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New York Yankees Vs. Boston Red Sox: Pitching Will Dictate Rivalry

With #600 now in the past, the New York Yankees are ready to take on their rivals, the Boston Red Sox.

Boston has been hit hard with the unfortunate injury bug. Making the six and a half games the Red Sox need to catch the first place Yankees, who are tied with Tampa Bay Rays, not completely out of reach.

This puts a lot of pressure on Boston, as the importance of winning in the Bronx is pretty much a make or break situation.

The Yankees can’t afford to lose the series either because the Rays are playing great baseball right now.

It is no secret that the Yankees have lost two series in a row and to say that Alex Rodriguez’s 600 mark turned the team around has yet to be proven.

The Red Sox most recent DL member is first baseman Kevin Youkilis who is one of the best hitters in baseball and a Yankees killer. Youkilis is a significant loss and his absence will be noticed by both ball-clubs.

The Red Sox have their pitchers all back now and all healthy, so the Yankees have to counter at the plate.

Since pitching always dictates, let’s look at the four match-ups, over two posts: Continue reading ‘New York Yankees Vs. Boston Red Sox: Pitching Will Dictate Rivalry’ »

MLB Weekly Rankings – Week 17

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 blogger’s rankings are averaged together for each weekly results. 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 17 and see where your team ranks for the week….agree or disagree?

Click below to see what real fans think….

  • MLB Rankings – All-Star Break (
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  • MLB Blogger Rankings – Week 13 (
  • Power Rankings set to make debut (
  • MLB Power Rankings: Taking This Chance To Reflect On Projections (

New York Yankees Needed 600, Not Just A-Rod

The second place New York Yankees were on the brink of getting swept by the Toronto Blue Jays.  This would have been the second series loss in a row for the reigning champs and the timing could not be worse for a slump to begin.

Yankees fans were worried, because Alex Rodriguez‘s struggles at the plate were affecting the whole team.

A-Rod was struggling to hit a milestone 600th home run, which puts him on an elite list and the youngest of the seven players on it.

Now the Yankee Universe can finally breathed, because this afternoon in the first inning A-rod hit his 600th career home-run at the age of 35. The team won and avoided the sweep, beating the Blue Jays 5-1.  Phil Hughes got the win and Mariano Rivera dominated in the ninth inning.

Things are looking up in the Bronx, but the Yankees now are looking up in the standings at the Tampa Bay Rays. It is just a one game lead, but the Rays keep winning.

The problem is that what may seem like not a big deal today, could be an issue a week from now.  Just imagine if the Yankees were the team to miss the playoffs?

It makes me sick to think about, but why I am is because I felt that Joe Girardi gave the Rays the series win last weekend. It was as if the Yankees were having a exhibition game, trying their new players out for practice.

New Yankee Lance Berkman was acquired to fill the designated hitter position that was Nick Johnson, which should have been Hideki Matsui’s job in the first place.

So when I saw Berkman playing first-base, I thought it was ludicrous.  If anything (god-forbid) happened to Mark Teixeira wouldn’t Nick Swisher be the better option?  I fully understand that Tex needs a day off, but against the Rays?

The series was on the line and so taking Brett Gardner and A-Rod out made the Yankees look arrogant.

Next up is the Boston Red Sox, who are coming for a four-game visit. Any series against the Red Sox, injured or not, is always tough for both ballclubs.  The Red Sox need the wins to stay in the playoff discussion, but so do the Yankees.

If the Yankees lose three of four games, within the division it will be a bigger problem them it might seem. It would cut the Yankees lead to just 3.5 over Boston and opens up a three game race again.

Not to mention the wild-card is just as easy to lose, as the Red Sox have a much harder schedule then the Yankees do down the stretch. When teams who aren’t in contention are playing teams that are, the former always seems to screw things up by winning.

The basic point here is that the Yankees are guaranteed nothing yet, except that A-rod’s 600th home-run is in the past and the team tends to follow A-rod’s lead at the plate.

Whatever the answer is regarding changing Phil Hughes innings limit is; Hughes is pitching dynamite again and it would be a shame to have to pull him from the rotation.

I like what I see out of the bullpen, other than Mo. Kerry Wood will be a great presence for Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan, because David Robertson cannot be the only reliable middle-reliever.

So what needs to go on from here on out is….WIN, WIN AND KEEP ON WINNING!

New York Yankees: Could There Be Trouble in Paradise?

After losing the series 2-1 in Tampa to the Rays over the weekend, the New York Yankees are back in the Bronx.

The Toronto Blue Jays are in town and the Yankees lost the first game at the stadium yesterday.

This is two losses in a row, and the Champs no longer own the best record in baseball. They now they share it with the Rays.

It all started Sunday afternoon in Tampa, when skipper Joe Girardi substituted new Yankee Lance Berkman for Mark Teixeira at first base, gave Alex Rodriguez a day off,  and Brett Gardner was not in the outfield.

It made me question Girardi’s train of thought, considering CC Sabathia was on the mound, which gives the team a major advantage to win.

From a fan’s perspective, it didn’t seem like winning the game was on the priority list of Joe Girardi. He didn’t put the best team out there. It looked like practice, or that the Yankees were not that concerned about leading the division.

In the end, the Rays won and moved one game away from tying with the Yankees.

Than last night, AJ Burnett on the mound was back to the old four innings of domination. Then in the fifth inning, Burnett fell apart and Toronto had batting practice.

At the same time, the Rays beat the Minnesota Twins at Tropicana Field. Then the Yankees lost and now the AL East has a tie for first place for the first time since May 18th.

This makes the guarantee of a post-season spot up-in-the-air for the Yankees, or at least the possibility of no October more realistic. Continue reading ‘New York Yankees: Could There Be Trouble in Paradise?’ »

Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns Trades Prove Yanks Pick ‘Age Before Beauty’

Bench, bench, and more bench is what New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman added right before the non-waiver trade deadline.

Will Cashman’s last minute moves help the team down the stretch?

Let’s hope so, but for now, we might as well get to know the two new Yankees hitters.

Other than adding Cleveland Indians pitcher Kerry Wood to help the bullpen, Cashman added fellow Indians outfielder Austin Kearns and Houston Astros first baseman Lance Berkman.

Austin Kearns is hitting .272 with eight home runs and 42 RBI, while stealing four bases in 84 games this season.

Kearns primary role is as the fourth outfielder, but he also brings another right-handed bat to the lineup.

Kearns is used to playing everyday and is very useful anywhere on the field, but watch to see him play against lefty pitching.

It will help Curtis Granderson, who is becoming an almost automatic out against lefties. Continue reading ‘Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns Trades Prove Yanks Pick ‘Age Before Beauty’’ »

New York Yankees Pitcher Kerry Wood Can Be Valuable Again

Saturday July 31st at 4:30pm marked the official end of MLB’s trade deadline, well technically at least.

New York Yankees GM Brian Cashman was hard at work trying to fix the mess the organization has made of Joba Chamberlain.

It is no secret that the Yankees don’t know what else to do with Joba Chamberlain, but looking at his historically short career the answer is pretty evident.

Back in 2007, Joba was Cashman’s prize pupil. The problem was no one wanted to take the time to teach the 24 year-old because of one infamous bug game.

Then in 2008, Joba had the weight of an entire city on his shoulders. Failure didn’t seem to be an option and whenever things looked bleak for Joba, he got yanked from the mound.

Fast-forward to 2010, Joba lost the coveted fifth spot in the Yankees rotation to Phil Hughes.

Joba didn’t deserve it, Hughes pitched better and he continues too exceed expectations. Hughes went to the All-Star game and that must have taken a toll on Joba’s confidence level be pitching better.

Skipper Joe Girardi’s solution is pretty simple, “We want him to pitch at the level he’s capable of pitching at. Until we get Joba right, I might look at match-ups a little more.” (NY Daily News)

The Yankees bullpen needed help and Cashman’s answer was Cleveland Indians Kerry Wood. He claims it had nothing to do with Joba and every thing to do with Chan Ho Park, who was designated for assignment.

This has everything to do with Joba, but in one sense Wood is a veteran who once dazzled the city of Chicago with his fastball. Wood was Chicago’s pride after striking out 20-batters in his sixth career start.

Wood’s career didn’t pan out like it should have, as he spent 14 times on the DL in his 13 seasons. His latest just days before he landed in New York.

Wood has 62 saves over the last three seasons, with 165 strikeouts in which he appeared in 146 games out of the bullpen.

For now, Wood is a walking liability, but with an upside that might be worth the risk. Wood’s experience could be just what the doctor ordered for changing Joba back into the phenomenon everyone witnessed in 2007.

Wood has been in Joba’s shoes, as he has yo- yo-ed from starter to reliever like musical chairs.

The other hope for Wood is to help down the stretch out of the bullpen in getting to Mariano Rivera. The fact is Wood is an upgrade from Chan-Ho Park.

So, Cashman covered his ass there, maybe the Yankees secretly banned Wood from the DL list. Who really cares because this could work.

Leaves many questions unanswered, for example could Brian Cashman have kill two birds with one stone?

My bet is yes and Cashman will be deemed a genius because the concept is just shy of being too good to be true.