Tag Archives: Swisher

Game 102. Red hot Teixeira powers Yanks, 13-6.


For the second straight night, Mark Teixeira hit two home runs in a game, and the way he did it last night established a new major league record as the Yanks beat the Chicago White Sox 13-6.

Before the game, the Yanks made no major splash at the major league trade deadline. That isn’t to say that there weren’t some minor internal moves. To make room for newly acquired Dustin Ackley, the Yanks dfa’d Garrett Jones. Chris Capuano was outrighted to AAA SWB. Esmiel Rogers was released so that he could play in Korea. Slade Heathcott was optioned to AAA (rehab over).

Top prospect Luis Severino’s next start will be for the Yanks. They are bringing the 21-year old up, and his MLB debut may be on Tuesday against Boston in the Bronx. The exact date hasn’t been determined yet. The kid was 9-2, 2.45 this year between AA/AAA.

Bryan Mitchell will start for the Yanks on Saturday night.

Some may be upset that the Yanks didn’t make a major splash, but you have to give to get, and the Yanks were NOT giving up Severino, Bird or Judge. Mateo was mostly off limits as well, but was on the table in rumors involving Craig Kimbrel of the Padres.

Let’s hope the four develop into another “core four.”

Teix hit a homer from both sides of the plate in the same game for the fourteenth time in his career, breaking the record he shared with Nick Swisher.

Carlos Beltran doubled in a run in the first, then the Yanks got five in the second on an RBI single by A-Rod and Teix’s first HR of the game—a grand slam.

After the White Sox got two in the third on a HR by Jose Abreu, the Yanks came back with another five-run inning in the top of the fourth.

Chris Young doubled and scored on two wild pitches. After A-Rod walked, Teixeira hit his second HR of the game to pout the Yanks up 9-2. This second HR, #28 of the season, was #391 of Teixeira’s career, and passed Graig Nettles on the all-time list. Later in the inning, Bredan Ryan singled in a run and Didi Gregorius’ SF made it 11-2.

A Headley single in the fifth made it 12-2.

Ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera drove in a run in the bottom of the fifth for the Pale Hose to make it 12-3.

Ellsbury’s single in the sixth made it 13-3 Yanks. Chicago got two in the seventh and one in the ninth to make it 13-6 as the final.

With the win, the Yanks are 58-44. 60 games to go, and they have a six-game lead.

A-Rod 2 for 2, 3 walks, scored 4 times.
Teixeira 3 for 4, 2 walks, 2 HR, 6 RBI
Beltran & Ryan each had 3 hits and an RBI.
The Yanks banged out 18 hits.

Eovaldi (W, 11-2, 4.30) 5 2/3 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K.
Warren 2 1/3 IP,  2 R, 4 H, 0 walks, 4 K. 3.50
Goody 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 k. 6.75

Swisher to Indians

We knew Nick Swisher wasn’t going to be coming back as a Yankee, but we just wondered where he’d wind up. Baltimore? Dodgers? Phillies?

With the Indians trade of Shin-Soo Choo to the Reds, a spot opened up in Cleveland for the former Buckeye, and Swisher is headed there. Swisher and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame do seem to mesh. The Yankees haven’t been giving out multi-year deals (except to the 39 yr. old Ichiro) and Swish got a 4-yr., $56 MM deal with the Tribe, with a $14 MM vesting option for a fifth year.

As for the Yankees’ holes, we can only wonder if Cashman has a trade forthcoming. As of now, here are the options, internally.

OF: The OF right now has Granderson, Gardner and Ichiro. Chris Dickerson could backup, but he’s another lefty bat. They need a righty bat. They’d like Scott Hairston, who’ll be 33 next year, can play all three OF positions as well as 2B. Hairston, who spent 2012 with the Mets, is looking for a multi-year deal (aren’t they all?) and that may be a deal-breaker. He hit .263-20-57, OPS+ 117 for the Mets in 2012 and is a .247 career hitter, OPS+ 100. Average player, but has pop. 162 g. ave: .247-20-58.

Internal options could be Melky Mesa, 26 next year who was 1 for 2 with an RBI in a brief September callup last year. Mesa hit .264-23-67 between AA/AAA last year with 22 SB. He provides some athleticism and speed that’s sorely needed but you wonder if he is ready. He’s only had 33 games at AAA (.230-9-21) and that .230 average makes you wonder. Also, at age 26, he’d be an old rookie. He’s mostly played CF and RF.

They also could give Ronnier Mustelier a shot. The 28-yr. old defector from Cuba hit .314-15-69 with 10 SB between AA/AAA last year. But unlike Mesa, Mustelier got more time at AAA and did well (89 games, .303-10-49) and probably has an upper hand. Mustelier has spent time at LF, RF and also 3B. He’s also played a couple games at 2B and CF. This may be to his advantage as he tries to make the team. He hasn’t been invited to major league camp yet. That should change. I was surprised he wasn’t brought up last year. I wanted him to replace Andruw Jones last midseason. Heck, Jones (now to play in Japan), hit only .197 last year. After the ASG he was just .142-3-12. You would think Mustelier could have done better than that.

In 150 minor league games, Mustelier has a .324-18-96 line with 19 SB. I’d give him a shot at that righty-hitting, backup OF job.

As for DH, who knows? Ibanez and Jones are both gone. Maybe it’d be best to DH Jeter the first half of the year because he’s coming off that fractured ankle. It’d be nice to see Nunez get some playing time. He, Ichiro and Gardner could provide a speed dimension to the club that was sorely lacking last year. The problem is, with the catching situation (I’ll get to that in a bit), where will the power come from, esp. with A-Rod out for half the year? Having a weak-hitting C in the lineup, along with Ichiro, Nunez AND Gardner means not much pop at all.

Not only that, but if Jeter DH’s and Nunez plays SS, you wonder about Nunez’ defense. Jeter’s range is not the greatest, has been criticized for years. and could be worse after the injury. But at least he is sure-handed, unlike Nunez.

Nunez, 26 next year, has just an 88 OPS+, but he’s interesting because his 162 g. average is .272-6-43 with 34 SB. But Cashman says he’s just a SS, and not a utility guy.

I really wonder if the Yanks should just go with Nix as the utility IF and trade Nunez while Nunez’ value is high. Nix can play 2B, SS and 3B and some OF. He hit just .243-4-18 last yr., OPS+ 86 and is just .214 with an OPS+ of 75 in his career. He doesn’t have the speed of Nunez but is more sure-handed.

They have to find a way to utilize Nunez and his speed, or trade him.

Of course, once A-Rod returns from his hip surgery, it may be in the Yanks’ best interest to DH Alex (not to stress the hip) and keep Youkilis at 3B. By then, hopefully Jeter won’t need as many DH at bats and his ankle is fully recovered. Time will tell.

But there is now the question of power. Cano, Granderson and Teixeira (switch-hitter) provide pop, but you lost lefty power in Ibanez and Swisher. So what kind of lefty-hitting DH is there?

I can’t see it being Dickerson, 31 next year. The Yanks probably want someone more experienced. Dickerson has 518 MLB at bats, .266-11-47 with 27 SB. OPS+ 101. He probably deserves a shot somewhere but the Yanks already have three lefty-hitting OF. Outside of DH, he wouldn’t have a chance to play, not with the starting OF of Ichiro, Gardner and Granderson. He hit .316-7-25, 17 SB in 69 AAA games last year. I just can’t see a DH platoon of Dickerson/Nunez, although both would provide more athleticism and speed.

Two DH options out there with pop are two old guys. You know I’m not big on getting older.

One is Lance Berkman, who, as a switch-hitter, would be a good option. You don’t want two DH-only types on your team. If you can just have one, who switch-hits and can DH every day, that’s a good thing (think Chili Davis in 1999). Berkman is good friends with Andy Pettitte, and was with the Yanks in 2010.

However “Fat Elvis” didn’t exactly do that well his first time in the Bronx. the 1B/OF hit just .255-1-9 in 106 AB (37 games), OPS+ 90 in 2010. He did go 5 for 16, 1 HR, 4 RBI in the postseason that year for the Yanks.

Berkman did have a rebound season in 2011, winning a WS ring with St. Louis, hitting .301-31-94, OPS+ 164 and finishing 7th in the MVP voting. But last year he played in just 32 games, getting only 81 at bats, hitting .259-2-7, OPS+ 126.

If healthy, Berkman could be decent one-year option at age 37. His 162 g. average is .296-32-108, OPS+ 146. He has 360 career HR (two more than Yogi, one less than Joe D.) and that 162 g. average includes 104 walks. He has a good eye, and along with Youkilis, would give the Yanks some good at bats, lots of walks and help wear pitchers out. He is a 6x All-Star, and has finished in the top 10 in MVP voting six times.

But is he healthy? Is there anything left in his tank? We’ve seen the fading Berkman before he resurrected himself in 2011. Can he put up decent numbers again or was 2011 the last hurrah (FYI, Berkman’s 2011 WS was superb: 11 for 26).

The other option would be Jim Thome. Thome’s big body and lefty swing along with the short porch make you wonder what he could have done playing in Yankee Stadium his whole career. But Thome is 42, 43 next August. He’d strictly DH vs. righty pitching and while Berkman can probably still play a game at 1B or in a corner OF spot occasionally, Thome cannot play the field anymore. He’s played just nine games in the field since 2005.

While it would be interesting to see the first set of teammates wherein each teammate has over 600 HR (Alex 647, Thome 612), you wonder about the lumbering Thome.

He still had something left in 2012, hitting .252-8-25 in 163 at bats for the Phils and Baltimore. His OPS+ was 112. On a one-year deal, he might be ok. But he can’t play the field and hasn’t had 300 AB’s in a season since 2009.

His 162 g. average is .276-39-108, OPS+ 147 with 111 walks.

You wonder if Berkman or Thome on a one-year option would be a path the Yankees might take.

If so, I probably would prefer Berkman. Switch-hitter, can probably fill in in the field more.

You also wonder if Nunez could be trade bait, esp. if the Yanks could get some help for him. Besides Nix, maybe one of these two in-house minor leaguers could be a backup IF:

David Adams: 26 next May. His ankle injury made Seattle scrap the Cliff Lee to the Yankees deal a few years ago. Adams, 26 next May, hit .306-8-48 in 86 games at AA in 2012 but the 2b/3B (mostly 2b) hasn’t played a game above the AA level.

Corban Joseph is 24 and a lefty bat (unlike Adams, who bats righty). Joseph does have 84 games of AAA experience, .266-13-56. Nice numbers. He hit .276-15-62 in 107 games in 2012, AA/AAA. Like Adams, 2B/3B, mostly at 2B.

As for catcher, who knows. Cervelli, Stewart, Romine (24, and with just 21 games of AAA experience) and Bobby Wilson. Cervelli is the best hitter of the bunch, but probably the worst defender. Cervelli has 490 MLB at bats, .271-5-71, OPS+ 84. Romine is just 3 for 19 as a major leaguer, and as mentioned, just 21 AAA games. Stewart hit .241-1-13, OPS+ 67 in 141 at bats for the Yanks last year but is a .217 hitter with an OPS+ of 61 in 351 career at bats. Wilson hit .211-3-13, OPS+ 63 for the Angels in 2012 and is just a .208 career hitter in 389 at bats, OPS+ 67.

You wonder what catchers may be available. I also wonder if Nunez may be the trade bait to get that catcher.

The problem is, Nix then becomes your backup SS. Adams & Joseph have some nice minor league numbers, but neither has played SS.

Are you asking about Ramiro Pena? He signed with the Braves. Of course, Pena couldn’t hit…

I’m wondering what moves the Yanks will be making. They will need to make some… and soon.

Slow time.

Well, there hasn’t been many posts lately for a number of reasons.

1) the season is over and we see what happens with trades/free agents.

2) Hurricane Sandy knocked my power off for 22 hours. I’m lucky. Many didn’t get power for many more days.

3) I’ve been busy. 48 hours of work this past week and 48 next. 40 Thanksgiving week and I’m not working on the holiday. 50 hour weeks the two weeks after T-Giving.

So we await on the major awards from MLB. So far, Cano and Teix got the GG, Cano and Jeter SS awards.

I don’t know what the Yanks will do yet with their free agents. They did give some qualifying offers (rejected) to Kuroda, Swish and Soriano. I expect Swish and Soriano to be gone. Kuroda is a question mark.

Martin is a free agent. I wouldn’t mind a 2-yr. deal for him, but remember, he only hit .211 last year (with 21 HR). Romine needs a full year at AAA, something his back injury prevented him from last year. So 2013 AAA, maybe 2014 back up Martin. If so, who is the backup? If Stewart, then best to trade Cervelli and see what you can get for him. Sanchez is on the come, so you don’t even know if Romine is the future. Sanchez is a few years away.

SS/3B is a problem. Jeter is 39 next June, and coming off a broken ankle. He had just 9 sb this year, his range is in question and now a broken ankle. I’d love to see Nunez figure more in the lineup for the 35-40 SB potential he brings, but where to put his horrendous defense? And A-Rod looks like a fading star. 38 next July. Do you really want a left side of the infield that has a 39 year old SS and 38 year old 3B? Guess what. You are stuck with it.

Do you bring back Kuroda and Pettitte? One will be 38 next year, the other 41 next June. Then there is Mo. He threw 25 pitches off a mound for a commercial. Good sign, but he will be 43 in a few weeks. Ibanez is on the block. 41 next year. Jones 35. Chavez 35. Who comes back?

This team MUST get younger.

Meanwhile, Toronto mgr. Farrell goes to Boston. Toronto is looking. One-time A’s SS Walt Weiss is now the Rockies’ mgr. Mark McGwire leaves St. Louis to become the Dodgers’ new hitting coach.

The Mets and Jason Bay reach an amicable divorce. That didn’t work out.

College Football: Darrell Royal died at age 88. He won 3 national titles for Texas in the 1960’s (although, as a PSU grad, I’ll dispute that 1969 one).

Lee MacPhail, who was the Yanks’ GM in the late 1960’s/early 1970’s, died at the age of 95. His dad (Larry) owned the Yanks for a brief time (1945-1947). Lee later became the A.L. President and it was he who made the Pine tar ruling.

The Yanks are thinking of flip-flopping Granderson and Gardner, moving the Grandy Man to LF. If they bring Ichiro (39) back for RF, they’ll have a speedy and good defensive OF, but having Ichiro AND Gardner cuts into your power.

If Torii Hunter really wants $20 mil over 2 years, count the Yanks out. He is 37 so it wouldn’t fit the “getting younger” plan.

I worry about next year. Too much age.

As for 6-4 PSU, I’m happy with the job Bill O’Brien has done. It’ll get much harder after this year. I see an offense that has come out of the stone age. Under very difficult circumstances, he has done a good job.

A strange year. My faves are Rivera and Polamalu (Steelers fan) and between the two, I don’t get to see them on the field what with injuries. I’m happy the Steelers are 5-3. They should beat KC tomorrow night, they should reach the playoffs.

But anyone doubting the Texans needs to be aware of them. Houston is for real.

Yanks’ season over. Swept by Tigers in ALCS

The Yanks laid an egg in Game 4 of the ALCS, losing 8-1 as they were swept four straight by the Tigers.

The hitting continued to be putrid. The Yanks got only two hits in the game, a triple by Nunez in the sixth followed later in the inning by a Swisher double. For Swisher, it broke a 1 for 36 or so with RISP run for him in the postseason.

CC Sabathia had nothing. 3 2/3, 6 R, 5 ER, 11 H, 2 walks, 3 K. HR to Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera and Johnny Peralta. He gave up a run in the first, one in the second and four in the fourth. Down 6-0 after four, and hitless, the Yanks were effectively dead at that point.

Eppley 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 0 K.

Rapada 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks and 0 K.

Joba 1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 0 K.

Lowe 1 IP, 1 R, 1 H (Austin Jackson HR), 0 walks, 0 K.

Robertson 1 IP, 1 R (another Peralta HR) 1 H, 0 walks 1 K.

The Tigers hit four HR in the game. The ALCS MVP was Delmon Young.

Over the weekend, I’ll do the postmortem, looking at the terrible batting averages of this postseason and wondering who’ll stay and who’ll go. Frankly, if the Yanks can get rid of A-Rod, I’m all for it. He’s become too much of a distraction to this team.

It’s supposed to be about the team, not any individual. The past few days, it seemed to be that everything, and yes, some was media-driven and blog-driven, was about A-Rod. But A-Rod brought a lot upon himself by not hitting and by other things (the women incident in Game 1 of the ALCS, where he was hitting on them instead of the baseball).

There was a good point on ESPN this morning about Burnett becoming too big a distraction last year, and the Yanks then dumping him. A-Rod is that now. But how to dump him? Who’d take a fading 37-year-old and that contract?

Now I can’t answer who would replace A-Rod if the Yanks get rid of him. Chase Headley is out there as a free agent.

But you wonder if it’s better that A-Rod 1) get his 3000th hit (he is 99 away) 2) his 2000th RBI (50 to go) and 3) pass Willie Mays with HR #661* (14 to go) with another team.

A bigger problem is age. Some guys are going nowhere due to their contracts or fact that they are Yankees’ legends. But let’s face it. Jeter, A-Rod, Kuroda, Ichiro, Lowe, Chavez, Jones, Garcia, Rivera and Pettitte? They are all old. Granted a couple (Jeter, Pettitte, for example) had good years but injury, either mid-season or end of season (Jeter) caught up to the aging players.

The Tigers manhandled the Yanks. Not once in the four games did the Yanks ever have the lead.

The Yankees hit just .157 in the ALCS and .188 for the postseason. Total postseason numbers to come. For example, Chavez was 0 for 16, Alex 3 for 25, Cano 3 for 40. More individual numbers to come over the weekend.

The Cardinals took a 3 games to 1 lead over the Giants in the NLCS. Should they win the NL pennant, St. Louis will then try to become just the fourth NL team to go back-to-back as WS champs, and this right after they lost manager LaRussa and 1B Pujols.

If it is a Tigers/Cardinals WS, it would be the fourth such matchup. The Cardinals won in 7 in 1934, when the “Gashouse Gang” rode Dizzy Dean to an 11-0 shutout in a game Joe “Ducky” Medwick was pulled from by Commissioner Landis when fans threw stuff at him. In 1968 the Tigers came back from a 3-1 deficit, Lolich over Gibson in Game 7. In 2006 the Cardinals won in five when Tiger pitchers proved they couldn’t field.

ALCS Game 2. Silent bats, bad call, doom Yanks.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched his heart out. Two outs into the eighth inning, he was losing 1-0 despite eleven strikeouts. This on three days rest. He then gave up a single. Then another.

But on the second single, Nick Swisher threw behind Omar Infante… and had him. Only the second base umpire didn’t see it that way. Instead of getting out of the top of the 8th down 1-0, the inning continued.

Logan replaced Kuroda. A broken-bat single made it 2-0. Girardi got ejected in taking out Logan and replacing him with Joba. A single by Miguel Cabrera made it 3-0. In came Rapada and a walk loaded the bases before Eppley came in and got the last out.

But the way the Yanks were and are hitting, going from 1-0 to 3-0 could just as well have been an increase to 300 to 0.

The Yanks got just four hits the entire game in getting shut out.

Kuroda 7 2/3, 3 R, 5 H, 0 walks and 11 K. He deserved better. He was great.

Logan 1 batter, hit.

Joba 1 batter, hit.

Rapada 1 batter, walk.

Eppley 1 1/3, 0 R, 1 h, no walks and 2 k.

Cano is now 0 for his last 26 in the postseason. Unbelievable.

A-Rod is now 3 for 23 in the postseason. He struck out two more times today.

Granderson is now 3 for 26 in the postseason. 3 more strikeouts.

Swisher is now 4 for 26. He struck out twice.

You have to wonder about Kevin Long’s job security.

The Yanks go to Detroit down 0-2. They look, especially offensively, like dead men walking.

You wonder if this series comes back to NY. For now they have to face Verlander Tuesday in Game 3.

They way the Yanks are hitting (or not hitting), he’s the last thing they need.

Futile Five

So far the Yanks have played six postseason games. Here are a futile five.

Chavez 0 for 11, 6 K.

Cano 2 for 28.

A-Rod 2 for 19, 10 K.

Granderson 3 for 23, 11 K.

Swisher 3 for 23.

Combined, that is 10 for 104. Or .096.

ALCS Gm 1: Yanks blow early chances, lose in 12. Lose Jeter until 2013.

The Yankees blew early chances, had a miracle comeback (Ibanez again!) to force extra innings, but then lost Game 1 of the ALCS 6-4 to Detroit.

Even more devastating was the loss of Derek Jeter until next season with a fractured ankle.

The Yanks can only blame themselves for the loss. The left the bases loaded in the first when A-Rod’s grounder was fielded on a good play by SS Peralta, who forced Ibanez at second. They left them loaded again the next inning, when Cano’s smash up the middle (Cano is 0 for his last 21 in the postseason) hit Fister on his wrist and deflected to Peralta, who nipped Cano at first. A-Rod hit into a DP in the fifth. In the sixth, after the Tigers scored two off Pettitte in the top of the inning, Teixeira reached on an error. Ibanez doubled. 2nd and 3rd, no one out, and the Yankees once again got NOTHING. A-Rod struck out (and was PH for… again…. later in the game. Sheesh. 5 more years and $114 million left on the contract of a 37-year old who looks done). Swisher walked. Granderson and Martin each struck out. Three times they left the bases loaded in the first six innings. THREE TIMES.

Pettitte, who lost game 2 of the ALDS 3-2, pitched another good game and once again got no support. 6 2/3 IP, 2 R, 7 H, 3 walks and 5 K. He left trailing 2-0.

Derek Lowe went 2/3, 2 R, 2 H, 0 walks and 1 K. The Tigers got two in the 8th. Delmon Young getting the first one with a HR (he killed the Yankees last year and did it again last night, 3 for 6 with 3 RBI).

So they went into the bottom of the ninth down 4-0. Ichiro hit a 2-run HR to cut it to 4-2. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Teixiera, down 0-2 in the count, worked out a walk, bringing up Ibanez, who stunningly, amazingly, did it again. A 2-run HR to tie the game.

On the game went.

Logan 2/3, 0 r, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

Eppley 2/3, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.

Rapada 1/3, 0 R, 0 H 0 walks, 1 K.

Soriano 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 0 K.

Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks and 1 K.

But then Phelps, who lost Game 4 of the ALDS in the 13th, lost this one in the 12th. 1 IP,  2 R, 3 H, 1 walk and 1 K. 6-4 Tigers.

In the middle of that top of the 12th, Jeter fell while fielding a ground ball. He was carried off the field and is done for the postseason with a fractured ankle. Nix will SS from here on out. Nunez is back on the roster.

You hope Nix can provide a spark. Hardly anyone else is.

The Yanks have their backs against the wall. They aren’t hitting (3 for 13 RISP, 13 LOB). They lost their captain. Kuroda on 3 days rest tonight. Down 0-1 in the series. They have to win tonight to avoid going down 0-2 heading to Motown.

Cano was 0 for 6 last night and is 0 for his last 21 or so in the postseason. We know how bad A-Rod (0 for 3, left 6 on) and Granderson 0 for 4 have been. I was one calling for Chavez, and he went 0 for 3 and is hitless in the postseason himself (although, to be fair, Jackson made a great catch to rob Chavez of a double last night). Swisher is 1 for his last 35 or so with RISP in the postseason.

The Yankees wasted another good pitching outing by Pettitte, who is still waiting for postseason win #20.

They have soldiered on this season without Rivera. They lost Pettitte for two months with a fractured ankle.

Now they have to do it without Jeter.

It would help if someone besides Ibanez and Ichiro (who besides driving in all 4 last night, had 2 of the 3 RBI in the do-or-die Game 5 of the ALDS vs. Baltimore) turned up clutch.