July 2009

Yankees vs. Rays: Lineups 7/27/2009

yankees.jpgYANKEES (60-38)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Melky Cabrera CF

Pitching: A.J. Burnett (9-4, 3.74)

rays.jpgRAYS (54-45)
B.J. Upton CF
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 2B
Carlos Pena 1B
Pat Burrell DH
Gabe Gross RF
Michel Hernandez C
Jason Bartlett SS

Pitching: James Shields (6-6, 3.70)

Chien-Ming Wang Update

By: Joseph Auriemma

Two-time 19-game winner Chien-Ming Wang, who last pitched on July 4th before coming out of the game feeling shoulder discomfort, recently went to the hospital for special
surgery for analysis and was seen by Dr. Altchek. The Yankees have received an assessment and will now
turn it over to Dr. James Andrews
who will make his own evaluation. It seems like Wang does not have to see Dr. Andrews at this time, however the Yankees will not release the official results of the full evaluation until Dr. Andrews full assessment of the situation.

The Lodown

By Jon Lane
It’s been an eventful week on YESNetwork.com. I worked yesterday’s 6-4 Yankees win that showed me that while the Yankees are contenders, they need to prove they can beat A-list opponents before being considered an elite team. Still, an old credo from 1996 has helped them maintain focus, which a couple of players said will be the difference when they meet the Rays next week and the Red Sox next month.

Jerome Preisler worked the game with me and this morning eloquently broke down Nick Swisher’s day of redemption.

After the game I spoke exclusively with Phil Hughes. Showing the maturity to accept the hand he’s dealt, Hughes has thrived as Mariano Rivera’s primary set-up man.

The Off the Wall podcast with Chris Shearn debuted last night. The host of BPTV talks Erin Andrews, Roy Halladay and calls out the mecurial nature of the New York sports fan.

HOPE Week has been a huge success and there’s still more to come. I was there to tell the heartbreaking and powerful story of George Murray, a former Army paratrooper suffering from ALS. I came away having experienced first hand the quality of courage. Jerome, Joe Auriemma and Christa Robinson will be on hand for tonight’s special installment. And be sure to watch Yankees Pre Game at 6:30 for a special feature about Helping Others Persevere & Excel.

Orioles vs. Yankees: 7/22/2009 Lineups

yankees.jpgYANKEES (56-37)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Nick Swisher RF
Brett Gardner CF

Pitching: A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.81)

orioles.jpgORIOLES (41-52)
TBA

Pitching: Jason Berken (1-7, 6.44)

Yanks shoot for sixth straight win

By Jon Lane
A beautiful Wednesday morning here at Yankee
Stadium for the finale of the Yankees’ three-game set against the
Orioles. It’s A.J. Burnett on the bump for New York, which took over
sole possession of first place in the AL East last night for the first
time since June 8. Since Alex Rodriguez returned from the disabled list
one month earlier, the Yankees are 43-22, the best record in baseball.

Burnett
is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA over his last four starts. According to STATS
Inc. he’s 8-1 with a 4.83 ERA in 10 career starts against the Orioles.
It was on April 9 in Baltimore when Burnett made his Yankees debut by
allowing two runs over 5 1/3 innings to earn an 11-2 win.

I’ll be back later with lineups and assorted team news, along with details of today’s installment of HOPE Week.
Yesterday, Alex Rodriguez, Joba Chamberlain, Andy Pettitte and Kevin
Long met a couple of inspirational people. Tom Ellenson is a Little
Leaguer with cerebral palsy. His father, Richard, created a device that
allows non-verbal individuals like his son to more easily communicate.
Tom and his friends from his Little League team were treated to lunch
at Out of the Kitchen in Greenwich Village before he and other children
with cerebral palsy participated in a rally and baseball clinic. The
photo below was provided by the Yankees.

hope_275.jpg12:58 p.m.
I
spent some time before the game in the Billy Martin suite covering
today’s HOPE Week event: the powerful story of George Murray, a
terminally ill ALS patient who to their surprise were welcomed by a
large contingent of family and friends – as well as Derek Jeter, Phil
Hughes, Brian Bruney, Hideki Matsui, Phil Coke, Cody Ransom and Mark
Teixeira.

George and his family were just shown on the Diamond
Vision, his 4-year-old son, Trason, sitting on his lap. Coke is on the
field behind home plate greeting George, Trason and Kim. This feature
will run on YESNetwork.com this afternoon.

1:27 p.m.
Some notes from Joe Girardi’s pregame press conference:

?
He’s not schizo like Oliver Perez, but when A.J. Burnett pitches he
either walks the earth or is electric, in other words he’s either feast
or famine. Girardi was asked what impresses him more, when Burnett is
completely dominant or if he has to gut it out.

In his last start on Friday, Burnett allowed three runs and six hits
with five walks in six innings, starting 15 of 27 batters with balls
and throwing 57 of 104 pitches for strikes. The start prior, Burnett,
walked four gave up seven hits and threw three wild pitches while only
striking out two in a 4-3 in over the Twins. 

“I think it’s more impressive when a guy has to gut his way through,
because sometimes the have to be more creative and they can’t just rely
on their stuff solely to get people out,” Girardi said. “You’re going to
get in some jams and have to figure out a way to get out of them.” 

Burnett
worked swiftly through the first inning, allowing only a one-out hit
while throwing eight pitches and earning the final two outs tossing
just two.

? Through one turn anyway, Joba Chamberlain, Andy
Pettite and Sergio Mitre assuaged concerns over the back end of the
Yankees’ rotation after Burnett and CC Sabathia.

“When everyone is doing their job, it takes a little bit of pressure
off the other starters in the sense of I have to win today,” Girardi
said. “By everyone doing their job, they’re able to concentrate more on
what they have to do that day.”

? Girardi appears a lot more relaxed and settled into his job compared to last year, but he mainains his demeanor is the same.

“I
think I’m pretty much the same guy I think I’ve learned a lot on how to
handle situations better, so I might appear to be a little looser. I’m
an intense guy who’s going to laugh and going to have fun, but there’s
an intensity in there.”

1:32 p.m.
Yankees blast rookie Jason Berken for four runs on six hits in the first, very encouraging considering their track record against pitchers they face for the first time. Berken has lasted past the fifth inning just once in his last five outings, going 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in that span.  

1:36 p.m.
WEEI.com reports the Red Sox have acquired Adam LaRoche from the Pirates for two prospects. Adam’s brother, Andy, was part of last year’s three-team blockbuster that sent Jason Bay to Boston and Manny Ramirez to the L.A. Dodgers.

2:03 p.m.
From goat to hero: Nick Swisher pulls a Luis Castillo to start the third inning and a Willie Mays to end it.

2:47 p.m.
I’m back after filing my feature on George Murray and HOPE Week. Swisher with a leaping catch against the wall in right. When did he turn into Ichiro?

3:07 p.m.
Phil Hughes warming up with two out in the seventh inning of a 5-0 Yankees lead against a bad team. Why not give Mark Melancon some work? He’s probably here for only another week until Damaso Marte returns.

3:11 p.m.
5-2 Yankees. I’d bring him in now.

3:57 p.m.
Just when you think you’re in the clear, Brian Bruney gives up back-to-back jacks to Adam Jones and Nick Markakis. So effective early in the season, Bruney has completely lost it since coming off the disabled list for the second time. To protect what’s now a 6-4 lead, Joe Girardi was forced to summon Mariano Rivera, who benefits from any time off he receives.

5:05 p.m.
To cut Bruney some slack, today was his first appearance since July 10. And despite the back-to-back gopher balls Joe Girardi said it was the best stuff he’s seen from the struggling right-hander since he was activated from the DL June 17. Girardi added he’d make it a point to offer those words of encouragement, though Bruney went on to imply that he’s never been one who needs a pat on the back.

Nevertheless, Bruney, like Girardi, looked beyond the numbers. He’s been on the DL twice this season with muscle and elbow strains because he tried gutting it out instead of telling anyone. The layoff may have affected him to a certain extent, but today he felt life in his arm again.

“It feels like a long time since I felt pretty good,” Bruney said. “It’s not an issue of I’ve been healthy or not healthy. It’s just as a pitcher your arm feels a certain way and you can just tell the way your arm feels, and it just hadn’t felt right. I felt like I commanded the ball pretty well minus two pitches.”

Phil Hughes continues to be a revelation out of the bullpen. The right-hander tossed another scoreless inning, has not allowed a run in his last 14 outings and his current 20-inning scoreless stretch, dating back to June 10 at Boston, is the longest by a Yankees reliever since Mariano Rivera in 2005 (23), according to the Elias Sports Bureau. I chatted with Hughes, who owns a 0.81 ERA in 16 appearances, exclusively after the game and will have more on his story tomorrow.

Orioles vs. Yankees: 7/21/2009 Lineups

yankees.jpgYANKEES (55-37)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez DH
Jorge Posada C
Nick Swisher RF
Robinson Cano 2B
Melky Cabrera CF
Cody Ransom 3B

Pitching: Sergio Mitre (season debut)

orioles.jpgORIOLES (41-51)
TBA

Pitching: Rich Hill (3-2, 6.92)

The Pulse of New York

Every Tuesday, YES Blog takes the pulse of New York on the hottest
topics being talked about right now in the world of sports. What’s your
take on the below issues?

What do you think of the Yankees throwing pies in the faces of walkoff heroes?(polling)


Will Joe Girardi be replaced if the Yankees fail to make the playoffs?(opinion)

Which former Yankee were you most excited to see at Old Timers’ Day?(polling)

Is Mike Mussina a Hall of Famer?(surveys)

If you were guaranteed a trip to the Super Bowl, would you want Michael Vick on your team?(survey)

T.J. Houshmandzadeh will boycott the new Madden game because he thinks his rating (91) is too low. Your thoughts?(poll)

Field of Themes

tex.jpgBy Jon Lane
Here’s something cool to check out during your down time. WWE.com compiles a “Field of Themes” feature that examines entrance themes that would fit certain players in Major League Baseball.

The first time I heard a player step into the batter’s box like he was walking into the squared circle (minus the pyrotechnics and theatrics of course, but I’d like to see someone do that just once) was Jason Giambi coming to bat to the old nWo (New World Order) Wolfpac theme. It’s taken off since then. Johnny Damon bats to Batista’s “I Walk Alone” and last year someone suggested that Cubs closer Kerry Wood use the theme music of WWE Chairman Vince McMahon — “No Chance in Hell” — when entering games.

The Yankees have adopted somewhat of a WWE persona this season. Every team-selected Player of the Game receives a replica WWE Championship belt and each walk-off hero gets a pie in the face from A.J. Burnett. Having fun playing a kid’s game never hurts.

Orioles vs. Yankees: 7/20/2009 Lineups

yankees.jpgYANKEES (54-37)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Eric Hinske RF
Melky Cabrera CF
Jose Molina C

Pitching: Andy Pettitte (8-5, 4.85)

orioles.jpgORIOLES (41-50)
Brian Roberts 2B
Nick Markakis RF
Adam Jones CF
Aubrey Huff 1B
Melvin Mora 3B
Luke Scott DH
Nolan Reimold LF
Matt Wieters C
Cesar Izturis SS

Pitching: David Hernandez (2-2, 3.94)

Yankees on TODAY

Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira were on NBC’s TODAY Show this morning promoting HOPE Week. Check out the video here:

http://www.hulu.com/myspace/http%3A%2F%2Fwww%2Ehulu%2Ecom%2F/embed/yo9jmIhkLN54m7SDItPL_Q