Monday, September 2, 2013

Yankees blow out White Sox 9-1 behind strong pitching

Despite Phil Hughes mysteriously exiting this one after throwing just 1.1 scoreless innings, the Yankees easily beat the White Sox today, 9-1. Now honestly, I have no idea why Hughes left. He didn't appear to be hurt and he definitely wasn't struggling. But really, who cares?

Eight of the Yankees nine runs in this one came in the fourth, when Mark Reynolds had an RBI Single, Austin Romine had a two-run single, Brett Gardner had an RBI Double, Derek Jeter had an RBI Single, Alfonso Soriano had an RBI Double, and two unearned runs scored on a throwing error by Adam Dunn. That inning was a memorable one, and one that could turn out to be much more important down the stretch. But for now, this is just win. The job to make the playoffs is not yet done. 

Thunder Regular-Season Finale at Portland Rained Out

(Portland, ME) - Monday afternoon's scheduled regular-season finale between the Trenton Thunder and Portland Sea Dogs was cancelled due to heavy rains in the area.   It will not be made up, and thus the Thunder's regular season has completed with 141 having been played. 
Trenton finishes the 2013 schedule with a 74-67 record, good enough for a second-place finish in the Eastern Division and a playoff berth for the seventh time in the last nine seasons. The squad won the final three games of the shortened four-game series.
The best-of-five Divisional Round playoff series against Binghamton begins with game one Wednesday night at ARM & HAMMER Park at 7:05 pm. RHP Noah Syndergaard (6-1, 3.00) will start for the Mets, while the Thunder have yet to announce a pitcher.
Tickets are available for Game 1 and Game 2 of the series by going to or by calling the Thunder Box Office beginning Tuesday morning at (609) 394-3300. Radio coverage on 91.3 FM (WTSR) and also streaming online begins at 4:45 pm.
Being posted with permission from the Trenton Thunder organization. The original article can be seen HERE

What the Yankees need now, is pitching!

Sunday was another day and another perfectly good Yankees lead blown by poor pitching. You could probably look to Andy Pettitte to take the blame for one or two of the runs (he left the game with 2 men on and no outs in the 7th) but the bullpen must take the blame for the rest! In the middle of a wild card berth chase, you cannot allow 7 runs in ONE inning!

The Yankees pitching has struggled all season long so far. Pettitte (10-9) and Sabathia (12-11) have been far from their best (as shown by their records). Hiroki Kuroda (11-10) started the season well and was rightly hailed as Hiroki the Hero, but even he has started to slip now (3 losses on the trot and 1-4 in August). Ivan Nova (8-4) has had a decent season and highlighted this on Saturday with a complete game shutout of the Orioles but he cannot carry the pitching staff.

The problem starts with the Yankees fifth starter – Phil Hughes (4-13). He has had a shocking season so far. When was the last time he won a game in 2013? The problem continues when you look to the bullpen. Shawn Kelley and Adam Warren have given up their fair share of runs so far and when coupled with Joba Chamberlain, you do sometimes wonder how the Yankees have maintained a winning record.

Unfortunately, even Mariano has been affected, blowing back to back to back saves for the first time in his career! He and David Robertson are often seen as rays of hope for the Yankees and us as fans when carrying a slim lead into the 8th and 9th innings but they have both shown themselves to be mere humans as well. People have focused on the offense so far this season and how it is lacking the power of last year but if we manage to grind out a few runs and hold a lead, it is not acceptable to have this thrown away by poor pitching. At the moment, I find myself questioning what Joe Girardi is thinking sometimes. He has kept Phil Hughes in the lineup, despite seemingly being concerned by his performance. He moved Hughes to start today (Monday) against Chicago rather than yesterday against the O’s – surely this is just delaying the inevitable poor showing (admittedly, had we won yesterday, we would have gained another game on the O’s). He continues to keep Joba around along with Kelley who have so far proved to be inadequate when it comes to pitching well.

Luckily, help may be at hand. Now the rosters have expanded, the Yankees have more options with Cesar Cabral, Dellin Betances and Brett Marshall in the bullpen. David Huff (who may replace Hughes in the starting roation – hopefully) is also available. If nothing else, having these guys around will provide Girardi with some more options of who to bring in.

I hate to be the prophet of doom here but it is entirely possible that the Yankees pitching will be even worse next season! Pettitte is likely to retire again at the end of 2013 and we already know that Mo is retiring. Despite this not being Pettitte’s best year, he has still produced generally good figures and the worry is, who will replace him? Do we have to keep Hughes in the rotation and bring somebody else up? Similarly, with Mo retiring, I would expect D-Rob to become the Yankees closer, which ultimately leaves space for a setup man and right now, can anybody be trusted to take this role and NOT completely suck? I know we have Michael Pineda on the DL at the moment and he will hopefully be back in 2014 but how good will he be having had a season off?

As John Sterling said earlier in the season when discussing Yankees pitching options – We have Phelps and Pineda but they’re on the DL!

This has been a bad year so far by Yankees standards and if we miss the playoffs, it will be even worse but it is NOT all down to the lack of offense as most people think. The pitchers MUST take their fair share of the blame and Girardi now has to make some tough decisions. The Yankees should not be mediocre, if we can’t score many runs, we should dazzle with the pitching and vice versa. We cannot go on like this and if pitchers such as Hughes are not doing what they should, they should be demoted (at least) whilst we bring up some (potential) talent from the farm. Otherwise, we have to look outside the organisation and try to shed the deadwood.

In the offseason, somebody needs to take a good long look at the Yankees pitching situation and either a) find a magic wand that will make everything better just by giving it a quick wave or b) making some sensible (potentially difficult) decisions about who makes the main roster. I reiterate my previous point – THIS CANNOT CONTINUE

Game Thread: White Sox @ Yankees 9/2

The New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox will be the showcase game on this labor day holiday at Yankees Stadium. The pitching match up will be Phil Hughes for the Yankees and Jose Quintana for the White Sox and the game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on MLB Network, the YES Network, and MLB TV. Phil Hughes has been pushed back to skip the Orioles midst his struggles this season after sporting a 6.46 ERA in August. Jose Quintana is 2-0 in his career against his former employer including one of those victories already at Yankees Stadium.

Here is the Yankees lineup:

1. Gardner CF
2. Jeter SS
3. Cano 2B
4. Soriano LF
5. Rodriguez 3B
6. Wells DH
7. Granderson RF
8. Reynolds 1B
9. Romine C

Follow us on twitter by following @GreedyStripes. Get your Yankees tickets for this game and every game on this 10 game home stand right HERE on The Greedy Pinstripes. Go Yankees!!

Phil Hughes New York Yankees Meme

This could go on for the rest of the season the way this guy is pitching....

New York Yankees Phil Hughes Meme

There's just too many to choose just one...

Minor League Deal Options For 2014: Nelson Cruz

Minor League Deal Options For 2014: Nelson Cruz

Nelson Cruz coming to the New York Yankees as a designated hitter and rotational outfielder is probably pretty unrealistic but hear me out here. Melky Cabrera was having an MVP type season in 2012 before his season ended due to a steroid suspension and still got a two year deal from the Toronto Blue Jays. Granted he has an AAV of $8,000,000 but it's the Blue Jays and they were handing out big contracts to anyone and everyone so I think that contract may be a little bloated, which could unfortunately work against us. Nelson Cruz is now a free agent after missing the final 50 games in 2013 due to his suspension with Biogenesis and is likely to sign a short term deal to try and rebuild his value and prove he can be effective while clean.

 Do you think Cruz would sign a minor league deal to try and rebuild value knowing that the Yankees team is aging and he may get plenty of at bats in the outfield and at DH? Probably not but I can dream, right? I know that there is some team out there that is willing to give him a one year deal with a guaranteed contract but will that team be in the position to go to the World Series? Only time will tell but if I am the Yankees General Manager I call up Cruz on day one of free agency and offer him a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. See you at George Steinbrenner Field Nelson!

Chicago White Sox @ New York Yankees 9/2

The New York Yankees host the Chicago White Sox for the first of a three game set this afternoon in the fourth game of the Yankees 10 game home stand at Yankees Stadium. The Yankees need to keep the momentum going in the right direction as they continue their climb to the top of the wild card standings. The Yankees will send Phil Hughes to the mound on an extra day of rest to face off with former Yankees farm hand Jose Quintana for the White Sox. The game will be televised at 1:05 pm ET on the YES Network, MLB Network, and MLB TV.

We Can't Lean On CC Anymore

On December 11th of 2008 the Yankees and their fans thought they had their ace. That was the day the team signed CC Sabathia to a seven year deal, before tacking on a couple more years after he opted out they gave him an extension. Although few thought he would be the #1 starter through his entire contract, even fewer thought 2013 would go so badly for Sabathia.

We've all made that face quite a bit during CC's starts this season.

Sabathia's 4.91 ERA is higher than it's ever been in his 12+ seasons in Major League Baseball. Hell, it hasn't been at or above 4.00 since his 2005 season with the Cleveland Indians. His WHIP of 1.353 is higher than it's been since 2002, he's given up more hits per nine innings than he ever has, and his home run rate is also at a career-high. In fact, in terms of WAR, CC is the Yankees fourth-best pitcher following Hiroki Kuroda, Andy Pettitte, and Ivan Nova.

All season I've said that Sabathia would figure it out, as he's been too good of a pitcher for too long. But it may be time to accept that he won't ever be the same pitcher again, and the Yankees are going to have to work hard to find a strong top of the rotation starter for next season.

I'm still not ready to call Nova a top-of-the-rotation starter, despite the fact he's failed to throw a quality start in only one of his last 11 starts (not counting the June 29th game against the Orioles, in which he came into the game in the 3rd inning and threw 5.2 innings of two-run ball). Maybe I'm just being stubborn because I talked trash about the guy earlier this year, and I'm not ready to say I was wrong. Maybe it's because I, and others, thought we had a solid starter coming into this season, only for him to have a 6.48 ERA in April, before being sent to the minors less than a month later. Either way, I think it would be dumb to pencil him into the top of the rotation for 2014. At least if it's done without having an eraser handy in case another starter was found.

I've already talked about how the team should try really hard to bring back Kuroda. Although his last three starters have been bad, awful, and slightly less awful, there's no denying that he's been the best pitcher on the team this season. He leads the all starters in WAR, ERA+, WHIP, and K/BB (he's .01 points behind Nova in ERA). I actually said the Yankees should offer him another $2 million raise like they did between 2012 and 2013, while another blogger mentioned that they should give him as much as $20 million.

Whether it's $17 million or $20 million, the Yankees shouldn't stop there, due to the fact that CC Sabathia has gone from exclamation point to question mark. So what free agents, besides Kuroda, are available?

"Well, there's not a lot here."

After being roughed up by the White Sox on August 5th, Andy Pettitte's started five more games to a 1.20 ERA. But being 41 years old, I can't ignore what he did earlier this season, when his ERA was 4.71 after his first 20 starts. There's no way I could trust him as a #3 starter on the team, and it makes no sense to spend around $12 million (his 2013 salary) on a #4 or #5 guy. I love Andy, but this year should be the end of the road.

We've all heard the name "Matt Garza" quite a bit over the past two years, due to him being linked in trade talks with the Yankees. He was finally dealt away from Chicago in mid-July, and went to the Texas Rangers. Although the Bombers could have used a solid starter, going to Texas is a really good thing, as the team can see what the guy can do in the American League, and for a contender. So far he's doing pretty well, having a 4.04 ERA after eight starts. I'm not saying he's a legit #2 starter or higher, at least not yet, but you have to give a guy some time to adjust to a new league. I'll be watching him the rest of the season.

After a disastrous 2012 season, in which he posted career highs in ERA, WHIP, HRs, and Walks, Tim Lincecum has improved. He's not the same pitcher he was from 2008 to 2011, but he's shown signs of once again being a top-of-the-rotation starter. His August 3rd start against the Rays stands out, as he went 7 innings, while giving up just one run on 6 hits. But what he does from here on out could mean the difference between Yankee fans clamoring for him, or Yankee fans wanting to stay away from him like he has the plague itself.

"But I changed my look for New York, as I knew the long hair wouldn't work there."

Ignoring the fact he's always been a National League guy, Ricky Nolasco is having a pretty darn-good season. Before being traded to the Dodgers, Ricky had an ERA of 3.85 in Miami. But since going from a dud of a team to a contender, he's thrown very well. The Dodgers as a whole have to be really pleased with his 6-1 record in his 10 starts, along with a career low mark in hits and homers per nine innings, while maintaining solid strikeout and walk rates. Like Garza, it's great to see him pitching for a contender like the Dodgers, as Yankee fans can see what he can do in a pressure situation. Which he certainly did not have before the trade.

Other than those three names, there are some fairly interesting ones. Ubaldo Jiminez can void the last year on his deal and become a free agent, Scott Kazmir will be available, and Ervin Santana has come back strong after a poor 2012 season. Mind you, those last three probably don't make your mouths water, but they may work in the middle of the rotation.

The bottom line is this... the Yankees should not lean on CC Sabathia to carry the starting rotation any more. Can he be a solid starter? Absolutely. But if the starters look like Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova, Pineda, and ???, I won't feel really good about it. I may not even feel just "good". In order to acquire a top starter to add into that rotation, the team may have to rely on the trade market, which is always an uncertainty, but the fact is more than one move has to be made there.

"As if my job wasn't already going to be really tough this offseason."

Game 137 Lineup: White Sox vs. Yankees (And Another Sept. Call-Up!)

It's a brand new series...let's just forget about yesterday. Here's the lineup

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

Phil Hughes RHP

September Call-Up

-- The Yankees have called up Preston Claiborne from High A Tampa. Joe Girardi said there shouldn't be anymore call-ups September. Aside from Preston Claiborne, don't expect the other call ups to be used. Girardi says they are more here for the experience.

Alex Rodriguez Appeal Starts This Week

Alex Rodriguez and his 211 game suspension and the subsequent appeal starts this week, at least in the preliminary stages. Officials from Major League Baseball and Alex Rodriguez's camp will meet with the arbitrator, Frederic Horowitz, on Wednesday to discuss evidence and possibly set a date for the hearing. The hearing is more than likely going to make or break the Yankees off season depending on when it is held. We are hearing anywhere from November to December for the date when the meeting will be held so it will either be before or after the winter meetings. The sooner the better obviously for the Yankees because the sooner we know how much we have to spend the better.

Charleston's Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Just Short

RiverDogs score two but strand the bases loaded in the ninth, lose 5-4

CHARLESTON, SC - The Charleston RiverDogs scored four runs in the final two innings, but stranded the bases loaded to the end the game and fell 5-4 to the Rome Braves on Sunday evening in South Atlantic League action in front of 5,217 fans at Joseph P. Riley, Jr. Park in the penultimate game of the season.
With the loss, the RiverDogs drop to 35-34 in the second half and 74-63 overall. The Braves improve to 37-32 in second half play and 73-65 overall with the victory.
Rome jumped on Charleston's starter Eric Wooten early scoring three runs on four hits and a hit batter in the top of the first inning.
In the top of the third, the Braves plated another run thanks to a single, a walk, and two errors to push their lead to 4-0.
Wooten finished with a final line of six innings, four runs, three earned, six hits, one walk, and seven strikeouts. He got tagged with the loss to fall to 2-3.
Charleston couldn't get anything going offensively because Lucas Sims was dominant on the mound for the Braves. Sims gave up just five hits and didn't walk anybody in five shutout innings with seven strikeouts. He earned the win to finish his season 12-4.
The RiverDogs' third error of the game and a base hit led to another run for Rome in the top of the eighth to advance their lead to 5-0.
That's when the Dogs finally got the bats going. A single by Jake Cave and a double by Ty Afenir had runners at second and third with out. A wild pitch brought Cave home, then a base hit by Dante Bichette, Jr. scored Afenir to make it a 5-2 contest.
In the ninth inning, Charleston really made it interesting. Danny Oh led the inning off with a walk. Then back-to-back one out singles by Wes Wilson and Fu-Lin Kuo brought Oh across the plate. Jake Cave then got hit by a pitch to load the bases and move the tying to second base. A wild pitch scored Wilson to make it 5-4. Then with the game on the line, Dante Bichette, Jr. flew out to left field to end the game.
John Brebbia tossed the final three innings for Charleston and allowed one unearned run on four hits to finish up his year.
BALLPARK FUN: It was Irish Heritage Night at the ballpark with the Irish National Anthem playing before first pitch, Irish music and dancing before and during the game, and PA announcer Ken Carrington even donned a kilt for the occasion!
COMING UP: The final game of the season is Monday night at 6:05 at Riley Park! Charleston will start RHP Rookie Davis (0-0, 0.00 ERA) and Rome will counter with RHP Wes Parsons (7-7, 2.78 ERA). We will end the night with a fantastic season finale fireworks show! Come out for the last supper featuring $1 hot dogs and $1 draft beers of always smooth Keystone Light. Fans can purchase tickets at, over the phone at 843/723-7241, or in-person at the Riley Park Box Office. Fans may also 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

Happy Labor Day From The Greedy Pinstripes

Labor Day is to give all you hard working people out there a day off to rest and spend some much needed time with the family and I expect to do all that and more today. I did want to take a minute though to wish all of our readers and our fans a Happy Labor Day and I hope everyone has a safe and fruitful day. Go Yankees and paid vacation days!

Wild Card Watch: September 2, 2013

Last night on Twitter I asked my followers if they would prefer that I placed the Wild Card standings on my Twitter account and I got a huge response. All of the answers were yes. So I decided why not do a Wild Card Watch on Yankees Fans Unite as well? That way we can keep tabs on where the Yankees are for the rest of the month, dissecting what the Yankees have to do in order to get the second Wild Card spot. Here was the Wild Card standings from last night, since all the teams that are in the Wild Card race played afternoon games.

BTHeQjaIcAAc33tThe good news is, the Yankees didn't lose any ground for the second Wild Card spot. The Tampa Bay Rays lost so the Yankees are still 3.5 in the race. The bad news (for now) is that Baltimore and Cleveland leapfrogged over the Yankees for the other two spots. Now, the reason I say it was bad news for now is because a brand new series means brand new teams play against one another. Yankees will host the Chicago White Sox for three games and the Cleveland Indians will host--the Baltimore Orioles. The Yankees have a chance to once again leapfrog over Baltimore and Cleveland since one of those teams in the Wild Card race would have to lose the games and the series. Now, the White Sox are no pushovers for the Yankees since they have Jose Quintana, Chris Sale and Hector Santiago going in that series, but the Yankees have a slightly different team and the offense clicked as of late. What will happen on Labor Day? Hopefully the Yankees labor their way to a victory, then hold their breath to hope either Baltimore or Cleveland lose the game, then hold their breath and hope the Rays lose their game. Yankees can't fall backwards. It's only going forwards from here. Come back to the blog tomorrow for another Wild Card Watch.

Yankees give up 7 in seventh, fall to Orioles 7-3

Despite 6 innings of two-run ball from Andy Pettitte, the Yankees bullpen was not able to hold down the fort Sunday as they fell to the Orioles, 7-3, failing to complete what would've been a very big three game sweep. Now winning 2/3 is still nice, but this loss was really tough. For a while, I had it mentally locked in that the Yankees had won this one. But as always, the game's not over 'til it's over. I guess the bullpen learned that the hard way. 

The Yankees three runs in this one came on a single from Soriano, a walk from Gardner, and a sac fly from Jeter. Those runs should've been enough, but they weren't. And I'm pretty mad because of it. 

This Day In New York Yankees History 9/2

On this day in 1996 David Cone comes back from a major aneurysm surgery in his throwing arm to throw seven no hit innings. The Yankees would beat Oakland 5-0 in this game with Yankees closer Mariano Rivera giving up a hit in the 8th inning.

On this day in 2001 for the first time in major league history four teams beat opponents 1-0 on the same day when the Yankees beat the Red Sox, The Padres beat the Diamondbacks, the Astros beat the Brewers, and the Blue Jays beat the Tigers all by the same score.

On that same day in 2001 was when Carl Everett singled to left with two outs against Mike Mussina in Fenway Park ruining his perfect game bid in the 9th inning. Moose was one strike away from perfection before the lazy single.