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Sunday Gravy

tumblr_n43pl4SVd71qbhl2oo1_1280 With two men out in the top of the 12th inning, Dean Anna checked his swing at a 3-2 breaking ball that tailed away from him and into the dirt. Checked it enough to draw a bases loaded walk, just like Wade Boggs did back in the ’96 Serious. It pushed the Yanks ahead 2-1. Carlos Beltran and Alfonso Soriano followed with base hits and the Yanks escaped Tampa happy to get a series split.

The bullpen had a good day; five relievers (Phelps, Thornton, Warren, Kelley, Claiborne) combined for seven shutout innings, complementing five solid from starting pitcher Vidal Nuno.

Final Score: Yanks 5, Rays 1.

One more thought. Jeter singled to right in the 11th inning to extending a hitting streak to ten. It’s his 15th hit of the season and the 3,33oth of his career. If he’s lucky Jeter has a little more than 100 hits left but it’s getting to the point where I’ve started to savor each one of them. Pretty soon he’s going to be down to double digits of hits left in his career.

Got to remember  to appreciate and relish all of them.

[Picture by Bags]

Oh, Snap

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…Crackle or pop. An MRI revealed that Ivan Nova has a partial torn UCL. Smells like Tommy John Surgery to me.

What a drag, man.

In the meantime, Mark Teixeira is back in the lineup (Scott Sizemore we hardly knew ye).

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B
John Ryan Murphy C

Never mind the bad news or the last two games:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

What The Ouch

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The Rays put another beatin’ on the Yanks, this one to the tune of 16-1 (they even roughed-up Dean Anna). For digestion purposes I say we’re best to just move along except there is something concerning we have to mention

[Picture by Bags]

 

Ya Never Nova

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The Yanks face Chris Archer tonight. The “Now You See Me, Now You Don’t” Ivan Nova goes for the Yanks.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Brian Roberts 2B
Dean Anna SS

Never mind last night’s meltdown:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture Via: Sketchy]

 

Well, Sir, We Were Going to the Bingo Parlor at the YMCA…

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…when all of a sudden, the bullpen fell apart. Yeah, the Yanks had a nice 4-0 lead, beating Erik Bedard around pretty good. The game, like the one the night before, moved along at a tension-free, brisk pace for the Yanks until Hiroki Kuroda began to labor. He left the game with runners on base and the Yanks ahead by a run and even though they’d add another–to make it 5-3–things fell apart after that, and the Rays, who haven’t been scoring much, broke out.

When the dust cleared it was 11-5.

The lasting memory of this game was that of Cesar Cabral in the 8th. The kid couldn’t control his pitches, almost hit a couple of guys and then hit three. Joe West tossed him, not for intent I’d like to think, but to put the kid out of his misery. The Yanks DFA’d the poor bastard after the game, and you’d like to think he won’t have a worse night in his professional career.

 

Friday Night Fun

Kids

Our man Hiroki’s on the hill tonight; Beltran’s got the night off.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Scott Sizemore 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

Never mind letting up:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Teresa Zabala/The New York Times]

Ah, If They Could All Be Like This

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Early lead, good fielding–covering up some of the cruddy fielding–more hitting, decent pitching, and some more runs. Oh yeah, and a triple play. Started by Solarte and finished by Scott Sizemore, playing first base for the first time since, well, ever. Even a scary moment, where Carlos Beltran tumbled over the fence in foul ground down the right field line, turned out to be more of a scare than anything serious.

The Yankees Turned A Triple Play

It’s not every day you put a beatin’ on David Price. So, yeah, it was a good night.

Final Score: Yanks 10, Rays 2.  

No surprise here but man has Jacoby Ellsbury ever been good so far. In the field–he seems to take much better routes in center than Brett Gardner, never mind Curtis Granderson–on the bases and at the plate, he’s been terrific so far.

[Picture by Bags; GIF via Deadspin]

Goin’ South

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The Yanks meet the Rays. Last year, C.C. was no bueno against Tampa. Let’s hope that changes, starting tonight.

Never mind the lousy dome:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

It Was a Good Day

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The Wife and I spent the last week in New Mexico visiting family so we didn’t watch any Yankee baseball. I was able to post some here at the Banter, and we checked the score on our phones and on my computer, read Jon’s recaps here at the Banter, but didn’t see a single pitch.

The trip back can sometimes be a drag. No direct flight, you either stop over in Chicago or Dallas. Yesterday it was Dallas and well, the entire trip went smoothly. Right down to the cab ride home. We sailed passed the Stadium while the game was in the 5th inning and so we were able to watch the last part of it at home.

Got a little tricky for the Yankee bullpen after another solid performance from Michael Pineda but they didn’t allow a run as the Yanks completed a rare day-night shutout and won the second game, 2-0. Pat Jordan recently wrote a story for SB Nation where he said that with the game on the line he wanted Derek Jeter at shortstop. At least Jeter in his prime. And last night, with they tying run on second, the ball was hit to Jeter. He made the play and the game was over.

Speaking of Jeter, we’ve often talked about how much fun he has on the field, and how underreported that is. That was the case last night–when he looked like a high school kid–when the Cubs’ pitching coach was kicked out of the game.

Dig the GIF via Deadspin’s Sean Newell.

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Mama Said Tanaka You Out

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I should credit my friend Scott for the headline as he mentioned it as a possible name for his fantasy squad, but he ultimately rejected the handle because he’s a godforsaken Red Sox fan and couldn’t stand the idea of giving such an honor to a Yankee. So screw him.

When the Yankees signed Tanaka, we all breathed a huge sigh of relief as they had put the team before the tax and filled the hole in the rotation with the best available pitcher. But we didn’t exhale completely because we really didn’t know what we were getting. After today’s 3-0 win, my exhale is complete.

Sure he did it against a Cubs team that would make Ernie Banks say, “Let’s play none.” But we’re talking two lousy bunt hits away from a no-hitter. This is straight filth. What I have thoroughly enjoyed about his pitching is that his late innings are just as damn unhittable as his early ones. Moreso thus far.

Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury continue to hit, though there wasn’t a lot in the pot for the offense today. No matter. Tanaka was so strong, Girardi traded a free base for an out just to be damn sure he plated the third run.

When Ellsbury nicked Baker’s glove and the ball dribbled into play in the fifth, he could have advanced to first, setting up first and third for the clean up hitter with one out. Instead, he took the out and the extra run, which must have seemed like ten more to the Cubs.

It’s so damn cold, Girardi would be well within his rights to rest some regulars tonight and the probabilty of a sweep isn’t going to be as high as I’d like. Still, I can’t see these Cubs running around the bases unless it’s a mascot race or something.   

Use this as your game thread for the nightcap. I will try to get you lineups when I see them.

 

Frost on First

There’s ice on the windshield this morning. God damned ice on the windshield. Girardi’s got a bunch of old guys with tweaks and playing in 35 degree weather ain’t what the doctor ordered. Here’s the lineup, Jeter’s not in it.

Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Kelly Johnson 1B
Dean Anna SS
Scott Sizemore 3B

Today’s the day all of Tanaka’s cold-weather preparation pays off.

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Stretch

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I’m not convinced the kid will stay healthy but if he does the future is bright for Michael Pineda.

Dig this from Tony Blengino over at Fangraphs. 

[Photo Credit: Andrew Theodorakis/N.Y. Daily News]

 

Couple Few Things

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Yankee notes. Chad Jennings has the latest.

Man, oh, man, I feel lousy for Frankie C. 

[Photo Credit: David McNew/Getty Images]

Double Drip

The Cubbies brought along their perpetual gloom when they arrived in the Bronx. The Yanks are rained out tonight and the two teams will have separate tilts tomorrow at 1 and 7 pm.   

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Rumor has it that the Cubs have all sorts of talent close to the Majors and might be good soon. But not by tomorrow, so let’s see a sweep please.

A Needed Day o Rest

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The Yanks are patching it together with their suspect infield and sooner or later moves will be made.

In the meantime, sure is nice to have a guy like Ichi around, huh?

Chad Jennings has the notes from last night’s game (and he provided this cool picture too).

Too Late & Too Early

I had an early flight this morning, so I will have to guess the outcome. After 21 innings, Ichiro homered off Jonny Gomes to win it 9-8. Feel free to correct me in the comments.DSC_0003

And discuss how much we’ll miss mornings like the one in this picture.

Sixes and Sevens

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The Yankees are either going to be 7-6 or 6-7 after tonight and that’s not much to notice. But taking three out of four from Boston feels like it might drive the season in the right direction, doesn’t it? Plus three of four from Boston is s feel-good story no matter the time of year.

Brett Gardner LF
Carlos Beltran RF
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Brian McCann C
Yangervis Solarte 2B
Kelly Johnson 3B
Francisco Cervelli 1B
Dean Anna SS

No Jeter again, but all his vitals check out. Maybe this is just Joe Girardi channeling his inner Popovich. If you’ve got nothing to do tomorrow, enjoy the game tonight.

Power Bombs

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The Yankees put the toothpicks away and broke out the heavy lumber yesterday. Five home runs piled up enough runs for Kuroda and the bullpen to secure the victory. The Yankee pitching has held the Red Sox in check if they haven’t shut them down and now they’ve got a chance to win the series by taking the Sunday Night Deluxe.

I didn’t see a pitch of this game because our Little League team had their Opening Day yesterday. Both boys are on the same team this year and I’m their coach. After two practices, a parade, a photo shoot and a game, I’ve been a much better coach to the strangers on the team. I’ll excuse all manners of grab-assing and dirt-clodding, chalking it up to their very young age. My kids get the stink-eye. I tell them to think of me as their teacher instead of their dad when we are at the field and then I immediately forget to treat them like the students. Nine games left to improve on that thankfully.

The team is sponsored by Garden Cafe. I nicknamed them the Gnomes, but it wasn’t tough enough apparently. The kids voted on a new team name and they chose Power Bombs. And they were right; they can hit.

At the first practice, I asked them all their favorite team and player. Two votes for the Mets and David Wright. Mostly Yankee fans. By far the most named player with five votes: Mr. Alex Rodriguez.

 

 

Reclaimed

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Last night’s recap: The Red Sox have sprinkled their magical beard dandruff on Grady Sizemore and turned him into a player again. It’s already cost the Yankees a game in the standings and Skinny C a notch in the loss column.

Today, I’d prefer the Yankees to win. Whaddya say?

Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Carlos Beltran DH
Brian McCann C
Alfonso Soriano RF
Kelly Johnson 1B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Dean Anna SS

 

Waiting for Lefty

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This frog butt to all the fuss about the pine tar. You know it’s a non-issue when even David Ortiz, who’s never shy to ham it up, let it slide. Game Two of this four-game set rocks tonight with Lester and Skinny C dueling. Got off on the right foot last night, now hop to the left with the southpaws. It will be interesting to see how Sabathia goes after this tough lineup with his softer stuff.

Jeter SS

Ellsbury CF

Beltran RF

Soriano DH

Cervelli C

Solarte 3B

Suzuki LF

Roberts 2B

Johnson 1B

Lineups Via LoHud

 

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