Tag Archives: Coke

Game 78. Martin’s 3-run HR keys Yanks’ 5-2 win. Yanks get Mitre back, DFA Carlyle.

The Yanks are 46-31, 1 1/2 up on Boston, 2 1/2 up on the Rays.
1st place in AL East. They have the 2nd best winning pct. in baseball.
OPS+ 113; ERA+ 115
3 games worse than the Pythagorean record.

Tonight’s lineup, no surprises:

Gardner LF .278-4-18  17 sb/27 att  OPS+ 110
Granderson CF .277-21-56  13/20   151  MLB leader in R, AL in triples 
Teixeira 1B .246-24-62  2/3  140    tied with Bautista for MLB HR lead
Rodriguez 3B .304-13-51  4/5  141  626*hr; only Yank reg. at .300 
Cano 2B .290-14-49  6/7  123
Swisher RF .249-10-42  1/3  117    Hot as a firecracker
Posada DH .234-8-26  0/2   97
Martin C  .229-9-31  7/8  97   Cold as ice 
Nunez SS .250-2-12  10/14  81

Burnett P  7-6  4.15   ERA+ 98

A walk, SB and a single give the Brewers a run in the 1st. Walk and SB#14 for Granderson in the first, but nothing for the Yanks. 1-0 Brewers after one.

In the second, Granderson makes a great catch and turns it into a DP. Nothing for the Yanks, just a Swisher walk. Martin is called out on strikes. I can’t figure out why Martin leads in the All-Star C voting over Avila. Martin is under .230 now and in a free fall with that batting average. That and Cervelli’s .197 are why I am wondering about Montero.

1-2-3 for AJ in the 3rd; With one out, Gardner doubles and Granderson walks, but Teix grounds out and Alex whiffs. Still 1-0 Brewers after three.

Checking Twitter. Melvin Mora and Ryan Franklin released. More interesting is what SI’s Jon Heyman says:

A-rod told me earlier this year hed like phil coke back in pen for yanks. Maybe he gets wish. Coke miscast as starter

Coke will be 29 soon, and is 1-7, 4.32, ERA+ 87 this year for the Tigers as they have been using him as a starter. Coke has a WS ring from 2009 with the Yanks, when he went 4-3, 4.50, ERA+ 103. Last year he was 7-5, 3.76 for the Tigers, ERA+ 109. Not great. 13-15, 3.94 for his career, ERA+ 106. Ok, he’s not great, but maybe back in the bullpen would be better for him. He has already gone through the NY wars, so that is a plus. Can’t be expensive or demand too much in a trade at the deadline. Yanks could use another lefty in the bullpen. We’ll see what happens. It’s June 29th. July should be interesting.

Big Papi at 1B in Philly. Gonzalez in RF. No DH there.

To the 4th. With two on and one out, AJ gets a DP ball. The Yanks bats come alive. Cano gets a leadoff triple and Swisher ties the game with a single. Posada singles.

Finally, Martin, who has been seriously slumping, gets a hold of one. A 3-run HR to make it 4-1. It’s HR #10 for Russell. From Waldman: 1st Martin HR since 5/24—over a month ago. It’s 4-1 Yanks after four.

A 1-2-3 for AJ in the fifth. He’s pitching well. Yanks go down 1-2-3.

AJ runs into trouble in the sixth. Bases loaded, one out and Fielder up. This could be trouble. It’s an RBI forceout. AJ gets another forceout and limits the damage. 4-2 Yanks. AJ is doing a better job of limiting the damage this year than he did last year. Last year, the inning would have gotten away from AJ. It would have turned into a three, four, or five-run inning. So far this year, AJ has stayed away from that.

Jorge gets the run back with a HR (9) in the bottom of the sixth. It’s #270 of Jorge’s career. 5-2 Yankees after six. Good tweet by Jack Curry of YES. Posada .391 in June. Yes, I was one ready to bury him, and I still wouldn’t re-sign him for 2012 (Posada turns 40 in August). I don’t know how long it will last, and when Jorge pulled his “bad day” tantrum, hitting in the .150s or so at the time, I would have dumped him. At the time, I didn’t expect Jorge to stay at .150 but didn’t know how far (if at all) above the Mendoza line Jorge would bring himself. To his credit, Jorge has picked himself out of the rut and is contributing. I didn’t think we’d see that. How long it lasts, who knows. But if it’s Jorge’s last hurrah, then good for him.

AJ has a scoreless 7th. I don’t know if he’ll come out for the 8th, but I can see Robertson, then Mo.

Nope. AJ stays in but the leadoff hitter reaches on a error. You guessed it, Nunez. He has talent. Decent power, good speed (10 SB) but error #10.

So in comes Robertson to finish the 8th. He gives up a hit, but gets 2 K. He’s been incredible. He now has 52 K in 32 1/3 IP. Check below for the ERA!

AJ 7+, 2 R, 7 H, 2 walks and 4 K. ERA drops to 4.05.
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 hit, 0 walks and 2 K. ERA to 1.11  !!!!

Nothing for the Yanks in the 8th.

You-know-who is in for the 9th. Mo is looking for save #580.

Rivera is… Rivera. 1-2-3 with a K. Save #21 for 2011 and #580 for his career. 1 IP, 0 R, 0 h, 0 walks, 1 K and Mo’s ERA drops to 1.72.

AJ goes to 8-6.

The Yanks go to 47-31, 2 1/2 up on Boston and 3 1/2 up on the Rays.

Tomorrow is an afternoon game with CC on the mound.

Update: Just in from Twitter via MLBTR:

Guess who is back? Sergio Mitre. The Brewers released him, and of course the Brewers are in NY. Mitre has been re-signed by the Yankees, and the Yankees have DFA’d Buddy Carlyle. Mitre was 0-1, 3.27 for the Brewers this year. In 8 games, Carlyle was 0-1, 4.70 for the Yanks.

Marte out until late 2011.

From Lohud:

Marte had labrum surgery on Friday and won’t throw until after the all-star break.   

Hopefully there is a stretch drive next year and Marte could help out. In the meantime, getting another lefty to help Boone Logan out would be nice.

Meanwhile, the Tigers may be looking to convert Phil Coke (7-5, 3.76, 2 saves for them this year) into a starter.  

Game 103. Yanks, 5-4. Robbie keeps Yanks in front…alone. Makes MVP case.

From Bryan Hoch’s Bomber’s Beat. A-Rod talking about Cano:

“When you do things like he did tonight, that’s certainly the look and the taste and the feel of an MVP. That was a huge, huge hit against their closer, on the road, trying to protect first place. It doesn’t get any bigger than that.”

Robbie Cano’s top of the 9th HR gave the Yanks a 5-4 win over the Rays. With the win, the Yanks go up 2 games on the Rays in the AL East. Had they lost, it would have been a flat-out tie for the lead.

Cano had 2 doubles in addition to his HR. The HR enabled Cano to remain tied with Teixeira for the team lead (21), as Teix had a big HR himself tonight. With the Yanks down 3-1, Teix’s 2 run bomb tied the game.

Backtracking a bit, Javy Vazquez gave up a run in the first. Double by Jaso, great drag bunt for a hit by Crawford, SF.

The Yanks tied it in the 2nd. A-Rod (I didn’t think he was pressing until game 7 after 599 or so, but feel as if he is pressing now) walked and then Cano hit the first of his two doubles. Granderson tied it with a SF.

TB went up 2-1 in the third on a triple and a Crawford single. On the triple by Jaso, Gardner thought he had a shot, dove for the liner but came up empty.

TB went up 3-1 in the 5th. These Rays are tough and worry the heck out of me, especially if the Yanks face them in the ALCS. Good baseball. Double by Upton, sac and a SF. Great little ball to get a run. With Garza pitching, 3-1 seemed huge.

Then the aforementioned HR by Teix in the 6th to tie it.        

Javy gave it right back however, as Joyce, the same guy who killed the Yanks with his blast last night, hit one to put the Rays up 4-3.

The Yanks came right back in the 7th as Swisher hit #20 to tie it.

The Yanks only got six hits tonight, but three of them were HRs in the 5-4 win. The final one was Cano’s top of the 9th blast.

Berkman played, hit 2nd as DH but seemed to be pressing in his first game as a Yankee. Three pop ups.

Javy wasn’t great, but didn’t suck either. He basically kept the Yanks in the game. 6 1/3, 4 R, 8 H, 1 W, 3 K. Like I said. Not great, but … a ND. ERA goes up to 4.61.

Logan finished the 7th. 2/3, ERA 3.47.

Robertson got the win. (2-3). He looked great, 1-2-3 with 2 K. Nothing against Wood, but I kind of hope Robertson gets the 8th for now. 4.42 ERA and he is really looking good right now. Break Wood in slowly. Entrust the 8th to D-Rob. Maybe he keeps it. He was on tonight.

Mo the 9th. What can I say? Save # 22 and the ERA goes to 0.93.   Save #548 of the great one’s career. I mean…. 0.93? At the age of 40 years, 8 months and 2 days?

Cano had three of the Yanks six hits tonight. Two doubles and the GW HR. Hence the MVP endorsement from someone who has 3 MVPs himself in A-Rod.

A-Rod about himself (from Bombers Beat):   

“The way I’m swinging now, it’s probably going to take a while. Everybody get comfortable.  I’m just glad to be out there helping the team somehow. I scored a run. People are asking me about home runs. I’m asking for a hit-by-pitch, infield hit, bunt single, error. I’ll get on base anyhow. The home run will come.” 
I like the statement. I didn’t think Alex was pressing his first six or seven games after the HR but think he may be now. I like his attitude in the statement. Take what they give you. Man on 2nd, I’ll take the single and RBI. Man on 3rd, I’ll take the SF.
Truthfully, I have read where Girardi doesn’t plan on giving Alex a day off until after #600. I think that is a mistake and go by history here. First off, guess what Roger Maris did in 1961 after hitting #60? He took a day off. He needed it.
Maybe Alex needs it. Maybe the HR comes when you least expect. In 1969, Willie Mays got his as a PH.
So give him a day where he doesn’t have to think about #600. Start Pena at third…maybe late in the game Alex needs to PH for Pena….and maybe at that time, since he hasn’t been thinking about it….he hits it.
…and maybe then, gets on a HR roll.
Can’t hurt?
Saw the ends of two games. The difference between having Mo or having someone else. The Phils blew it as Lidge gave up a walkoff to Ryan Zimmerman. They can get Oswalt, fine…but the endgame is still a mess. I’m cool as a cucumber when Mo comes in. Phillie fans with Lidge? Not so.
Then there are the Tigers. Swept by the Rays. Now up in Boston. Big Fatty kills them last night. So what happens? Leyland entrusts the game in the 9th to Phil Coke. Coke was NOT it today as HE blows the game in the 9th….to Big Fatty again. Sheesh.    

Game 31. Yanks lose tough one 5-4. Blow some chances.

Well, I didn’t expect much from Mitre. Was hoping he’d keep them in the game, 5 IP, 3 R.

We got a little worse than that. 4 1/3 IP, 4 R, 3 ER. In the first, A-Rod probably should have eaten a ball but he went for the out, and threw it away. A subsequent hit that should have scored one run had A-Rod held it instead scored two. The unearned run (and blown opportunties later) cost the Yanks the game, 5-4.

Detroit got another in the 2nd. A-Jax RBI groundout. He wouldn’t be the only ex-Yankee to get some revenge.

Teix got a couple back in the 3rd with a 2-run HR.

But JD got his revenge with a HR in the 5th. 4-2 Tigers.

The Yanks blew a chance in the 6th. A-Rod walked, went to 2nd on a groundout and to 3rd on a WP. Posada walked. All you need is a SF right? Some games you’d kill for that SF. Thames pops up. Gardner walks. Winn flies out. Bases left loaded.

One good thing about the loss tonight? Robertson was Robertson again. 1 2/3, 2 H (one on an easy fly ball that Gardner lost in the lights), 1 walk (int.) and 2 K. He looked more like his old self.

Boone Logan gave up an RBI triple in the 7th. Tigers, 5-2 and a killer. Logan, who has great stuff, fell victim to his bugaboo. He walked two. One was erased on a DP, the other scored on an RBI triple by Brennan Boesch, who had 3 RBI tonight.

The Yanks got two in the 8th to cut it to 5-4, but missed the opportunity to tie. A-Rod singled. Single by Cano. Walk to Jorge (Cervelli PR). Bases loaded, none out. Infield single by Thames made it 5-3. Now, the other ex-Yankee gets revenge. Coke. Gardner grounds out, run scores. 5-4. 1st and 3rd, one out. Coke gets Randy Winn to pop up. As I wrote above, some games you’d kill for a SF.

New pitcher. Ryan Perry facing Jeter, who lines one to right. Give Magglio Ordonez credit. A great play for the out. If he doesn’t make it, 2 runs score and Jeter is at 2nd.

Joba looked absolutely fabulous in the 8th. He looked like the Joba of 2007 in striking out the side.

But to no avail. The Yanks went down 1-2-3 in the 9th. All via the strikeout. I still wonder why Valverde, who got the save for the Tigers, was left out to dry for so long in the free agent market this offseason. If I’m say, the Phils, I team him with Lidge. Instead, the Phils have Lidge and Madson is on the DL. And no Park.

Speaking of Park, he is ready for rehab. Should be back soon.  

APB out. No Rivera in May so far.

Jeter was 0 for 5. He is down to .286. 6 for his last 39.

Yanks 1 for 10 with RISP.

No minors tonight. Too many things going on. My apologies. I do see the slumping Montero at .234. Meanwhile, Romine at AA is at .326.          

  

Golson’s HR wins today’s S.T. game 9-8; Joba struggles, but an interesting take on the #5 slot.

Greg Golson’s 2-run HR in the 9th won today’s S.T. game vs. the Tigers 9-8. JD didn’t play, but got to schmooze with some old buddies.

Curtis Granderson also got to schmooze, as he went back to his old spring training grounds in Lakeland. Granderson flashed what Yankees fans hope to see, 2 hits and a superb over-the-shoulder catch.

Mark Teixeira had a HR— off of Phil Coke.

For the Tigers, A-Jax went 1-4 and scored a run. Zach Miner gave up 2 runs. Dan Schlereth (son of ESPN’s Mark, the ex-NFLer) gave up 2 R, 1 ER.

Pitching-wise, Joba had two scoreless innings but lost it in the third when he was hammered. 2 1/3 IP, 6 R, 5 H, 3 walks and 1 K. A grand slam given up. Not good, but Sam Borden at LoHud gives his take on it.  I worry about the “Run out of gas” part. Starters shouldn’t do that in the third. Maybe it is better that Joba be the snorting bull coming out of the pen when the gates open.

Phil Hughes came in after Joba and gave up a HR. He was also saved by the Granderson catch. 2 2/3, 1 R, 3 H, 0 walks and 2 K. Borden’s take is interesting in that both pitchers were working on various things, whether it be working inside to righties (Joba) or working on the change (Hughes). Yes, there are things normal fans don’t know about in looking at the boxscores. Borden seems to think Hughes has the lead in the #5 derby.  I do wonder however, if the 2010 Yanks would be better with Aceves (18 up, 18 down) as the #5 with both Joba AND Phil in the bullpen. There are some in the Yankee front office that feel so. Then again, there is another faction that feels that with Pettitte 38, that one or the other has to be broken in as a starter. Lastly, is Aceves more valuable in long relief or as a starter? Ace was 10-1 out of the bullpen last year—leading the majors in relief wins.

Jason Hirsh had a scoreless inning with two Ks. They say not to believe what you see in March or October, but so far he’s had a nice spring. He may be SWB-bound with a chance to be a midseason callup in case of injury. Hirsh, 28, is 8-11, 5.32 for his career, but that was as a starter for Houston and Colorado. Joba and Hughes seemed to work better from the bullpen thus far. Could Hirsh be similar in that regard?

        

LVYFC Christmas party today.

It’ll be nice to celebrate the WS Championship with friends today. The last meeting we had of the Lehigh Valley Yankee Fan Club was on the off day between Games 5 and 6 of the World Series. Today is our Christmas Party. It’ll be nice to celebrate. Helping us celebrate will be many children from the Miracle League. If you don’t know about the Miracle League, check out the link at right. Joining us will be Yankee “Sign Man” Freddy Sez.

I see one minor transaction. Cody Ransom signed a minor league deal with the Phils, with an invitation to big league camp to try to be a backup utility infielder. You may recall Ransom filled in at 3b in April and early May when A-Rod was recuperating from hip surgery. Ransom didn’t fare well in his 15 minutes of fame, as he hit .190 (15 for 79) for the season, 0 HR, and 10 RBI. 9 of the 15 hits were doubles. 25 strikeouts, OPS+ 55. For his career, Ransom, 34 next Feb., is .233-7-34, OPS+ 88 in 262 AB.

Today the Yanks must make decisions on whether to take some players to arbitration. The biggest name, and it seems biggest no, is Wang. A shame what happened to him. 19-game winner in two consecutive years, no problems with the personality, a CYA runnerup. It is too bad he couldn’t enjoy the champagne this year. I for one, hope he is able to make the long trip from Taiwan to NYC for Old-Timers games. He deserves a nice hand for being an ace when the rest of the staff was old/shaky/both. Without him from 2005-2007, the Torre era and playoff run could have ended a few years sooner.  Wang would become a free agent, and as Bryan Hoch reports:

he is the only one of New York’s four non-tender candidates who has not been mentioned by Cashman as part of the club’s outlook toward Spring Training.

Outfielder Melky Cabrera and pitchers Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre are the other non-tender candidates, all of whom should be retained. Cabrera is currently the Yankees’ starting left fielder and Cashman has spoken about Gaudin and Mitre as candidates for the back end of the rotation.

Wang’s agent, Alan Nero, said on Friday that he has been led to believe that the Yankees will non-tender Wang, at which point he will begin to engage any interested clubs on the open market.

Nero said that his expectation is that Wang will be ready to pitch in Major League games by May 1.

Wang finished the year 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA in 12 games (nine starts) and is expected to be Major League-ready at some point between April and June, according to Cashman. But because Wang made $5 million in 2009, the largest pay reduction the Yankees could offer him if they tendered a contract would be 20 percent, or $4 million.

Given his uncertain outlook, the Yankees may believe they are better served to non-tender Wang and then attempt to re-sign him to a lesser contract.

“I think it’s difficult to rationalize a non-tender as further building a bridge with a team, but we’ll see,” Nero (Wang’s agent) said.

Should Wang become a free agent, it is thought that the Dodgers — managed by Joe Torre, a consistent supporter of the pitcher — would have some interest.

I wish him well. It’s interesting in terms of reclamation projects you hear about (the just-signed by Texas Harden, Sheets, Duchscherer), that Wang’s name isn’t coming up.

Chad Jennings over at LoHud adds that Josh Towers was signed by the Dodgers. Towers got into two games for the Yanks in 2009, going 0-0, 3.38 over 5 1/3 IP. He is 45-55, 4.95 ERA+91 for his MLB career. He will be 33 in Feb. He was 7-6, 2.74 for AAA SWB this year. 

Hmm…Phil Coke in the Tigers rotation?

  

     

Yanks rumored to be near Granderson deal

It’s not official, but all reports are that barring someone failing a physical, a 3-team trade between the Yankees, Tigers and Diamondbacks is going to be completed in which the Yankees will get OF Curtis Granderson from the Tigers while giving up Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to the Tigers and Ian Kennedy to the D-Backs.

The Tigers would also get Max Scherzer and Dan Schlereth (son of ex-NFLer and current ESPNer Mark) while Arizona gets Edwin Jackson from the Tigers along with Kennedy.

Granderson comes with good and bad points. A good, from Chad Jennings at LoHud:

One thing to like about Granderson: He’s at his best when he’s pulling the ball. And managed to pull the ball roughly 50 percent of the time last season. And pulling the ball is a good thing for a left-handed hitter to do in Yankee Stadium. (My note: dead pull lefty hitter at Yankee Stadium. I’m thinking Maris and Nettles here).

A good, from me:

Granderson is 28, 29 in March, as opposed to Damon 36 and Matsui 35.  

A bad, from LoHud’s Sam Borden (stat by me):

“He can’t hit lefties”: No doubt, Granderson’s lefty splits last year were bad. But for those who use this as the cornerstone of their argument, how about you take a guess at how often the average player faces a lefty pitcher in a given season?

Stats by me (451 AB vs. RHP .275-28-62 with an OPS of .897; 180 vs. lefties, .183-2-9 with an OPS of .484; Career .292, OPS .894 vs. RHP, .210 OPS .614 vs. lefties)   

Borden: Last year, the Yankees faced lefties in just about 30 percent of their plate appearances – to me, that’s hardly enough to use it as a determining factor, especially when a) you have a hitting coach who you ostensibly trust to improve your players; and b) you’re talking about a correctable skill.

Consider this: In 1993, the Yankees brought in an outfielder who had an OBP of .273 against LHP the previous season. By 1994, he had a .439 OBP against lefties. That player was Paul O’Neill

Good point made by Borden here, emphasis mine, although I admit to hate losing the kid:

Coke wasn’t a closer of the future, which means that – as a bullpen piece – he’s certainly expendable; and Kennedy, while certainly talented, wasn’t nearly on the same level as Hughes/Chamberlain and had irked some Yankee officials with his ego. (A point from me: He irked some of us FANS, also. Jason called him “What Me Worry?” Ian E. Neuman Ian E. Neuman? on his Heartland Pinstripes blog).  So basically it comes down to how you feel about Austin Jackson and, as I’ve said before, when you’re talking about a team like the Yankees it’s almost always the right play to go with the established player over the player who is only potential.

Anyone who says they know what Jackson is going to be is lying. No one knows. Those who say the “best he could be is Curtis Granderson” don’t know that, just like those who say “he’ll be better than Granderson in three years” don’t know that either. All we do know is that RIGHT NOW Jackson is a player who has done very well in the minor leagues and Granderson is a player who has done very well in the major leagues. To me, that’s the part that makes this trade a steal – you traded a player who MAY be good for a player who IS good, and also happens to be young and economically friendly. (Granderson is said to be only $5.5M for 2010, $8.25M in 2011 and $10M in 2012, which, considering Damon and Matsui both made $13M in 2009, seems cheap). 

(By the way, it’s natural to compare Jackson and Granderson but the two aren’t similar players; Jackson has more speed, but also has yet to show anything close to the kind of power that Granderson has shown.)

(My note: .300-4-65 with 24 steals at AAA this year. .285-9-69, 19 SB at AA in 2008. .304-13-59 with 33 SB combined in 2007. A-Jax will be 23 in February. Granderson had 30 HR this year and Detroit isn’t as friendly as Yankee Stadium’s RF would appear to be for Granderson. Granderson has gone 19-23-22 and 30 HR over the last four years. On the downside, the average in that time has been .260-.302-.280 and .249. He was 10th in MVP voting in 2007 and an All-Star last year. Gardner-like speed with 23 triples in 2006 and 13 in 2007, both times leading the league, and a good basestealer, 26/27 in 2007, 12/16 in 2008 and 20/26 in 2009. One bad thing: his strikeouts. Over 140 of them in 2006, 2007 and 2009 with a whopping 174 (led league) in 2006. His 162 game average is .272-25-72 with 16 SB. OPS+ 113. 66 walks but 149 whiffs.)

Another good point made by Borden, emphasis mine again:

The Yankees are hardly done dealing this winter. With Hughes/Joba/Montero still on the roster, they can still at least talk about Roy Halladay. And with Granderson in the fold, the Yankees can take a harder – and appropriate – line on Damon.

Scott Boras has said Damon has multi-year offers and this is the Yankees calling that bluff. If Damon would come back for one year (or at most two), then he gives the Yankees a DH who can play the OF on days when someone else needs to DH – or just what they’re looking for in that spot. If anything, the Granderson trade may affect Hideki Matsui’s chances of returning to the Yankees more than it does Damon’s.

Of course, you now wonder about the domino effect. Ideally, the Yanks would like to have Damon back to DH and let Matsui go. I love Matsui, but Damon could still, as Borden states, play the OF once in a while while DHing most of the time—as opposed to Matsui who didn’t play an inning in the OF this past season. Granderson provides the Yankees with youth, and let’s face it…they were one of the older teams (Posada 38, Pettitte 37, Rivera now 40, Damon is now 36, Matsui and Jeter 35, Alex 34) to win a WS.  

Of course you also wonder about the effect on Melky and on Gardner. The Yankees could re-sign Damon, put him and his weak arm at DH and move Melky and his stronger arm to LF. Gardner could be a backup OF/defensive replacement (think Swisher)/top PR. You know how I feel about having two CFs—one in LF the better one in CF—in Yankee Stadium given its 399 LCF. This would accomplish that.

Of course the Yankees aren’t done. Maybe Melky or Gardner gets used in another deal, and I wouldn’t just write Godzilla off yet.   

Kennedy was expendable given his injuries and the emergence of Joba and Hughes. He will be 25 soon and has just 14 MLB games under his belt. 1-4, 6.03. Due to an aneurysm, he only pitched in four minor league games and one major league game this season, totalling 23 2/3 IP. In 2008, between 77 IP in the minors and his disastrous 0-4, 8.17 stint with the Yankees, Ian only totalled 116 2/3 IP. Even if he makes the D-Backs starting rotation, how many innings can he provide given his lack of them the past two seasons? How will Arizona use him?

Does trading Jackson mean the Yankees will try harder to keep other prospects like Zach McAllister or Jesus Montero? Does this rule out Halladay? 

Coke, 27, was 4-3, 4.50 for the Yanks in 2009 after going 1-0, 0.61 in a brief stint in 2008. He went 0-0, 0.00 in the ALDS and ALCS but gave up 2 HR in his 1 1/3 IP in the WS, 0-0, 13.50.

I wonder about the other lefty reliever. I saw a rumor about Mike MacDougal, a righty reliever but am not thrilled about that. Right now the only lefty would be Marte, unless the Yanks want to give a good, hard look at Zach Kroenke, who was 7-1, 1.99 at AAA in 2009 and who is 25. Kroenke was 7-0, 2.85 between AA/AAA in 2008. Other than that, I wonder who they have interest in as far as a lefty.

Rafael Soriano accepted arbitration from the Braves, so forget that interest unless there is a trade. Soriano could join Wagner and Saito in the Braves bullpen. It’d be interesting to see how outgoing manager Bobby Cox keeps all three happy.  

Interesting to see that Ivan Rodriguez signed a two-year deal with the Nats (no, he won’t be the player to come later in the Bruney deal! That will be the Nats top Rule-5 pick). Seeing what Pudge gave the Yanks in 2008 (very little), none of us thought the 38 year old had two years left.

Game 5. Utley ties Reggie, Phils send Series back to Bronx with 8-6 win.

AJ Burnett was terrible, giving up 6 runs in just 2+ innings. Staked to a 6-1 lead after 3, Cliff Lee lasted 7 before faltering in the eighth, by which time the score was 8-2.

After AJ, Robertson, Aceves, Coke and Hughes finished.

Utley hit a 3-run bomb in the first, the Phils tacked on the 3 more in the third to make it 6-1. The Yanks got one back in the 5th. In the 7th, the Phils got solo HRs by Utley and Ibanez. 8-2.

The HR by Utley in the 7th was his fifth of the series—tying 1977 Reggie Jackson for the most in one WS. Yankee fans can only hope that Utley, if named WS MVP, will join Bobby Richardson (1960) as the only ones from a losing team.

The Yanks got 3 in the 8th, 2 on a double by A-Rod. They tacked another on in the 9th for the final score of 8-6.

In some ways, this series reminds me of 1993’s. The Phils bullpen loses game 4 (though not as dramatically as 1993’s blowing a 14-9 lead and losing 15-14) and the stud pitcher saves the season by winning game 5. A Phillie (Dykstra/Utley) hits a lot of HRs. So the next question would be, who will be the Yankees “Joe Carter” for Game Six?

Is there one more walkoff win at the Stadium this season? Can AJ whip up one more pie?

It looks like Pettitte vs. Pedro. Time for the Yanks to remind Pedro who daddy is and win their 27th World Series Title.

Also time for some bats (Teixeira, Swish, Cano) to wake up.

    

Game 3. Extras again. Another classic. Yanks lose in 11, 5-4. Did Girardi overmanage?

Jeter gave the Yanks a good start, leading off the game with a HR.

2nd, 1st and 3rd, one out, but Swish’s fly to LF wasn’t deep enough. 

In the 4th, Alex did it again, another HR. 2-0. But with 1st and 3rd, Swish didn’t come through again. He whiffed.

3-0 in the 5th, as JD went deep.

Bottom of the 5th, Angels start a comeback. Kendrick takes Andy yard. In the 4th, Andy got one of his patented pickoffs—this one on Torii Hunter.

After having a bad postseason to date, Bad Vlad hits a 2-run HR off Andy in the 6th to tie the game.

With one out in the 7th, Girardi turns to Joba. It backfires. Joba gives up a triple and a SF to put the Angels up 4-3. Aybar doubles, so Joba clearly had nothing. Marte gets out of it.

Pettitte, 6 1/3, 3 R. Decent job.

In the 8th, Gardner pinchruns for Matsui, who walked, but is CS on a pitchout. It hurts, because Posada immediately follows with a game-tying HR.  

Abreu doubles off Coke leading off the bottom of the 8th but is caught between 2nd and 3rd. He is hung out to dry, 8-6-3. Great job by Teixeira of backing up the play and being at second to be able to tag Abreu out. For the last out of the inning, Teix comes off the bag to tag Vlad after a poor throw by Alex. Teix really flashing the D.

Hughes, who was great, gives up a leadoff double in the bottom of the 10th. Tough spot for Mo, who comes in. A bunt and it appears like Mo’s spikes got caught. He tries for the out at 3rd, but throws it away. Damon backs up so the run doesn’t score.

Great play by Teix to save a run. But 2nd and 3rd, one out. Abreu is intentionally walked to set up the force at any base. Hairston replaces Damon in LF in case a good throw is needed to cut down the runner at the plate.

Hunter up. Ground out to Teix. Force at home.

and the greatest does it again. Bad Vlad grounds out to Teixeira and the Yanks are alive.

Teixiera may be struggling with the stick (except for the Game 2 walkoff vs. the Twins), but his D is helping the Yanks in this one.   

Yanks go down 1-2-3 in the 11th. Cervelli phs for Rivera. When Hairston entered, the Yanks lost the DH.

Robertson in.

Interesting from the media today. A local writer wrote about Phillies’ fans angst after Game 2 of the 1977 NLCS, which the Phils blew. Wrong. It was Game 3. Then Mike Vaccaro in the Post writes about the 1927 Yankees. He must have corrected it later, because it isn’t online now, but in the edition I have, he mentioned Bill Dickey. Dickey wasn’t on the 1927 Yankees. He played in 10 games in 1928 and became the regular in 1929.

Nice article on Robertson by Sherman today in the Post by the way. I wrote about (and liked) Robertson as a minor leaguer two years ago. He gets two outs.

…and is gone (I do wonder why...) Kendrick up but Aceves in. Kendrick singles.

Why Robertson is pulled after two batters and two outs, I have no idea. I’m scratching my head over that. … and once again, Gaudin is the “last resort.”

Girardi is managing his ass off. Too much? YES. Aceves gives up a double to Mathis. Crushed it. Ballgame over.

I need to know. Why the hell did Girardi pull Robertson? No need to (unless Robertson got hurt). NO NEED TO. People who read me regularly know that I have constantly and consistently written that you DO NOT CHANGE THE RHYTHM OF A GAME WHEN THE RHYTHM IS GOOD. A groundout and a flyout by Robertson. Both hits off Aceves were laced.

Joe, this loss is on you. 

Dunce cap for Joe

Unless I find out Robertson got hurt, Girardi overmanaged himself and the Yanks into a postseason loss.

   

  

Game 2. Angels at Yanks. Molina catching again. Matsui DHs vs. lefty, not Posada

YANKEES

Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Cabrera CF
Molina C

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (0-0, 1.50 ERA)

Molina has AJ again. I guess the surprise may be that even though Saunders, a lefty, is going, Matsui is still the DH and not Posada. Of course if AJ is pulled after six, Posada can replace Molina.

To continue with the previous post’s theme, wouldn’t it be nice if Molina shocked us all with a 2 or 3 RBI night?  

Big win by Texas over Oklahoma, 16-13 but it didn’t do much for any Heisman candidacies. Last year’s winner, Bradford, who already missed a bunch of games this year, re-injured his shoulder and left the game early. Texas’ Colt McCoy won the game, but 21 completions for only 127 yards doesn’t say much. Should ND upset USC, the Heisman door could be opened for Claussen should he have a big game. Tebow, recovering from a concussion, got the win over LSU last week but his stats weren’t great.  

PSU wins 20-0. Florida escapes with a last second FG, 23-20. ND has 1st and goal with seconds left, down 34-27. 3 inc. passes by Claussen and USC escapes ND with the victory.

Cano triples in a run in the 2nd. Jeter hits his 19th postseason HR in the 3rd to make it 2-0.

Through 4, AJ is on. But in the 5th, AJ gives up a double, single (RBI), HBP and a walk to load the bases with two out. A WP ties the game.

Melky singles, Molina singles and Jeter hits into a DP (ump misses the call. Jeter beat the throw).  JD whiffs.

So far this postseason, the pitching has carried the Yankees. The bats haven’t been Yankee-like.

AJ out after 6 1/3. Cano makes an E. 1 on 1 out. Coke in. A walk. I’m not worried about the Yanks bullpen—except for Coke and Marte.

But Coke comes back with a K of Abreu. Joba in for Hunter. Infield hit. Bases loaded. Molina wears a path to the mound. Vladimir’s free swinging works against him as he whiffs.

Bottom 7. Swisher singles. Brett Gardner PRs. He better steal, because Cano can’t bunt. So much for the steal. The Yanks hit into another DP. Melky whiffs.

To the 8th. Are we looking at another walkoff?

It’s Hughes. 

Damn it. A broken-bat single and a E by Jeter on a DP ball. Whiff.

2 out, 2 on and it’s Mo. THE GREATEST gets out of it on one pitch.

Bot 8. Posada PH. Groundout. Jeter whiffs. Damon groundouts.

To the 9th. Tied at 2. 

Mo makes it look easy with a 1-2-3 9th. Flyball and 2 Ks.

The Yanks get two on with two out in the bottom of the 9th, but Cano grounds out—feebly.

Mo in the 10th. Single, groundout, bunt popup, popup to Cano.

What a job by Mo. 2 1/3 scoreless innings. The best. 

Melky gets a hit. Jorge grounds into a fielder’s choice as the ump rules that Aybar was not on the bag on the pivot. You never see it called. It’s called here. Strange call. Jeter is walked but JD pops up. Teix grounds out. The Yanks waste yet another chance.

Aceves for the 11th.