Results tagged ‘ Jeremy Guthrie ’

Yankees’ Nova Lays Giant Egg In Orioles’ Nest

GAME 17

ORIOLES (SS) 6, YANKEES 3

Adam Jones connected for a three-run homer and Matt Wieters added a solo shot in the first inning off Ivan Nova as a Baltimore split squad powered their way past New York in a Grapefruit League game on Sunday night at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota, FL.

Alfredo Simon (1-0) pitched two innings, giving up one run on two hits and a walk, to get credit for the victory. However, it was a painful victory. Simon had to leave the game after two innings after re-aggravating a groin injury. Stu Pomeranz struck out the side in the ninth to earn a save.

Nova (0-2) regressed from his last start against the Red Sox, giving up five runs on seven hits in four innings of work despite striking out four. Nova did, however, retire seven of the last eight hitters he faced in the last 2 1/3 innings he pitched.

The Yankees, after winning three consecutive games to even their spring record, fell to 8-9. The Orioles improved to 6-7.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Mark Teixeira doubled off Simon in the second inning and later scored on a Justin Maxwell groundout to push across the Yankees’ first run. Teixeira is beginning to show signs of coming around with the bat and his spring average is now at .238.
  • Dewayne Wise and Jose Gil drove in a run apiece in the seventh inning off right-hander Jon Link. Link came on with one out in the inning and allowed a single to Bill Hall and walked Chris Dickerson. Hall scored on Wise’s double to left-center and Dickerson scored easily on Gil’s sacrifice fly.  Wise was 2-for 2 with a walk, stole a base and drove in a run.
  • Brett Gardner showed off his defensive skills in the second inning by hauling in a fly ball in center field off the bat of J.J. Hardy and firing the ball on the fly to Teixeira at first to double off the speedy Endy Chavez.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Manager Joe Girardi was not pleased when Nova told reporters that the home runs Jones and Wieters hit came on a slider (to Jones) and a curve (to Wieters) that catcher Gustavo Molina called, but Nova did not have confidence in throwing. Girardi said what the pitcher throws is his decision because he holds the ball. Despite the hiccup on Sunday night and his 7.82 spring ERA, Nova is still pretty much assured a spot in the rotation.
  • The Raul Ibanez saga continues. He was 0-for-3 on Sunday and he is now hitting a dreadful .065. Not only that, but his bat speed through the hitting zone looks slow and methodical rather than free and easy. With the money Ibanez is making, he is assured a spot on the roster and will open the season as the designated hitter. But his work this spring is reminiscent of the spring Randy Winn had two seasons ago. Winn ended up being released in May.
  • The Yankees’ base-running was atrocious. Eduardo Nunez and Mason Williams were caught stealing by Wieters. Wise managed to steal a base but Wieters threw him out after he strayed too far off the bag. Also Hall nearly got passed on the base-paths by Dickerson when Hall mistakenly started back to second on Wise’s double.

BOMBER BANTER

All-Star reliever David Robertson pitched a pain-free bullpen session in Tampa, FL., and he hopes to be able to pitch in a spring game in about a week. Robertson has been sidelined since March 7 when he suffered a bone bruise on his right foot slipping on step at his home.  . . .  The injuries are piling up. This one can be blamed on another Oriole pitcher trying to “impress” by pitching inside without control. Last spring, Jeremy Guthrie seemed to be pitching to Yankee targets in the batter’s box. This season it is left-hander Troy Patton. Patton unleashed a 3-2 pitch right at Robinson Cano in the sixth inning and it struck the All-Star second baseman in the left hand. Cano left the game to have precautionary X-rays, which showed no broken bones. Girardi said Cano just has a contusion and some soreness. Cano is listed as day-to-day. To add insult to the injury, first base umpire Tim Welke incorrectly ruled Cano swung at the pitch and he was called out. Television replays showed Cano never actually brought the bat forward to swing.  . . .  Girardi all but ruled out that the team would go to a six-man rotation to accommodate 39-year-old left-hander Andy Pettitte. The Yankees will allow Pettitte to get in game shape for about seven weeks but it is unclear what role Pettitte will assume when he is ready.

ON DECK

Good news for Ibanez and Cano, the Yankees do not have a game scheduled on Monday. Cano can ice his sore left hand and Ibanez can see if he can hit a ball in the cage. The Yankees will resume their spring schedule on Tuesday night against the Pittsburgh Pirates at George M. Steinbrenner Field.

Right-hander Michael Pineda is scheduled to make his fourth start for the Yankees. In addition, walking wounded Russell Martin (groin), Nick Swisher (groin) and Derek Jeter (calf) are scheduled to return to the lineup.

Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be shown nationally by the MLB Network on tape delay and locally via a live broadcast by the YES Network.

 

Orioles Seem To Have Stranglehold On 5th Place

As spring training camps open it is time to look at the American League East competition for the New York Yankees. How will the other teams fare as they gear up to dethrone the 2011 division champions? Do these teams have the pitching? Is there enough offense? Let’s see.

PART 1 – BALTIMORE ORIOLES

The 2011 season began with a lot of optimism because of the great job Buck Showalter did in turning around the Orioles at the end of the 2010 season.

But 2011 was much like every season for the Orioles since 1999. It fizzled into frustration in a hurry. They finished with a record of 69-93 and they were a distant fifth in the A.L. East, 28 games behind the Yankees.

This coming season promises to pretty similar because the Orioles have not made a lot of changes to their roster. With the exeption of Jeremy Guthrie, Luke Scott and Derrek Lee, this pretty much the same group that floundered through much of 2011.

STARTERS

One big reason is that the Orioles banked their future hopes on a collection of young starting pitchers like Brian Matusz, Zach Britton, Jake Arrieta and Chris Tillman. They progressed through the minors but none of them have established themselves as major-league quality starters. And if you want to compete in this division, you have to have good starting pitching.

The Orioles compounded that issue by trading their best starting pitcher, Guthrie, to the Colorado Rockies for starter Jason Hammel and reliever Matt Lindstrom. As a result, the Orioles’ “ace” is former Rangers right-hander Tommy Hunter, who was 4-4 with a 4.68 ERA in an injury-shortened season.

The Orioles, led by general manager Dan Duquette, are now shifting their sites overseas and the team signed two pitchers from the Japanese League in Wei-Yin Chen and Tsuyoshi Wada.

Chen, 26, is a left-hander from Taiwan who has compiled a 36-30 record and a 2.48 ERA in four seasons with the Chunichi Dragons. He also has pretty good stuff with 500 career strikeouts in 631 1/3 innings.

Wada, 30, is another left-hander and he has overcome two injury-plagued seasons to compile a combined 33-13 record with a 2.29 ERA in the last two seasons with Fukuoda Softbank Hawks. While Chen has better stuff, Wada is considered to have better control.

Both figure prominently in the Orioles plans for 2012 and both likely will be in the rotation this season, depending on how they progress in the spring.

Hammel, 29, was 7-13 with a 4.76 ERA last season with the Rockies. The tall right-hander figures to be slotted as the No. 4 starter.

The Orioles still have high hopes for Matusz, Britton, Arrieta and Tillman. But it appears Britton and Arrieta are going to get most of the attention this spring. The lefty Britton suffered a shoulder injury last season and he finished the season 11-11 with a 4.61 ERA. Arrieta was 10-8 with 5.05 ERA.

BULLPEN

The bullpen was a strength of this team when Koji Uehara was around but he was dealt to the Rangers at the trade deadline last July.

The closer job is up for grabs between incumbent closer Kevin Gregg, who saved 22 games but blew seven chances and was 0-3 with a 4.37 ERA, and Jim Johnson, who saved nine games and was 6-5 with a 2.67 ERA. Lindtsrom, who saved 23 games for the Astros in 2010, can also be shifted into the closer role.

The rest of the bullpen will likely be made up with lefty Darren O’Day and former starters Alfredo Simon, Brad Bergesen and Jason Berken.

STARTING LINEUP

A few years ago, the Orioles seem to invested their future into second baseman Brian Roberts, right-fielder Nick Markakis and center-fielder Adam Jones and have built around those players.

Unfortunately, Roberts has suffered through injury after injury and Markakis and Jones have underperformed expectations.

With the Orioles lack of ability to attract high-priced free-agent talent, the Orioles have to rely on that trio as the core of the team again.

The Orioles may also begin getting what they expected out of catcher Matt Wieters, who hit 22 home runs and won a Gold Glove for his defensive work behind the plate. The former No. 1 pick also is showing some signs of leadership on the team.

Shortstop J.J. Hardy finally shook off injuries that plagued him since he was with the Brewers in 2008 as he hit 30 home runs and drove in 80 runs.

Third baseman Mark Reynolds was pretty much as advertised. He did not hit for average and struck out 196 times but he also hit 37 home runs and drove in 87 runs.

Former Rangers first baseman Chris Davis is pretty much a carbon copy of Reynolds at first base only he does most of his striking out from the left side.

The Orioles will likely platoon veterans Endy Chavez and Nolan Reimold in the outfield and look for the Orioles to make a late bid for a DH.

They could re-sign veteran Vladimir Guerrero or chose from among Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui to replace Scott.

BENCH

Former Yankee Wilson Betemit will be the top reserve on the infield and middle infield reserve Robert Andino will return to provide glovework behind Roberts and Hardy. Former Rangers backstop Taylor Teagarden will be the backup to Wieters.

The Orioles could use the spring to look for some veteran help in the outfield to bolster their bench a bit.

ANALYSIS

With Jones, Wieters, Hardy, Reynolds and Davis the Orioles seem to have plenty of firepower. Plus when Roberts is healthy and Markakis is going good, they can get on base and steal a base or two. But the overall offense may be too geared towards power over putting the ball iin play and advancing runners.

The Orioles, as a team, strike out way too much and it cost them because their pitching is not that strong.

The Orioles are gambling on two Japanese League pitchers and two journeyman American starters (Hunter and Hammel) to give them time to develop their young pitchers like Britton and Arrieta. The jury is still out on Matusz, who looked like a surefire star in the making in 2010.

Without a consistent starting rotation, any effort Showalter makes in the bullpen could prove futile. A good bullpen only limits the damage. The bullpen should be strong but it is obvious they are going to tire quickly if they are constantly coming in the fourth or fifth inning.

Barring another Showalter miracle, this team is headed for more frustration in 2012. They simply can’t compete with the big boys (Yankees, Rays, Red Sox) and they merely hold their own against the Blue Jays. If I were a betting man, I would suspect that the Orioles will finish fifth again.

It is a spot for which they are built.

ON TUESDAY – PART 2  TORONTO BLUE JAYS

 

Yankees Re-Sign Garcia, Now Burnett Must Go

ESPNNewYork.com is reporting that the New York Yankees have agreed to a one-year contract with right-hander Freddy Garcia.

This was not a surprise to me because I posted a story on Nov. 21 headlined: “Yankees Could Retain Garcia If Deals Fall Through.”

Though some Yankee fans might be skeptical of the signing because Garcia does not throw 95-mile-per-hour bullets at opposing hitters and he is 35 years old on a team loaded with players who have crept way past their 30th birthdays, the signing still makes a lot of sense.

The first reason is the deal is just a one-year deal paying between $4 million and $5 million. This is about what the Yankees signed free-agent catcher Russell Martin for last winter. The Yankees also have to be cognizant of the fact the starting staff they have behind CC Sabathia is a pretty shaky group consisting of rookie Ivan Nova, Phil Hughes coming off right shoulder trouble and the command and control challenged A.J. Burnett.

Garcia gives the Yankees a fifth starter who was 12-8 with a 3.82 ERA in 26 games in his first season in which he was paid $1.5 million. Garcia is an insurance policy for the starting staff and it gives general manager Brian Cashman the ability to either “go big” after free agents like left-hander C.J. Wilson and Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish or “go small” to sign left-hander Mark Buerhle and right-hander Edwin Jackson.

The signing of Garcia also takes the pressure off the Yankees from having to promote a collection of six young starting pitchers they have advancing through the minor leagues: lefty Manny Banuelos and right-handers Dellin Betances, David Phelps, Hector Noesi, Adam Warren and D.J. Michell. If Cashman was unable to sign any free-agent starters this winter, the Yankees would likely have to choose from among these young pitchers to fill out the staff. They now can be patient with them.

Garcia may not be sexiest name the Yankees could have signed but it is a practical one. There are decidely worse free-agent pitching options out there and Garcia did manage to throw a lot of quality starts keeping the Yankees in most all of all his appearances.

But, make no mistake about it, the pressure is on for Cashman to sign at least one quality free-agent pitcher. The reason is obvious: In order to compete in the American League East and advance in the playoffs the Yankees need to have a solid core of at least three quality starters. The Yankees appear to have just one in Sabathia. Nova or Hughes could be another but Burnett has been a disaster the past two seasons.

I find it rather troubling that the Yankees seem to be committed to Burnett simply because he has two years remaining on his contract paying him $16.5 million per season. Cashman said there is no reason to put Burnett in the bullpen and he cited Burnett’s ability to pitch 200 innings. Cashman trotted out this stat as if it was a virtue or badge of honor.

However, a number of other major-league pitchers threw 200 innings last season including: Jeremy Guthrie of the Orioles (7-14, 4.33 ERA), Brett Myers of the Astros (7-14, 4.46 ERA), Ricky Nolasco of the Marlins (10-12, 4.67 ERA) and Ryan Dempster of the Cubs (10-14, 4.80 ERA). It does not mean the Yankees would be better off with Burnett than any one of these others. In fact, Burnett’s ERA was 5.15 over 190 1/3 innings.

The real reason the Yankees seem to be sticking with “Bad A.J.” is that they know that any trade the make to ship him out would mean the Yankees would still be on the hook for most, if not all, of Burnett’s salary and they likely would not receive much in return from the other team.

I know if I was a general manger of another team I would not exactly be beating my fists on Cashman’s door to acquire a pitcher who is just as likely to walk seven batters, hit three, give up four home runs and toss a pitch into the dugout as he is to throw a no-hitter while walking nine batters as Burnett did earlier in his career.

So the Yankees might be facing the fact that they can’t rid themselves of Burnett or obtain a top-dollar free agent because of how much they are paying him. But Cashman must realize that Burnett is like a albatross tied around the Yankees necks right now. If the team is committed to winning they need to rid themselves of anyone standing in the way of that.

That means Cashman must have the permission of Hal and Hank Steinbrenner to “dump” Burnett and as much of his salary as they can to whatever team is willing to try to take on Burnett. Then they need to have the guts to “go big” and spare no dollars in trying to sign Wilson or Darvish.

Burnett is a huge anchor that is about to sink the Yankees’ hopes for the next two years as long as he is around. So bite the bullet and rid yourselves of him before he takes the ship deeper into the murky waters.

I was stunned to read Yankees MLB correspondent Bryan Hoch’s mailbag on Nov. 22 stating the Yankees had just “lukewarm” interest in Wilson and Darvish. This is a travesty.

If the team requires a starting staff worthy of going deep into the playoffs and possibly winning a World Series, they better not have “lukewarm” interest in the two pitchers that could help them the most in reaching that goal. If Burnett and his bloated contract and his substandard pitching are standing in the way, you got to cut him out like a cancer NOW!

Get rid of Burnett and sign Wilson or Darvish or the team will surely have sealed its fate before the first pitch of spring training is even thrown.

That would be very sad.

 

Cano’s Hit Gives Yankees’ Rookie Win in 15th

GAME 41

YANKEES 4, ORIOLES 1 (15 Innings)

For nearly five hours the Yankees and Orioles seemed to be handing victory to each other and both teams kept giving it back.

But Robinson Cano ended the nonsense in the 15th inning with a two-run double and rookie Hector Noesi pitched a “thrill-a-second” four innings of relief  to win a game in his major-league debut as New York knocked off Baltimore at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Wednesday, ahh, make that early Thursday morning.

The Yankees actually spoiled eight innings of shutout baseball by starter Bartolo Colon only to have the great Mariano Rivera cough up his third save chance of the season, which sent the game into six incredible extra frames in which there were 18 hits, six walks and 18 runners left on base between the two teams.

But Mark Teixeira led off the 15th inning with a single to right off losing pitcher Jeremy Accardo (2-1). Alex Rodriguez followed with his fourth single of the night into center. Orioles manager Buck Showalter brought in lefty Mike Gonzalez to face the lefty swinging Cano and Cano blasted his first offering into the gap in right-center for a double to score Teixeira and Rodriguez. An error on the play by Adam Jones allowed Cano to reach third.

Gonzalez then struck Chris Dickerson in the head with a 1-1 fastball and Dickerson was forced to leave the game for a precautionary CT scan. Home-plate umpire Dan Bellino immediately ejected Gonazlaez and Showalter was forced to use Mark Guthrie, the scheduled starter for Thursday’s game, to pitch in relief. The Yankees added another insurance run on Brett Gardner’s sacrifice fly to right to score Cano.

Noesi, meanwhile, kept both Yankee and Oriole fans on the edge of their seats. Noesi (1-0) gave up four hits and four walks and stranded seven runners in four eventful shutout innings. He actually started the 15th by giving up a single to Nick Markakis and he walked Brandon Snyder. But he retired Luke Scott on a soft liner to left and caught the biggest break of the game. Matt Wieters stroked a sure ground single towards right but the ball struck Snyder while he was running in the baseline and Snyder was ruled out. A pitch later, J.J. Hardy ended the four-hour and fifty-six minute marathon with a fly ball to right.

With the victory the Yankees improved their record to 22-19 and they remain two games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. The Orioles fell to 19-22 and they trail the Rays by five games.

PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • If Bartolo Colon could throw a game any better, it would have had to have been a no-hitter. Over eight innings he silenced the Orioles on only three hits and one walk and he struck seven. He finished his evening by striking out the side by painting the outside corner as he did all night long. He only needed 87 pitches and 61 were strikes. That is an amazing 70 percent strike ratio. He deserved the victory and it is a shame he did not get it. This scrap-heap 37-year-old right-hander has a season ERA of 3.16, the best mark among the Yankees’ starters.
  • Rodriguez continues to show improvement at the plate. He had four hits in the game and scored two of the Yankees four runs. In his last two games he is 6-for-11 (.545). That raises his season batting average to .266.
  • Give Noesi credit for his “bend but don’t break” pitching. He loaded the bases after striking out his first two major-league batters and then induced Markakis to hit an easy tapper back to Noesi. In the 13th, Noesi had runners on first and second with two out and struck out Mark Reynolds looking. In the 14th inning, Noesi gave up a long fly ball to the deepest part of right-center that was caught at the wall by Dickerson. Considering the 24-year-old rookie held it together for four innings in his major-league debut is very impressive.
  • Cano continues to frustrate the Orioles. He entered the game hitting .565 at Oriole Park since the beginning of the 2009 season. Showalter and the Orioles foiled his attempt to end the game in the 13th inning by walking him intentionally with Curtis Granderson at third and Teixeira at first with one out. Accardo escaped the jam by striking out Dickerson and getting Brett Gardner to ground out.

NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • No one can fault the great Rivera for being human. He faltered in the ninth by giving up one-out singles to both Jones and Markakis and Vladimir Guerrero stung him for a sacrifice fly to score Jones. It was Rivera’s third blown save and his second against the Orioles this season. The other was against the Blue Jays. It is not surprising that Rivera would have less success against the teams he faces the most inside the A.l. East.
  • Actually the Yankee offense could only muster an unearned run off Orioles starter Zach Britton. Rodriguez led off with a single and he advanced to second on a Cano groundout and took third on an error by Robert Andino. He then scored on a Nick Swisher sacrifice fly. The Yankees had at least one base-runner in the seven innings Britton pitched. Before Cano’s hit they were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position. This has been an ongoing issue all season long with the Yankees.
  • Francisco Cervelli committed yet another throwing error trying to throw a base-stealer. In the eighth inning, Mark Reynolds stole second and too third when Cervelli’s throw tailed past Cano at second base and rolled into center. Colon bailed Cervelli out by striking out Andino. Cervelli has two errors in limited play and has allowed 11 steals on 13 attempts (18 percent).
BOMBER BANTER

Dickerson was taken to University of Maryland Hospital to have a precautionary CT scan. Dickerson wanted to remain in the game but manager Joe Girardi and trainer Gene Monihan insisted he come out. He was replaced as by pitcher A.J. Burnett as a pinch-runner.  It is unknown if Dickerson will miss any time.  . . .  Rodriguez will have his surgically repaired hip checked on when he returns to New York with the team this Friday. Rodriguez insists his hip is fine. But hitting coach Kevin Long said Rodriguez has been having trouble using his lower half swinging the bat lately and thinks a checkup is needed to be sure. With A-Rod going 6-for-11 in his last two games it is not looking like he has any issues. Rodriguez insists there is no pain.  . . .  Swisher returned to the starting lineup after missing Tuesday’s game with flu-like symptoms. Swisher was 0-for-2 in the game with an RBI.  . . .  Derek Jeter was used as the DH and Eduardo Nunez took his place at shortstop. However, when Dickerson was removed from the game, Nunez had to be used in right and Jeter was inserted at shortstop. losing the DH.
ON DECK

The Yankees will attempt to sweep the short road series with the Orioles later today.
The Yankees will start ace left-hander CC Sabathia (3-3, 3.47), who is coming off one his oddest outings of the season on Saturday against the Red Sox. Sabathia actually was dominant for most of the game. But he wilted in the seventh and ended up giving up six runs on eight hits and three walks in 6 1/3 innings. But facing the Orioles should be the tonic. Sabathia is 15-2 with a 2.92 ERA against the Orioles in his career.
The Orioles, forced to use Guthrie on Wednesday, will call on right-hander Brad Bergesen (1-4, 4.35 ERA). Bergesen is 0-3 with a 6.65 ERA against the Yankees in his career.
Game-time will be at 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be televised nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

CC Tames O’s For First 20-Victory Season As Yanks Romp

GAME 148
YANKEES 11, ORIOLES 3

It was not CC Sabathia at his best. It was not the walk in the park that the score might have made it look like. 
But, in the end, Sabathia managed to grind out seven solid innings on Saturday night to become the first pitcher in the major leagues to win 20 games this season.
Sabathia (20-6) also won 20 games for the first time in his 10 seasons in the majors as the New York Yankees pounded Jeremy Guthrie (10-14) and the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
Sabathia gave up three runs on seven hits and one walk while striking out four batters in making a very good case to win his second American League Cy Young Award. 
The Yankee offense, which had seemed to go into a coma during a stretch in which the Yankees played in one-run games in eight of their last 10 games, came alive as the game progressed. They scored in every inning except the third and seventh innings as they rapped out 13 hits.
Jorge Posada started the barrage with a two-run, two-out single in the first inning to give the Yankees a lead they never relinquished. Robinson Cano made the score 6-2 in the fifth inning with a two-run home run, his 28th homer of the season and driving in his 100th and 101 st runs of the season — a career high.
Curtis Granderson finally put away the game for good in the ninth inning with his 19th home run of the season, a three-run shot to almost straightaway center-field that made the score 11-3.
Derek Jeter added two RBIs and Brett Gardner came a home run short of the cycle for the defending world champions, who maintained their half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League East. 
They ran their season record to a major-league-best 90-58 while the Orioles fell to the opposite mark of 58-90.
PINSTRIPE POSITIVES

  • Sabathia struggled with command at times and was touched for two sacrifice flies and a solo home run by Robert Andino. But he used his change-up to get out jams. He struck out four and benefitted from a pair of double plays. Andino’s home run made it 6-3 in the fifth inning but Sabathia pitched two scoreless innings and left with an 7-3 lead.
  • The Orioles will be glad not to see Cano after Sunday’s game. He has hit .448 against them this season and he hit .481 against them last season. He also has five home runs and 11 RBIs against them this season.
  • Jeter scored two runs in the game, which gives him 100 on the season for the 13th time in his career. He and Alex Rodriguez are the active leaders with 13. Jeter’s two hits also extended his hitting streak to seven games in which he is 9-for-31 (.290).
  • Nick Swisher started at designated hitter and contributed an RBI double and a single. Swisher had not started the last five games due to recurring soreness in his left knee.
NAGGING NEGATIVES

  • Have the Yankees missed Swisher in right field? Well, Austin Kearns, Greg Golson and Colin Curtis are a combined 1-for-21 (.048) in the last six games. Curtis, looking completely overmatched at the plate, was 0-for-4 on Saturday and is 0-for-18 dating back to July 30.
  • Lance Berkman, playing first base in place of the ailing Mark Teixeira, was 0-for-5 in the game with a strikeout and he only got one ball out of the infield. He is hitting .395 for the month but has no home runs and only one RBI in that span.
  • Sabathia actually would have had a better night if he could have retired Andino. Andino singled, stole a base, doubled and homered in his three at-bats off Sabathia. When Sabathia left after seven innings, Joba Chamberlain entered the game in the eighth and the first batter he faced was Andino and he got him on a routine fly to center. Andino is 4-for-8 in the two games in the series, including two home runs.
BOMBER BANTER

Teixeira was held out of Saturday’s game to rest a bruised right thumb and a broken little toe on his right foot. Teixeira injured his thumb in Chicago on Aug. 27 and five days later he suffered the broken toe on a pitch thrown by Oakland’s Vin Mazzaro. Since Sept. 2, Teixeira is 9-for-53 (.170) with no home runs and three RBIs.  . . .  Swisher said his left knee felt fine in his first start after missing five games. Manager Joe Girardi may allow Swisher to play right-field on Sunday depending on how he feels.
Swisher injured the knee on Aug. 24 when he fouled a ball off himself. Going into Saturday’s game, Swisher was hitting .250 with four home runs and 12 RBIs since then.  . . .  With Cano’s home run on Saturday the Yankees are 24-2 in games in which Cano hits a home run.  
ON DECK

The Yankees hope their 2-8 slide after winning eight games in a row is over after two victories against the Orioles this weekend. They go for a sweep on Sunday with an old friend on the mound.
Andy Pettitte (11-2, 2.88 ERA) will make his first start for the Yankees since July 18, when he strained his left groin. He pitched five innings in a Double-A playoff game for Trenton on Tuesday and he says he is ready to go. Pettitte is the No. 1 active nemesis for the Orioles with a career record of 18-5 with a 3.55 ERA.
The Orioles will counter with Chris Tillman (1-4, 6.32 ERA). In his last outing on Sunday, Tillman issued six walks but still managed to pitch well. He held the Tigers to one run in 6 2/3 innings but received a no decision. He is 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 1:35 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast nationally by TBS and locally by the YES Network.

O’s’ Hope For Victory Over Yankees Gone With The Winn

GAME 25
YANKEES 4, ORIOLES 1

Two days ago he was the guy at the end of the bench with one hit and a limited role. On Monday night, he was starting his first game as a platoon left-fielder with a three-run home run that won the game.
Randy Winn hit a hanging 1-0 breaking ball from Jeremy Guthrie into the New York Yankees’ bullpen that gave the Bronx Bombers the 4-1 margin they needed to defeat the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
CC Sabathia (4-1) scattered six hits and two walks to pitch one-run baseball over eight innings to pick up the victory and run his career record against the Orioles to 11-1. Guthrie (0-4) lost his eighth consecutive decision and his second straight to both Sabathia and the Yankees.
Joba Chamberlain pitched a scoreless ninth in place of an ailing Mariano Rivera to record his first save since the 2007 season.
The Yankees improved their season record to 17-8 and they gained a half-game in the A.L. East standings on the idle first-place Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles fell to 7-19 and they are already 11 1/2 games back in the division.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • It was a great night for Winn, who was starting his first game as the platoon left-fielder while Curtis Granderson spends about a month nursing a strained groin on the disabled list. For Winn it was his first home-run in 491 at-bats. His last home run was on April 25, 2009 when he was with the San Francisco Giants off Max Scherzer, when he pitched for the Diamondbacks.
  • Nick Swisher helped set the stage for Winn’s three-run home run with a lined shot single off the right-field wall that scored Alex Rodriguez with the Yankees’ first run with two out in the fourth inning. Swisher was 3-for-3 in the game and he is now 8-for-12 with five RBIs in his last three games.
  • Brett Gardner also lengthened the fourth inning by following Swisher with a bloop single to center off Guthrie that brought Winn to the plate. Gardner was 1-for-2 with a walk on Monday and he is now hitting .347 on the season.
  • Sabathia gave up a solo opposite-field home run to Matt Wieters to begin the second inning. But he was in command for the rest of the night, retiring 16 Oriole batters on grounders. 
  • Chamberlain looked impressive in his one-inning stint. He did issue a walk on a 3-2 slider to Wieters. But, in every other sense, he was Mariano-like with a strikeout and two e
    asy groundouts. His fastball was clocked at 95 miles per hour.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Rodriguez singled in the fourth inning and scored the Yankees first run. In the rest of the game the Yankees’ lineup from spots one through six were 0-for-22. Swisher, Gardner and Winn were a combined 5-for-8 in the seven, eight and nine spots.
  • Nick Johnson walked for the 22nd time this season but was 0-for-3 in the game. In defense of Johnson, though, he lined out hard right at Adam Jones in center field and had a hit taken away by Ty Wigginton at second base in the seventh inning.
  • Robinson Cano had a rare 0-for-4 night. Part of his problem was some impatience at the plate. He only saw a total of 10 pitches in his four at-bats. His average fell to .371 but he still leads the American League in hitting.
  • Mark Teixeira, who was 6-for-9 in the first two games of May, was 0-for-4 and his average fell back to .181. But Teixeira also was robbed of a hit by Garrett Atkins, who dove at first base to take a bouncer down the line that could have been a double.
DIAMOND NOTES

The injuries are piling up all of a sudden. Jorge Posada left the game in the sixth inning complaining of tightness in his right calf. He was sent to New York-Presbyterian Hospital for an MRI. The result showed a mild strain and Posada is listed as day-to-day. The Yankees hope he will be able to catch on Friday.  . . .  Meanwhile, Rivera was not available to save the game for Sabathia because of stiffness in his left side. Rivera said that the discomfort is similar to the stiffness he experienced in the playoffs last season. He termed the condition as “no big deal” and he hopes to be able to pitch on Tuesday.  . . .  As expected, manager Joe Girardi said that Javier Vazquez, who is struggling with a 1-3 record and a 9.78 ERA, will not make his next scheduled start on Friday against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Instead, Girardi said Vazquez will pitch on Monday against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Because of an off day on Thursday, Phil Hughes will make the start on his regular rest against the Red Sox. He will be followed by Sabathia and A.J. Burnett in the weekend series. In the meantime, Vazquez is expected to throw a pair of side sessions on Tuesday and Friday. Girardi told reporters “I just thought he could use a little time to catch his breath.”  . . .  Sabathia uncharacteristically got very angry in the seventh inning with the strike zone of home plate umpire Bill Hohn. Sabathia had thrown two close pitches to the Orioles’ Lou Montanez that were called balls but Sabthia said nothing. However, after he got a strike call on a 3-0 pitch that looked to be further outside than the pitches Hohn had called balls, Sabathia got agitated and he shouted at Hohn. Girardi and the Yankee infielders raced to Sabathia to get him to regain his composure and he finished the seventh and eighth innings without another incident.  . . .  Both Jeter and Teixeira received their Gold Glove awards before the game. It was Teixeira’s second Gold Glove award, but his first with the Yankees. Jeter received his fourth Gold Glove.  . . .  Cano was named the AL Player of the Month for April. Cano ended the month with eight home runs, 18 RBIs and hit a major-league best .400. Francisco Liriano of the Twins was named the AL Pitcher of the Month. 
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees could win their eighth series of the season with a victory over the Orioles on Tuesday. They will send to the mound right-hander A.J. Burnett (3-0, 2.43 ERA). Burnett is coming off his best outing of the season and it was against the Orioles last Thursday. He gave up just five hits in eight shutout innings in Baltimore. Burnett is 10-2 in his career against the O’s.
The Orioles will start rookie left-hander Brian Matusz (2-1, 4.40 ERA), who suffered his first loss of the season to Burnett and the Yankees. Matusz pitched well, though, giving up just three runs on nine hits in six innings of work. He is 1-1 with a 2.27 ERA in two starts against the Yankees.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast by the YES Network.

‘Real’ Yankees Show Up To Pound Orioles With 15 Hits

GAME 20
YANKEES 8, ORIOLES 3

For those Yankee fans wondering who were those guys who lost four of the their last five games in road grays, the real New Yorkers showed up at Oriole Park on Wednesday night.
Nick Swisher blasted a key two-run triple, A.L. batting leader Robinson Cano added to his increasing legend with a solo home run and CC Sabathia kept the Orioles at bay for 7 2/3 innings as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles 8-3.
Sabathia (3-1) ran his career record against the Orioles to 10-1. Though he gave u
p three runs on 11 hits and two walks, Sabathia completed his best month of April in his career with an easy victory. Oriole starter Jeremy Guthrie (0-2) took the loss and now has lost his last five starts against the Yankees.
The Yankees improved their season record to 13-7 but they remain 2 1/2 games behind the A.L. East leading Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles remain in the cellar of the division with a record of 4-17.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • It is nice to see an offense with 15 hits and only Alex Rodriguez failed to get a hit among the regulars who started and played the entire game.
  • Swisher was 3-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBIs. His second triple of the season in the second inning made the score 4-0. The triple also tied his career high in triples for a season and we are still in April. Swisher raised his batting average to .284.
  • Cano was 2-for-5 and he is leading the American League in hitting with a .390 average. Even on two of his outs, Cano hit the ball hard but right at two Oriole outfielders.
  • Derek Jeter had a 2-for-4 night with a run scored and two RBIs. Jeter’s leadoff double in the first inning really set the tone for the rest of the evening.
  • Francisco Cervelli, who entered the game when Jorge Posada was removed from the game due to an injury, added two hits and he is now hitting .444. Manager Joe Girardi said Cervelli was on the team because of his defense behind the plate and anything he contributed offensively was just gravy. Well, the gravy Cervelli has been adding could cover a mound of mashed potatoes the size of Yankee Stadium.
  • Sabathia did not pitch great but he pitched well enough to get out of trouble in just about every inning. He had only one perfect inning and was aided by a pair of sparkling double plays in the fifth and seventh innings.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Sabathia just did not have his usual swing-and-miss stuff, though he did strike out five batters. The 11 hits were a season high and Nick Markakis contributed three of them, including a solo home run in the seventh inning.
  • Other than his sacrifice fly in the first inning, Rodriguez was 0-4 and he is 0-for-9 in the series.
  • Nick Johnson did contribute a single and a walk but he also struck twice looking. Johnson is going to have to be more aggressive if he wants to raise his average from .143.
  • Mark Teixeira is showing signs of coming out of his April drought. He did hit the ball hard twice and had a single. But he is still hitting a league-worst .133.
  • It was a cold night and there was a hockey playoff game involving the Washington Capitals but the Orioles drawing a crowd of only 17,248 fans — a great deal of them Yankee fans — is a pretty sad state for the proud Orioles’ organization.
DIAMOND NOTES

Johnson was reinserted into the DH spot after not starting the previous three games due to stiffness in his lower back. Girardi had given thought to dropping Johnson lower in the batting order and moving Brett Gardner into the No. 2 spot. But he decided to leave Johnson there and he was 1-for-4.  . . .  Curtis Granderson ended a 0-for-21 drought at the plate with a single in the second inning. He finished the night by going 2-for-5. He is batting .243 on the season. . . .  Posada left the game in the second inning after he was hit on the right knee by a pitch from Guthrie. Posada initially did stay in the game and scored on Swisher’s triple. But he was replaced by Cervelli in the bottom of the second inning. Posada has a contusion on the knee and Girardi said that he doubts Posada will be available to play on Thursday. He is officially listed as day-to-day.  . . .   Chan Ho Park, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, had an MRI on Wednesday and it showed the same low-grade strain. The Yankees have been puzzled by his lack of progress in his recovery.  . . .  Derek Jeter’s leadoff double in the first inning was another milestone for the Yankee captain. It was the 442nd double of his career and tied him with Don Mattingly for third on the team’s all-time list. Jeter told reporters that “he had no clue of the record.”
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will try to win the three-game series Thursday at Camden Yards with A.J. Burnett (2-0, 3.20 ERA) scheduled to start for Yankees. In his last start, Burnett struggled with his command. He gave up four runs on nine hits in 6 1/3 innings of a no-decision against the Oakland A’s on April 23. 
Burnett is 9-2 with a 5.23 ERA in 13 career starts against the Orioles. He was 2-1 with a 5.84 ERA last season against them.
The Orioles will start 23-year-old left-hander Brian Matusz (2-0, 4.38 ERA). Matusz was let down by his bullpen in his last start and gave up four runs in six-plus innings against the Red Sox on Saturday. In his only start against the Yankees last season he gave up only one run in seven innings at Yankee Stadium.
Game-time is 7:05 p.m. EDT and the game will be broadcast nationally by the MLB Network and locally by the YES Network.

Cano, Winfree Power Yankees Past Orioles 11-7

GAME 24
YANKEES 11, ORIOLES 7

Robinson Cano and David Winfree blasted three-run home runs and combined for seven RBIs as the New York Yankees powered their way past the Baltimore Orioles 11-7 on Monday night at a blustery Ed Smith Stadium in Saraota, FL.
Javier Vazquez (3-0) was touched for four runs in 5 1/3 innings but picked up the victory nonetheless. Jeremy Guthrie (0-4) took the loss.
The Yankees raised their spring ledger to 11-13 while the Orioles record dropped to 10-15.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Cano’s home run in the first inning off Guthrie gave him two home runs, eight RBIs and he finished the game with a batting average of .341.
  • Winfree, who only entered the game after first baseman Mark Teixeira was forced to leave the game with a contusion on his right arm after being hit by a pitch by Guthrie, drove in a run in the fourth on a groundout and added his three-run shot in the sixth inning to blow the game wide open. The home run travelled a good 410 feet to straightaway center. Winfree, who was acquired from the Twins, has had an impressive spring but is still ticketed to play for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
  • Marcus Thames hit his second home run of the spring, a solo shot in the seventh inning. He has been coming on of late and the Yankees seem to be leaning on him to be the 25th man on the roster because he provides power off the bench.
  • Francisco Cervelli reached base on all four of his at-bats, scored two runs and even stole a base.
  • Nick Johnson, true to form, walked three times and scored two runs.
  • Journeyman reserve catcher P.J. Pilittere connected on a solo home run in the ninth inning to give the Yankees four home runs in the game.
  • The 11 runs the Yankees scored are the most runs they have scored in a game this spring.
  • Joba Chamberlain pitched two-thirds of an inning and, despite giving up a scratch single, looked impressive striking out Brian Roberts to end the sixth inning.
  • Chan Ho Park also pitched a scoreless inning and served notice to Chamberlain that the fight for the set-up role will not be easy.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Derek Jeter did drive in a run on a fielder’s choice but was 0-for-5 and is now hitting .209 this spring.
  • Vazquez hung a pitch to Adam Jones and Jones crushed it for a three-run home run in the fifth inning that brought the Orioles back to make it a 5-4 Yankees’ lead.
  • Despite the 11 runs, the Yankees struck out 13 times (outfielder Greg Golson struck out three times) and the team was 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. 
  • In his first three at-bats, Alex Rodriguez struck out with two on, grounded out to the pitcher with the bases loaded and flew out to center with two on to strand a total of seven runners. He did single in the sixth in his final at-bat.
  • Royce Ring, bidding to become potentially a second left-hander in the bullpen, gave up a two-run home run to lefty Luke Scott in the ninth inning.
  • This last item is decidely tongue-in-cheek: What’s wrong with Jon Weber? The former Rays outfielder has been making a habit of getting hits in his few at-bats this spring, But tonight Weber bounced out to the pitcher in the eighth inning to drop his average to .560 this spring. Come on, Jon!
DIAMOND NOTES

The reason for five of the six home runs hit in the game was a virtual gale-force 24 mph wind blowing out to left-center at Ed Smith Stadium. The Orioles also hit six doubles, many which were wind-aided shots off the outfield fences.  . . . Despite the chilly (64 degrees) and windy conditions, the attendance of 8,208 was the largest crowd to ever attend a game at Ed Smith Stadium. On Saturday, the Yankees-Tigers contest drew 10,219, which is a record for Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, FL. The Yankees continue to draw record sellout crowds for the road contests this spring.  . . . The Yankees said that Teixeira suffered a contusion on his right arm and is day-to-day. But they said he should be able to play in the April 4 opener with the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. “It’s bruised. It should just be a day or two,” Teixeira told reporters after the game.  . . . Guthrie not only hit Teixeira, he also hit Cervelli with a pitch in the fourth inning. That drew some sharp words from Yankees manager Joe Girardi: “If you are having a hard time commanding your fastball inside, I don’t think it’s the time to be working on it.” Guthrie also walked four batters. Kevin Millwood was quoted this spring in assessing Guthrie that he was “too nice” and he needed to “get mean” and start pushing hitters off the plate. Obviously, Guthrie is trying to do just that.  
THE NEXT GAME

The Yankees will play a pair of games on Tuesday. One Yankees squad will travel to Lake Buena Vista, FL to take on the Atlanta Braves. CC Sabathia will get the start for the Yankees in his final tuneup before his Opening Day start on April 4. “Switch-pitcher” Pat Venditte is also expected to pitch for the Yankees. Venditte, a 20th round draft pick in 2008, throws left-handed and right-handed. Kenshin Kawakami will start for the Braves.
Game-time will be 1:05 p.m. EDT and there is no broadcast scheduled.
Meanwhile, another Yankees squad will play host to the Toronto Blue Jays at Steinbrenner Field in Tampa. The Yankees will start Sergio Mitre in that game. Left-hander Marc Rzepczynski will start for the Blue Jays.
Game-time will be 7:05 p.m. EDT and the YES Network will broadcast the contest.

Posada Leads Charge As Yankees Shoot Down Birds



GAME 10
YANKEES (SS) 5, ORIOLES 3

TAMPA – Jorge Posada pounded out three hits and drove in two runs as a New York Yankees’ split squad defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 on Saturday at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Javier Vazquez (1-0), who gave up two runs in three innings in his second outing of the spring, was credited with the victory. Jeremy Guthrie (0-1) took the loss. David Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth to earn a save.
With the victory, the Yankees evened their Grapefruit League record at 5-5. The Orioles fell to 2-8.
YANKEE POSITIVES

  • Posada went 3-for-4 to raise his spring average to .375. He singled in the first and second innings off Guthrie and stroked a two-out RBI double in the fourth off Jason Berken.
  • Nick Johnson was 2-for-3 with a double, a single and a walk. He scored two runs, drove in one run and even stole a base. He is batting .455 so far.
  • Robinson Cano was 2-for-4 with an RBI and is now batting a sizzling .563 this spring.
  • Alfredo Aceves, pitching in relief of Vazquez, did give up his first run of the spring on a solo home run by Garrett Atkins. However, he pitched a solid four innings, giving up three hits and one run and striking out one. His ERA is now 0.90.
  • Robertson looked sharp in his one inning of work. He struck out the side — all swinging.
  • Roberto Pena, who started at shortstop, turned in two sensational defensive plays. One came on the turn of a double play in the eighth inning and another on a grounder to his left in the fourth inning.
  • Royce Ring, a left-handed reliever, pitched another scoreless inning and he still has not been scored upon this spring.
THE NEGATIVES

  • Though Vazquez won the game, he was not as sharp as his first outing. He gave up two runs on four hits and a walk in three innings. The big blow was a two-run home run by Ty Wigginton in the second inning after Vazquez had walked Matt Wieters on four straight pitches.
  • Randy Winn continues to struggle this spring. He was 0-for-3 in the game and he did not get the ball out of the infield. In the first inning he popped out with the bases loaded and nobody out. He spring average is .083.
READ MY DIAMOND NOTES AND NEXT GAME FEATURES IN THE POST OF THE SPLIT SQUAD GAME AGAINST THE TIGERS COMING SOON.
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