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New York Yankees: Rookie Ivan Nova To Debut On Mound Vs. Toronto Blue Jays

What a rare opportunity for rookie pitcher Ivan Nova to make his mark in New York Yankees pinstripes, by making his Major League debut tonight vs. the heavy-hitting Toronto Blue Jays.

Getting called up from Scranton-Wilkes-Barre is every rookie’s goal, but to start against another AL East ball-club, in middle of a tight pennant race is a lot of pressure. Can Ivan Nova do his job?

The Yankees obviously have a lot of trust in Nova’s abilities. He has been an ace in Triple-A with a 12-3 record and 2.66 ERA.

Look for Nova to throw a newly acquired slider. The Yankees hope is the 23-year-old righty can throw a lot of strikes to keep the team in first place within the division.

Toronto Blue Jays will counter with another youngster, 26-year-old Brandon Morrow.

On August 9, Morrow threw 137 pitches, posting 17-strikeouts against the Tampa Bay Rays, just missing a no-hitter, which would have been the second in Blue Jays history. Morrow did record his first complete game and shutout, which is a huge accomplishment for the young righty.

Morrow has made three starts vs. New York in 2010, in which he is 1-0, allowing 11 earned runs, three homeruns, four walks and striking out 24.

On the season, Morrow has a 9-8 record, posting a 4.45 ERA, allowing only 10 homeruns, with 153 strikeouts over 131.1 innings pitched. He has to get his walks rate down which is currently at 60 in total.

Morrow will be extra careful with Jorge Posada and Brett Gardner who have hit him well this season. Also, any pitcher facing Robinson Cano is aware that he has been a monster with the bat.

MY PREDICTION:

Nova vs. Morrow will be a no-decision, and the Yankees will win 5-2.

On Road to Repeat: Eight Things Yankees Must Do to Win The AL East

In sports or life, as an individual or as a team once you become a champion is beyond satisfying.

After many failures through dedication and hard work the sense of relief must be surreal.

Getting back there again surely loses it’s sense of urgency, that is why repeating as a champion is harder than becoming one in the first place.

The Yankees are the most winning franchise in all of sports. No other teams can really compete financially, historically, or geographically. The Yankees popularity spans worldwide, and MLB stadiums everywhere fill-up if they’re in town.

Beating the Yankees is an accomplishment on it’s on, even if it is just a regular season game. Teams put forth efforts that go unseen, but come out vs. the Bombers.

It inevitably makes the task of repeating actually much harder and the road to repeat truly tests each player’s individual character.

Certain situations and individual performances will hinder the outcome of 2010 more than others. Here are 10 that are almost crucial in winning the AL East Division:

  1. Steal more bases overall. Keeping the opposing pitcher distracted is key for any team, but the Yankees need to run more. Brett Gardner’s value has soared because he is such a pest on the base-pads. Curtis Granderson can be a base-stealing machine, along with the young legs of Ramiro Pena, Francisco Cervelli and the old legs of Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez can cause utter confusion for opposing teams. Just look at the Tampa Bay Rays as this is the team’s specialty.
  2. Since the addition of RP Kerry Wood to the bullpen, the Yankees middle relievers have been dominate. Joba Chamberlain, Boone Logan, Sergio Mitre have resonated confidence which is essential for the team’s survival. The return of Alfredo Aceves just adds to the most underrated group of players in baseball.
  3. AJ Burnett has to pitch with more consistency. Burnett is not being asked anything more than what he has shown in the past, aka. 2009. It is no secret that Burnett is a hothead and mentally can get in a funk. No one is trying to change Burnett because I believe his craziness is vital to his overall successful. This season, Burnett can’t keep the scale level. When Burnett implodes, it drives him to be better. Great performances can no longer heavily outweigh Burnett’s frustrations.
  4. Continue reading ‘On Road to Repeat: Eight Things Yankees Must Do to Win The AL East’ »

Randy For Grandy: Curtis Granderson Earning His Yankee Pinstripes

New York Yankee fans have been waiting patiently for Curtis Granderson to figure himself out and it was well worth the wait.

Presently, the hardest stretch of the regular season is well underway for teams in contention, making the Yankees timing for heading into crisis-mode a serious concern.

The worrying began after the Bombers lost two of four games to the Kansas City Royals. Winning games against sub-.500 teams gives teams in a divisional race some cushioning down the stretch.

With the Yankees schedule only getting harder, the added insurance wins are essential, vital actually because one lose could make all the difference.

Returning to the Bronx couldn’t come faster, but what seemed like a god-send in the past, only got worse.

Hosting the Detroit Tigers for a four-game set proved the Yankee hitters could barely make contact with the ball to start the series Monday night.

In the same game, the Bombers two best hitters, Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher, both exited mid-game with recurring injuries.

Yankee fans went into panic mode. Sans-ARod was enough of a reason in itself for fans to worry.

How the hell are the Yankees going to win and who the hell is going to hit?

The answer came Tuesday night and his name is Curtis Granderson.

Granderson is turning into the Yankee hero in a time of crisis, something Grandy knew he owed this team.

Since being in pinstripes, Grandy was not a liability like Nick Johnson, but he was not the stud from the Tigers either.

The all-star Granderson the Yankees craved was nowhere to be found, except on the DL for about eight weeks.

Still, at the stadium fans demonstrated no hostility towards Granderson, but not loving him either. This behavior was way out of character for Yankee fans.

Call it subconscious instinct because now Granderson is hitting and the Yankees love it.

Everyone is randy for Grandy, and deservedly so considering he is the prime reason the team survives this A-Rod drought.

Over the last six games, Granderson has a .364 batting average, with eight hits, two doubles, two homers, three RBIs, and three walks.

Granderson, his teammates, and the fans somehow knew this was no mistake and now we have the proof.

LET’S GO YANKEES!

MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 19

Lady Loves Pinstripes is one of six bloggers voting on Yardbarker’s Gillette Fusion MLB Rankings. Each week Lady Loves Pinstripes will rank all 30 MLB teams, along with the other five bloggers. All bloggers rankings are averaged together for each weekly result. In addition, Lady Loves Pinstripes will comment on he AL WEST.


Over the next few weeks I am also responsible for the opening weekly summary. Be sure to stop by and read my thoughts.

Here are the latest MLB Rankings – Week 19 and see where your team ranks for the week….agree or disagree?

Click below to see what real fans think….

MLB BLOGGER RANKINGS – Week 19
  • Future Shock Blog: Minor League Update: Games of June 14 by Kevin Goldstein (ballhype.com)
  • Mlb Blogger Rankings – Week 9 (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Rankings – All-Star Break (ladylovespinstripes.com)
  • MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 12 (ladylovespinstripes.com)

New York Yankees: Causing Legitimate Worry But Not For Long

The state of the New York Yankees has caused legitimate worry.

Latest news:

  • Alex Rodriguez—out.
  • Andy Pettitte—return pushed back to mid-September.
  • Nick Swisher, AJ Burnett—playing hurt.

Now, the Bombers are tied atop the AL East, as the Tampa Bay Rays have played catch-up.

The Boston Red Sox are lurking not far behind and just activated 2B Dustin Pedroia from the DL. Pedroia is a powerhouse.

No one count out the Toronto Blue Jays either, this team is unbeatable when hot as Tampa, New York and Boston have recently experienced.

Even squeaking out a win on Tuesday against the Detroit Tigers, the Yankees looked tired, and dare I say old.

Sans-A-rod has never fared well for the line-up. The Yankee bats tend to center themselves around A-rod’s talent, which is just human nature. The team can win games without A-rod and that is what must happen till he gets healthy.

Cano, Gardner, Graderson, Cervelli, Joba, Robertson, and Hughes were great at the start of 2010.

These young Yankees, as a group are as talented as the Rays or Braves. The difference is budding bombers have an arsenal of veteran all-stars to fall on when the going gets tough. It’s a nice luxury. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Causing Legitimate Worry But Not For Long’ »

New York Yankees: Manic Monday Leads To Seven New Issues

Fresh off an unacceptable loss to the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon, the New York Yankees arrived back home to face the Detroit Tigers for a four-game set.

Instead of keeping the Tampa Bay Rays at bay, the Yankees lost to the Tigers 3-0, but that is just the icing on the cake.

Manic Monday’ is an understatement because it brought on a whole slew of new issues. The Bombers timing for drama could not be worse, as this is the most crucial part of the season. Let’s take a look:

  1. The Yankees split a series with the crappy Kansas City Royals and just lost the first of four games against a non-contending Tigers team. Guess the Bombers don’t want any breathing room, considering 25 of 41 regular seasons games left are against AL East teams.
  2. I am in complete denial that A-rod and Swisher made early exits in Monday’s loss to the Tigers. The reasons for both sluggers were ‘tightness’ and according to Joe Girardi are listed day-to-day. This is supposed to be the Yankees ‘Hope Week’, so let’s stick to that plan please.
  3. Starting pitcher Andy Pettitte’s rehab has a setback, causing a delay in his return. Expect to see the Southpaw in about two weeks, which feels like eternity. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Manic Monday Leads To Seven New Issues’ »