Showing posts with label Mariano Rivera. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mariano Rivera. Show all posts

Monday, March 8, 2010

Relax, It's Only Spring

Well, it's started. What's started you ask? The complaining and the doom and gloomers that call themselves Yankee fans, that is what has started. The Yankees are 1-3 in Spring Training and, when you read some the message boards, you'd think they were 10 games out with 9 games to go. Look at the line-ups the Yanks are throwing out there. It's the first week in March for crying out loud. The Yankees are a veteran team and do not need to play everyone all the time. When traveling they don't take but 4 or 5 regulars. And they play 3 innings. Mo won't throw 6 innings in Florida. Girardi won't put his everyday line-up out there until the last week of spring training.
So if you really are a true Yankee fan you will believe in Girardi and Cash, trust that A-Rod and Jeter know how to pace themselves and that the rest of the organization is doing the right things. How can't you think that. And they continue to tweak the roster adding Park to the relief corps. So let's all be quiet and let our team do it's thing because you don't think anyone else will ever give the Yankees their due.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Yankee Minor League System

One of the good things, for me, about being a big baseball and Yankee fan has always been being able to go through the Yankee Minor League teams and looking at stats of some "future" Yankees.
But I learned long ago that just because a player in "A" ball hit .320 doesn't mean we will ever see him in a Yankee uniform. This is especially true of the Yankee system.
For years the Yankees have used their Minor League system for trades and not so much for the calling up of players to help the big team. There have been exceptions, we all know Jeter, Pettitte, Mariano, Bernie and Jorge since 1996, but for the most part not so many. I see a different pattern emerging now! The Yankees have more than a few young players in the lower system, both pitchers and every dayers. Especially, it seems, catchers. Among the names you might be seeing in the near future are Montero, Romine, Sanchez, Murphy and Higashioka. That is more than normal the amount of catching prospects for an organization and should alleviate any concerns about what the Yanks will do when Jorge is gone. In fact, in Jesus Montero the Yankees have the third highest rated prospect in baseball according to many of the magazines that do this type pf player rating. He is prospected out as a back-up catcher but a big tome power hitter at DH or possibly some OF. Romine and Sanchez are considered the future starters. Someone better tell Francisco Cervelli this. It's pretty exciting to know that, beside putting a World Series winner on the field at the major League level the Yanks are doing their due diligence on the minor league level. Bodes well for the future!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Checking Out With a Win

I'll be making my getaway to New Hampshire to spend some time with the family tomorrow. So, this was the last game I'll be seeing for the rest of the week. It was a good one though.

A.J. came out of the gate throwing heat. He was thrwoing 95-97 mph consistently and it served him well early on. When that started to fail him, he turned to a vicious breaking ball. Although the score was close, the way Burnett pitched made it feel like the lead was much larger.

He's been fantastic since that start against Boston and I pray he stays healthy because right now A.J. is a guy worth watching every start. He K'd seven in as many innings and gave up only two runs. Much of that was due to the fact that he limited his walk total to three which is a major improvement for Burnett. He was challenging hitters, rather than nibbling and the results were fantastic. The bullpen was just as good as well. The two Phil's worked together for an easy eighth inning and Mariano had a 1-2-3 ninth inning while K'ing two.

The offense didn't score to many runs but were solid and four runs sould be enough to win a game. Cano opened up the scoring by leading off the second with a homer. Its been a long time since Robi's flashed his power. It wasn't that long ago that some people were talking about 30 home run potential with him and its nice to see him show some of that again. The fifth inning was what sealed the deal. Brain Tallet started the inning by walking Brett Gardner, big mistake. The Toronto lefty was clearly distracted by Gardner throughout the rest of the inning. He ended up walking Mark Texeira with the bases loaded and throwing a wild pitch to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Vernon Wells got the Jays a run closer in the following inning with a solo homer but that was all they would get and A-Rod would tack on another run with a ninth inning homer off of Jeremy Accardo anyway.

Great bounceback win after a clunker by Sabathia and the Yankees are rolling right now.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pettitte and Pen Dominates, Yankees Win

Man this game was short wasn't it? That's really due to Andy Pettitte and Jarrod Washburn who both turned in very nice starts. Andy was really impressive in this one. Unlike in past starts at the Stadium he seemed to be challenging guys more, he wasn't nearly as afraid to throw strikes as he was in other starts. Jarrod Washburn matched him as well as you could have hoped for him to though.

The Yankees got a lead briefly in their half of the third on a Johnny Damon homer but the Mariners managed to manufacture a run in the fourth after a leadoff double by Javier Lopez to tie it back up. In the fifth when Melky hit a solo shot the Mariners came right back the next half an inning to tie it up again on a Ken Griffey Jr. homer. I'll say this for the Mariners, they definitely don't give up easily.

This tie wouldn't last that long though. With Washburn still in, Mark Texeira led off the sixth with a ground ball base hit jsut beyond the reach of the Mariner's third baseman. Next up was A-Rod and he continued his hot hitting with an absolute bomb to dead center. This was no cheap New Yankee Stadium home run. When it finally dropped into Monument Park, the Yankees pulled ahead for the final time. Andy would throw one more scoreless inning before giving way to Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves, who combined for a scorelss eighth. Mariano ended it with an easy 1-2-3 inning in with the Mariners couldn't even lift the ball off of the ground.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Streaking

This is the kind of game that a team has when things are going good. Since that last game against Atlanta they've been riding a six game winning streak and show no signs of slowing down. Last night was clearly not one of those nights when Joba dominates deep into a game. However, he gutted it out for a solid performance and let his all-star offense do the job its supposed to do.

Joba seemed unwilling or unable to throw strikes, yet again at the New Stadium. He walked three, not horrible but not great either, but it really showed in the fact that he had 96 pitches when he got pulled from the game with one out in the sixth. He was having a very nice game until he tired late into his outing. Through the first four inning the Mariners only got one run off of him on a homer by Ronny Cedeno. However, in the fifth they tagged him for two runs on a series of singles, walks, and three stolen bases. He gave way to Phil Coke in the sixth with a guy on second and one out. Coke finished the inning without further incidence and Hughes pitched an uneventful seventh.

At this point the Yankees had already blown their first lead of the game in the sixth and let the M's tie it back up at three. When Alex Rodriguez hit a two run homer (following a Johnny Damon double) to give them a 5-3 lead the game should have been over. Brian Bruney and Mariano Rivera were due to finish the game. Brian Bruney blew the lead again though, leading to another tie at 5-5. I suppose if you're being optimistic you could say this just set the scene for the drama in the ninth and gave Matsui, Jeter, Swisher, and Melky chances to be heroes but I'm concerned about Bruney. Since returning, he has not been the same pitcher.

Luckily they did retake the lead had Mariano Rivera to save the game in the ninth but it was definitely a lucky win.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Wang Wins, Rivera Saves #500

Its a pattern we've become accustomed to since Wang first came up back in 2005. Wang for six or seven innings, piece together the middle innings, and Rivera to close it out. The combination has been used 24 times now, to great effect for the Yankees. However, before last night it had not happened since June 10, 2008. Wang seems to have figured things out now though. I'll have more on Wang later.

First the game though, the Yankees jumped ahead quickly for what felt like the first time in ages. Jeter dismissed worries about his health right away with a leadoff double. Nick Swisher followed with what should have been an easy ground ball out. However, Daniel Murphy tried and failed to get Jeter at third instead. This set up a big Mark Teixeira double that drove in both Swisher and Jeter. Right away this gave them a 2-0 lead and they would get one more run that inning. It looked like the Yankees were going to run away with this one if Wang could just turn a decent outing. That was all the runs they would get though until the eighth when a combination of an error and walks would lead to K-Rod walking in Mariano for his first career RBI.

The Yankees blew several opportunities with men on base and could have scored more but the pitching was good enough for them to get away with it. Chien-Ming Wang turned in his third straight solid start and was good enough to get a win. He gave up nothing to the Mets until the fourth when they tagged him for two runs and really could have finished the sixth if it had not been a one run game at that point. What's important is that he got twelve ground balls, compared to only three fly balls and no line drives. That's vintage Wang right there. He needs to get deeper into games but he seems to have cemented his position in the rotation again and is gaining back some lose trust. The Yankees then attempted to piece together the rest of the game. The two Phils (Coke and Hughes) finished the sixth for Wang, Hughes would also pitch a scoreless seventh. The eighth was the only time the game really seemed in reach for the Mets. Brian Bruney would get two outs, however, he would also walk two and be forced to give way to Mariano Rivera. Mariano, of course, got out of the jam and pitched an uneventful ninth for his 500th save.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yankees Win

For a little while it looked like the Yankees were going to blow this one. Nobody was surprised when they pulled this one out though. Aside from the Yankees many comeback wins this year, Washington's bullpen is absurdly bad. I really feel bad for the National's few fans, if Ron Villone is pitching key innings for you, you're in big trouble.

C. C. Sabathia turned in another nice start today. The only mistake he made was the home run he gave up to Anderson Hernandez. However, he went deep into the game again and gave up only three runs. It was a long time before he gave up his one walk of the night. The only concern I have is that he only K'ed two guys. So far C. C. has been good and a big innings eater. However, not the ace we have hoped for. Hopefully, he will repeat his second half surge of last year, to some degree. The return of Brian Bruney to get the last out of the eighth was notable and Mariano turned in a typical 1-2-3 inning for the save.

Cano hasn't been hitting lately much at all lately but today may mark the start of a turnaround. If he could get going it would be huge for the Yankees and any time a guy goes 4-4 its a good day. His double at the end of the game essentially put the game away. Texeira also made some nice stretches in the field in contrast to his Washinton counterpart, Nick Johnson, and blasted a HIGH double to left center.

All in all, a nondescript win for the Yankees but still a if they lost it would have put them three behind Boston. Nobody wants to blow the series opener against Washington at home either.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Some Love For Mo?

One of the least underappreciated players on the Yankees is Mariano Rivera. His contribution to the dynasty Yankees can be overrated at times and he's probably a little overpaid right now. However, after early struggles some people thought he was finished. Through this nine game winning streak, he's been nothing short of unbelieveable, with plenty of performances of more than one inning and has not yet given up a run. So, can we give Mariano some love here?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Game 4

Andy Pettitte won this game with a dominating performance. Anytime you can get seven innings out of your starter and only have him give up one run, you should win. His control was nearly perfect and he only surrendered one walk while K'ing six. Bruney had a good inning and Rivera finished it off with his first save. The offense also performed fairly well again. I would have hoped they would do better against Ponson but they got enough runs. Swisher had another extra base hit, although his misplay in the outfield cost Pettitte his only run. Teixeira and Cano also continued their mini hot streaks.

All in all, this was exactly what the Yankees needed. Everything went about as well as you could hope for. Now with Sabathia lined up for tomorrow, they can hopefully get over .500.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Build Me A Bullpen

Now that the offense and starting pitching are more or less set, the next thing to sort out is the bullpen. We'll assume the Yankees are going to go with seven guys out of the bullpen. We know Mo is the closer, and we know Marte will be in there, and it is probably about 99% likely that Brian Bruney is in the mix, so that leaves four bullpen slots to be filled. Let's break it down:

The Front Runners:
Jose Veras: Veras had the second most appearances out of the bullpen after Mariano last season, and seemed to earn Joe Girardi's trust. He has great stuff (9.83 K/9), but often struggled with control (4.53 BB/9). That's too many walks for a setup role, but he should be a solid middle reliever. I think if he has another stretch like he did in June and August last year (2.08 ERA in 22 games from June 25 to August 16 last year) the Yanks should look to trade him given their surplus of live arms and his erraticness (I hope that's a word).

Edwar Ramirez: Third in appearences last year, he posted a solid 3.90 ERA. He is similar to Veras in that he has a high K rate (10.25) but also can be wild (3.90 BB/9), but gives the Yankees a different look than Veras, relying on his change rather than fastball and slider. He can be lights out at times, but is disaster-prone. He did seem to mature as a pitcher last year after reportedly working with Mo, cutting his walk rate nearly in half. He also threw his fastball and slider more while going to the change less. Still, he profiles as a middle reliever.

More Middle Relief:
Jonathan Albaladejo: Acquired from the Nationals last year for Tyler Clippard, he made only seven appearances for the Yanks last year, posting a 3.95 ERA, then getting sent down and getting injured while in Scranton. Though he didn't show it in his brief stint in the majors last year, he has good control, but is less overpowering than Veras and doesn't miss as many bats as Edwar. I think his poor walk rate may have something to do with the fact that he was misused last year. Girardi made him the de facto long man, which is not his ideal role. He should be better this year, and I think he has a decent shot at breaking camp with the team.

David Robertson: The 23 year old posted a 5.34 ERA in 30.1 IP last year, but that ERA is inflated due to a few bad outings, and for the most part he was effective last year. D-Rob is another guy with a strong K Rate (10.68) and poor walk rate (4.45). He has a strong minor league track record, and if he improves his control a bit he could be a very good reliever.

Mark Melancon: Though he has no major league experience, Melancon could be the guy on this list (Mo excluded) who has the biggest impact out of the pen come September. Last year he was coming off Tommy John surgery and sped through four minor league levels, posting strong numbers at every stop. His longest stint was in Trenton, when he posted a 1.81 ERA and .89 WHIP in 49.2 IP. He will likely start the season in Scranton, but could be called up as early as May, and could eventually work his way up to an eighth inning role.

Kanekoa Texeira: A 23 year old righty acquired in the Nick Swisher deal, he put up strong numbers between Hi-A and AA last year. He has pretty good stuff, good control, and keeps the ball in the yard. He likely will not make the team out of spring training, but could be in the mix later in the year.

JB Cox: Cox is another guy who was rehabbing from TJ last year. He was a highly rated closer coming out of Texas, and had a very good pro debut in 2006. He pitched well for part of the year last year, but ran out of gas towards the end (which makes sense given the fact that he hadn't pitched in a year), which inflated his numbers a bit. He's another guy who likely won't make the team out of camp, but if he can rediscover his 2006 form can be a contributer at the big leage level during the season.

Possible Long Men:
Dan Giese: A 33 year old, Giese is a bit of a late bloomer, but he had some big league success last year, both out of the bullpen and in spot starts. He posted a 3.53 ERA in 43.1 IP, and while he is not as overpowering as some of the guys listed above, he doesn't walk many batters. He does not possess the upside of anybody I have already named, but he can go multiple innings and could provide some value as a long man.

Phil Coke: Coke is a 26 year old lefty who made his major league debut last year as a reliever, though he had been a starter his whole minor league career. He gave up just one run and ten baserunners in 14.2 IP, but will likely start in Scranton's starting rotation. He has posted decent strikeout rates and good walk rates in his minor league career, but I think he will likely end up in the bullpen, where he could potentially have value as a long man, middle reliever, or lefty specialist.

Alfredo Aceves: Another guy who made his major league debut last year, Aceves made four pretty strong starts last year and will start the year in Scranton's rotation. I think he is more likely than Coke to remain a starter, but could potentially fill a role as a big league long man.

There are your options for the bullpen this year. The Yanks pen made improvements last year, and I think it should be even better this year. Mo, Marte and Bruney are a good top three, and given the Yanks' bullpen depth they should be able to fill it out very well. My guess for the pen to start the year is Mo, Marte, Bruney, Veras, Edwar, Albaladejo, and Giese, but that will surely change as the year goes on.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Rivera Surgery is on Tuesday

RHP Mariano Rivera will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right shoulder on Tuesday, October 7. The procedure will be performed by Dr. David Altchek at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jonathan Papelbon is a Bumbling Idiot

Do you think that's a little harsh? I don't. Today he said he thinks he should close the all-star game.
“If I was managing the team, I would close. … But I’m not managing the team,”
This man clearly has no respect for, or knowledge of, the game of baseball. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer of all time, and this is his stadium. Mo's ERA+ this year is 384, compared to Papelbon's 178. Mariano Rivera is the epitome of a closer, never losing his cool. His expression never changes, whether he just blew the World Series or won it. Papelbon is another story. >>>>>>

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Captain Clutch

The captain blasted his 199th home run last night to give the Yankees the lead over the pesky Astros. Veras threw two strong innings and I think he overtook Farnsworth role as the 8th inning man. Since Mariano pitched five of the pervious six days the Yankees had to bring the Farns and he got his first save since 2006. Now the Yankees are 2 games over .500 and are sitting in third place.   

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Winning is Nice, But How About Some Runs

I went to the Yankee game today and it was very enjoyable despite the low temperature. Chien-Ming Wang pitched very well, going 6+ and striking out six. He took a no-hitter into the fifth. He had the slider working, as well as a changeup. If he continues to pitch this way, there will be no more people doubting his future, as he has shown he can strike batters out. CMW left the game in the 7th with runners on first and third. Joba entered, making his first middle-of-an-inning appearance. He got a strike out, hitting 101 on the stadium gun, then got a DP on a lineout. Mo followed, doing what Mo does. All that is great, but the Yankees only offense came off a two-run homer by Hideki Matsui that probably would have stayed in most ballparks. The Yankees have yet to score more than five runs this year, and some offense will be necessary soon, as the Yanks embark on an 8 game road trip to KC, Tampa and Boston on Tuesday. After that, it's two at home against the BoSox, then back on the road for ten more against Baltimore, Chicago and Cleveland. The Yankees have a pretty rough April schedule, and if they go .500 this month, they should be okay.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Kennedy, Mo Sharp

After Billy Traber finished Joba's inning, the Sandman came in for his one inning of work. He threw 13 pitches/8 strikes, striking out one batter and inducing two weak grounders. Looks like classic Mo. Ian Patrick Kennedy then came in to pitch his scheduled four innings, and unlike Joba, got threw all of them, pitching very well. He allowed two hits and walk, along with two strikeouts. Of his ten outs that didn't come via the K, eight of them were groundouts, another good sign. I know I shouldn't read too much into spring stats, but IPK and Hughes in the rotation is going to be very exciting. Following Mr. Kennedy was LaTroy Hawkins, who allowed one hit and got two groundball outs to close out the game.

Final Score: 4-0 Yankees

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Build Me a Bullpen...

Lately I've seen a lot of people forecasting the '08 Yankee bullpen and generally, I disagree. It's impossible, and probably a waste of time, to try to do this. The Yankees used 22 different pitchers out of the bullpen last year, and will use at least that many this year. Anyway, here's my take:
Mariano Rivera
Kyle Farnsworth
LaTroy Hawkins
Joba Chamberlain
Ross Ohlendorf
Scott Patterson
Heath Phillips

There it is, feel free to chime in and tell me why I'm wrong.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Waiting For Spring

There are just nine days until pitchers and catchers report, and the Yankees still have a lot of questions to be answered during Spring Training. They still have one bench spot to fill along with three bullpen slots. The bench will likely be filled by Morgan Ensberg, Kevin Mench (assuming we sign him), or Nick Green (remember him?), with Alberto Gonzalez and Brett Gardner also having outside chances. The bullpen is where it gets a little complicated. Presumably, Mariano, The Farns and LaTroy will occupy three slots, with either Moose or IPK as the long man. If Joba starts the year in the 'pen, that complicates things further, but we won't worry about that right now. So, the players competing for the three remaining bullpen slots are: Chris Britton, Jonathan Albaladejo, Brian Bruney, Sean Henn, Kei Igawa, Jeff Karstens, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Patterson, Edwar Ramirez, Jose Veras, Steven White, Chase Wright, Dan Giese, Heath Phillips, Darell Rasner, Scott Strickland and Billy Traber. Some of those are more likely than others, and guys like Alan Horne, Jeff Marquez, Steven Jackson, JB Cox and Mark Melancon could help mid-season. My Pre-ST predictions (or maybe preferences) are Albaladejo, Britton and Patterson (or maybe Ohlendorf).

In other news, Derek Jeter and the state of New York came to an agreement over their tax dispute.