"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Whistling Winn Dixie

The off-season acquisition of Randy Winn evoked much consternation amongst Banterites and associated Yankee fans. It wasn’t like Winn was a lifetime fourth outfielder. Through 2008, he had compiled a .288/.347/.425 line (102 OPS), with 104 homers and 193 stolen bases.

But here was a player who couldn’t add much punch to an impotent Giants lineup in 2009, posting a .262/.318/.353 line in 597 PAs, with a mere two homers and twice as many strikeouts as walks.

His range in the outfield, as he turned 35, was diminishing a bit from above average towards slightly above league-average. And now the Yanks wanted to add him as a 4th/5th outfielder . . . asking him to come off the bench for the first time in his career.

This season, he had started three games, and appeared in nine others, with one single and five strikeouts in 13 ABs. This was Winn’s first start since Curtis Granderson’s groin strain and DL stint Saturday.

Starter CC Sabathia endured very little trouble with the Orioles line-up, save for an opposite field line drive homer to Matt Wieters to lead off the 2nd. He struck out only two through his first four innings, but kept the ball on the ground, to the tune of nine groundball outs.

Orioles’ starter Jeremy Guthrie, who had faced Sabathia only last Wednesday, was also locked in early in the game, allowing only two walks and a single in the first three innings.

Alex Rodriguez led off the bottom of the 4th with a single to left. Robinson Cano flied out to left and Posada grounded out to second (A-Rod moving to second on the out). Nick Swisher, who owns Guthrie (now 13-24 lifetime) laced a long single off the right field wall, scoring Rodriguez to tie the game.  Brett Gardner was fooled on a change-up, but managed to punch a single up the middle.

Winn then stepped to the plate. With an 0-1 count on him, he plastered a 91 mph fastball deep into the Yankee bullpen . . . his first homer in 491 at-bats.  That would be all Sabathia needed in a 4-1 win in a tidy 2:29.

CC sailed through eight innings (106 pitches), assisted by two double plays.  There were only two flyball outs against him all night. He didn’t have his best stuff, striking out only two despite throwing 69 strikes out of those 106 pitches.

The only drama after the fourth inning took the form of Yankee injuries.  Jorge Posada took himself out of the game after the fifth inning, citing tightness in his right calf. This was the same leg he got plunked in last week, so the possibility of a cascade injury may be there.  [Late news from Mark Feinsand: MRI reveals mild calf strain.]

With a three-run lead heading to the ninth, the (heretofore unknown) other injury came into play, as it turned out NOT to be Mariano Rivera time. Joba Chamberlain came on to finish it out. Joe Girardi later revealed that Mo had awoken Saturday to stiffness in his left side (after pitching Friday night). Rivera threw a bit during pre-game, and said he felt better, but not 100%. Girardi stated he would like to hold him out at least one more day.

Otherwise, the big news from the game was the red-hot Robinson Cano Nick Swisher. Prior to this game, Swisher had gone 16-45 (.356) with three homers and 11 RBI in his last 11 games, raising his average from .200 to .282. Michael Kay mentioned during the broadcast that Swisher had been working with hitting coach Kevin Long on “quieting” his stance, allowing the bat to rest on his shoulder with less wiggling prior to the pitch. It seems to be paying off, and facing Guthrie didn’t hurt either, as Nick added two singles and a double.

With the win, the Yanks moved to within one game of the idle Rays, with AJ Burnett set to face Brian Matusz Tuesday night.

Categories:  Diane Firstman  Game Recap

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1 Just Fair   ~  May 3, 2010 11:16 pm

Cable comes tomorrow. Hurray. Couldn't find 880 on any radio in the house so I had to sit in the driveway in my truck to hear Suzyn and John. Swisher's hit, " Hit to left, way back there, It's gone. Off the wall. It's a long single." Oy. Then Winn's homer. "Randy helps the Yankees.........WINN. " Or something like that. Then it was back to unpacking. The boys are rolling.

2 cult of basebaal   ~  May 3, 2010 11:20 pm

His range in the outfield, as he turned 35, was diminishing below league-average.

It was?

He had a 14+ UZR (in mostly RF) last year. Down from 20+ the year before.

3 Diane Firstman   ~  May 3, 2010 11:32 pm


My bad .... misread the stats ... I should have said, "diminishing slightly towards"

thanks for the correction ...

4 williamnyy23   ~  May 3, 2010 11:41 pm

The Yankees really need Randy Winn to emerge as a viable option because Thames defense could wind up hurting the team if he becomes an everyday player.

Posada's injury is a concern. A mild calf strain can become a major problem if it gets worse (see Jimmy Rollins). Perhaps a trip to the DL is in order? If not, the Yankees would be wise to promote Romine in place of Melancon so they can take it easy with Posada over the next week or so. Romine is hitting very well in Trenton, while Montero is struggling in Scranton, so that seems like the best option if Posada is going to miss some time.

5 thelarmis   ~  May 3, 2010 11:42 pm

damn, i missed a mighty fine game thread. nice work, peoples!

good winn!

6 thelarmis   ~  May 3, 2010 11:43 pm

[4] nomaas have some pretty good stuff on romine up in a post today...

7 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2010 11:56 pm

[4] Perhaps a trip to the DL is in order?

I was wondering the same thing a couple games ago, after Po missed a game or two but then was used as a PH.

Of course, when it comes to the Yankees dealing with player injuries, I am none tooptimistic.

8 monkeypants   ~  May 3, 2010 11:57 pm

[4][6] You and I both know that DL or not, it's gonna be Moeller time in the Bronx for the next two weeks.

9 thelarmis   ~  May 4, 2010 12:02 am

[8] Italia! travel safely and check in here when you can...

10 OldYanksFan   ~  May 4, 2010 8:02 am

Am I wrong or is Winn, as a 4th OFer, slightly above league average on both O and D? Yeah, he is below average for an OFer, but he still seems like a decent bench guy. I can't complain.

Losing Posada now will hurt, and he and Cano, with a little help from Swisher and Gritner, have been driving the O. Until ARod, Teix and NJ start producing, Po is a big bat in the lineup .Our O has been a bit anemic of late.

11 Yankee Mama   ~  May 4, 2010 8:39 am

[1] Great recap of Sterling's play-by-play. I guess we have to settle for quasi-pleasantly uninformed when going the Sterling-Waldman route.

We had Kay and Leiter discussing Javy for 2.5 hours. Same conversation the day before and the day before that!

I'm happy for Winn. I always like to see the good guys get some naches (sp?)

12 rbj   ~  May 4, 2010 10:33 am

I was not too concerned over the Winn signing, teams can get by with a shaky 4th OF, heck the Yankees in 1998 had a rotating LF, and they didn't do so bad.

The Javy acquisition is what doesn't sit right with me.

13 Bama Yankee   ~  May 4, 2010 10:37 am

I recently moved and switched from cable to Directv. I'm loving the fact that I can get the YES network now. I knew that they blacked out the games for those of us "out of market" so I got the Extra Innings package. The thing is that I can actually watch the live games on YES but not the replays. I assume that they don't blackout the live games since I have the EI package, but I am confused by the blackout of the replays. Does anyone know why they show the live games but not the replays?

14 williamnyy23   ~  May 4, 2010 10:45 am

[13] All game replays are blacked out because they are not part of the standard sports packages that include all of the RSNs. Basically, the teams/networks treat games as a separate entity intended to drive sales of additional products. For live games, that's MLB.TV and Extra Innings. For replays, not only does MLB.TV have an archive (which is what makes it a fabulous product), but cable companies are starting to offer game replays on demand (an added perk that may help justify the expensive carriage fees they are being asked to pay).

So, in short form, you are only getting the live games because you have EI, not because you have YES.

15 Bama Yankee   ~  May 4, 2010 11:37 am

[14] Thanks for the response, William. Hey, do you remember when we had our discussion a couple years ago when MLB tried to go with the Directv exclusive? I was against it because I didn't want to switch over to Directv. Now, I'm wondering what I ever liked about cable...Directv is a lot better, especially their EI package. I guess I just didn't want to be "forced" to make the change, but it's funny that I would have been better off and happier with the service if I had made the switch back then. ;-)

It makes sense that they blackout the live games for those who don't have EI (they want you to pay extra for the package). But blacking out the replays don't really seem to make sense. I already pay extra for the Sports Pak that includes YES, extra for the EI package and I am a MLB.TV subscriber as well. What more do they want? It's not like showing the replay would keep me from watching the game on another channel (it is not being shown anywhere except on YES at that time) and if I liked watching games on my computer instead of my tv then I would not even subscribe to the EI package in the first place, i would just go with MLB.TV.

Also, I realize that I could just record the game live on my DVR and watch the replay that way. It really is not that big of a deal, I was just curious why they blackout the replays. It just doesn't make sense to me...

16 williamnyy23   ~  May 4, 2010 1:49 pm

[15] I definitely remember that (a few people accused me of being a DirecTV plant). I had been "forced" to make the switch to DirecTV when Cablevision refused to carry YES, so had previously had the same epiphany. My main point at the time was MLB was playing hardball with the cable operators, not its fans, and that a careful examination would reveal who the “bad guys” were. Of course, the cable operators eventually caved in after realizing that MLB would not fall for their smoke screen tactics.

I also wish they’d include the replays as part of the sports package, but I guess they feel it takes away from the live package (Extra Innings) and the MLB.TV archive. I don’t think the replays really impact either, so they are probably just being overprotective. Also, I suspect they anticipate being able to monetize that content in another way. Either way, I doubt there is a clamor for access to the replays, so there is no incentive to “give” that content away.

17 Crazy8Rick   ~  May 4, 2010 2:33 pm

I have been reading Bronx Banter for the past year and a half. Finally registered. This is my first post. Just wanted to say I always enjoy your re-caps of the game.
Also I love the comments from Yankee Mama, monkeypants, & OldYanksFan.
You guys rock! Just WINN baby

18 Diane Firstman   ~  May 4, 2010 2:37 pm


Thanks Rick . . . welcome aboard!

19 Bama Yankee   ~  May 4, 2010 3:44 pm

[16] Yeah, I used to think you were a Directv salesman... ;-) Funny thing is that now with their $100 "refer a friend" discount, I have been pushing Directv to all my friends. They really are the best option if you like sports.

[17] Hello Rick!

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver