The New York Yankees will have to maintain their second half surge without starting catcher Jorge Posada who opted to have season ending surgery on his ailing shoulder. Posada has only played in 51 games in this 2008 season due to the injury and has been mainly ineffective especially in throwing runners out. Posada was debating on whether or not to delay surgery and play injured for the remainder of the year either as DH or at 1st Base. The Yankees however have an abundance of 1st Base/DH help on their bench with the recent additions of Richie Sexson and OF Xavier Nady.
The surgery will sideline Posada for at least six months and may delay his Spring Training work as pitchers and catchers report to camp in February. New York catcher Jose Molina has filled in nicely for Posada and will continue to be in the starting lineup behind the plate.
Just when it seemed like the Boston Red Sox bats had gone dormant, they came to life Sunday night in a 15-hit barrage against the New York Yankees in Boston’s 9-2 win. The win prevented New York from sweeping the three game weekend series and leaves Boston two games ahead of the Bronx Bombers in the standings, and one game behind Tampa Bay for the AL East Division lead.
In Friday night’s game, New York received a near flawless pitching performance by rookie Joba Chamberlain. In seven innings of work, Chamberlin allowed only 3 hits while striking out nine Red Sox batters and surrendered no runs. Mariano Rivera worked the final five outs to preserve New York’s 1-0 win. Their lone run off of Josh Beckett came in the 4th inning on an RBI infield single from Jason Giambi.
“I’ve had quality starts against everybody,” Chamberlain said. “You understand it’s going to be a tough game. He (Beckett) is an unbelievable pitcher. He battles and claws.”
Saturday in a pitching match up between two veterans it was Andy Pettitte and the Yankees who got the upper hand of Tim Wakefield’s knuckleball in New York’s 10-3 win. Boston jumped out early and grabbed a pair of runs in the first inning on an RBI single by David Ortiz followed by a Manny Ramirez RBI ground out. After that, it was pretty much all New York.
The Yankees connected for 13 hits total, eight off of Wakefield in his 5 1/3 innings of work. Heading into the 6th inning and the score still close at 3-2 NY, Wakefield struggled to get outs, the Yanks put four more runs on the board and knocked him out of the game. The win was Pettitte’s 12th on the season and the Yankees were 8-0 in eight games after the All Star break.
“Our pitching has been really good all year,” manager Joe Girardi said. “That’s what’s kept us afloat. And now we’re starting to hit better. We’re starting to score runs. It’s a good combination to have.”
After falling twice, the Sox sent Jon Lester to the mound to try and stop the bleeding and that he did. Once again, the young southpaw was able to pick up a victory by tossing seven innings and allowing only two earned runs on nine hits while striking out eight batters along the way.
“Luckily, we get some runs early and I held it.” Lester said. “It definitely felt like a different atmosphere in the dugout tonight. Guys were laughing, having fun, seemed like they were going up to the plate more relaxed.”
The Sox were able to score three runs in the first, a run in the second and third inning and then two more runs in the fourth which came on Ortiz’s first homerun since returning from his wrist injury. On the series, Ortiz went 5-12 with a HR and four RBI’s.
Manny Ramirez also had a stellar game going 3-5 at the plate with two RBI’s and two runs scored. This came after he made a few typical Manny-esk remarks before the game began that created a little buzz in the media room, but did not really surprise anyone. In the past, the eight year Sox veteran has demanded trades during the 2005 and 2006 off-season. Ramirez originally told ESPNdeportes.com on Sunday that he wouldn’t object to a trade if the Red Sox are better without him.
Later, in the clubhouse, he said, “What I said was, if the Red Sox think they can find a trade that’s going to make their team better and both sides are going to be happy, I’m going to agree. But they cannot find a trade. It’s something simple. It’s no big deal.”
Mike Lowell may have put it best when after the game he said, “Manny says a lot of things. Some of them are entertaining. Some of them make you roll your eyes and spin your head. But it seems like every time after he says something he goes 3-for-4 so maybe we should encourage him to say something like that.”
Ramirez’s RBI double in the first inning gave him 1,668 on his career and puts him in the 23rd spot for all-time, surpassing Sammy Sosa whom he had been tied with prior to the game.
Tonight, the Red Sox welcome the Los Angeles Angels to town. The Sox whom boast the best home record in baseball at 37-13 know that the Angels will be another tough test because they come in with the best road record in baseball at 33-19. Back in April the Angels took two of three from Boston so the Sox look to turn the tables on their West Coast foes.
Dice-K Matsuzaka (11-1, 2.85 ERA) looks to pick up his 12th victory on the season and will have to do so against the Angels Jered Weaver (8-8, 4.08 ERA). Weaver is 0-2 lifetime against Boston and in his only outing against them this season pitched five innings and allowed five runs on 10 hits in a game on April 22nd at Fenway.
Matsuzaka has only faced LA once in his short MLB career and allowed three earned runs in only 4 2/3 innings of work last season in Game 2 of the ALDS Playoff series, a game the Sox would win 6-3.
Tickets are still available for the remainder of the Angels series!
Facing the possibility of losing two starting players in Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui for the year, the New York Yankees sured up some offense and finally picked up a left handed reliever to help in their second half Pennant chase in the AL East. In a deal with the Pittsburgh Pirates the Yankees picked up Right Fielder Xavier Nady who is having a fine offensive year with a .330 average and 13 home runs. Nady should pick up much of Matsui’s slack in left field. The Yankees also put left hander Damaso Marte in their bullpen with this trade.
The Yankees sent four minor leaguers to the Pirates including pitcher Russ Ohlendorf. The Yankees are still awaiting final word on both Posada and Matsui. Both players are mulling season ending surgery.
The Yankees are currently playing the Boston Red Sox in the first of a three game series. Game 2 of Red Sox vs Yankees will take place on Saturday July 26 at 3:55pm.
With next weeks trade deadline rapidly approaching, the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees come into this weekend’s three game series with some needs. For the Yankees, both Hideki Matsui and Jorge Posada are sidelined with injuries so New York may be looking to add a left-handed bat to their lineup. The Sox, on the other hand, are getting a left-handed bat without having to do anything.
David Ortiz will rejoin Boston’s lineup tonight after missing 47 games with a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He was placed on the DL on June 3rd and over the course of his absence the Sox did not lost any ground in the division compiling a 26-19 overall record. Ortiz completed a six game rehab assignment this past week in which he went 5-for-18 (.278) with three home runs, six RBIs and five runs scored.
“I’m not going to lie to you. I’m not 100 percent, but I’m close to it,” said Ortiz, whose 53 extra-base hits versus the Yankees since the start of 2003 lead the majors. “I think I am where I would like to be.”
He’s right where manager Terry Francona and his teammates want him to be as well, back in the lineup.
“Getting him back is going to be huge,” Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia told the team’s official Web site. “His personality, his presence in the lineup—he changes the game just being in the lineup. We’ve tried to weather the storm long enough. It’s time to get David back and get ready for our final stretch run.”
The Yankees will look to add a left-handed slugger to make up for the two injuries and talks have begun to stir about the addition of the homerun king, Barry Bonds, who has been a free-agent all season.
“I’ll mention it. We’ll cover everything,” Yankees co-owner Hank Steinbrenner said Thursday before club officials began high-level meetings. “No stone will be left unturned.”
In tonight’s match up, the Red Sox will send Josh Beckett (9-6, 3.98 ERA) to the mound to face the Yankees for the fourth time this season. Beckett boasts a 3-0 record vs. the division rivals beating them at home on April 12 and twice at Yankee Stadium on April 17th and July 4th.
New York will counter will rookie Joba Chamberlin (2-3, 2.52 ERA). Since entering the rotation, Chamberlin has started nine games and is 1-1 with a 2.64 ERA. In his July 6th start against Boston he allowed three earned runs on four hits in six innings of work at Yankee Stadium.
Saturday afternoon’s game will kick off around 4:00pm and featuring a veteran pitching match up. Tim Wakefield (6-7, 3.69 ERA) will face Andy Pettitte (11-7, 3.86 ERA) in a game that will showcase two pitchers who combined have won 386 games and thrown 5,411 innings in 30 total years of MLB service.
In the series finale, Jon Lester (8-3, 3.20 ERA) will face Sidney Ponson (6-1, 4.02 ERA). Over his past nine starts, Lester has been very impressive boasting a 5-0 record. Since being picked up on waivers by New York, Ponson has pitched very well holding a 2-0 record and a 4.36 ERA.
The Yankees are currently three games behind the Sox and Rays for the AL East lead so this series could make or break their run for the division. The Sox enter the series with the best home record in baseball (36-11) and have hope that this series can propel them to a division lead that they can hold onto for good.
It’s going to be a fun weekend at Fenway Park, so don’t miss the opportunity to see baseball hottest rivalry in action. Tickets are still available to Saturday and Sunday’s games!
The New York Yankees continue to roll at home, winning their 10th straight at the Stadium in completing a sweep of the Minnesota Twins. Mike Mussina pitched eight innings for his 13th win on the year. The crafty veteran continues to lead an ailing Yankees pitching staff and has emerged as the club ace at age 39. “Moose” gave up only 6 hits with 0 earned runs on 7 strikeouts.
The offense for the Yankees came mostly by way of the double. Both Alex Rodriguez and Justin Christian had 2 run doubles for the Bombers in the 5-1 win. New addition Richie Sexson completed the offense with a sacrifice fly. The win put the Yankees 11 games over .500 at home. It’s the road that has really given the Yankees trouble this year. Away from the Bronx the Yankees are only a .500 team.
The Yankees are hoping to bring some of their recent momemtum on the road with them as they head to Fenway Park on Friday night to take on the 2nd place Boston Red Sox. All remaining games with the Sox are very important for New York. The Yankees are only 3.5 games out of first and only 2 games behind the Red Sox in the loss column.
Red Sox vs Yankees tickets are still available for this weekend’s series. Game 1 on Friday night features Joba Chamberlain vs Josh Beckett. Should be a good one.
The Yankees have 27 more regular season games at the old Yankee Stadium. It looks like they are trying to win them all. Last night’s 8-2 victory over the Minnesota Twins gave the ‘Bombers’ their 5th win in a row and their 9th straight at home. The Yankees have been closing the gap on the Red Sox and the Rays and now trail Tampa by 3.5 games in the AL East. The streak has come just in time for a key series this weekend at Fenway Park with the Boston Red Sox.
Last night’s rout included more big hits from 2B Robinson Cano. Cano who suffered at the plate in the 1st half of the season is hitting .522 since the All-Star break and went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI. Bobby Abreu also went 2 for 4 with 3 RBI including a 2 run homer in the 6th inning.
The Yankees will finish up at home with the Twins on Wednesday before heading to Boston for a three game set with the Red Sox starting on Friday night. Red Sox vs Yankees tickets are still available for the series.
The Yankees Stadium clock read 1:37 AM as Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins slid home in the 15th inning giving the American League a 4-3 victory over the National League in Tuesday night’s 2008 All-Star Game. The game itself lasted 4 hours and 50 minutes long, a record for the longest All-Star Game in MLB history.
“It was just crazy how it seemed like it lasted forever,” Texas second baseman Ian Kinsler said. “It was the last year for Yankee Stadium, the last All-Star game, and it’s kind of fitting that it seemed like it lasted forever.”
Beside the record long time, the game itself also saw many other records take place including combined strikeouts (34), runners left on base (28) and players to make an appearance (63).
When the game finally finished up, both teams were down to their final pitchers and both coaches were starting to wonder if they would have to call upon position players to fill the pitching void. Neither team wanted a repeat of the 2002 tie in Milwaukee so some team members began volunteering to toss a few outs if need be including J.D. Drew of the Boston Red Sox and David Wright of the New York Mets.
“I told David, ‘You were the last pick, I went and got you. Have you ever pitched in an All-Star game?” NL Manager Clint Hurdle said. “I was doing Chinese arithmetic from the sixth inning on. I felt like I was in algebra class. It got wild.”
As far as the game itself goes, the 20 or so thousand fans who stuck around at Yankee Stadium for the whole contest definitely got their moneys worth. The NL opened up the scoring with a solo-homerun by Matt Holiday of the Colorado Rockies in the 5th innings. Lance Berkman of the Houston Astros drove in the NL’s second run on a sac-fly in the 6th inning.
The AL was able to tie the game on a two-run homer by Boston’s J.D. Drew in the 7th inning off of Cincinnati Reds ace Edinson Volquez. Drew would finish the game going 2-4 with 2 RBI’s, a run, a stolen base and a walk to earn the MVP honors.
With the game knotted at two, Francona called for his own closer, Jonathan Papelbon, to enter the game in the 8th. After surrendering a leadoff single to Miguel Tejada, a throwing error by Tampa Bay Rays catcher Dioner Navarro who had just entered the game, moved Tejada into scoring position with only one out. San Diego Padres first baseman Adrian Gonzalez drove home the go-ahead run with a sacrifice fly putting the NL up 3-2.
The AL struck right back, scoring in the bottom of the 8th inning when Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays slapped an RBI double down the left-field line, scoring Grady Sizemore of the Cleveland Indians.
And then the scoring stopped.
Neither team was able to plate any runs in 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th or 14th innings. The chances were certainly there but neither team capitalized on those opportunities. The AL even had the bases loaded with no outs in the 10th inning but failed to score off of Colorado Rockies relief pitcher Aaron Cook.
The winning run for the AL would finally come in the 15th inning off of Brad Lidge of the Houston Astros. Lidge, who was not supposed to pitch in the game, was called upon as a last resort effort before position players would be summoned to hurl. A single by Justin Morneau started things out in the inning. Dioner Navarro also singled and J.D. Drew followed the hit up with a walk to load the bases with only one out for Michael Young of the Texas Rangers. Young, a former All-Star Game MVP, delivered by driving a fly ball to right-field just deep enough to score Morneau for the game winning sacrifice fly.
The American League’s 4-3 victory extends their winning streak over the National League to 12 games/years (11-0-1). They have not been defeated since a 1996 loss in Philadelphia and are a perfect 6-0 since the game has determined the site of home field advantage in the World Series.
The walk-off RBI by Young was also only the second time in All-Star Game history that the AL has won in its last at bat. The first came back in 1941 when Ted Williams hit a walk-off homerun to propel the American League to a victory.
Both leagues have today off and games resume on Thursday July 17, 2008.
After the first two games of this weekend’s Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees series, things were looking great for the Boston Red Sox. They’d captured victories on both Thursday night and Friday afternoon against the Bronx Bombers and it finally looked liked their bats were going to come around after an awful series sweep in Tampa Bay. It appeared that right when they needed a series win on the road, they were about to accomplished the feat but the weekend would prove to fair in favor of New York who evened the series out by claiming one run victories on Saturday and Sunday.
Jon Lester pitched a complete game five-hitter in Boston’s 5-0 win in the first game of the series to end Boston’s five-game losing streak. The win was his seventh on the season and his second complete game shutout on the year. Lester was the first Boston pitcher to throw a complete game shutout in the Bronx since Pedro Martinez accomplished the feat in 2000.
“It was cool. It was definitely a different experience,” Lester said. “You watch the game and it seems big, but when you’re out there on the mound, it’s a pretty big stadium and a lot of people.”
Friday afternoon Josh Beckett tossed six strong innings and the Sox were able to win again by the score of 6-4 with the help of one of the most bizarre hits in recent years. Kevin Youkilis belted a two-RBI triple in the third inning that helped tie the score at 3-3 but the hit itself was inches away from being a homerun. Yankees left fielder Johnny Damon had a good beat on the Youkilis blast that was heading towards the left field fence. He made a great effort to catch the ball and for a moment actually had it in his glove before crashing into the wall, jarring the ball which sprang loose and actually rested on the top of the wall’s padding for multiple seconds before falling back in play on the warning track. When all was said and done with, two runs had scored, Youkilis ended up at third, and Damon left the game with a sprained/bruised left shoulder and has since been placed on the 15-day DL for the first time in his career.
“It was bizarre,” said Sox third basemen Mike Lowell who was the hero of the game with four RBI’s and the go-ahead three run homer in the fifth inning. “I’ve been playing awhile. I’ve never seen anything like that before.”
In the two wins, the Sox had a combined 23 hits and 13 runs compared to the Yankees 11 hits and four runs. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi was not happy with his team’s effort and in the post-game press conference made it known.
“Last night was a frustrating loss,” Girardi said. “Today’s a frustrating loss.”
The Yankees responded well and were able to receive a very strong pitching performance from Mike Mussina on Saturday to pick up a 2-1 victory. Mussina hurled six innings allowing only four hits and no runs while striking out five to earn his 11th victory on the year.
New York was able to take a 1-0 lead on a Melky Cabrera RBI single in the 2nd inning and plate their other run in the 6th inning on a Brett Gardner Sac fly to left.
Mariano Rivera was called to close the door in the 9th and immediately got himself into a jam. J.D. Drew singled to lead off the inning and Manny Ramirez was then hit by a pitch to put two runners on with no outs. Mike Lowell kept things alive with an RBI single to right, scoring Drew and cutting the Yankees lead in half making the score 2-1. Rivera would then hit Kevin Youkilis to load the bases with no outs.
As good as things looked for the Sox, Rivera reached down deep and was able to record the final three outs without allowing another run to score. He was able to strike out Coco Crisp for out number one, retire the struggling Jason Varitek on an infield pop up to first and then end the game on a Julio Lugo strike out.
“We gave ourselves a great chance with really good at-bats in the ninth and then Mariano went to work and really carved us up for three batters,” Boston manager Terry Francona said. “He gave himself no wiggle room and he didn’t need it.”
In Sunday’s game, the Sox attempted to rebound from the tough loss and capture a road series for the first time on the road trip. Tim Wakefield provided Boston with another quality start, going 6 1/3 innings and allowing three runs. When he exited the game, the Sox were on top 4-2 and he was replaced in favor of Javier Lopez. Lopez allowed a two run triple to Robinson Cano that evened the games score at 4-4.
The game would go to extra innings and the Yankees were able to get to Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon to score the game winning run in the 10th inning off of a Brett Gardener dribbler up the middle that deflected off of Alex Cora’s glove into center field, scoring Cano to make the final score 5-4 New York.
“Seems like that’s what’s going to happen if you’re going to beat me this year: broken bat or find-your-way-through-the-infield somehow,” Papelbon said. “I’ve got to be able to go out and get the first guy.”
The Sox struggled to only win three games on their 10 game road trip and have slipped behind the Tampa Bay Rays by five games in the AL East Standings. Currently Boston is a half game ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the AL Wild Card race and they will be welcoming Minnesota to Boston for a three game series starting tonight.
Minnesota has been playing great ball winning eight of their last 10 games including five in a row. They will send Scott Baker to the hill tonight to face Dice-K Matsuzaka in the series opener. Baker is 5-2 on the season with a 3.65 ERA while Matsuzaka, currently 9-1, will be going for win number 10 on the year.
Following the three games with Minnesota, the Sox will welcome the Baltimore Orioles into town for a three game set this coming weekend. Tickets are still available for all remaining games on the current homestand.
The rosters for the 2008 All-Star Game have been released. The Red Sox, Yankees, and Cubs are well represented among the starters. Both the Angels and the Cubs each send two starting pitchers and their closer. The Last man ballot, as well as the managers’ choices for starting pitchers are not available yet. (more)
It had been the New York Yankees plan all along to ease Joba Chamberlin into their starting rotation, with high hopes that he would eventually become the future ace of a overpaid, aging staff. His youth, flair and blazing fastball would carry a team from the cellar of the AL East back into the promise land. He’d save Hank Steinbrenner from humiliation and lead the Bronx Bombers, one start at a time, back into playoff contention.
After New York’s 9-3 loss Tuesday against the Toronto Blue Jays, it looks like Joba never got that memo.
On a very strict pitch count, Chamberlain lasted only 2 1/3 innings throwing 62 pitches, only 32 of them for strikes. He allowed 2 runs, on 1 hit but surrendered 4 walks in the outing. His 38 pitches in the 1st inning were the most he’s ever thrown in one frame, 14 more then his previous 1 inning high.
“I wanted to get my team a lot deeper into the game and it wasn’t very good,” Chamberlain said. “That’s what it comes down to. I’ve got to be better, that’s for sure.”
After Joba escaped the 1st inning only allowing 1 run, his teammates picked him up and immediately put 2 runs up on the board in the bottom half of the inning. Hideki Matsui and Jason Giambi knocked in RBI singles to put the Yanks ahead 2-1.
Joba then worked a perfect 2nd inning retiring the Blue Jays in order but was yanked by manager Joe Girardi after a four pitch walk to Alex Rios with 1 out in the 3rd inning.
“It’s his first start,” Girardi said. “He wasn’t quite as sharp as he probably wanted to be but in saying that, he kept us in the game.”
With that said, yes, he may have kept the Yankees in the game for the first 7 outs but in hindsight was starting Joba a good idea? The Yankees bullpen allowed 6 runs in the 7th inning, a frame that Chamberlain would often work out of the pen.
By patching up the rotation with Chamberlain, the Yankees now find themselves with a new hole between their starting pitchers exit and Marino Rivera’s entrance to games in the closer spot. The likes of Dan Giese, Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, LaTroy Hawkins and Chris Britton doesn’t exactly leave anyone in Yankee Stadium feeling comfortable during the late middle innings of any game, no matter what the score is.
Ever since the Yankees called Chamberlin up to the big leagues late last season, the organization has been adamant that the plan was and always has been to turn him into a starting pitcher. His success as a set up man was supposed to be just a tease as to what he would be able to do for 7+ innings every start.
For the time being, forget about 7 innings. Yesterday, Chamberlin had trouble getting 7 outs.
“It was the first step, that’s all,” said team co-chairman Hank Steinbrenner, who watched the game in his office at the Yankees’ facility in Tampa, Fla. “Again, he’s 22. This was the first step. We’re looking at a 10 year or more career. Tonight was a creation of the media. If this had been a first start for any other pitcher on any other team, it wouldn’t have been such a big deal.”
Sorry to tell ya, Hank, but the media didn’t create this but you did. Remember last year when you came out with the ‘Joba Rules’ and limited your prodigy to so many innings of work. Remember when you insisted during the 2008 preseason that your young star was still on track to be in the starting rotation for opening day but didn’t want to rush his progress. Or do you remember when your team was in last place in the division and in a struggling attempt to create any type of positive hype about your franchise you prematurely decided it was time to throw your franchises untouchable prospect into the rotation in a last ditch effort to turn things around.
Oh, wait. That was last night.
For the Yankees to turn this season around its going to take more then one young arm. They need veterans like Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina to start to pitching deeper into games, which could be asking a lot considers Pettitte is going on 36 years old and has logged over 2,600 career innings. At 39 years old, Mussina is even more seasoned and has hurled over 3,420 innings. The two are averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, leaving the bullpen responsible for roughly 10 outs a game.
Joba had been reliable for 3 – 6 of those outs but will no longer be available out of the pen. Asking Rivera to record more then a 3 out saves is asking a lot, maybe too much from the 38 year old.
The hardest thing for Hank and the rest of the Yankees organization to admit is that they are currently transitioning from one era to the next. Some even call this transition a rebuilding year but no, no, no not Hank Steinbrenner. How that happens to a team that has the leagues highest payroll, 2007 AL MVP and countless former All-Stars is almost unfathomable.
It’s gut check time in New York; Hank and the rest of his front office staff better be careful with their decisions regarding the franchises future because if they’re not, players will begin to jump off the already sinking ship, demanding trades left and right. A-Rod already bought some floaties.