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Yankees vs. Red Sox: Burnett To Square Off Against Wakefield

It was a blisteringly hot day in New York on Tuesday, and by game time, the evening provided no relief.

It did not stop Yankee fans from packing into the Stadium. A well-deserved welcome home for their first-place team from a successful road trip, and hoping to cheer the Yankee players to victory as they open a three-game set against the Boston Red Sox.

Plain and simple, this was not the Yankees night as it started the moment Freddy Garcia threw his first pitch, a home-run off the bat of Jacoby Ellsbury.

Finally getting threw a half an inning; the Yankees got a turn at the plate, only to watch the team’s best player Mark Teixeira take one in the knee from Boston ace Jon Lester. Tex fell down in utter agony, as Yankee fans hearts sank watching baseball’s best first baseman get carried off the field.

So not only did the Yankees lose the game 6-4 to the Red Sox, and have to endure Tex getting injured; now they share the top spot in the AL East with their rivals. A first place that the Yankees were in sole possession of just hours ago.

NYY AJ Burnett (6-3, 3.86 ERA) vs. BOS Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40 ERA):

Now, Yankees Universe will look to the arm of AJ Burnett for some reprieve and a needed pick-me-up on Wednesday night.

Burnett has the advantage on the mound facing the oldest active MLB player, 44-year-old knuckle-baller Tim Wakefield. Wakefield has emerged as the emergency rotation filler, due to holes left by injuries and he has adapted to the role very well considering his prime was almost two decades ago.

Wakefield has made five spot starts for Boston, and three times it resulted in team wins. Wakefield has been more effective coming out of the bullpen, but over his five starts he has only given up three home-runs, seven doubles, 14 earned runs, walked eight and posts 28.5 innings pitching in total.

Not so great, but Wakefield is a hit or miss, but without his knuckleball that 70-73 mph fastball offers zippo refuge.

Skipper Terry Francona is not expecting milestones from Wakefield, but if he can eat six innings like he did in his last three outings that is just perfect enough for the Red Sox’s potent offense to win.

The Yankees will be looking to shutdown Boston’s bats to make Wakefield’s job harder and this was something that Burnett used to do to perfection as a Toronto Blue Jay. It was the selling point that yielded the Yankees to ink Burnett, as his success within the AL East was undeniable and specifically vs. the Red Sox.

Well, Burnett came into this season with less accountability than Wakefield. Through hard work and a desire, Burnett worked his butt off during the odd-season and he has without question righted himself mentally.

In 2001, Burnett has pitched 74.2 innings in 12 starts,

Out of every line-up in baseball, the Red Sox have the best odds of pushing the ‘new’ Burnett over the edge. Right now, that one disastrous, game changing inning that Burnett was renowned for has not reared it’s ugly head yet this season. Continue reading ‘Yankees vs. Red Sox: Burnett To Square Off Against Wakefield’ »

New York Yankees Freddie Garcia Vs. Boston Red Sox Jon Lester

The New York Yankees are looking for some revenge against the Boston Red Sox, who are in the Bronx to play a decidedly scrutinized three-game set.

Right now the Yankees are hanging on to the top sot in the AL East by just a game over the Red Sox.

Boston has been working hard to get back into a position to pounce. Now, the perfect opportunity to finally dethrone New York, who has been sitting pretty above them all season long, is now.

The Yankees as they say, can kill two birds with one stone. Not only does this open the door to sweep ahead by four games in the division, but also yields their 1-5 record against the Red Sox. Don’t think I forgot to mention how Yankee fans would love to forget about the Boston May 13th series, when they brought out the brooms in the Bronx.

NYY FREDDY GARCIA (4-4, 3.34 ERA) vs. BOS JON LESTER (7-2, 3.94 ERA)

To start this three-game set, the Yankees send veteran Freddy Garcia to the hill to face 27-year-old Boston Red Sox Jon Lester.

Garcia is looking to get some revenge, which falls right in line with Yankees overall theme for this series, after his two awful starts this season vs. the Red Sox.

In the two losses, Garcia faced 24 Red Sox batters who posted a .292 batting average, while allowing seven hits, three doubles, two home-runs and three walks. Garcia needs to pay special attention to Big Papi and Kevin Youkilis, while also remembering that Carl Crawford’s bat has officially arrived.

If Garcia’s off-speed stuff gets going, along with his 13-seasons of experience he should have not problem prompting strikes. Garcia has an arsenal of pitches to choose from and is looking to keep his team in the game, but the Yankee bats have to give him some cushioning.

Not if Lester has anything to say about it, as he will try to tame the Yankees line-up. Lester will pay particular attention to the Captain, who is 14 hits away from being Mr. 3000 and has a .316 batting average in his career vs. Lester.

My bet would be that with a .333 batting average against the Red Sox ace, Andruw Jones will be in the Yankees line-up Tuesday night to shake the lefty up. Jones could be key for Yankees, as Lester has baffled the Yankees in his four-year career keeping the Bombers hitting just .235 against him.

Lester lost his last start Chicago White Sox, who tossed him around by scoring seven earned runs in eight hits, with one homer, four walks before hitting two batters causing his five-inning exit.

The outing incorporated him to throw 127-pitches and why he was left in so long is a darn good question. He also has a very un-Lester like 6.52 ERA over his last five starts; add that to laying 56 runners on base in 29 innings, and that could spell trouble.

Lester will have to improve drastically against the Yankees line-up that is the hardest hitting so far this season, posting the most home-runs with 88, second overall, but top in the AL in RBIs with 285 and also lead the AL with 293 runs total. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees Freddie Garcia Vs. Boston Red Sox Jon Lester’ »

New York Yankees: Boston Massacre To Begin As Red Sox Are In Town

It is no secret that the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox did not look like themselves up until now; because as of a month ago both ball-clubs fans shared the same serious concern.

Well it seems that both veteran-filled roasters just needed some added time to warm-up and the AL East is starting to look like it always does.

So with that said, Yankee fans are looking for nothing less than a Boston massacre this week, as the Red Sox are back in town and have owned the Bombers winning five of six games so far in 2011.

With both teams decisively playing first-rate baseball, there will be no excuse for losing this time. This pertains more so for the Yankees, who start the three-game set a game ahead of Boston in the AL East standings.

Also, Yankee Universe remembers the Red Sox brought their brooms the last time they visited the Bronx, which was only back on May 13th. Leaving a wound that is still very fresh for anyone who wears the pinstripes, but especially for the fans who seem to take this even more seriously than the players.

Not to say the Yankee players would tolerate another series loss at the hands of Big Sloppy Papi and his prick closer Papelbon in their own house, again.

Even more so, the Stadium will be rocking with Yankee fans cheering on their team who is finally home from a very fruitful 6-3-road trip.

The pitching schedule is as follows:

TUESDAY, June 7, 2011, 7:05 PM EST

Freddy Garcia (4-4, 3.34 ERA) vs. Jon Lester (7-2, 3.94 ERA)

WEDNESDAY, June 8, 2011, 7:05 PM EST

AJ Burnett (6-3, 3.86 ERA) vs. Tim Wakefield (2-1, 4.40 ERA)

THURSDAY, June 9, 2011, 7:05 PM EST

CC Sabathia (7-3, 2.80 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (4-2, 2.01 ERA)

(Look for ladylovespinstripes.com individual pitching previews for each game to follow.)

MY SERIES THOUGHTS AND PREDICTION: Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Boston Massacre To Begin As Red Sox Are In Town’ »

New York Yankees: Coming Home To No Relief

What started out with two avoidable losses against the Seattle Mariners, the New York Yankees are returning to the Bronx with a respectable 6-3 record from their West Coast road trip.

Well, things don’t get much easier for the Bombers who’s first task is to host their rival Boston Red Sox for a three-game set.

The last meeting between baseball’s most famous rivals was back on May 13th where Boston swept the Yankees at the stadium. So far the Red Sox have won five of six on the season, and trust me that is not sitting well with Yankee fans.

As usual, ESPN has hailed Boston the hottest team in baseball, even though the Red Sox have failed to take over first place from New York, who are currently ahead by one game in the AL East standings. This is typical for ESPN but when your main analysts consist of two ex-Red Sox (Garciaparra, Schilling) and one angry ex-Yankee (Boone) what else can you expect. Now the Yankees can numb my pain and not let the BBTN guys be right by winning…please.

Now it doesn’t take a genius to realize that the Yankees June schedule provides absolutely zero relief, as the team will be tested to the core. Just take a look for yourself:

Anyone who wants to know a hell of a lot more about the Yankees watch the next two weeks. Things are about to get even harder and questions will be answered as the top teams in the American League will be visiting the Bronx.

Here are three questions that will be answered:

  1. Are the first placing Indians for real?
  2. With both teams playing good baseball, who is hotter Red Sox or Yankees?
  3. Will the Rangers pitching hold up much longer? And can Josh Hamilton stay healthy for a full month?
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New York Yankees: Weekend Pitching Match-ups Vs. Halos In Anaheim

The New York Yankees continue their West Coast road trip with a final series in Anaheim against the Los Angeles Angels.

As of two seasons ago, facing the Halos anywhere was never a fun time for the Yankees or the New York fans, but times have change. This is not due to the Angels not being a solid ball-club, but more attributed to the Yankees not being scared of this team like they seemed to be in the past.

Still, this series features some hard hitters and noteworthy pitchers; here are the weekend’s match-ups as the Angels play host to the Yankees:

FRIDAY JUNE 3, 2011 – 10:05pm EST; YES, MLB.TV

Yankees Ivan Nova (4-3) vs. Angels Jared Weaver (6-4)

Yankees are expecting a better performance from Nova who is posting a 4.67 ERA. With Phil Hughes’ return looming, Nova knows he is pitching to keep the job he won out of Spring Training. Nova couldn’t get through four innings in his last outing, giving-up four earned runs to the Mariners, who are also meekest, line-up in baseball. Following that Yankee 12-inning loss, the other four Yankee starters all won their starts, each pitched through seven innings and combined for a 1.74 ERA. Nova is only 24- years-old and this is what young pitchers go through, but tiring out the bullpen and losing games is not productive. Let’s hope for a resurge from the kid.

Weaver was the hottest pitcher in baseball for the few weeks of 2011 season, posting a 6-0 record breaking Randy Johnson’s 2002 for most consecutive wins to start a season. In his succeeding six starts, Weaver has hit a career slump going 0-4. Still, the Angels have not been giving any run support, as in Weaver’s last start he threw nine-innings of two-hit baseball. He seems to be pitching up to par again, but until Vernon Wells and the team’s leading hitter Howie Kendrick are healthy the line-up will suffer. Kendrick is looking to be activated this Saturday, so Weaver will have to deal without his bat unfortunately. Weaver will have to be on target facing Curtis Granderson has made 14 at-bats, with four RBIs, four solo homers off and posts a .429 batting average against the Angels ace.

*SATURDAY JUNE 4, 2011 – 9:05pm EST; YES, MLBN, MLB.TV

Yankees CC Sabathia (6-3) vs. Angels Dan Haren (5-3)

In his last three starts, Sabathia has pitched 25 innings in total and posts a 1.80 ERA. Sabathia always starts out the season slow, but now he has found his groove. Sabathia is looking to win his fourth straight start and seventh on the season. He has gone eight or more innings for the Yankees in his last four times on the bump and that is why he is the ace of this staff.

Sports Illustrated reports that Haren suffered back stiffness this past Wednesday, mid-bullpen session and as of now is still scheduled to make his start vs. Sabathia on Saturday. Haren, like Weaver has been hung out to dry and not getting any help from the Angel bats. With Kendrick made active prior to this game, Haren might just finally get that help. Keep an eye out regarding Haren’s status.

SUNDAY JUNE 5, 2011 – 3:35pm EST; YES, MLB.TV

Yankees Bartolo Colon (3-3) vs. Ervin Santana (3-4)

Colon threw a shutout, complete game in his last start. Colon will be looking to continue his impressive revival on Sunday afternoon facing his old team, as Colon won the 2005 CY Young Award with the Halos and spent the majority of his career in Anaheim. The last time Colon faced his old peers was back in 2009, but he beat them and threw just shy of seven innings but held the Halos to just one-run.

Santana will have his hand full with the heavy-hitting Bombers, but he has improved vastly since his awful start to the 2011 season. Santana boosts a 3.56 ERA at-home compared to 5+ on the road, so he is happy to be back home. Following a complete game shutout against the Braves, Santana’s last start vs. the Royals was a mess, giving up six earned runs and two homers. He walked away with the win because the Angels offense did wake-up up by scoring 10 runs. This 28-year-old has a deadly slider and when he it is on, with his solid fastball he can be lethal for any clubs bats.

*injury-watch

 

 

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Major League Baseball’s Biggest Moment A Year Later

One out away from throwing a perfect game; one out for a pitcher to reach an individual milestone and be a lock to be in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

An easy out at first, and the call is S-A-F-E.

The call was wrong and the perfect game will not be on your resume, your name will not be etched in baseball history anymore and it was all because of a human error by an umpire who thought he got it right.

That was what happened on June 2, 2010 at Comerica Park between Detroit Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga and umpire Jim Joyce, but it is what happened after that made this such a great moment for the game of baseball.

Two gentlemen, who displayed such passion for getting it right but such sportsmanship because in reality no one gets it right most of the time.

As bad of a call as Joyce made, it was a great day because it sent the right message and that doesn’t happen all that much anymore-in sports.

“Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.” - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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