call Kuroda a "faux ace" which could not be farther from the truth. Kuroda has pitched his butt off for two seasons now and has been the ace for both of those seasons and I sounded ungrateful Wednesday night and I apologize for that.

With that said should we really be surprised that Kuroda is struggling towards the end of the season? I thought so until I looked at Kuroda's 2012 stats from August, September, and October. Kuroda had allowed three runs or less in 15 of his 21 starts heading into August only to see a bit of a regression due to what we can only guess is stamina problems. From August until the Yankees were eliminated Kuroda would allow three runs or more in seven of his final 12 starts not counting his post season stats of course. Granted Kuroda finished with a 6-4 record during that time including a no decision that the Yankees ended up winning but you have to remember that the Yankees put up a total of 57 runs in those 12 starts for nearly five runs of support per start, something unheard of for Kuroda this season.

Jump ahead to 2013 where Kuroda was putting himself in the American League Cy Young discussion before the calendar turned to August and the imaginary wall has seemingly slapped him in the face once again. In five August starts Kuroda has allowed three or more runs in four of his five starts including allowing seven twice and five once. Granted Kuroda has only been given nine runs total in those games but no pitcher can expect to win very much when allowed five or more runs three out of five times in the rotation.

Kuroda is not pitching much more than he normally has pitch wise although he has thrown over 100 pitches in 18 starts this season with a season high 116 pitches thrown August 6th against the White Sox in a loss. It is also worth noting that during that time Kuroda has thrown 99 pitches three times, 98 once, and above 90 pitches two other times during that stretch. While you want your ace to give you 7 IP or more every time out there, which Kuroda has done 14 times this season, we have to remember that he is soon to be 39 years old and has to show signs of aging at some point which looks to be around this time every season.

I appreciate everything Hiroki has done for us this season and last season and I know I have not always acted like it, especially during games we are losing. I can be a little fiery at times during games and I apologize for that but I think it shows my love and passion for this team and shows that no one can ever doubt or question my devotion to this team. I do not like to lose, I do not like to miss the playoffs, and I do not like holding my emotions inside. With that said I have a feeling I have a lot more frustration coming my way if history is going to repeat itself once again with Hiroki, and we all know that history has a naughty habit of repeating itself at the worst possible times. I'm not blaming Kuroda at all here but if he pitches this September like he did last September I think come October I may find myself writing about free agency targets and qualifying offers and not about possible World Series aspirations.

The Orioles Being Aggressive & We're Standing Pat

As the August waiver trade deadline is drawing to a close I cannot understand what is going on in New York Yankees land. Granted I know that we have a bit of a roster crunch but it discourages me when I see us struggle against teams that we should beat, for example the Toronto Blue Jays, when time is running out on us for a playoff run. It really discourages me when teams in front of us, for example the Baltimore Orioles, are being very aggressive on the waiver wire and trade wire. The Orioles have reportedly put in waiver claims on Mariners 1B/DH Mike Morse, Mariners DH Kendrys Morales, and the Twins outfielder Josh Willingham. Throw on top of that the uncertainty behind Eduardo Nunez and Robinson Cano in the Yankees middle infield and I am just really discouraged, frustrated, and thinking more and more that this may just not be the Yankees year. I will not ever give up on my team as long as we are mathematically still in this thing but I cannot say I feel confident anymore and this upcoming series with the Baltimore Orioles may be the last chance we have at a real playoff run. The Yankees better come out like their backs are against the walls and every game is a must win game because, frankly, that's because it is.

Greg Bird Named to SAL All-Star Team

Greg Bird Named to SAL All-Star Team
Talented First Baseman Is the Lone RiverDog to Be Honored

CHARLESTON, SC -- First baseman Greg Bird, who leads the RiverDogs with 20 home runs and 83 RBI, has been named to the 2013 South Atlantic League All-Star Team, which for the first time in league history includes a spot for a relief pitcher. The group was voted on by the 14 South Atlantic League team's field managers, general managers, sportswriters and broadcasters for a total of 56 votes.
A 6'3", 215 pound lefty slugger from Aurora, Col., Bird has had one of the most impressive seasons for a first baseman in quite some time in the South Atlantic League. He leads Charleston in almost every offensive category with a .289 batting average, 20 homers, 83 RBI, and 129 hits. Bird also leads the entire South Atlantic League with a very impressive 100 walks, 59 extra base hits, and .423 on-base percentage. Still just 20-years old, he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2011 draft out of Grandview High School in Aurora, Col., and signed out of his commitment to the University of Arkansas.
"Greg Bird is a great young ballplayer who works extremely hard every single day and has been a joy to coach this season," said RiverDogs manager Al Pedrique. "There's no player in the league who deserves to be named an All-Star more than Greg Bird, and I am very, very happy him."  
The Annual All-Star Team was highlighted by the selections for Most Outstanding Pitcher, Most Outstanding Major League Prospect and Most Valuable Player. Gabriel Ynoa of the Savannah Sand Gnats, who sports a 14-4 record and a 2.71 ERA in 21 games, was selected as the Most Outstanding Pitcher. Asheville Tourists shortstop Rosell Herrera was chosen as the Most Outstanding Major League Prospect and the Most Valuable Player. Herrera leads the league with a .345 batting average, 161 hits and 242 total bases in 125 games.
Tripp Keister of the Hagerstown Suns was selected as Manager of the 2013 Annual All-Star Team while Frank Viola of the Savannah Sand Gnats was picked as the pitching coach. 
The Asheville Tourists and Hickory Crawdads each had three players named to the squad. The Tourists representatives include catcher Tom Murphy, shortstop Rosell Herrera and outfield Francisco Sosa. The Crawdads contributed third baseman Joey Gallo, outfielder Nick Williams and designated hitter Ryan Rua. The West Virginia Power placed two players on the team, including right-handed pitcher Tyler Glasnow and outfielder Josh Bell. Charleston, Greensboro, Hagerstown, Kannapolis, Lexington and Rome each had one representative. 
Shae Simmons of Rome was named the first-ever relief pitcher on the All-Star lineup.
Being posted with permission from the Charleston Riverdogs organization. The original article can be seen HERE

Yankees Road Through September (and maybe the playoffs)?

[caption id="attachment_16485" align="aligncenter" width="512"]Robinson Cano and the Yankees have a tough task in September--get into the wild card race anyway they can Robinson Cano and the Yankees have a tough task in September--get into the wild card race anyway they can[/caption]

The Yankees have 29 games left this season, and they gained a half game yesterday without playing a game (thanks Angels and Tigers). As the Baltimore Orioles come into town this weekend, the schedule for the Yankees in September will tell them just how much of a playoff contending team they are. Here's a preview of the September calendar, and where the Yankees could stand at the end of the month.

August 30 - September 1

Baltimore Orioles vs. New York Yankees

The Baltimore Orioles pitching is a bit sketchy, but they can survive sketchy pitching with their lineup. With the power bat of Chris Davis and the ability for the rest of team to scratch out runs, the Yankees are in for the fight of their life this weekend. This series won't be easy but the Yankees have added Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Robinson Cano should he be well enough to play at some point this weekend. The Yankees need to at least take two out of three in this series, which means that CC Sabathia, Phil Hughes and Ivan Nova need to step up and pitch well (Nova has done that this season, the sentence was more for Hughes and Sabathia). Also a word of advice, if the Yankees want a chance to take the series, I'd suggest taking Hughes out of the rotation and put David Huff to start instead. Just because David Huff combined with his last two outings had pitched a full game giving up no runs and one hit. I'd sign up for that instead of home runs and runs from Hughes.

September 2 - September 4

Chicago White Sox vs. New York Yankees

The last time these two teams faced one another, the White Sox swept the Yankees in three games. This time it should be a bit different since we didn't have any power bats in our lineup at the time (minus Robinson Cano). This White Sox team is a bit different since they gave up a lot of their key players during the season to contending teams, so it should be an easier battle this time around. If all goes according to plan, the best case scenario would be to take two out of three. I'd be greedy saying I want the sweep, but hey...don't we all?

September 5 - September 8

Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees

The Red Sox and Yankees were the highlight of ESPN baseball two weeks ago when the Red Sox woke up the Yankees after an intentionally pitch to Alex Rodriguez hit him in his ribs. This time it's a four game set at Yankee Stadium and the Red Sox will have to face off against the Yankees once again. The Yankees took two out of three last time due to great pitching and timely hitting. The Yankees need to have the same formula coming into the series. The keys to this series: keep Jacoby Ellsbury off base since he's the Red Sox version of Brett Gardner and find a way to get David Ortiz out anyway they can. (As of the morning of August 30, Ortiz has been in a slump going 0 for his last 23). This series is crucial. The Yankees need to at least take two out of the four games.

September 9 - September 12

New York Yankees vs. Baltimore Orioles

The Yankees go from one four game series to another four game series, this time traveling to Camden Yards for this four game set vs. the Orioles. Keys to the rest of the Orioles series is simple: Don't give them anything to hit, especially Chris Davis. One mistake and it could go out to Eutaw street faster than you can say "Mariano Rivera". Which means I strongly advise Joe Girardi to again not play Phil Hughes. Don't know how many times I'm going to have to say this.

September 13 - September 15

New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox

After the Orioles series, the Yankees go to Boston and play another series at Fenway. Yep, same old same old Yankees vs. Red Sox. But this has more on the line for the Yankees than it does for the Red Sox. Let's just say find a way to stop the Red Sox bats, score some runs, take two out of three and get the heck out of there? Sound good? Good.

September 17 - September 19

New York Yankees vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The Yankees go to Canada to play the Toronto Blue Jays in their final showdown this season. The Yankees have owned the Blue Jays this season, minus the most recent series where the Blue Jays took two out of three from the Yankees. Well, the Yankees will be looking for a vengeance. Key to this series: Keep the power hitters at bay, don't walk Jose Reyes and Rajai Davis--and try to get to the Blue Jays pitching. The Yankees have the discipline to do so and have proved it in the past.

September 20 - September 22

San Francisco Giants vs. New York Yankees

All right, who made this schedule? An interleague game at the end of the year? Anyway, back to the topic at hand: The Giants this year--aren't very good (and that's an understatement). The Yankees could have themselves a two out of three series (or maybe a sweep) if the Yankees run into bad pitching, which the Giants have had this season. Well, we don't know when the Giants will come back to Yankee Stadium so we might as well enjoy this series (that and we could see how starstruck the players get when they run into Mariano Rivera).

September 24 - September 26

Tampa Bay Rays vs. New York Yankees

The final series at Yankee Stadium for the 2013 season is against the Tampa Bay Rays who have the pitching to get them where they need to be if they make the first wild card spot. The keys to this series is simple: Don't give any of the power hitters (and there are some power hitters) anything good to hit. That includes Evan Longoria, Ben Zobrist, Matt get the picture. It's also important to stay patient with the pitchers.  You never know when you can get into their bullpen which has had an up and down year.

September 27 - September 29

New York Yankees vs. Houston Astros

The final series of the season takes the Yankees to Texas, but not to face the Rangers. Instead, they will face the Houston Astros. Honestly, if the Yankees can't sweep the Astros, then we don't deserve to be contending. The Houston Astros are a minor league team in the Major Leagues, and that's me putting it as nicely as I can. Depending where the Yankees are in the wild card standings at this point in the season, this series is important. This series could make or break the chances of getting into the playoffs if the race is that close in the end.

Trenton Loses A Marathon, 4-1 in 13 Innings

Trenton Loses A Marathon, 4-1 in 13 Innings
Three-run double in 13th inning the final blow

TRENTON, NJ - After Wednesday night's extra-inning walk-off win over the New Britain Rock Cats, the Trenton Thunder again headed to extra innings-only to lose 4-1 in 13 innings.
After 2.2 innings of relief without allowing a run, Manny Barreda allowed a two-out bases-clearing three-run double to Daniel Ortiz in the top of the 13th inning to break a 1-1 deadlock, and earn his first Double-A loss.
The Thunder had opportunities to plate runs throughout the ballgame, but stranded a season-high 19 runners on base. Trenton in fact trailed 1-0 into the bottom of the 7thinning before Francisco Arcia walked to begin the frame. He was sacrificed to second base by Ben Gamel, and with two outs Jose Pirela scorched a single up the middle that was charged by New Britain center fielder Angel Morales. His throw to the plate was not nearly in time to nail Arcia for the first run of the game for the Thunder.
Thunder starting pitcher Bryan Mitchell matched a Thunder season-high 7.1 innings pitched and allowed one run. He also struck out a Thunder season-high 10 batters-a feat that hadn't been done since Vidal Nuno did it against New Britain July 6, 2012. He needed 107 pitches in the outing, throwing an astounding 78 (73%) for strikes.
Francisco Rondon was the only other pitcher used in the ballgame for the Thunder, and he entered in the 8th inning. He pitched through the 10th inning and did not allow a hit while striking out four Rock Cats.
With a win by the Portland Sea Dogs over New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Trenton's lead in the East Division Wild Card remains 4.0 games over both teams and Trenton only needs one more win to wrap up a playoff berth.
Trenton hits the road for the final series of the 2013 regular season.and the New Britain Rock Cats battle at ARM & HAMMER Park in final game of their four-game series- and final home game of the regular season- Thursday at 7:05 p.m. Trenton sends RHP Bryan Mitchell (0-0, 3.18) to the mound against RHP Alex Meyer (4-3, 3.41) for the Rock Cats. Limited tickets available at or by calling (609)394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and streaming online begins at 6:45 p.m.
Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original post can be seen HERE

This Day In New York Yankees History 8/30

On this day in 1910 Yankees pitcher Tom Hughes threw 9.1 IP of no hit ball before surrendering his first hit against the Indians. The worst part is that New York would lose the game 5-0 in 11 innings.

On this day the Yankees thought they were hosting an Old Timers Day event when Joe Niekro, age 41, and Tommy John, age 43, became the first set of pitchers age 40 or above to start both ends of a double header since 1933.

On this day in 2005 Alex Rodriguez became only the second right handed batter in Yankees history, joining Joe DiMaggio, to hit 40 or more home runs in a single season. DiMaggio hit 46 home runs in 1937 which would mark the only time he would reach 40 home runs in his career.