The Latest: 1/4/10

Here are some of the latest news stories from various sources:

  • reports that the Cardinals are getting closer to a deal with Matt Holliday. The deal could be a seven-year deal.
  • Wang’s agent told 1050 ESPN that he has heard from 15 teams who are interested in Wang. The Yankees were one of them, while the Mets were not. No other teams were mentioned.
  • The Red Sox have made an offer for third baseman, Adrian Beltre, according to Other teams are also interest including the Angels, Athletics and Orioles.
  • Buster Olney tweets that the Athletics have pulled their offer off the table for Adrian Beltre.
  • According to SNY, Jason Bay has passed his physical and is officially a New York Met, to be announced tomorrow.
  • An AP source tells that Bay’s deal with the Mets will have a $17M option for 2014.
  • Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues says that the Yankees should go after the A’s, Travis Buck, to play the outfield.
  • The NY Post reports that David Cone will not be returning to the YES Network. Tino Martinez is a possible replacement.

Updates as they come.

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Cano Caps Another Walk-Off, Big Home Stand

Walk off single in the 11th makes it nine out of ten for Bombers.

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It was just five days ago that the Yankees took 15 innings to beat the Red Sox. Today, it took the Yankees 11 innings to beat the Blue Jays 4-3 to cap off a 6-1 home stand. 
The day began, though, with a little bit of a scare. In the first inning Derek Jeter was hit with a pitch on the right foot, and left the game a little later. Luckily, X-Rays taken at the Stadium were negative. 
In the first, Jeter moved to third on a Damon double, then scored on an RBI ground-out by Posada. Ruiz homered in his second straight game to tie the game at one. 
The scoring was on hold until the third inning, when Damon drilled a solo shot to right field to give the Yanks a 2-1 lead. In the next inning, Cano went deep to make the Yankee lead 3-1.
Then in the sixth, an RBI single by Chavez and a wild pitch, tied the game at 3. 
Burnett went six innings and gave up three runs on ten hits while walking two and striking out seven. Romero also went six innings and gave up three runs. He struck out five and walked three. 
Coke, Robertson, Hughes and Gaudin — in his Yankee debut — all combined for five scorless innings, giving up just four hits and striking out six batters.
For the Jays, League pitched three great scorless innings, giving up just one hit.
The great efforts by both bullpens were all put to rest in the 11th inning. A-Rod was hit by a pitch and was shaken up for a minute before taking first. Then a single by Posada moved A-Rod to second. Robbie Cano was next and delivered a walk-off single that hit off the top of the right center field wall to seal the win, the series and the home stand. 

Player of the Game: Robinson Cano: 2 for 5, HR, 2 RBI, R

The Wrap-Up:
The Yankees are now nine for their last ten, and have capped off a great 6-1 home stand. The Yankees have pretty much proved two things: in this ballpark, they can win close games, and if it gets to extras, its over. The Yanks are now 28 games over .500, a new season high. The Red Sox play tonight, so the Yankees are currently six games ahead of Boston.

Coming Up Next:
The Yankees fly out west tonight to open up a set against the Mariners. Tomorrow night at 10:10 ET, it will be Sabthia (12-7, 3.76) vs. Snell (2-8,5.42). The Red Sox have to deal with Verlander tomorrow afternoon. They send Clay Buchholz to the mound. 

Back-to-Back Homers Power Yanks Past Jays

Posada’s home run reviewed, but upheld to nail down Yankee lead.

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The Yankees have won eight of their last nine, and the Jays know more than anyone, that it’s very difficult to hold them down for long. Matsui and Posada went back to back in the eight, to give the Yankees the lead for the first time since the first inning. 
The Yankees were down one run when Matsui hit a shot over the right field wall. Posada then hit a homer right over the wall that went under review, but was ultimately ruled a home run. The Yankees tacked on two more runs in the inning to give them a 7-4  lead.
Mo came in to pitch the ninth and surrendered a home run to newly acquired Edwin Encarnacion to make it 7-5. That was all though as the greatest closer of all time recorded his 33rd save of the season. 
Chamberlain had an early lead that he gave up. Joba walked two and had the bases loaded then gave up a game tying, bases clearing double to Lyle Overbay. Randy Ruiz, in his first big league game of the season, hit a solo home run to give his team the lead.
Joba ended up going six innings, giving up four runs on five hits, while striking out five and walking two. He threw 103 pitched. Bruney, Coke and Robertson pitched a scoreless 2.2 innings, giving up just one hit to complete the bridge to the great Mariano. 
On the other side, Blue Jays starter Scott Richmond seemed to get better as the game went on. After the two runs in the first and the one run in the second, Richmond pitched a scoreless four innings. He ended up striking out eight batters and walked two. 
Player of the Game: Jorge Posada: 2 FOR 4, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, R, 2 K
The Wrap-Up:
What a surprise, another come back win for the Yankees. I had the pleasure of going to the game tonight, and while its great to be a Yankee fan these days, it seems like they are losing forever until the last second they get. The Yankees still have the best record in Major League Baseball and are the first team to make it to 70 wins. The Red Sox won 7-5, almost blowing another lead, so the Yankees maintain their 5.5 game lead in the division.
Coming Up Next:
Romero (10-5, 3.66) vs. Burnett (10-5, 3.67). The game will be at 1:05 pm ET. Burnett tries to keep things rolling coming off a huge start against Boston.

Yanks Come Out Firing, Sweep Big Series In NY

Damon and Teixeira go back to back in the eighth to nail down Yankee sweep.

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Before this much anticipated series, the Yankees had dropped eight straight games to begin the season. As we sit here tonight, the Yankees have just swept the Red Sox in a four game set in New York and now have a big 6.5 game lead in their division. But, there is still plenty of baseball to be played.
    It was a great pitching match-up for most of the game. Lester went seven innings and gave up five hits and one run while striking out seven and walking none. Pettitte on the other side, went seven innings and gave up no runs on five hits, walking two and striking out four. 
    Pitching aside, the game changed in the seventh. Lester had been virtually lights out, when A-Rod came up and delivered a shot over the left center field wall to break the tie for the second time in three games. The stadium shook, and A-Rod took a curtain call.
    Then, there was a big momentum switch in the top of the eight when Martinez hit a two run shot to give the Red Sox the lead. 
    The third and final momentum shift came in the bottom of the eighth. After Bard recorded two straight outs, Damon came up and hit a game tying home run over the right center field wall. The next batter, Teixeira, hit an absolute moon shot over the right field wall to give the Yankees the lead. Swisher then delivered with a two run single to make it 5-2. That was all as Mo came in to nail down the win, the series and the sweep.

Player of the Game: Mark Teixeira: 2 FOR 4, HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K

Series Wrap-Up:
WOW! The Yankees sweep a four game set against the Sox. All you can say is wow. The Yankees are now 6.5 games ahead of Boston and have won seven in a row. Of all the winning streaks this season, this is the best. How about this. During this streak, the Yankees have beaten, Mark Buehrle, Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett and Jon Lester. They have also swept the Red Sox in four games. Pretty good.

The Wrap-Up:
Once again the come back kids get it done with some very clutch home runs (what a difference from last year.) Pettitte was great once again, and that can really help this team down the stretch. The Yankees got through it without using Hughes, so the Yankee bullpen is nice and rested for the upcoming series. 

Coming Up Next:
The Yanks open up a three game set against the Jays in New York. Rzepczynski (1-3, 3.37) against Mitre (1-0, 7.50). The Red Sox open a series against the Tigers in Boston. 

Bombers Explode, Win First of Four vs. Sox

Eight runs in the fourth powers Yanks past Boston for the first time. 

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    The Yankees entered play today without a win against the Sox this season in eight tries. The last time that happened, the Yankees were not the Yankees. They were the Highlanders, and the year was 1912. 
     That was not the case tonight. The Yankees were down 3-1 in the bottom of the fourth, when the Yankees exploded for a eight run, 34 minute inning against the veteran Smoltz. The inning was highlighted by a solo shot by Damon and a three run shot by Melky. The Yankees did not look back after that inning. 
     The Yankees ended the game hitting four home runs: One by Damon, one by Cabrera, one by Posada and one by Teixeira who is now tied for the AL lead in homers. Matsui, Cabrera and Posada all had three RBI’s on the night, and every Yankee starter had a hit. Six of Yankee starters had multi-hit games. The Yankees bats have exploded in the last two games, scoring 21 runs, they just hope they have a little left to take some more from the Sox in this big series in New York. 
     The Yanks tagged Smoltz for eight runs and nine hits in just 3.1 innings. He walked four and struck out three. Billy Traber took one for the team and ate up 3.2 innings, giving up five runs on nine hits, walking one and striking out one. 
     Joba was in trouble for most of the night. He ended up going five innings, giving up four runs on six hits, walking seven and striking out four. The Yankees walked 12 batters on the night, which contributed greatly to a long 3 hour and 52 minute night. Robertson, Coke and Melancon gave the Yankees three scorless and hitless innings out of the pen, before Claggett  came in and gave up two runs on two hits before closing out the night for the Yankees. 
Player of the Game: Jorge Posada: 3 for 5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2B, HR, 1 K
The Wrap-Up:
Theres not much to say but FINALLY! The Yankees finally beat the Red Sox and are now 3.5 games ahead of Boston. They improve to a season high 24 games over .500. Posada also looks to have quickly bounced back from a horrible road trip. 
Coming Up Next:
Josh Beckett (13-4, 3.27) tries to restore some order in this series. He will face off against A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.89) tries to bounce back from a horrible outing in Chicago. 

Mitre Scuffles, Bats Come Alive

Yanks gain some momentum going into big four game set against Sox.

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With the Yankees coming into Rogers Centre knowing they were facing Halladay then having Mitre on the mound, things didn’t look to good. It was a very easy series for the Yankees to throw away, with the excitement of the four game set with Boston beginning to set in. It was no east task, but the Yankees stayed tough, and got it done. 
Swisher hit a game-tying home run in the seventh, which led to three more runs from the Yankees, putting them on top 6-3. Pinch-hitter Hideki Matsui had the game-winning hit, a single breaking the 3-3 tie in the seventh. 
The Yankees looked very shaky against the youngster Marc Rzepczynski, but Swishers home run in the seventh followed by Robbie’s double, knocked the rookie out. The Yankees were able to big a big inning against the Blue Jays bullpen. 
Mitre was okay to say the least. He ended the game pitching just 4.2 innings, giving up three runs on eight hits, striking out three and walking two. The numbers looked okay until he gave up that third run. The Yankees don’t have much else to go to, so expect Mitre to get another start, most likely opening a three game set with the Blue Jays in New York next week. 
The Yankee bullpen put together 4.2 innings, where they gave up just one run on three hits, walking none and striking out eight. It seems as though this so called suspect bullpen has become a strength for this team. 
Player of the Game: Nick Swisher: 2 for 5, HR, 1 RBI, 1 R, 1 K
The Wrap-Up:
As I said, the Yankees could have thrown this series away, but good job winning two tough games, giving themselves some momentum going into the huge set against the Sox in New York. The Yankees avoided having Mo pitch tonight, so he is nice and fresh and could theoretically pitch all four game against Boston. Advantage Yankees. The Yankees didn’t throw this series away, but the Red Sox did. They lost both games in Tampa, so the Yankee lead goes to 2.5 games atop the east. 
Coming Up Next:
Here we go! The much anticipated Yankee-Red Sox series begins tomorrow. It doesn’t get better than this. It’ll be the red (no pun intended) hot Joba Chamberlain (7-2, 3.58) matches up against the new but scuffling John Smoltz (2-4, 7.12). 

Bombers deal with Halladay, Blue Jays

Yankees get to Doc early, tack some on late to take first game in Toronto.

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It was a very tough draw for the Yankees at the beginning of the night. It was the best pitcher in baseball, Roy Halladay. The Yankees got two runs early in the first on an A-Rod RBI double and an error on Halladay allowing Rodriguez to score. The next scoring took place in the bottom of the fourth when the Blue Jays had a big chance to get the lead with the bases loaded and one out. Rios hit a shot right a Hinske that turned into a sac fly, then got Encarnacion on a groundout to second. The Yankees came up big late in the game. With two outs in the eight, Damon and Teixeira went back-to-back to extend their lead to 4-1. Pettitte left with two outs in the seventh. He ended up going 6.2 IP giving up just one run on four hits, striking out six and walking four. Finally the Yankees got some luck today, Pettitte gave up numerous line outs, but good job by the Yankees to make some tough plays in the field. Hughes got the last out in the seventh and gave up two hits to open the eigth. Mo came in with two outs and gave up a two run double to Wells to make it 4-3. Matsui hit the third Yankee home run in the ninth against Halladay. How did that happen? Then in the ninth, Mo made it close, Aaron Hill came up as the winning run, but Mariano got him to pop out to center to close it out and earn his AL leading 31st save of the season. Rivera’s location was off for the first time in my life, but that shows you how good he is to close it out regardless. 

Player of the Game: Andy Pettitte: W, 6.2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

The Wrap-Up: 
This was a very big win for the Yankees. They beat, in my mind, the best pitcher in the game. Now, they just need one more win tomorrow in order to guarantee themselves a lead in their division going into that huge four game set against the Sox in New York. Another lights out performance by Andy. If he can continue to pitch this well down the stretch, the Yanks will have a much better chance to get this done. The Rays and Red Sox go into the ninth inning tied at one in Tampa. The Yankees currently have a 1.0 game lead in their division. 

Coming Up Next:
Mitre (1-0, 7.90) takes to mound against the another guy the Yanks haven’t seen, Rzepczynski (1-2, 3.25) in the second and final game of this short two game set in Toronto. The game begins at 7:07 pm ET. 

8/4 Yankees Vs. Blue Jays

Yanks try to bounce back from sloppy series in Chicago, in first of two in Toronto.

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7:07 EDT

Probable Pitchers:

Andy Pettitte
#46 LHP
(8-6) 4.51 ERA 127.2 IP 137 SO 1.433 WHIP
Pettitte was lights out once again in his last start, but took another very tough no decision. He threw six innings on one run ball, before his defense betrayed him and ended up surrendering the go ahead run. In his last two starts, Pettitte has an ERA of 2.70 and has held batters to an average of .216. In 37 career starts against the Blue Jays, Pettitte is 18-12 with a 4.25 ERA. Pettitte has been on fire lately and he loves pitching on the road. I would imagine that he would have a quality start at the least.
Roy Halladay
#32 RHP
(11-4) 2.68 ERA 148.0 IP 129 SO 1.074 WHIP
Two straight really tough draws for the Yankees. First it was Mr. Perfect, now its the guy many consider the best pitcher in the game; I sure think he is. Halladay was the top commodity on the trade market, but the Jays failed to get it done. In his last seven outings, Doc is 1-3 with a 3.00 ERA. In 34 career games against the Yanks, Roy is 16-5 with a 2.90 ERA and a WHIP of 1.115. The Yankees beat Halladay earlier in the season, and beat their last tough task in Buehrle. Lets see if the Yanks can pull of another gritty victory.
In 97 career at-bats against Halladay, Johnny Damon is a .349 hitter. A-Rod is 20 for 66 against Doc in his career. Wells is a .390 career hitter vs. Pettitte. When Halladay starts, the Jays are only 11-9, thats very surprising. In Docs last seven starts, they are 1-6. 

When It All Turned Around

Matsui HR.pngIt had been a very shaky season for the Yankees. They weren’t getting pitching from their top pitchers, Teixeira hadn’t gotten it done, but somehow the Yankees pulled it all together and now have the second best record in all of major league baseball. To me, there was a moment when all of the sudden things turned around. It was on May 14th against the Blue Jays. The Yankees were down 2-1 and tied up the game in the seventh. In the eight, Matsui came up and hit a go ahead home run that ended up being the game winner. Since that moment, the Yankees are 47-27, the best record in all of major league baseball. Before that moment, they were 16-17, third in their division. Now, they are atop their division. 

Many people believe that the day that A-Rod came back was the moment that turned the Yankees around. But, many things tell us that it isn’t. On May 14th, A-Rod had been back for five games. Their record was still below .500, even with him. The day before, they had just lost a heartbreaker with A.J. Burnett on the mound against Roy Halladay. Before Matsui’s home run, many people were counting the Yankees out, and thought that even with A-Rod, they didn’t have enough. With Matsui’s home run, the Yankees got their record to .500 and started a nine game winning streak, highlighted by a magical run of three straight walk offs. May 14th was a close game, and it finally showed the Yankees that they could win close games, something they couldn’t do earlier in the season. It also won the series for the Yankees, leading them into their extended home stand. A-Rod’s return definitely helped, but with Matsui’s home run, the Yankees took off.