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Yankees-Rays On The Mound Game One: Ivan Nova Or Matt Garza?

Pitcher Matt Garza of the Tampa Bay Rays durin...
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Tonight marks the first of four games, between the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx.

Rookie pitcher Ivan Nova takes the mound for the pinstripes, as the Rays counter with Matt Garza in a rematch from last week’s slug-fest.

Nova is only making his sixth big-league start, but second in two weeks against the Rays. In their last meeting, Nova kept the Rays at bay for four innings, before imploding in the fifth allowing six runs.

Before that, Nova had only given up three earned runs total in his first, four starts. He is 1-0 after five starts, with a 4.30 ERA, giving up 14 earned runs, nine walks and four home-runs over a total of 29.1 innings pitched. Nova has struck-out a season total of 19 which is a solid showing.

Nova needs to keep control on the mound and trust his stuff more. Nova can get the strikeouts when confident, especially if his fastball is on target. Nova is not afraid of the Rays or any other team, which he needs to show when he throws.

Rays Matt Garza is a workhorse, who thrives in hostile environments and Yankee stadium promises to be just that.

Garza can throw hard but as a right-handed pitcher, Garza struggles with lefty bats. So expect the Yankees to be stacked from the left side of the plate.

Garza is known to fall apart mentally and usually no turning back after that happens. He has hit seven batters on the season.

When Garza is in total concentration-mode he has an arsenal of pitches, throws very hard and can shutdown opposing teams bats completely.

In 2010 Garza is 14-8, with a 3.88 ERA and already pitched 185.2 innings on the season. He has allowed 80 earned runs to score, walked 58, with 27 home-runs against him and has struck-out 138.

MY PREDICTION:

Garza’s last two starts he couldn’t get passed the fifth inning, giving up 12 earned runs, walking 4 and allowing six balls go the yard. It left him with a 12.00 ERA, with only five strikeouts in the two losses.

Nova blew a 6-0 lead in the fifth inning, but looked better the first four innings than Garza by far.

With the tribute to George Steinbrenner before this game, the Yankees owe the Boss a win because that is what he would want more than anything.

YANKEES WIN 7-3.

NOVA VS. GARZA GET A NO DECISION.

You Got Punk’d: New York Yankees Derek Jeter Informs The Home-Plate Ump

New York Yankees star Derek Jeter’s on-field performance the other night against the Tampa Bay Rays has definitely caught the eye of the sports world.

In case you missed Jeter’s trickery, just click HERE to watch it.

Everyone from NASCAR drivers to retired NFL players to Jeter himself was asked their opinion on the situation.

As expected, answers were extensively wide-ranging from angry to praise for the Yankees Captain.

Jeter admitted in the post-game that it had hit the bat and the umpire told him to go to first-base. Jeter didn’t outright lie because it is the umpire’s decision and his job to judge.

This type of stuff happens in sports across the board, but similar scenarios happen in courtrooms, boardrooms and classrooms on a daily basis.

Does it make it right?

Yes and no because imagine if Jeter stopped the umpire and told him to throw him out of the game because it hit the bat would be just as ludicrous and plain out stupid.

Plenty of times umpires have called a player safe and the replay tell a different story. Never once has a player told the umpire otherwise knowing he was out.

It is a baseball player’s job to get on base so runs can score.

Jeter was in fact doing his job, but the extra act was bothersome, seemed unnecessary and overdone. Continue reading ‘You Got Punk’d: New York Yankees Derek Jeter Informs The Home-Plate Ump’ »

Yankees-Orioles Pitching Preview: AJ Burnett Needs To Step It Up Tonight

New York Yankees need to turn around this horrid road trip and start winning right now.

The usually easy wins are a thing of the past for the Baltimore Orioles, as the Bombers visit the most-improved team at Camden Yard this weekend for three games.

New York Yankees starting pitcher AJ Burnett, been a mess this season will take the mound that could be a turning point for the team.

Burnett’s usual seesawing has not been even in a bad way and as of now he is deemed unreliable. This season, Burnett is 10-13, with a 5.13 ERA, giving-up 20 home-runs, walking 72 and striking out 132 over 29 starts.

Burnett’s strikeouts have dropped significantly, as in 08’ he fanned 231 batters and last season he posted 195 total in regular season. Watching him pitch loses control much sooner that in the past, as he has hit a career high of 14 batters in 2010 and season is not over yet.

In his career, Burnett’s held batters to a .241 average, but this season it has jumped to .284 when he is on the mound.

Tonight, Burnett has a chance to take the minor improvements he has made since going win-less in August and show us the ace he is capable of being.

Burnett has made three starts in September going 1-1, with an ERA of 4.76, striking out 19 over 17 innings pitched.  His last start was cut after four innings due to rain, but he had already struck-out six and looked a lot better.

The Yankees bats need to cushion Burnett. Even when Burnett is on, he can have one bad inning and it helps take the pressure off a mentally struggling teammate.

Striking-out has been the theme too much lately at the plate. This needs to change ASAP and with Kevin Millwood on the mound for the Orioles there is absolutely no excuse for anything but a marked improvement.

Millwood is 1-7 in 14 starts, with an ERA of 5.38 at Camden Yard this season.

Overall in 2010, Millwood’s totals over 28 starts read 101 earned runs, 27 home-runs, walking 57 and striking-out 114. Opposing batters have a .301 average against the O’s veteran and a Yankees win is almost mandatory.

Coach Rex Ryan and the New York Jets’ Road to the Super Bowl, Week 2

New York Jets fans can’t get enough of head coach Rex Ryan, but everyone else just wants him to shut up.

Ryan was the star of HBO’s Hard Knocks, but the minute the cameras left, Ryan kept stirring the pot to keep them coming back.

Everyone knows deep down Ryan is dying to kiss Bill Belichick’s Super Bowl rings. Guess Ryan forgot his Jets are winning the Super Bowl this season.

Ryan must have lost the team’s 2010 season itinerary that mapped the schedule, which includes the Super Bowl and a ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes.

Someone might want to remind Ryan that in order to get to the Super Bowl a team has to win games.

The Baltimore RavensRay Lewis made this pretty clear to his old coach, both on and off the field:

“You still got to play the game. The game ain’t played through tongues. The game is played when you buckle up your chinstraps. So all this pressure he wants to put on this team, I hope they can cash the check he writes.”—Ray Lewis’ response to Rex Ryan before the Ravens beat the Jets.

Ryan can throw punches via his mouth with the best of them. Problem is the Jets can’t back up all the F-bomb quotes Coach Ryan is tossing at other teams.

Ryan’s approach is so far, not so good.

The “F this” and “we are the team to beat” attitude that Ryan displays with the Jets players has already flowed over into the locker room.

The team displays a sense of entitlement. This was inevitably going to happen because the line is too thin regarding how you are expected to behave and conduct yourself.

Sexually harassing a hot reporter in the locker room is about as ill-mannered as it gets.

The example to follow starts with the coach, and Ryan is sending one perplexing message.

Is Ryan the Jets players’ buddy or their leader?

It is almost impossible to be both, especially as a new head coach who’s trying to change such an atrocious team.

My bet is that the Patriots will lay a can of whup ass on the Jets on Sunday.

Than just maybe Rex Ryan will stick a sock in it and start teaching instead of talking.

Yankees-Rays Pitching Preview: Phil Hughes Is Fighting For First

It was another nail-biting, extra innings game for the New York Yankees who needed to win and did.

Now, the Bombers are back in first place after losing it for 24 hours to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Only a half-game separates the two ball-clubs making Wednesday night’s outcome a declaration for who ever wins. That is until next week when the Rays come to the Bronx for four games.

Pitching has dictated this series, as the Yankees look to Phil Hughes to keep the Rays bats quiet. Hughes will face Rays James Shields, which is not Sabathia vs. Price but it looks to be a fair fight.

Hughes-Shields Preview:

Phil Hughes innings limit has him coming off a skipped start, but threw a solid inning out of the bullpen in Texas.

It will be Hughes first start since September 5.

Hughes has the stuff, as the first-half of the season proved by earning a trip to the All-Star game.

Hughes’ development is being monitored, but Joe Girardi has no other options. Pettitte has been on the DL for two months; add that to Vazquez and Burnett who remain unreliable.

Otherwise this situation would be different.

In his last 10 starts, Hughes has 5-4 record, with a 4.83 ERA, striking-out 36, walking 17 in just shy of 51 innings.

Hughes has allowed 37 earned runs in his last 10 starts and looks to improve against the heavy Rays lineup. Hughes has to settle down early, locate his pitches and throw his curve-ball confidently for strikes.

Even with the recent decline, Hughes’ excuse is legit. His young arm has never thrown this many innings, as well as his inexperience pitching a full season.

Hughes needs to be extra careful with Rays Carlos Pena who has knocked Hughes around in the past.

The Rays counter with James Shields, who has been even streakier this season. Continue reading ‘Yankees-Rays Pitching Preview: Phil Hughes Is Fighting For First’ »

MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 23

Here are the latest MLB Rankings – Week 23.
Come check out where your team ranks for the week….agree or disagree?

Click HERE to see what real fans think.
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.

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