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You are currently viewing archive for May 2008.

Posted by: Patrick
We got behind in a hurry in this one, thanks to a for run first inning by the Twins offense. Their quick lead was aided by some poor defense and only two of those runs were earned. Hideki Matsui drove in Bobby Abreu in the top of the first. Exiting the inning, the Yankees were down 4-1.

At this point, some are thinking "here we go, we'll be lucky if Moose pitches 4." But, as he has done often this year, Mussina came through, pitching six solid innings. Those four runs would be all he would allow and he would throw a total of 109 pitches - 73 for strikes. After that rocky first, he allowed two hits in the final five, while walking no one and striking out three.

The Yankees chipped away at the deficit bit by bit. A-Rod drove in Abreu in the third to cut the Twins' lead to two. In the fourth, Melky hit a two RBI single, scoring Cano and Duncan, to tie it up. And then the team took the lead back when A-Rod doubled in Bobby Abreu to make the score 5-4, Yankees.

An insurance run was added in the seventh when Hideki Matsui singled in - who else? - Bobby Abreu for his fourth run of the day.

Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez worked together to clear the seven inning, holding the Twins scoreless. Kyle Farnsworth entered to start the eighth, looking to protect a two run lead. He allowed a homer and it was 6-5, Yankees, by the time he was done.

Mariano came in, in the ninth, to pitch his fourth inning in as many days. Mike Lamb grounded out and Brendan Harris walked. Carlos Gomez and Craig Monroe struck out, back to back, to end the game. It was Mariano's 13 save and his ERA is now down to 0.38 - and he's 38 years old!

Offensively, the Yankees were raining hits down on the Twins, but struggled to get anyone to score. The Yankees had 16 hits, 3 walks and one batter hit by a pitch. The Twins had 7 hits and 3 walks. And, yet, the Yankees managed to only score one more run than them. Wilson Betemit and Jason Giambi each left six runners on base.

Every lineup starter collected a hit in this one, except for Derek Jeter (0 for 5) and Shelley Duncan (0 for 1, 1 run, 1 walk - pinch hit for by Wilson Betemit in the fifth). Four Yankees collected three hits each. They were Bobby Abreu (3 for 4, two triples, 4 runs, 1 walk, 1 stolen base), Alex Rodriguez (3 for 4, two doubles, two RBIs), Hideki Matsui (3 for 4, 2 RBIs, 1 walk) and Melky Cabrera (3 for 4, 2 RBIs).

The other Yankee starters were Jason Giambi (1 for 5), Robinson Cano (1 for 4, 1 run) and Jose Molina (2 for 3).

Tonight at 7:10 PM ET, the series continues with Chien-Ming Wang (6-2, 3.82) going against Boof Bonser (2-6, 6.16). From those numbers, this could be a good chance to get above .500.
Posted by: Patrick
For this year's MLB draft, in honor of the Negro Leagues, each team will draft a Negro Leagues player who did not have the opportunity to play in the Majors. The Yankees will select Emilio "Millito" Navarro. From the official site:

As part of the recognition of the Negro Leagues' history, the Yankees plan to "draft" Emilio "Millito" Navarro, a slick-fielding infielder who was considered an excellent hitter and was the first Puerto Rican to play in the Negro Leagues.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Joba will start on Tuesday - the first game at Yankee Stadium that I am going to in about 13 years and the second one ever. Wow. Talk about luck! Pettitte will now start Monday and the rotation will be Wang, Rasner, Pettitte, Joba and Moose.
Posted by: Patrick
John Nalbone reports:

Thunder right fielder Jose Tabata was yanked from tonight's game against visiting New Hampshire in the fifth inning for unspecified disciplinary reasons.

The story has more details, but they wouldn't say what happened. Manager Tony Franklin left the door open to further discipline.
Posted by: Patrick
From Jayson Stark:

The Kei Market: Kei Igawa isn't quite as buried on that Yankees' depth chart as Carl Pavano, but it's close. And he's already homesick. We've heard from two different baseball men recently that Igawa asked the Yankees over the winter if there was any way he could return to Japan. The Yankees quietly explored their options, got nowhere and gave up. They're still on the hook for nearly $11 million to Igawa through the 2010 season.

Via Brent Nycz.
Posted by: Seamus
If you can't win a game when your three pitchers are Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera, then you're in big trouble. The Yankees were able to salvage the final game of their three-game set with the Orioles with a 4-2 victory in what was in all likelihood the last game you'll ever see that combination of pitchers being used in one game. The Yankees remain 6 games behind the Rays for the division lead, as Tampa Bay won over Texas, and a loss by the Red Sox pulled the Yanks to within 4.5 games of the wild card.

This one differed greatly from the 9-homer slugfest we saw the night before, as there were only two home runs hit in this one, including Jason Giambi's 11th. The game was back and forth until the Yankees went ahead for good in the 5th via a sac fly by Derek Jeter that brought in Melky Cabrera. The Yankees added an insurance run in the 8th with an infield single by Johnny Damon.

Andy Pettitte gave a pretty impressive outing, as he allowed just two runs in 6 and 2/3 innings. He did allow eight hits, but at least he avoided his 4th inning collapse, which has become the norm for him over the last month or so. After losing four consecutive decisions, he's now won his last two.

Joe Girardi was hoping to get Joba Chamberlain into this game for three or maybe even four innings and have him throw somewhere between 55 and 60 pitches in what could have been his last relief appearance. However, because of Pettitte's good outing and because the game was still too close for comfort heading into the 9th, he got only an inning and a third and just 28 pitches. The Yankees brought Mariano Rivera into the game to close the game out, and Joba got in the rest of his work in the bullpen.

The Yankees have the day off today and will head to Minnesota to begin a four-game series with the Twins tomorrow night. Mike Mussina will take the mound for the Yankees and will face Glen Perkins, who has been pretty impressive in the four games he's started for the Twins this season (2-1, 2.77). The game will start at 8:10 E.T. and will be carried on My9 here in New York.
Posted by: Patrick has a great interview with Bob Sheppard.

BS: ... he put me in the hospital where they gave me special treatment and surgery and since that time I went from 103 to 127 and a half as of last week. So I was gaining about 2 pounds a week under this doctor and his recommendation about a diet. According to the doctor, when I reach, “my fighting weight” about 145-150, he will allow me to go back to Yankee Stadium and finish the season. So my target date to be back is July 1. There is an All Star Game to be played at Yankee Stadium on July 15th and one of my goals is to be there and announce it. I did one years and years ago at Yankee Stadium but I can’t recall it. So now this would be something to remember. I do want to be there next year when we open a new Stadium. And I’d like to be the one who says, “Good Afternoon Ladies and Gentlemen…Welcome to the NEW…Yankee Stadium.”

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Chris Britton is back again, stepping in for the injured Ian Kennedy. How long will he stay?
Posted by: Patrick
On Tuesday night (and into Wednesday morning), the Yankees and Orioles had a slug fest that featured nine home runs, where the Yankees gained - and subsequently lost - the lead at three different points of the game.

The first time came in the second inning, where the Yankees scored 4 runs to make it 4-0, Bombers. All four runs came on homers - a solo shot by Jason Giambi and a three run home run by Johnny Damon, scoring Wilson Betemit and Robinson Cano.

But, the Orioles answered right back in the bottom half of the second, off of starter Ian Kennedy. They took him deep twice for three of the runs. The fourth was unearned, thanks to a throwing error by A-Rod.

The Yankees grabbed the lead again in the fourth, thanks to another four spot. An RBI single by Jeter, scored Damon. And then back to back jacks by Bobby Abreu and A-Rod scored three more, including Jeter. 8-4, Yankees.

Kennedy pitched a scoreless third inning, but was removing after completing it, due to a strained right lat muscle. He'll be heading to the DL.

Replacing Kennedy was Ross Ohlendorf. After a scoreless fourth, Ross gave all four runs right back to the Orioles on three homers in the bottom of the fifth. Melvin Mora, Luke Scott and Kevin Millar connected to tie it up at 8.

After retiring the first batter in the sixth, Edwar Ramirez relieved Ohlendorf. Though he allowed 3 hits over his 1 and 1/3 innings, he walked no one and kept the game tied, giving way to Kyle Farnsworth with two outs in the seventh. With Kevin Millar at second, Ramon Hernandez singled to right. Abreu gunned Millar down at the plate, though it looked like he may have been safe. Farnsworth navigated his way through a scoreless eighth.

With rain pouring down in the top of the 9th, 2 out and Jonnny Damon on second, the O's intentionally walked A-Rod. He and Damon proceeded to steal both of the bases ahead of them, leaving runners at second and third with Hideki Matsui. Joe Girardi came out and plead with the umps to stop the game, but they declined. Matsui lined out to end the threat.

The umps did delay the game after Matsui was out, however, for 67 minutes. When the game returned (and after I went to bed), Mariano entered to pitch the bottom of the ninth. He made quick work of the heart of the Orioles' order, retiring Nick Markakis, Aubrey Huff and Luke Scott, to send the game into extras.

After the Yankees offense logged their sixth consecutive scoreless frame, Mo came back out to pitch the bottom of the tenth. He got into a little more trouble this time around, but came through unscathed: ground out, double, strike out, walk, fly out.

Finally, in the top of the eleventh, we have a break through. Johnny Damon walked and Jeter reached on a bunt single. Both Damon and Jeter advanced a base thanks to a throwing error by Melvin Mora. Bobby Abreu was intentionally walked to load the bases for A-Rod. Sounds good, right? Uh... say hello to the worst possible outcome (outside of a triple play, of course).

A-Rod manages to hit into a 4-2-5 double play. Brian Roberts fields A-Rod's ground ball, throws home to catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who forces out Damon, and then throws over to Melvin Mora at third base to force Jeter. We go from bases loaded, no outs with our clean up hitter up - to first and second, 2 outs and no runs scored. Ouch.

Hideki Matsui would get another chance with a runner in scoring position and two outs. He came through - singling in Abreu to give the Yankees the lead.

Heading into the bottom of the 11th, Mariano had thrown 31 pitches and was no relieved by LaTroy Hawkins. Starters and Joba withheld, the only other option was Jose Veras. Hawkins would only retire one batter. It went like this: single, fly out, run scoring double with runner advancing to third on throw, intentional walk, intentional walk to load bases and, finally, walk off single. Hawkins gets tagged with both a blown save and a loss and his ERA moves up to 6.75.

Every Yankee, except for Jose Molina, got a hit in this game with Johnny Damon leading the way, going 4 for 5 with 2 doubles, a home run, 2 runs, 3 RBIs, a walk and stolen base. Jeter was 2 for 5 with a run, 2 RBI and a stolen base. Abreu was 2 for 4 with a home run, 2 runs, 2 RBIs and 2 walks. A-Rod was 1 for 5 with a home run, run, RBI and stolen base. Matsui was 1 for 6 with an RBI. Giambi was 2 for 6 with a double, home run, run and RBI. Betemit was 2 for 5 with a run. Cano was 1 for 5 with 1 run. Finally, Molina was 0 for 5.

Tonight, at 7:05 PM ET, we'll have Andy Pettitte (4-5, 4.27) going against Jeremy Guthrie (2-5, 3.62).
Posted by: Patrick
Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees have signed Ben Broussard to a minor league deal.

Broussard, who has spent most of his career at first base, is a life time .263/.324/.450 hitter. This year, for Texas, he's struggled big time - hitting .159 with a .225 OBA and .268 SLG.
Posted by: James
Given this team's offense (yes, I know they beat up on the Mariners...but come on, it was the Mariners!), something has to be done about the Duncan/Ensberg situation. They are redundant. Duncan has options, so I guess you send him down if you really want to keep Ensberg on the roster.

Still, Duncan's also looked better at the plate lately (at the very least better than Ensberg lately; .161/.257/.161/.418 in May ain't cutting it) so it's an interesting decision to make. Still, it has to be made because I really think that adding Brett Gardner to this team isn't a bad idea. The kid can run, play defense and hopefully spark this it could give the heavily slumping Melky some time off to get his head together.

Update: Ha! Looks liked Greg already beat me to this question!
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that the Yankees hope to pitch Joba on Wednesday. They'll be looking for him to throw 50-55 pitches. Pettitte has the start, but his time won't be cut short to get Joba in the game. So, that means that Joba may not pitch Wednesday. It all depends on how Pettitte does.
Posted by: Patrick
Wilson Betemit is back with the club and, to make room, Alberto Gonzalez has been optioned back down to the minors, where he'll be able to play every day.
Posted by: James
A heart-felt thank you to all the men and women of our Armed Forces. It's not just a 3-day weekend; it's a time for us to remember, reflect and honor those who have given their all in service to their country. Thank you. We are eternally grateful.
Posted by: James
Heck of a game yesterday...Of course, without the furious rally in the bottom of the 8th, I would be in a far worse mood this morning.

Anyway, quick recap before I get to grilling! Chien-Ming Wang clearly did not have his good stuff going yesterday (or as the TBS announcers called it, his strikeout stuff...though I don't remember getting the memo that Wanger had became a strikeout pitcher...). Wang gave up a solo shot to Ichiro (who really looks like he would like to be somewhere else) in the third, 2 more runs in the fourth and finally 2 more in the 7th before he left the game in the 7th. Edwar Ramirez came on and you have to give the kid credit. One man on, one out and he gets Raul Ibanez and Adrian Beltre to fly out to end the inning and staunch the damage. He then came back out for the 8th and pitched around a couple of singles to keep the Mariners at 5. At the time, it didn't seem like much but it set the stage for the Yankees to be able to rally.

The Yankees had scored runs in the third and fifth to go into the bottom of the eighth down 5-2. They did have some chances earlier in the game but some very good defense on the part of Adrian Beltre saved a run or at least longer innings. Still, with the score 5-2, the Yankees lead off with a Derek Jeter walk. Arthur Rhodes came in and promptly gave up a RBI double to Bobby Abreu before giving way to J.J. Putz (I love this guy's name). Putz walked A-Rod to put men on first and second before striking out the mustachioed Jason Giambi. Godzilla came up as a pinch hitter and hit a squibber that Putz had to came off the mound to field and in doing so, lost his footing, did a face plant and ended up tossing the ball pretty much into the dugout. On that play, Abreu scored (5-4) and A-Rod moved to third. Robbie Cano stepped up to the plate and golfed a low pitch out to deep center to score A-Rod with the winning run and on a very heads-up play, allowed Matsui to tag and head to second. Up stepped the much maligned (for his hitting this year) Jose Molina who DRILLED the first pitch he saw to deep right center. When I was watching it, I really thought that ball should have been caught...but Ichiro and Balentin didn't track it very well and it fell in for a double and Matsui scored the go-ahead run.

At that point, Enter Sandman...(which is tough on Rock Band...but I always pretend I'm playing it at the Stadium) and a goround and 2Ks later, the game was over and the Yankees had hit .500 again.

Of course, while the Yankees were sweeping the Mariners, the Rays moved ahead of the Red Sox Sunday with a sweep of the Orioles while Boston was being swept by Oakland. Ladies and gentlemen, your first place
Posted by: Patrick
I've only been to Yankee Stadium once in my life. July 17, 1995. I was 10 and it was great. But, I've never had the opportunity to get back again.

With this being the final season at the current park, my family and I are making the trip up and will be attending the June 3 game against the Blue Jays. I'm definitely excited and looking forward to it. The only thing that is a little disappointing is that Posada is out and it looked like he was going to miss that game.

But, now comes reports that he's hoping to return for that day. That'd be great. I don't want him to rush and hurt himself further just so he plays on that day, but if that's when he ends up coming back, it would be cool.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees won their 4th straight contest Saturday as the offense continued to demolish Mariners pitching. The Yanks won by a score of 12-6 and after scoring just 22 runs between May 10 and May 20, the Yankees have now scored 25 runs in two games, and 35 runs in their last four games. A near perfect game by Justin Duchscherer against the Red Sox brought the Yankees to within 5.5 of the division lead.

The Yankees jumped ahead in the bottom of the 2nd with a three-run homer by Jason Giambi. Giambi raised his average to .234 with a 3-4 afternoon. A base hit by Melky Cabrera that scored Robinson Cano later in the 2nd put the Yanks up by a score of 4-0.

Mike Mussina gave it right back in the 3rd, however, as Jose Vidro put one out with 2 runners on to bring the Mariners within a run, and Adrian Beltre tied it just two batters later with a home run of his own. Mussina settled down, though, and aside from that one inning, pitched a pretty decent game. He did leave the game after 5 innings, but it was enough to grab the win as he left with his team ahead 5-4. Mussina to this date is the only Yankee starter with a decision in every game he's pitched this season.

Joba Chamberlain entered the game in the 6th inning as part of his "inning stretching process" en route to him eventually moving into the rotation. Joe Girardi planned to have him throw 50 pitches and ideally would have had him pitch three innings, but a long 7th inning on the offensive side caused Girardi to call it a day on Chamberlain after two innings and 40 pitches. Chamberlain got out of both innings without any damage.

Bobby Abreu homered in the 6th to put the Yankees up 7-4 and the game was blown open in the 7th with a 5-run inning, highlighted by a bases-loaded, ground rule double by Abreu over the centerfield wall.

Kyle Farnsworth struggled a bit in the 8th as he gave up two runs, but Jose Veras closed out the game with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Yanks and Mariners will close out this series this afternoon, as the Yankees go for the sweep and try go go 6-0 against Seattle this season. Chien-Ming Wang will take the mound for the Yankees and will face Jarod Washburn, who has struggled quite a bit this season (2-6, 6.99). Game starts at 1:05 E.T.
Posted by: Patrick
The pitching match up featured two solid lefties, Andy Pettitte (3-5, 4.42 ERA) and Erik Bedard (3-2, 3.24), but it ended up being a pretty lopsided affair: Yankees 13, Mariners 2.

The Mariners managed to score first, thanks to a Yuniesky Betancourt RBI single in the top of the second. But, the Yankees struck right back, with Shelley Duncan homering for the first time this season. It was a three run shot that scored Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui.

The Mariners picked another run up in the top of the third. And the Yankees scored two more of their own in the bottom of the fourth. Those runs were both driven in by a suddenly hot Robinson Cano, who doubled in the same duo that scored earlier - Giambi and Matsui. After four, the score was 5-2, Yankees leading.

The fifth inning would be the last time either team scored, but the Yankees definitely made it count, putting up an 8 spot on Bedard, Sean Green and R.A. Dickey. Let's run through the play by play.

Derek Jeter is hit by a pitch. Bobby Abreu singles, moving Jeter to third. A-Rod grounds into fielder's choice, Jeter is thrown out at home for the first out, Rodriguez moves to second and Abreu moves to third. Matsui singles, scoring A-Rod (first run) and Matsui (second). Giambi singles, moving Matsui to second. Green enters the game for the Mariners.

Shelley Duncan strikes out for the second out. Here's where it gets fun. Cano single, scoring Matsui and moving Giambi to third. Cano advances on the throw in. Chad Moeller singles, scoring Giambi and Cano. Melky singles, moving Moeller to second. Jeter walks to load the bases. Abreu singles, scoring Moeller and Cabrera and moving Jeter to third. Dickey enters for the Mariners.

A-Rod singles, scoring Jeter and moving Abreu to second. Finally, Matsui grounds into a fielder's choice with Abreu being thrown out at third. Stats for the fifth: 13 plate appearances, 8 hits (all singles), 1 walk, 1 hit batsmen and 8 runs.

After that explosion, both teams managed to combine for 2 hits over the final 3 and 1/2 innings. For the Yanks, Pettitte went six innings, allowing 2 earned runs on 8 hits, 9 strikeouts and 0 walks. LaTroy Hawkins pitched 2 scoreless innings, with 1 hit and 1 strikeout. Don't look now, but Hawkins ERA is nearing respectable levels. At 11.17 on April 23, it's now down to a season low of 5.09. Finally, Edwar Ramirez closed the game out - with 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in the ninth.

The Yankees offense finished with 13 runs, 13 hits, 5 walks and 1 hit batsmen. Jeter was 0 for 2 with 1 walks and 1 run, Abreu was 2 for 5 with 1 run and 2 RBIs, A-Rod was 1 for 4 with 1 run and 1 RBI, Matsui was 3 for 5 with 3 runs and 2 RBIs, Giambi was 2 for 3 with a double, 3 runs, 2 RBIs and 2 walks, Duncan was 1 for 4 with 1 home run, 3 RBIs and 1 walk, Cano was 2 for 4 with a double, 1 run, 3 RBIs and 1 walk, Moeller was 1 for 5 with 1 run and 2 RBIs and Melky was 1 for 4 with 1 run.

Tomorrow we'll have Moose (6-4, 4.11 ERA) on short rest against Carlos Silva (3-3, 4.91) at 1:05 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
From Jack Curry:

Ortiz will have the opportunity to be like Babe because of a Call Your Shot promotion that is part of the home run derby. The fan who wins the online contest will choose a spot where he believes Ortiz can smash a homer. Then Ortiz has one swing, one dramatic swing, to do it.

But the Yankees do not seem as if they want Ortiz to take that swing. The Yankees were upset about the plans involving Ortiz and said they were unaware of the promotion until a reporter contacted them Thursday night. The Yankees were discussing the matter internally and planning to contact Major League Baseball for an explanation.
Posted by: Patrick
Girardi has been suspended for one game due to last night's fireworks. He will serve immediately and will miss tonight's game.

"I think if you feel there's an extenuating circumstance you can appeal it, but because of cameras and photos, the dirt clearly goes on his shoe. But that was not my intent," Girardi said. "You're not allowed to make contact with them, so maybe that's considered contact."

"I think the culture of life has changed. You know, I think respect has always been a huge thing in our world, but I think people tend to think that other people are disrespecting them more than it really happens, and I think that has become a big part of our society," he said.
Posted by: Patrick
Updating a previous story, the Post reports that Wang will be pushed back a day, from Saturday to Sunday, thanks to his calf. Moose will pitch on three days rest after only throwing 41 pitches in his last start.
Posted by: Patrick
LaTroy Hawkins has been suspended for three games for throwing up and in on Tuesday. As expected, he has appealed.
Posted by: James
Well, that was an entertaining...but nerve-racking game to watch. Long and short of it, the Yankees won 2-1 on a walk-off single in the bottom of the ninth off the bat of Robbie Cano. We'll get to that in a second though.

The bigger story of the night was probably the pitching of IPK, or rather the results of it. He threw 6 innings of one-run ball, giving up four hits and four walks while striking out four. Those walks scare me but let's be serious, this was easily the best start of the season for him. Still, while he worked his way out of a few jams (getting key Ks when he needed them), one or two more hits would have made this a much different outcome for Kennedy. David Pinto over at Baseball Musings makes a point that Kennedy might simply have been lucky last night...and I'm not inclined to disagree. Really, I don't want to be THAT guy, you know who I'm talking about - always negative about everything...but while there was a lot to be happy about, you gotta still be worried what happens if he pulls the same 4 walk performance...and some of those hard hit outs start falling in.

In any case, IPK held the Orioles to one run over 6 while Orioles starter Brian Burres did the same over 7. Veras (who was simply sick with his pitches last night - 95 mph heater followed by good placement of a 80 mph curve), Farnsworth & Mariano each pitched a shutout inning before the fireworks started in the bottom of the ninth.

Hideki started off the inning with a sharp single before A-Rod struck out and Jason Giambi "struck out on a foul pitch". I put that in quotes because Giambi took a pitch that the home plate ump ruled had hit his bat...and Joe Girardi respectfully disagreed.

If Joe was trying to fire up the team or rattle the pitcher, it worked. Jim Johnson walked pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu on 5 pitches before giving up a single to Robbie Cano that plated Matsui with the winning run. 2-1 Yankees win.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees got yet another good start from Darrell Rasner and the Yankees finally got some offense going as they ended a 4-game slide with an 8-0 victory over the Orioles. It was an interesting night to say the least, with a home run taken away from A-Rod and an announcement after the game by Joe Girardi that Joba will soon be moving into the rotation.

The Yankees' bats FINALLY woke up as they scored over 4 runs for the first time since May 10. Their 8 runs matched their run total for the previous three games combined. Everybody contributed, as the only Yankee starters without a hit were Jeter and Matsui, who I'd say are entitled to an off night every now and then. Alex Rodriguez homered in his second consecutive game since coming back from the DL, and would have had two had an umpire not made a wrong call on a ball that bounced off the yellow stairway in right field beyond the wall and back onto the field.

Darrell Rasner continues to be a rock for this rotation, as he gave up only 5 hits and a walk in seven shutout innings, and picked up the win (3-0, 1.89). He threw 61 of his 95 pitches for strikes and has allowed only two walks in the four games he's started this season. I know he's only pitched four games so far, but in the three weeks he's been here, you'd be hardpressed to find anybody who's pitched as well as he has.

Of course we can't forget the announcement by Joe Girardi shortly after the game that he has "begun the process" of turning Joba Chamberlain into a starting pitcher. He said that for now he's going to start extending Joba's innings in the bullpen so he can build up some stamina and be ready to move into the rotation at a time that has not yet been announed by the team (I'm guessing after the All-Star break). Chamberlain threw 35 pitches in two shutout innings to close out the game for the Yanks.

It's good to see the Yankees win a game like this, and by that I mean it's a game where we don't have to think "Well, we won the game, but this went wrong." I know this Baltimore team has surprised some people, but let's face it, the Yankees should beat them. No disrespect meant to them and the Mariners, but the next 7 games present a great opportunity for the Yankees to get right back in this thing if they play their "A" game.

The Yankees will look to get their first series victory since May 2-4 against Seattle (why are the Mariners making two trips here in a month?), as the Orioles will send Brian Burres to the mound to face Ian Kennedy, who will be looking for his first win (let's pretend it's not May 22). Game starts at 7:05.
Posted by: Patrick
Many, many times. After allowing Joba to throw two inning in what was essentially garbage time, Joe Girardi told Kim Jones, "the process has started." The process through which Joba Chamberlain will be converted from reliever to starter.

From Bryan Hoch:

Chamberlain will still continue to see duty in the late innings, but now it may come at different times. For example, when his pitch count bumps to 50, he could pitch innings six through eight; right now, he could pitch the seventh and eighth or, as he did Wednesday, the eighth and ninth. ...

Though the club has not ruled out a Minor League assignment at some point, Chamberlain said he'd like to feel his way out in the big leagues.

I like it. We had been reading reports for a while now, suggesting that Joba would need an extended trip to the minors to make the conversion. But, him making it at the Major League level is better. After all, 2-5 innings of a converting Joba is better than 2-5 innings from most of our other pitchers.
Posted by: Patrick
From the official site:

Wang made a precautionary hospital trip on Wednesday afternoon after a bit of irritation in his right leg became marked with discoloration. An MRI determined that he had a mild strain of his calf, though Wang does not expect to miss a start.

"I'm going to be fine," he said.
Posted by: Patrick
Posted by: Patrick
Mike Mussina has been great this year, given all of the surrounding factors. However, on Tuesday, he turned in a real clunker of a performance. He lasted just 2 outs and threw 42 pitches. He walked 2 guys and allowed 5 hits. He allowed 7 runs but only 1 of them was earned. How is that possible? Well...

To start the game, he walked Brian Roberts. Following this, he got a ground out that moved Roberts to second. And then a strike out. So, two outs, runner on second - no score. Train wreck time: the next seven batters would all reach base. Single scoring one run. Single. Runner safe on throwing error by Derek Jeter (this is why the runs are unearned). Jeter makes the play, inning over. At the same time, you don't have to allow the next 4 batters to reach base just because Jeter makes an error, either.

Bases loaded walk. Double, scoring three runs. Single (batter advances to second thanks to the throw in), scoring a run. Wild pitch, allowing runner to advance to third. Triple, scoring a run. And that was the end of Moose's day. Ross Ohlendorf came in and got the first batter he faced to ground out to end the bloodbath.

In the second, the Orioles added two more runs. Both of them were unearned, thanks to a Johnny Damon error, committed with two outs. Both the Jeter and Damon errors were on balls off the bat of the same player - Luke Scott. Kevin Millar took Ohlendorf deep for the Orioles tenth run of the game. Ohlendorf worked 3 and 1/3, allowing 3 runs (1 earned), 2 walks and 3 strikeouts.

So, yeah, A-Rod returned. He drove in all of the runs that we scored in this one, thanks to a two run home run in the sixth inning, scoring Bobby Abreu. He was 1 for 3 on the night.

Orioles pitcher Daniel Cabrera hit Jeter with a pitch in the third and he was taken out of the game. It was 93 miles per hour and hit the captain in the hand. X-rays afterward revealed no damage - he's day to day with a bruised hand.

Bobby Abreu (2 for 4, 1 run), Jason Giambi (2 for 3), Johnny Damon (1 for 4) and Hideki Matsui (1 for 4) were the other Yankees that collected hits. As a team, the offense walked a total of zero times. So, 7 hits, 0 walks and 1 hit batter. The team runners left on base was only 4 - because there wasn't all that many runners. The bottom 3 hitters - Cano, Melky and Molina - were particularly brutal, going 0 for 9 in all.

LaTroy Hawkins pitched a very effective 1 and 2/3 innings, retiring every batter he faced until Luke Scott came to the plate. He threw up and in - the ball was going for Scott's head and he ducked - and Hawkins was ejected (video). Hawkins said that he expects to be disciplined by Major League Baseball, based upon Kyle Farnsworth's recent suspension.

Edwar Ramirez came in after the Hawkins ejection and, after a walk and single, got out of the inning without any runs crossing the plate. Ramirez pitched a scoreless seventh, as well. Jose Veras took a turn in the eighth. He struck out the first hitter he saw, walked the next and struck out the next. Unfortunately, with two outs, Luke Scott homered. Veras retired the next batter to get out of the inning.

Mariano, who hadn't pitched since May 14, came in and got some work. He allowed a single, followed by a grounder's choice that cut that runner off at second. And then Luis Hernandez lined a ball back at Mo, which he caught and threw to first to double off the runner.

The Yankees are 20-25 and dead last in the AL East, 7.5 games back of the division leading Red Sox. Tonight at 7:05 PM, Darrell Rasner (2-0, 3.00) will make third start of 2008 against Garrett Olson (3-0, 3.47).
Posted by: Patrick
Th ongoing saga of Chris Britton took an expected turn today as he was optioned once more. This time, it was to make room for A-Rod.
Posted by: Patrick
From Newsday:

Keith Olbermann reported on MSNBC's "Countdown" Monday night that the worker, Gino Castignoli, has told friends he also buried a scorecard from the 2004 American League Championship Series, in which the Red Sox famously recovered from a three-games-to-none deficit to beat the Yankees for the pennant.

Via Ben.
Posted by: Patrick
From The Sports Business Journal:

With the deal ending, sources said that the Yankees originally tried to sell Nike a signage package, but that Nike was more interested in other rights. Consequently, Nike’s deal with the Yankees is short on branding and long on marketing. Nike will be able to increase the amount of team apparel it already sells as an MLB licensee and it will have a store-within-store shop at the new stadium. It will also run local marketing campaigns, grassroots initiatives, and outfit Yankee coaches and minor leaguers with cleats and other performance wear.

Via Ben via Maury Brown.
Posted by: James
A hearty congrats to Jon Lester. The Red Sox lefthander threw a no-hitter at Fenway last night against the Kansas City Royals...which is increasingly impressive when you remember that Lester, only 24, is a cancer survivor (as is Mike Lowell). He may pitch for a rival but his feat is still impressive so way to go, Jon.
Posted by: Seamus
Andy Pettitte imploded in the 4th inning once again, and Kyle Farnsworth reverted to his old ways as the Yankees dropped the opener of what is now a two-game set with the Mets by a score of 7-4. The game was loaded with bad breaks and fundamental mistakes, which is something you can't afford when you are as injury-ridden as the Yankees are right now.

Johan Santana was NOT the reason for the Yankees' undoing in his Saturday afternoon affair, as the Yankees belted three homers off of him, including a pretty impressive shot to left by Derek Jeter in the 1st to put the Yankees ahead 2-0. Santana did settle down a bit in the later innings, but ended up with a rather ordinary line of 4 runs on 7 hits in 7 and 2/3.

Andy Pettitte actually was the better pitcher in this game, but lost his control and caught some bad breaks in the 4th. He wasn't shelled the way he was in the 4th inning of his last start in Tampa Bay, but he did allow three runs, one coming via a bases loaded walk and another on an excruciatingly painful-to-watch slow roller halfway down the third base line that just never rolled foul. Pettitte did recover and pitched two more scoreless innings, but the three-run 4th was enough for him to suffer his 5th loss.

Kyle Farnsworth's E.R.A. rose by 1.20 runs after his disaster of a 7th inning, in which he gave up a solo home run to Jose Reyes, and then a two-run shot by David Wright after walking Ryan Church. Those three runs would be the difference in the game, as Morgan Ensberg struck out in the 9th as the tying run to end the game.

This game could have been a lot different, but the Yankees were really over-agressive on the basepaths and let a few balls get away that could have (probably should have) been caught. Derek Jeter got a little greedy trying to stretch a gap-single into a double, and his slide ended about 3 feet premature of 2nd base. Bobby Meachem (who seems to have been making a habit of this) sent Damon on a similarly hit ball by Jeter from 3rd with nobody out, and as you could see the ball being thrown from right field in the background, I was PRAYING that Damon would be held up. Damon was sent and was sent and was blocked off the plate and called out. Then, on a foul pop-up to the third base side by Carlos Delgado, Alberto Gonzalez leans into the stands AND....the ball lands on the dirt, about 10 feet from the wall. Oops.

The Yankees and Mets will conclude this shortened series tonight at 8:05. ESPN will be carrying the game as Chien-Ming Wang takes on Oliver Perez.
Posted by: Patrick
The New York Post has an except from Bobby Murcer's upcoming book, Yankee for Life: My 40-Year Journey in Pinstripes.

"HEY, Carm," Yogi yelled over his shoulder to his beloved Carmen. "It's Mel on the phone. He wants to know if we've heard anything about Bobby's autopsy down in Houston."

"Biopsy, Yogi!" Carmen shrieked in the background. "Biopsy! Bobby went to Houston to have a biopsy, not an autopsy!"
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham has the story.

“I’m with a new team now,” he told reporters in California on Friday night. “Joe Girardi is a coach for the All-Star Game, and deservedly so. They usually take the local city’s managers as coaches. Besides, I’m not sure that if I got a call, I would say yes. Going over there at this point in time, I may serve as more of a distraction.”
Posted by: Patrick
One time Yankee Dock Ellis is in pretty bad shape, according to the Post.

... Since being diagnosed the day after Thanksgiving, Ellis has deteriorated rapidly. He spends most of his days lying in bed or on the couch of his Apple Valley, Calif. home. He no longer can drive and the disease has wiped him out.

"He's fatigued at all times and he's lost his appetite," Ellis' wife of 23 years, Hjordis, said. "I've watched my husband lose over 60 pounds since November. He has very serious bouts of delusion. He's very emotional and he cries a lot. That's something I never thought I'd see."

The article goes on to say that Ellis doesn't have insurance. But, friends of Ellis have stepped up and are helping him. Those friends include David Reich (the son of Ellis' former agent), the Baseball Assistance Team (including Joe Morgan and Jim Martin) and the Yankees, as it is stated that Randy Levine has told Ellis that the team will help. Ellis is hoping to get on a liver transplant list soon.

Our thoughts are with them.
Posted by: Patrick
Thanks to last night's rain out, Darrell Rasner's turn in the rotation will be skipped and Andy Pettitte will pitch tonight against Johan Santana, Peter Abraham reports. He'll be followed by Wang on Sunday and Moose on Tuesday. Rasner will go on Wednesday with Kennedy throwing Thursday. The Yankees are off on Monday.

Mark Hale reports that Rasner may get a little time out of the pen, according to the Rasner and Joe Girardi.
Posted by: Patrick
The opener of the Subway Series tonight was postponed due to rain. Peter Abraham says that the game will "almost certainly be part of a two-stadium doubleheader on June 27, 28 or 29."
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that A.L. All-Star Manager Terry Francona has selected Joe Girardi as one of his coaches for this year's All-Star Game.
Posted by: James
I waited to post this recap until I had a chance to go through the game myself. By now, everyone knows the outcome; 5-2 Rays win. Well, here's how it went down and I have some thoughts afterward.

The Yankees were behind early as IPK gave up a leadoff homer to Akinori Iwamura on his 4th pitch of the game. It didn't get a heck of a lot better as the game went on either. It looked like Kennedy would settle down as he got into the third without any trouble. However, in the third, he filled the bases with no out (single, HBP. walk). In what could be interpreted as a good sign, he did battle through the inning (sac fly to shallow left, ground out, K) to give up only one run (which really was the fault of Johnny Damon's arm...or lack thereof). The same happy thoughts can't be derived from the rest of the game though as with 2 out in the 4th, IPK gave up a double Eric Hinske and then a 2 run HR to Shawn Riggans. He gave up another run in the 5th as the Rays played small ball to get a run home off of a leadoff double by Iwamura and that was the game for Kennedy as Girardi went to the pen.

As for the Yankees offense, they were able to scratch out 2 runs off of Gary Glover in the 7th but overall, did very little with the opportunities that they got off of Scott Kazmir.

Now, following this start, there is quite of bit of talk on how to look at this start from Kennedy. Ben over at RAB has a very good post on dissecting what Kennedy showed yesterday as does Steve Lombardi over at WasWatching. As for me, well, my thoughts tend to be between the two points. Was he as agressive as last year? No. Was he more agressive than his earlier starts this year? Certainly. I believe in Kennedy and I think that he will eventually succeed. However, I am not blind to the situation that Girardi and Cashman find themselves in...and it is not one where rookie pitchers are allowed to post 9 ERAs and continually lose games. I believe he will turn it around...and for his sake, I hope that it is sooner rather than later.

By the by, read through the comments in both posts. There are some interesting comments on Kennedy though at times they do seem a bit shrill. I think people forget how to be civil and rationally consider another person's viewpoint. Nevertheless, there are some good points in there so check it out.
Posted by: Patrick
Sir Ian is back... and the Yankees needed to make room. So, they've opted to send Kei Igawa back down to the minors after just one start.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that A-Rod is on track for a Tuesday return after being cleared for rehab this afternoon.

... He will go through a light workout Friday and would play third base on Saturday at the Yankees' Minor League complex, logging four to five at-bats.

The Yankees do not have an extended Spring Training game on Sunday, so Rodriguez would simulate that action before playing in one more game on Monday -- a final test before his possible activation on Tuesday vs. Baltimore.
Posted by: Seamus
Mike Mussina has been caught in quite a few pitchers' duels so far this season, and surprisingly enough to some, he's been the one outdueling the other starter more often than not. Mussina put together another good start Wednesday night as the Yankees won in Tampa Bay by a score of 2-1, snapping their two game losing streak and pulling to within 3.5 games of the Rays for first place. The win by the Yankees also snapped a six game winning streak by Tampa Bay.

This game was all about the pitching as Mike Mussina put together yet another impressive start, giving up only a run on 5 hits in 6 and 1/3. Ross Ohlendorf, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera (11th save in 11 tries) combined for 2 and 2/3 scoreless innings to close the game out. The bullpen has NOT been a problem for the Yankees this year, as they are currently third in the American League in bullpen E.R.A.

The Yankees couldn't muster much offense themselves, even against the one Rays pitcher who hasn't been able to solve the Yanks throughout his career (0-4, 8.58), as James Shields coughed up only 2 runs in 7 and 1/3. Robinson Cano was the one bright spot, however, as he went 4-4, and as James mentioned, finally got out of the interstate. Fortunately for the Yanks, his RBI single in the 4th and an RBI double by Bobby Abreu in the 5th was all the offense the Yankees needed.

The Yankees will close out this four-game set a little early today (4:10 E.T.), as it is a travel day for both teams, which brings up this question I have: I thought this weekend was supposed to be "rivalry weekend" as far as interleague play goes, so why are the Rays playing the Cardinals? Oh well...anyway, Ian Kennedy will be making his return to the big leagues today and will be facing Scott Kazmir as the Yankees try to salvage a split in this series.
Posted by: James
Robbie hits the .200 barrier first. For the last week, it looked like Giambi would get there first (heading into tonight at .194) but tonight's 0-for-3 (with a walk) drops him back to .188 while Robbie has gone 3-for-3 (so far) to put him at .200 (give or take).

Hey, with the way the Yankees offense has been hitting, I'll take any accomplishment (however small it is).

Update: Make that 4-for-4! .205 now...woo-hoo!
Posted by: Patrick
It's awfully hard to win games when you only score 1 run in 11 innings. The Yankees offense was held to a whisper thanks to Rays' pitchers Edwin Jackson (4.04 ERA coming in, 7 innings pitched tonight), Dan Wheeler (1.35, 1), Troy Percival (1.93, 1) and J.P. Howell (2.88, 2). Pitchers throwing the ball well right now, no doubt, but you have to get some runs across. In the odd circumstance where the Yankees actually had runners in scoring position (like the 6th when Jeter tripled with 1 out), they'd strand them (Abreu followed that Jeter triple with a ground out to shortstop - just about the worst thing he could do - and then Matsui popped out). If Matsui didn't homer in the top of the 9th, this game would have been over after 9, most likely.

Instead, it went into extras with with the Yankees going 1-2-3 and Mariano pitching a scoreless 10th. Another 1-2-3 in the top of the 11th (though, not the traditional 1-2-3: line out, walk, double play) for the offense brought Mo back out for his second inning. And that's where it all ended. Cliff Floyd led off with a single and Johnny Gomes pinch ran for him. Gomes proceded to steal second, helped by a poor throw from Jose Molina. And then Gabe Cross singled in him. Game over. Yankees lose, 2-1. Mo's consecutive streak over - 14 games and 15 innings without allowing a run to start the season.

If anything pains me as a Yankees fan, more so than simply losing, it's seeing Mo lose. Just because we're so accustomed to him closing games out. So, during the odd times when he blows one, it's such a let down. But, it was bound to happen and it'll happen again. Awesome run to start the season for Rivera, though. He still hasn't walked anyone. 15 games, 16 innings, 0-1, 10 saves, 0 blown saves, 9 hits, 13 strikeouts, 0.56 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, .164 BAA.

Chien-Ming Wang started this one and logged yet another great game, allowing just 1 earned run over 7 innings. He struck out 2 and walked 3. Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless 8th and Kyle Farnsworth did the same in the 9th. The way our starting pitching has been, it stings to waste Wang starts.

The Yankees offense put together 6 hits and 3 walks. Giambi had a good day: 2 for 2 with 2 walks. The other Yankees to collect hits were Damon (1 for 5), Jeter (1 for 5, 1 triple), Matsui (1 for 5, 1 home run) and Melky (1 for 4). The 7-9 hitters (Cano, Gonzalez, Duncan, Ensberg and Molina) combined to go 0 for 12... with not even a walk between them.

We'll get another chance at the Rays, tonight at 7:10 PM ET. Mike Mussina (5-3, 4.36 ERA) will face James Shields (4-2, 3.14).
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that the Yankees will not give Kei Igawa his planned two starts, opting to cut him off at one and send him to the bullpen.

Ian Kennedy will be recalled on Thursday and will pitch that day against the Devil Rays.

Girardi said Igawa's current situation reminded him some of former Yankees reliever Ramiro Mendoza, but said that Igawa's future with New York would not necessarily be in relief.

"I see him as a starter more than anything," Girardi said. "That's just my opinion. I think the investment was for him to be a starter, and I think for the organization ... we'll probably try to continue to work on that at some point."
Posted by: Patrick
The Yankees had hoped that A-Rod would return in the lineup on the day he was eligible to come off the disabled list, which is Thursday. Unfortunately, his injury has not healed as quickly as they would have liked. The earliest he'll be returning is May 20.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees struggled offensively due to a good pitching performance by Matt Garza, and Andy Pettitte had a really rough 4th inning as the Rays took the opener of this four-game set by a score of 7-1. A loss by the Red Sox keeps the Yankees back by just 4 games in the A.L. East, but another loss tonight in Tampa Bay could have the Yankees chasing the Rays for first, as they moved to within only a half game of Boston with last night's victory.

Tough to say if the Yankees' offense was just bad or if Matt Garza was just really that good last night. I would say it had more to do with the latter as even guys with hot hands, such as Matsui (0-3, 3 K), couldn't get anything going. Garza pitched 7 shutout innings, allowing only 5 hits. The Yankees' lone run came via an RBI ground out by Johnny Damon against Gary Glover in the 8th.

Andy Pettitte was good through the first three innings, but imploded in the 4th as the Rays batted around and scored 4 runs, knocking him out of the game in the process. The bullpen did a nice job, as Chris Britton, Jose Veras, and Edwar Ramirez allowed a combined two runs in five innings, although Veras did allow four hits in an inning and 2/3.

The sad thing about last night's game is that the whole game from the 5th inning on was just garbage time. The game was over. There's just something about this team where if they get down by four or five runs they just concede the game. It's like they have to be ahead by the 6th inning in order for us to feel like they even have a chance of winning a game. It's very frustrating.

And on a totally unrelated side note, why can't the Yankees get this kind of pitching? Fausto Carmona and Cliff Lee BOTH threw 9 shutout innings (Lee's was actually in a losing effort) in back-to-back games of a doubleheader. Yeesh.

Well, anyway, the Yankees and Chien-Ming Wang will try to bounce back tonight as Wang tries to recover from his first loss and the Yankees for the six billionth time try to get back to the .500 mark. Edwin Jackson will be on the mound for the Rays. Game starts at 7:10 E.T.
Posted by: James
Today's game was washed with the Yankee rotation machinations, it looks like (schedule certainly subject to change) Kei Igawa's next start won't actually happen.

I assume that all the starters (Pettitte, Wang & Moose) essentially will get pushed back a day, Kei Igawa’s start on Wednesday will be skipped and Darrell Rasner would be handed the ball to pitch on regular rest...but who knows what could happen between now and then.

That being said, I, for one, am happy knowing that Igawa's next start will be delayed, even if only for a little while.

Update: Very astute comment from Ben K. noting that the Scranton/W-B game was also postponed and that IPK's scheduled start will be pushed back a day (consequently, he wouldn’t be ready to pitch on Friday).
Posted by: Patrick
Steve Serby has a good Q&A with Derek Jeter, covering a myriad of topics - on and off the field.
Posted by: James
Darrell Rasner coming through again. 6 solid innings with 2 runs given up. Can you ask for more than that? Well, then you're just being greedy.

The Yankees got on the board first with a solo shot from Derek Jeter (his first of the year as and Fox kept reminding us throughout the day) and added a second run in the inning with a bases-loaded walk from Melky Cabrera before a Cano double play ended the inning.

Rasner gave one back in the bottom of the first on a solo HR but settled in after that, giving up only 3 more hits and a walk the rest of the way.

The Yankees scored again in the fourth when with 2 outs, Cano worked a walk and came around to score on a LONG double to center off the bat off Wilson Betimit. Unfortunately, when legging out the double, Betimit, who JUST came back from an injury and was swinging a hot bat, pulled up lame and had to be taken out of the game. Later, it was revealed that Wilson strained his hammy and will be placed on the DL and replaced on the roster by Alberto Gonzalez. Very unfortunate as Wilson was getting into a groove and really provided some much needed offense in place of Morgan Ensberg.

The Yanks knocked Bonderman (who seems like he's been in the league forever but is still only 25...and still very inconsistent) out of the game in the fifth. He gave up a single to Jeter who was plated on a double by Bobby Abreu and that was all for Bonderman. Bobby Seay came in and was greeted with a Jason Giambi double that scored Abreu to make the game 5-1.

The Tigers would threaten in the 7th when Magglio Ordonez singled to start off the inning and chased Rasner from the game. On a side note, it seems as if the Yankee staff know something that we don't. Take a look at Rasner's MLB game long. People forget that he gave up some very good starts (just like this year) LAST year. In those starts, his pitch limit seems to be ~80 pitch area and that trend has definitely continued this year as well. Kyle Farnsworth then came into the game and looked like he was about to blow it when he gave up a single to Miguel Cabrera and a RBI double to Gary Sheffield. At that point, the score was 5-2 with men on second and third with no one out...and miraculously enough, Farnsworth got out of it without any further damage. After that, it was Joba and Mo time and as usual they came through and the game was back to .500 it is.
Posted by: James
These announcers have been something else today...

They've gotten the number of outs in the inning wrong, they've called A-Rod "Pudge", mispronounced Derek Jeter's last name...but this takes the cake. They started talking about Joba and to illustrate, they cut to a shot of the Yankee bullpen and focus in on...Chris Britton. You might think I am being harsh...but a couple seconds later, they came back to the same shot and said, "and there you see Joba Chamberlain..." Awesome.

Come on guys, I know you're national announcers and all but this kids been on magazines, newspapers, ESPN and commercials.
Posted by: Patrick
Unfortunately, Jonathan Albaladejo's elbow injury, during yesterday's game, has forced the Yankees to place the reliever on the 15-day disabled list. Albaladejo described the feeling as a "pain similar to a needle in the bone part of his right elbow." He'll have an MRI on Monday.

In his place, Chris Britton has been called up. For those keep tracking at home, here is how Britton's season has gone (from the Yankees transactions page and Peter Abraham):

March 23: Optioned to Triple-A.
April 25: Recalled from Triple-A.
April 29: Optioned to Triple-A.
April 30: Recalled from Triple-A.
May 9: Optioned to Triple-A.
May 10: Recalled from Triple-A.

He has managed to pitch well, though. In the minors, he's 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 innings over 8 games. In the majors, he's pitched in just 1 game, where he pitched 2.2 innings, didn't receive a decision and allowed no runs. Between New York and Scranton, he's 2-1 in 13.2 innings over 9 games with a 1.98 ERA.

In related news, Sean Henn has been claimed by the Padres.
Posted by: Patrick
Kei Igawa's first Major League start of 2008 was, in a word, ugh-tastic. The lefty lasted only 3 innings, allowing 11 hits and 6 earned runs. He didn't walk anyone, but he didn't strike out anyone, either. He left the game in the 4th, down 6-1, with runners on first and second with no outs.

It means absolutely nothing, but it's a shame the game couldn't just start at this point. Jon Albaladejo came in and immediately threw his body on top of the grenade. Somehow, his stomach defused the threat, thanks to a double play and a strike out. Six runs is all that the Tigers would end up with in this game as the bullpen was lights out.

Albaladejo allowed 2 hits and 1 walk over 2 and 1/3 innings pitched, allowing no runs. However, his stint ended badly when hye left the game due to an elbow injury. He was in obvious pain. Argh. Hopefully, he's alright. LaTroy Hawkins threw 1 and 2/3 innings of hitless baseball and Edwar threw an inning of that variety, as well. Bullpen total: 5 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts and 0 earned runs.

Thanks to the ninth inning, the Yankees offense had an OK game overall. But, you would hope for more than five runs over nine innings when facing the trio of Kenny Rogers (6.27 ERA coming in), Zach Miner (9.33) and Todd Jones (2.77). And Todd Jones was the one that they scored a majority of their runs off of.

They scored one in the second thanks to a Jason Giambi solo shot. In the seventh, Chad Moeller singled in Robinson Cano to make it 6-2, Yankees.

The Yankees put together a nice rally in the ninth, but it came up just short. To start the inning, Wilson Betemit doubled to left and then took third on a wild pitch. Robinson Cano grounded out to shortstop, scoring Betemit. Johnny Damon provided a pinch hit single and then advanced to second on a wild pitch (Todd Jones was apparently having some trouble). Melky Cabrera grounded out for the second out of the inning, moving Damon to third.

With two outs, the Captain singled to left, scoring Damon. He took second on fielder's indifference before Bobby Abreu doubled him home to cut the deficit to one. The Tigers elected to walk the 0 for 4 (but red hot coming in) Hideki Matsui to put runners at first and second for Shelley Duncan. Shelley could not keep the rally going, flying out to center to end the game. Yankees lose, 6-5, and drop 1 game below .500.

There were some encouraging signs in this one from Jason Giambi, Wilson Betemit and Robinson Cano. Giambi and Betemit, of course, have been mired in big time slumps. Giambi was 2 for 4 with 1 solo home run. In his last three games, he's 4 for 10 with 3 runs, 1 double, 2 home runs, 5 RBIs and 1 walk. Cano was also 2 for 4, to go along with a double, 1 run and an RBI. Over his last five games, he's 7 for 19 with 4 runs, 1 double, 2 home runs and 4 RBIs. Betemit who, to be fair, hasn't seen much action this year due to injury, was 2 for 4, as well. One of those hits was a double and he scored a run. In his three games since leaving the DL, he is 4 for 11 with 2 runs, 1 double, 1 home run and 1 RBI. Hopefully, this trio has turned the corner - especially Giambi and Cano.

Tomorrow, Darrell Rasner (1-0, 3.00) will make his second start of the season, against Jeremy Bonderman (2-3, 4.17).

05/09: Ugh-tastic

Posted by: James
Or is it Ig-tastic?

Here's the line. 3 innings (and he pitched to 4 guys in the 4th, allowing 2 to score and leaving 2 men on), 11 hits, 6 ERs. On the positive side, he did throw 41 of 64 pitches for that's a nice foundation to build off of, I guess? Just painful, painful to watch...ugh ^ infinity.

Still, anyone surprised at this? Anyone at all? No? Me neither.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that Major League Baseball has reduced Kyle Farnsworth's suspension from 3 games to 1. That's a pretty noteworthy reduction, I'd have to say. Given that Kyle doesn't tend to pitch on back to back days, anyway, it shouldn't have any impact.
Posted by: Patrick
What should we talk about? The Joba fist pump? Hmm... no, I think I'll take a pass on that one. Let's talk about David Wells. Mike Puma at the Post spoke with David Wells and Hank Steinbrenner about a potential return to the Yankees. Yes, you read that right. That's Yankeeland!

Hank tells Puma that he saw Wells on TV and he was thinking about it at that point. He notes that Wells hasn't come up in any conversations but, "you never know." He also said that Wells will always be a Yankee to him. Wells won't always be a Yankee to me. To me, he'll be a Blue Jay, Tiger, Red, Oriole, White Sock, Padre, Red Sock and Dodger. And, I'd harbor a guess, the reason that he's played 11 different stints on 8 different teams in 21 seasons is because he wears out his welcome.

"I'm in shape, I'd just have to fine-tune a couple of things," Wells told the Post. "I'd need a little bit of time, but not much. Physically I feel fine, real good."

Anyone remember the last game he pitched for the Yankees? Game 5 of the 2003 World Series. He pitched 1 inning and then left because of back spasms. A three headed monster of Jose Contreras, Chris Hammond and Jeff Nelson pitched the final 7, allowing 6 earned runs in a 6-4 Yankees loss. After the game, we heard of his rubber arm, but we also heard that he wasn't working out between starts like he should have been. The team needed him and he failed to answer the call. People are human and it happens to everyone more often than not. But, what stings is when you don't put it a full effort and fail. Then, people question you. After that series, as a Yankees fan, I did not want Wells to return. And he didn't.

Later in the article, Wells is quoted as saying: "New York has always been the favorite of all my stops. When I got traded, I was bitter. When they didn't re-sign me, I was bitter, but I know that wasn't the Yankees, everything was Joe Torre. I wasn't one of his boys. I don't think he liked the way I lived my life or that I spoke my mind."

Yeah, that's what it was. Joe Torre. Look, Joe Torre may not have been perfect (and no one is), but I'm getting a little tired of him being trotted out as an excuse by players who had plenty of their own issues. (Really, these comments shouldn't mean much when you consider, in comparison, the people who have good things to say. But, I know some people latch onto these sorts of remarks, no matter the source).

Let's review. Farnsworth stunk because of Joe Torre. Sheffield and Lofton were dumped because Joe Torre is a racist. Buddy Groom stunk because of Joe Torre. David Wells was traded and not resigned because of Joe Torre. Wells not being resigned couldn't have anything to do with that playoff game above, could it? How about the book he wrote in the offseason that proved to be a distraction when he used it as a platform to criticism teammates Mike Mussina and Roger Clemens? No, nothing to do with it. David Wells was a model citizen and the Yankees had no reason to not bring them back after 2003.

It's probably clear, but I don't want him back. I don't want him back on the basis of performance. His last good season was 2004. When you throw in the personal issues, I really don't want him back. If he didn't like Joe Torre and Mel Stottlemyre... how's he going to like Joe Girardi and Dave Eiland?
Posted by: James
Another good game from Moose and some key hits from the sleeping bats of Giambi and Cano were enough to beat the Indians and put smiles back on the faces of the team and Joe Girardi. I guess that averting a sweep is cause for mirth...but the Yankees are still at .500, just finished up a 4-5 homestand and going up against another tough team.

Mussina was matched up against a potent Indians lineup and opposed on the hill by Paul Byrd and was up to the task.

The Yankees scored first in the bottom of the fourth when Johnny Damon led off the inning with a home run to right. Later in the inning and with two outs, Hideki Matsui singled (extending his hitting streak to 17 games) to bring up Jason Giambi who homered on the first pitch he saw to give New York a 3-0 lead.

Cleveland stormed back in the fifth to tie the game when Mussina hit Ben Franciso with a pitch and Franklin Gutierrez followed with a single. Casey Blakes scored them both with an RBI double and was then plated on a Kelly Shoppach single before Mussina got out of the inning. He threw 34 pitches in the fifth and came out of the game after the inning. Gassed after 86 pitches through 5; I wonder if it's the innings or the amount of pitches that we should now be working with as the limit of what Moose can give us.

In any case, the tie didn't last long as the Yankees took the lead for good in the bottom of the fifth when Robbie Cano lead off the inning with a double. A line out and ground out put Cano at third with two out before Johnny Damon doubled him home for a 2-out RBI.

THe Yankees scored again in the 7th when Cano homered off of Byrd, which ended his day. Masa Kobayashi came into the game and Wilson Betemit greeted him with a long home run to center. 6-3, Yankees.

THe Yankee bullpen shut down the Indians the rest of the way. Ohlendorf (who has pitched quite a bit better of late) came in for two solid innings while Joba and Mo were their usual selves and the Yankees climbed back to .500 (and Cano and Giambi continued their pursuit of .200).
Posted by: Seamus
Jeez, how lights out can a pitcher be? After last night's 3-0 victory for the Inidians over the Yankees, Cliff Lee is now 6-0 with a miniscule E.R.A. of 0.81. We might have to sprinkle some kryptonite on the mound next time he pitches at the Stadium. Lee shutout the Yankees, allowing 6 hits through 7 innings. It was the third time the Yankees were shutout this season.

The unfortunate thing here is that Chien-Ming Wang, who suffered his first loss in the game, gave a performance that was comparable to Lee's. He allowed less hits but did allow three walks (Lee didn't walk any) and the runs he allowed were via two singles and a sac fly. If Wang pitches like this every game, the Yankees will win 80% of the time.

Obviously there is no offense to really talk about on the part of the Yankees. Damon, Jeter, and Molina went hitless. The only Yankee with more than one hit was Bobby Abreu. One of the few positives was that Hideki Matsui did extend his hitting streak to 16 games.

Well, first the Yankees would win two games in a row, lose two, win two and then lose two again. Now we are talking about alternating sweeps, as they were swept at home by Detroit, swept Seattle and are on the verge of being swept at the Stadium by the Indians. The Yankees will try to avoid that in a matinee affair at 1:05 E.T. as Mike Mussina will take the mound to face Paul Byrd.
Posted by: Patrick
Anthony Rieber reports that Kei Igawa will start Friday and will get at least two starts, according to manager Joe Girardi.

Igawa has not pitched in the majors since September 25 of last year, when he held the Devil Rays scoreless over 5 innings.
Posted by: Patrick
Usually, when your offense scored 3 runs in 5 innings, that wouldn't be looked at as great. But, when the pitcher you are facing is the Indians' young star, Fausto Carmona, it looks pretty good. Coming into the game, Carmona was 3-1 with a 2.60 ERA.

The Yankees made him pitch, leading to five walks. They also collected six hits in the five innings of work. He threw 95 pitches before exiting the game, down 3-2.

Andy Pettitte outpitched Carmona in this one, going 6.1 innings and allowing 2 earned runs on 5 hits and 1 walk. Kyle Farnsworth pitched the final two outs of the seventh. Guess what time it is? JoMo time!

Unfortunately, it didn't go as we are now used to it going. Joba didn't have it. Call it rust, call it whatever... he was called to do a job and he's human. It was bound to happen and it's going to happen. Anyway, it went like this: walk, sacrifice of runner to second, walk, fly out, pitch hit home run and strike out.

Of course, he almost got out of it as that home run came with two outs. It came off the bat of former Yankee David Dellucci. And, just like that, the Yankees went from a 3-2 lead to a 5-3 deficit.

Even though the offense got Carmona out after just five, they struggled with the bullpen, collecting just 2 hits and 1 walk over the final four frames. The collective of Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis and Rafael Betancourt kept the bats quiet. Jose Veras pitched a 1-2-3 ninth for the Yanks.

Hideki Matsui is hot. He went 3 for 3, extending his hit streak to 15 games, scored a run and walked. He's hitting .342. Jeter was 1 for 4 with a run and a walk, Abreu was 0 for 3 with 2 walks, Giambi was 1 for 4 with 1 run, 2 RBIs and a walk, Cano was 1 for 4 with an RBI, Betemit was 1 for 4 in his return and Molina was 1 for 4 with a walk.

Tonight, at 7:05 PM ET, we'll have quite a pitching matchup. It'll be Chien-Ming Wang (6-0, 3.00 ERA) going against Cliff Lee (5-0, 0.96 ERA). Conventional wisdom would tell us there won't be many runs scored in this one. So, that means it'll be an offensive blow out! Yankees 15, Indians 14. (Kidding).
Posted by: Patrick
Peter Abraham reports that Wilson Betemit is back with the team and starting at third in tonight's game. To make room, Alberto Gonzalez was optioned.
Posted by: Patrick
Today marks three years of We launched on May 5, 2005 (05/05/05).

In light of this occasion, I wanted to take a moment to thank James and Seamus for their support and contributions as well as others that have blogged with us and everyone that visits, supports and links to I (and we) appreciate it.

Thank you.
Posted by: James
Funny thing. I mentioned something about Jason just yesterday and here comes Steve with a little more insight.

In his last 204 Plate Appearances of 2007, Jason Giambi produced the following BA/OBP/SLG line: .192/.333/.389.

In his first 104 Plate Appearances of 2008, Jason Giambi has produced the following BA/OBP/SLG line: .150/.317/.375.

Yes, yes, selective endpoints but hey, for the sake of a "complete" look, let's just take a gander at the beginning of 06 until now. 334 ABs, .216/.346/.419/.765...which isn't horrible (unless you get that production from your DH/1B who is supposed to be providing some pop...oh right).

Does this mean he's completely washed up? I dunno - I think the guy has one more good streak in him...probably one more Giambino month before he's completely toast...but the last few games, well, they haven't been encouraging.

In any case, if he has a resurgence, I know when it will happen though...whenever Girardi puts Jason back in the 7 hole is when he will take off. Crazy talk, you say? Well, it happened earlier this year...and when did Giambi start slumping again? When he started batting 5th. Coincidence? Yeah, definitely...but it's still amusing to me. Just look at those splits - .323/.488/.871/1.359 as the #7 hitter, 2 for 49 (that's an .041 average!) anywhere else! Get that man in the 7 hole!
Posted by: James
Woo hoo for Darrell Rasner. He did what Phil Hughes and IPK failed to accomplish, i.e. pick up a win for the Yankees. He was the main story of the day, starting out shaky, giving up a 2-run HR to Adrian Beltre in the first before settling down to go 6 solid frames.

The Yankee offense broke out the brooms by breaking out the bats in the 3rd. It was actually the first time this season that the Yankees have scored more than 5 runs in an inning. Carlos Silva was doing pretty well before Johnny Damon, Jeter, Abreu singled to make the score 2-1. Hideki Matsui followed up with a double that plated Jeter to tie the game before a sac fly from Giambi gave the Yanks the lead. The came the resident Yankees slugger Melky Cabrera who cleared the bases with his team-leading 6th HR to make the score 5-2. Robbie Cano then launched a HR in the next AB (you should have seen the smile on the kid's face) to end the scoring for the inning but the damage was done.

The Yanks scored another 2 runs in the 4th on a single from Damon, a double from Jeter and after a Abreu groundout, a Matsui single. The top of the line-up really did their job today and hopefully they can keep it up. A string of victories to get the Yankees well past .500? Yeah, that would be nice.

The Yankee bullpen closed out the game as Ross, Farnsworth and Mo all pitched a scoreless inning. It was a good win for the Yankees on a great day for baseball as they head into the off-day.
Posted by: Patrick
In order to make room for Darrell Rasner, Ian Kennedy was demoted. Joe Girardi says that Kei Igawa is the "leading candidate" to replace him in the rotation. At least, for now.
Posted by: Seamus
Mike Mussina has spent the last 15 days silencing critics, and gave us a gem Saturday afternoon as the Yankees got back to the .500 mark with a 6-1 victory over the Mariners. Mussina allowed only a run on seven hits in 6 innings and recorded his 3rd straight victory.

Not only was the pitching good, but the Yankee lineup DESTROYED Mariners' ace Felix Hernandez. They knocked him around to the tune of six runs on 12 hits in 5 and 2/3. Johnny Damon was the star of the show, with two doubles and a two-run homer. Derek Jeter also had three hits, and Matsui, Abreu and Cabrera had two apiece. The only hitless Yanks were the usual suspects, as Robinson Cano, Jason Giambi and Morgan Ensberg put up goose eggs.

The Yankees will go for the sweep this afternoon at 1:05 E.T. as Darrell Rasner will be making his 2008 debut against Carlos Silva. Silva is off to a great start this season, as he is 3-0 with a 2.79 E.R.A. in six starts.
Posted by: James
He's had 26 PA against lefties this year and hasn't gotten a hit yet. Yep, he's worked 5 walks and gotten hit 3 times...but no hits. That works out to a lovely line of 000/.296/.000/.296...AWESOME.

For anyone interested, he's hitting .214/.333/.536/.869 versus righties...and that's with a .152 BABIP (which is astounding) so maybe there's a hot streak coming down the pipleline at some point? The Yankees could sorely use it. Still, you gotta wonder, since you know his option isn't getting picked up, how long of a leash does Giambi get? You figure that the brass will eventually figure that they can do something more productive with his roster spot. the Yankee world turns...
Posted by: James
Mike Ashmore, of the great Thunder Thoughts blog, finished a great Q&A recently and if any prospect watchers haven't checked it out, I would def. recommend it. Mike interviews Trenton Thunder pitching coach Scott Aldred on each pitcher on the starting staff. It's a nice way to get a first-hand look from someone who works with each player on a regular basis. There are interviews on Chase Wright, Daniel McCutchen, Jason Jones, Phil Coke, and lastly, George Kontos.

Here are some highlights:

Chase Wright:
SA: “Chase is a great pitch guy, (we’re) really working on getting his breaking ball serviceable so it becomes a Major League pitch for him. The other stuff’s there, the sink on the ball. Changeup, split. We’re just working breaking ball right now.

Daniel McCutchen:
SA: “Breaking ball command. The spin and break is there. Power changeup. Commands his fastball pretty good, should improve. Some delivery issues, minimal. Really learning how to command the breaking ball instead of overthrowing it.”

Phil Coke:
SA: “Coke, work with his breaking ball. He’s kind of like Chase Wright a little bit. Changeup’s there, his fastball command, even though you haven’t seen it yet, is pretty good. It just hasn’t shown up yet. But we’re just working on spin and break with his breaking ball. Making it quality so he’s able to handle left handed hitters at a higher level.”

George Kontos:
SA: “George has some delivery issues that we’re trying to work on so he can be consistent with all three of his pitches. Four, actually. He throws curveball, though you don’t hardly see it in games. Once that’s resolved, you’re going to see a different George Kontos. He’s got a plus slider, the changeup’s coming, both fastballs. He’s got a real nice arm and a bright future. We just have to make sure we’re hammering this delivery issue right now. Get it resolved and then move on.”

Go check out the full interviews if you get a sec.
Posted by: James
I know that everyone is hating on the Yankees pitching and yes, for good reason...but let's not just throw the pitchers under the bus. In my mind, it's the offense that's just as big a problem. I mean, let's be serious - this was an offense that people were talking about getting 1,000 runs from. Well, that's not gonna happen when you are batting .254/.325/.403 as a team. Do you know what Yankees starters hit collectively last year? .293/.369/.469/.838. What're they hitting so far this year? .255/.326/.402/.728. Yes, I know about the injuries and the slow starts and all that but come on, if you're gonna rip on the team, be accurate; both the pitching and the hitting has not performed to expectations this year.

That being said, and yes, I know it's way too early, but despite all of the many bad turns, the Yankees are still 3 games out of a playoff, there's still hope here. Don't step onto that ledge just yet.
Posted by: Patrick
Taiwan's number one son and sweetheart to all the ladies, Yankees ace Chien-Ming Wang, improved to 6-0 with a 90 pitch, 6 inning, 1 earned run performance against the Mariners on Friday night.

Wang's opponent, Erik Bedard, was pretty good himself, but was hurt by his team's poor defense.The Mariners committed 4 errors during the game, leading to 2 unearned runs. Those runs came early, with the first coming in the bottom of the first inning when, after a Melky Cabrera fly out, Derek Jeter reached on an error by the shortstop, Yuniesky Betancourt. Bobby Abreu proceeded to single Jeter over to second. After a Shelley Duncan strikeout, Hideki Matsui made them pay with an RBI single.

In the bottom of the second, Morgan Ensberg led the inning off by reaching on an error by third baseman Adrian Beltre. Jose Molina struck out, but Alberto Gonzalez singled, moving Ensberg over to third. Melky Cabrera drove both of them in with a double, making it 3-0, Yankees.

Wang held the Mariner bats silent through five, but in the sixth, Ichiro Suzuki led off with a single. And then he stole second. After a strikeout, he stole third. Raul Ibanez grounded out, scoring Suzuki. And then Wang retired Beltre to end the inning. At the time, the score was 3-1, and that would be all for Wang.

Kyle Farnsworth entered the 7th and - wait for it - pitched a 1-2-3 inning! Including two strikeouts, even. Joba had a relatively easy time in the 8th, retiring every batter he faced except for the pesky Suzuki, who stole yet another base.

The Yankees were able to get some insurance runs in the 8th where they collected 3 singles, a walk and a sac fly to put two more on the board. 5-1, Yankees, heading into the final frame.

Mariano was summoned to protect the 4 run lead and, well, you can't do much better than a 1-2-3 inning, right? That's exactly what he did. No save for him, but his ERA remains at 0.00.

Incredible pitching and defense from the Yanks tonight as Wang, Farnsworth, Joba and Mo combined for a 4 hitter, walking just 2 and striking out 8.

Tomorrow, at 1:05 PM ET, Mike Mussina (3-3, 4.73), coming off two good outings, will face Felix Hernandez (2-1, 2.22 ERA).
Posted by: Patrick
From Ronald Blum:

The good news was the New York Yankees catcher didn’t need an operation now. The bad news was that he will be sidelined for at least five weeks.

“I thought I was going to have to get surgery. We’re going to look at that option probably after the season,” Posada said before Friday night’s game against the Seattle Mariners.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports:

Hughes visited a Connecticut optometrist on Friday and was found to be "slightly nearsighted," he said, and was issued a prescription for glasses. Hughes could be sidelined until July with a stress fracture in his ninth rib, but when he eventually returns, he'll do so wearing a new pair of specs.

05/02: Veras Up

Posted by: Patrick
Kat O'Brien reports that Jose Veras is up in place of Phil Hughes. Darrell Rasner will come up and make the start tomorrow in place of Hughes, so someone will be headed down tomorrow. O'Brien says this could be Veras, but guesses that it will be Ian Kennedy, since the Yankees will not be needing a fifth starter until May 10.
Posted by: James
Chris Britton actually pitched! Woo hoo! Okay, well, that's one good thing that came from tonight's game...and that's about it.

Outside of that...ouch. The Yankees scored early on a walk from Damon, a single by Jeter and a 3 run bomb from Abreu. 3-0 Yanks.

On the pitching front, IPK was doing all right until the third when he gave up a double to Ramon Santiago who then scored on a ground out. Still, Kennedy was doing all right and had even gotten to 2 outs and no one on in the inning. However, the next few batters would do the following; double, walk, double and a triple to make the score 4-0 Tigers. Kennedy lasted until 4 and 2/3rds and didn't give up any more runs before giving way to Albaladejo who got the final out of the fifth. In the bottom of the fifth, the Yankees would tie the game up on a walk from Jeter, a single from Abreu and a RBI single from clean-up hitter Shelley Duncan.

The Tigers picked up their remaining runs with 2 in the 6 and 2 in the 7th to win the game 8-4 and sweep the Yankees in the Bronx...a great way to start off the month. All in all, a very depressing game...but one that fits right in with the way this season has progressed so far. Still, think of it this way - this is about as unlucky of a stretch that I have ever seen from the Yankees so it's gotta turn around soon, right? Right??? Well, I guess we'll see - there's still a whole heck of a lot of baseball still left in the season...and if this team's gotta rebuild, then this looks like the season that it'll start getting done.
Posted by: Patrick
Bryan Hoch reports that Bobby Murcer will be making his return to the booth tonight. Great news.

It's a safe bet that, at some point during the game, Murcer's image will flash on the large video screen in right-center field. It's an even safer bet that if it does, the crowd reaction will be louder and more heartfelt than anything that occurs in the game.

"I wish I had a word to describe it, to tell you the truth," Murcer said. "I really wish I had a way to describe it. It's been absolutely wonderful, all the support that's been afforded me and the prayers. God has just blessed me, what can I say?"
Posted by: Patrick
From the press release:

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that New York Yankees Minor League player Angel Reyes has received a 50-game suspension for testing positive for stanozolol metabolites, a performance-enhancing substance, in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

The suspension of Reyes will be effective at the start of the season for the Single-A Staten Island Yankees of the New York-Penn League.
Posted by: Seamus
Turns out Phil Hughes really is hurt. After a day of speculation that maybe the Yankees put him on the DL simply to give him some time to work out some kinks in his mechanics, Joe Girardi revealed on Mike and the Mad Dog that Phil Hughes actually has a stress fracture in his rib, and not a strained oblique as originally reported. Girardi said that Hughes will not throw a baseball for four weeks and is not likely to return until mid-June at the earliest.

Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees dropped their second straight to Detroit Wednesday night by a score of 6-2, once again falling a game below .500. The loss gives the Yankees their 3rd losing April since 2005.

Andy Pettitte was better than his line would show, but two-run homers by Marcus Thames and Placido Polanco in the 5th and 6th innings put Detroit up by a score of 5-2, giving Pettitte a line of 5 runs on 7 hits in 6 innings. Polanco added another home run in the 8th with a ball that just barely cleared the left field wall against Kyle Farnsworth.

The Yankees put up two runs in the 1st, but that would be all the offense they would get against Jeremy Bonderman, who after that rough first inning for him, pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. The Yankees recorded only 5 hits in the game and the bottom third of the order went a combined 0-9, which is something we might see quite a bit of in the next few weeks without both A-Rod and Posada in the lineup.

The Yankees will try to salvage one of three in this series tonight in a battle of struggling pitchers as Ian Kennedy (0-2, 8.93) will go up against Nate Robertson (0-3, 6.91). I kind of have a feeling a game like this where you'd expect to see a night of fireworks will turn out to be a 2-1 pitchers duel. Game time is 7:05 E.T.