Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes Lady Loves Pinstripes

New York Yankees: Pitching Test For AJ Burnett Vs. Toronto Blue Jays

The New York Yankees are up in Toronto to play a quick two-games against their AL East Division rival Blue Jays.

The Bombers left New York after taking two of three games from the Texas Rangers, who they had not seen since the 2010 ALCS, so the team is feeling pretty confident right now.

For the Blue Jays, coming home was not nearly as sweet following a tough, 3-7-road trip.

With both teams having good reason behind taking the first game, let’s look at Tuesday night’s match-up on the mound.

AJ BURNETT, NYY:

In the first game on Tuesday night, the Yankees will send AJ Burnett to the bump at the Roger Centre, a very familiar place for the ex-Blue Jay.

Unfortunately any fond Canadian memories are long gone for Burnett, as his spectacular month of April could come crashing down if history dictates anything.

In 2010 Burnett’s last start against the Blue Jays he got pulled after 2.1 innings of crap, allowing two homeruns, seven earned runs, a walk, a strikeout and he managed to hit one of the 16 total batters he faced.

The Yankees have lost to the Jays the last four times Burnett started the game, two of which were in Toronto.

This could certainly end Burnett’s 3-0 April winning streak, as Burnett is known to start off every season hot only to fall on his face. This is the ideal situation for past-disasters, so this is a big test for Burnett to earn some real trust back.

Burnett is up against a Jays-team that is 4-2 at home, with nine homeruns so far this season.

It comes as no shock that slugger Jose Bautista is responsible for two of the long balls. Bautista has continued right where he left off last season hitting .455 thus far.

In his nine at-bats against Burnett, Bautista is hitting .444, with four hits, one double, two homeruns, six RBIs, drawn two walks and struck out twice.

Pretty sure Burnett will be watching out for Bautista, who might not be ready for Burnett’s resurrected change-up. This change-up proved dominate against the Orioles just day ago and Burnett claimed he has not thrown this pitch in over 12 years. It is certainly a nice addition to his wicked curveball and mid-90’s fastball.

KYLE DRABEK, TOR:

Toronto will counter with 23-year-old righty Kyle Drabek, who has pitching in his blood, as his dad is former CY Young winner Doug Drabek.

So far in his first three starts Drabek has been phenomenal posting a 1.93 ERA, with 17 strikeouts in just shy of 19 innings pitched. Drabek’s only real issue is the 11 walks he has allowed, which could potentially be a real problem facing the patient Yankees line-up. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Pitching Test For AJ Burnett Vs. Toronto Blue Jays’ »

New York Yankees: Fans Are Furious That GM Brian Cashman Was Actually Right

Brian Cashman

Image via Wikipedia

Could it be that New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman actually knows something about baseball?

Over the 2011 off-season everyone from Yankee fans to MLB experts, myself included, criticized every move or non-move that Cashman made. Citing many as desperate measures after the coveted arm of Cliff Lee went somewhere for less money NOT to wear the pinstripes.

Cashman did cause unnecessary havoc with the beloved team’s Captain Derek Jeter, but did it ever occur to you that Cashman might have just been the messenger? Ever heard the the saying, the messenger always gets killed?

So, what is my point?

Look, obviously hitting the three-week mark doesn’t make a dent in the 162 games played in a regular MLB season, and 2011 is no different.

This is not some ridiculous declaration that the Yankees are primed to win their division, or that any team’s future can be declared for that matter. It is a waste of breath because so much hasn’t happened yet.

One thing that has transpired over this short period is that Cashman’s off-season moves were not as despairing or irrational as initially thought and anyone who says otherwise is an idiot.

Imagine if Cashman didn’t go after catcher Russell Martin or that he didn’t go get Eric Chavez? He stuck to his guns about bringing in Bartolo Colon and Freddie Garcia, as Yankee fans were distraught about how he let Zach Grienke get away and blamed Cashman for Andy Pettitte’s departure.

Fact is without Cashman’s ‘terrible’ off-season, the Yankees would not be in the first place and would probably be off to a worse start than the Boston Red Sox, but without the potential or the back-up.

This is not to say that by the All-Star break the Yankees might resemble more of a nursing home type atmosphere, but with each game played this notion is diminishing.

Cashman didn’t bring in these players to build a team, he brought these veteran All-Stars in to support a team. They all know the ins and outs of baseball; are well aware of how long a season is and have certainly reminded fans that they know how to play. Maybe not everyday, but no one is asking them too.

After watching Garcia dominate the Texas Rangers with smarts and skill, along with the consistently hot bats of Chavez and Martin is enough proof to admit I was wrong.

Wait! Before anyone reading starts to disagree, spare me. I don’t blame Cashman for  the Pedro Feliciano injury, as the Yankees had him checked out prior to the signing and he cleared. It was not Cashman’s fault because he would never have inked that deal if he knew about his shoulder. Look where Feliciano came from, the Mets who are not exactly reputable for anything expect messing up everything so blaming them should not be this hard.

So, I will apologize to Mr. Cashman for doubting him so fast. At the very least, we all should have given Cashman a right he has certainly earned, a chance to show us.

Hey cut me some slack, as what else would you expect from a Yankees fan?

Enhanced by Zemanta

2011 MLB Season: Top 9 Headlines After Two Weeks Of Drama

It is hard to believe that the 2011 MLB season is only a tad over two weeks old, as the drama could be deemed season-worthy already.

What story-lines have really shocked baseball fans?

Here are the top 9 headlines (with my comments) that could make baseball worthy of it’s own soap opera, now that the MLB Network just aired baseball’s first official reality series. Please, click on the titles to go to the actual articles, trust me it is well worth it. Continue reading ‘2011 MLB Season: Top 9 Headlines After Two Weeks Of Drama’ »

New York Yankees: Freddy Was Totally Ready As Garcia Wins Debut Vs. Rangers

Following Friday’s double whammy of losing Phil Hughes to the DL and the first game to the Texas Rangers since the 2010 ALCS, the New York Yankees needed something to go their way.

Well, on a cold and rainy day in the Bronx that was exactly what they got from starter and new Yankee Freddy Garcia in his official debut.

Throwing six-scoreless innings and completely blanking the heavy hitting Texas Rangers, the Yankees could not have written it any better.

Garcia pitched like a genius by keeping ahead in his counts by dominating the fastball swinging Rangers with his off-speed pitches. Garcia only allowed two hits and needed 84 pitches in the outing.

The Yankee bats followed starting with Mark Teixeira’s two-run homerun in the first inning but his fifth on the season, and the team never looked back, beating the Ranger 5-2.

Let me just say, I was in attendance for Garcia’s start and the weather conditions were about the least ideal possible. Garcia certainly put a smile on my face after six.

It was also great to see a still hyped up Joba Chamberlain come in the seventh. Joba seems to have been bitten by the same bug from 2007. It was utterly delightful to see Joba ecstatic about doing his job again.

The series finale is Sunday night at 8pm and both teams would like to come away with the series win.

It will be Yankees ace CC Sabathia on the bump, against the Rangers, 27-year-old Alexi Ogando.

*Look for my prediction and preview, about this Sunday night match-up to follow.

Enhanced by Zemanta

New York Yankees: Double Trouble In The Bronx As Bombers Lose To Rangers

A lot of things happened with the New York Yankees Friday night, other than losing 5-3 to the Texas Rangers, the first game of this weekend’s three game set.

Yankee fans should not panic but there some substantial things to take note of, so to make it easier here are a few you can print:

PRE-GAME TROUBLE:

Prior to the game, Phil Hughes officially moved to the 15-day DL with dead arm cited as the reason.

The hope is that getting on a daily long-toss program will build his arm strength and presumably he will work on his curveball to have a third pitch to use too. Whether this will be enough time for Hughes’ to work is up to genius and new pitching coach Larry Rothschild.

Hughes is understandably disappointed, but he seems to have come to grips that this had to happen and is confident it will work.

As unfortunate as the situation is, it had to be done. I was shocked, but relieved that happened to Hughes so soon, as Skipper Joe Girardi is infamous for giving endless chances to struggling pitchers.

Finally, Girardi made the right move, at the right time to avoid the possibility of jeopardizing any games outcomes by getting Hughes out.

To be honest, I was vey worried that because the team won the game that Hughes had started on Thursday night, that it might have been earned him another go. Blame it on me being on Girardi autopilot, but if Sergio Mitre had that identical performance, he would have won a rotation spot. Whatever, hopefully we can turn that page thank goodness and with no other ex-Marlins on the team I think Girardi can too.

Obviously Bartolo Colon, who has been dynamite coming in from the bullpen in long relief, will take over for Hughes. Colon has impressed everyone, which admittedly proves my theory completely wrong. As the 2005 CY Young winner can still dominate, which the Yankees desperately need Colon to continue to do.

It wouldn’t surprise me if Colon remains in the rotation from here on out, and Freddie Garcia gets moved to the bullpen by the time Hughes gets back.

GAME TROUBLES AND NEW AL RECORD SET:

The Texas Rangers are in the Bronx for the first time this weekend since they beat the New York Yankees in the 2010 ALCS; and not much changed as Texas won the first game of this three game set 5-3.

Well the Yankees had everything working in their favor heading into this rematch…playing at home, sans Cliff Lee, and 2010 AL MVP Josh Hamilton, obviously the Rangers best player is out for at least eight weeks with a broken shoulder. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Double Trouble In The Bronx As Bombers Lose To Rangers’ »

New York Yankees: Hughes Improves And Joba Rules In Walk-off Win

Arriving in first place, only to leave in second is just what the New York Yankees hoped to do to Buck Showalter’s Baltimore Orioles. Winning Wednesday tied the teams atop the AL East; but beating the O’s for a second night in a row put the Yankees back on top.

The Orioles came in to the Bronx playing good baseball. It was the first time in nano-years where the O’s only chance to win wasn’t completely dependent on the Yankees beating themselves. Truth is that Buck’s Birds were now deemed good enough to beat the Evil Empire on their own merit.

Or at least that is what Showalter’s presence made you believe; unfortunately his Birds came in with their wings between their legs.

Following AJ Burnett posting his third win on the season, which puts him one ahead of the Red Sox, the shaky Phil Hughes was slated to take the bump. This time the Yankees were ready after Hughes’ implosion in Fenway last weekend.

Regarding Hughes, he got away with one tonight, but let’s not forget that baseball is a team sport and picking up the slack is a satisfying example of just that.

This does not at all mean that Hughes can take his darn old time or that the team will be able to do this every fifth day. All it did was earn Hughes another start; at least that is what I would presume.

The bullpen performances’ of Bartolo Colon and Joba Chamberlain were as close to perfect as anyone could ask for.

Joba looked dynamite, like 2007 bug-game style, retiring all five batters he faced; and tagging out a runner from scoring at home. Joba had that fierce look in his eyes, taking complete control of what happened and it was nice to finally see that fire again.

Colon and Joba’s determination went viral in the Yankees dugout, as the bats responded immediately with Posada going yard to tie the game at 5-5 and the great one, Mariano Rivera holding the O’s at bay to give the Yankee bats a chance to win in extra innings.

It didn’t take long, as in the 10th inning; Yankees Universe got to see the first 2011 (of hopefully many) Burnett walk-off pies slam into the game’s hero Nick Swisher. The Yankees will take it as who doesn’t’ love the walk-off win?

Hughes’ outing was a tad better, not like that was very hard. The 24-year-old is barely keeping his head above water but is still treading. Many will say that Hughes’ performance is getting masked because he got so much help, but the team won and once that is final, the how doesn’t really matter much.

This is the perfect way for the Yankees to head into an 2010 ALCS re-match with the Texas Ranger this weekend, especially for the team that is looking to taste some sweet revenge.

Enhanced by Zemanta