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Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings, who is on fire today, reports that Phil Hughes and Humberto Sanchez will be headed to the Arizona Fall League.

Mike Axisa says that Austin Jackson and Kevin Russo have already been confirmed as going, adding that the Yanks have three more spots to fill (one infielder and two pitchers). Jennings mentioned that Nardi Contreras, Yankees pitching coordinator, mentioned Chris Garcia, Jeff Marquez and Ian Kennedy as candidates.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that Dan Giese will be activated from the DL on Tuesday.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports:

Before I get into some final September call-up speculation, let me update you on Alan Horne (left). The story has been floating around that Horne had surgery to repair a slightly torn rotator cuff. I just shot some text message back and forth with Horne himself who confirmed the procedure took place on Friday. For a guy who spent far too much of the season using he word "frustrated" over and over again, it must have been -- in a strange way -- good news to find out that there was a physical problem.

"It's kind of a relief and I'm supposed to be ready (for) spring trainin," Horne wrote, as always, letting his southern accent come through in the way he types.
Posted by: Seamus
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This was exactly the type of loss the Yankees couldn't afford. Trailing Boston by 6 games in the wild card race with 27 games to go, you gotta win games in which you're leading 6-2 heading into the 7th. But the Yankees didn't get it done this time, and a three-run 7th and two-run 8th helped push the Blue Jays past the Yankees by a score of 7-6. Insult was added to injury a few hours later as the Red Sox trounced the White sox, pushing the Yanks to a seemingly insurmountable seven games behind Boston in the standings.

The Yankees jumped ahead early with a two-run 1st, highlighted by RBI singles off the bats of both A-Rod and Jason Giambi. After the Jays tied it in the top of the 4th, the Yankees went back ahead in the bottom of the inning off of back-to-back homers by Robinson Cano and Ivan Rodriguez. A two-run 5th made it 6-2 Yankees.

Darrell Rasner was good, but could not recover from a colossal error by Robinson Cano, who flipped the ball out of the reach of Derek Jeter on what would have been an easy double play with no outs in the 7th. Both of those runners would come around to score in what would eventually be a three-run inning. After an RBI single by Jose Bautista, Rasner would be lifted for Brian Bruney, who allowed the other two runs (both charged to Rasner).

The Yankees used three pitchers, including Bruney, in the 8th. All three pitchers struggled, as Bruney, Damaso Marte and Edwar Ramirez all allowed at least one hit. Another RBI single off the bat of Jose Bautista tied the game against Edwar Ramirez. The Jays went ahead when the next batter, Greg Zaun, scored Adam Lind on an RBI groundout.

The Yankees tried to rally in the bottom of the 9th, and got the the first two runners on for Alex Rodriguez. As long as he doesn't ground into another double play, I'm thinking, we're in good shape. Rodriguez then completely scorches the 3-2 pitch down the 3rd base line and - it's right at Jose Bautista, who steps on third and throws to first for an unreal, unfortunate and unlucky double play. Cody Ransom, who was probably inserted a bit prematurely for defense, flew out to left to the end the game in the ensuing at-bat.

Well this loss kind of dampens any hope I had remaining about this season, especially losing a game like this with Roy Halladay facing us the next day. Some were saying that really all we needed to do was pick up three games in the standings before the final series in Boston, but I am not anticipating a sweep, so I was realistically thinking we'd have to cut the lead to one game. Now I think picking up four games and hoping for the miracle sweep is the only hope we have, albeit a long shot. But it's enough I guess to make me still watch.

The Yankees will play out the rubber game of this series this afternoon at 1:05 ET before heading to Detroit to play a makeup game tomorrow night. Andy Pettitte will be on the mound and will have to bring his A++ game, as the Yankees will be going up against the abominable Roy Halladay.

And if by any chance you are reading this from the New Orleans area, you should probably shut off your computer and as Ray Nagin says, "Get the heck out."
Posted by: Patrick
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Are you sitting down? Good. Brace yourself now. Carl Pavano took the hill tonight against Yankee killer A.J. Burnett. And we won. Yes, we beat A.J. Burnett. And Carl Pavano got the win.

It's not like Burnett didn't turn in his usual performance, though. He did. He threw an 8 inning complete game (seeing as the Yankees didn't have to hit in the 9th), allowing 2 earned runs on 7 hits and 1 walk while striking out 8 after 108 pitches.

It took us 6 pitchers, but we outdueled him and it all started with Pavano, who threw 72 pitches over 6 innings, allowing 1 earned run on 3 hits, 1 walk and 1 strikeout.

Girardi got a little fancy with the pen over the final 3 innings. First, he went to Brian Bruney, who retired one batter. Then, he went to Damaso Marte, who had no problem with the final 2 batters in the 7th.

In the 8th, he turned to Jose Veras. Veras put runners on 1st and 2nd with no outs and Girardi went to Edwar Ramirez to face Travis Snider, who was making his MLB debut today. Edwar struck him out. Not quite done tinkering, Girardi submitted Mariano, who elicited a ground ball for the second out, before striking out Marco Scutaro to close out the eighth.

In the 9th, Mariano allowed a single, but retired everyone else, nailing down save number 32. Bobby Abreu doubled home Johnny Damon and then Jason Giambi hit a sacrifice fly, scoring Giambi.

The Yankees won't be gaining any games tonight, with Boston already claiming a big victory and the Rays up by 10 late. But, Darrell Rasner (5-9, 5.03) will get the start tomorrow against John Parrish (1-0, 4.05). For what it's worth, Rasner is 1-0 againt the Blue Jays in two starts, with a 3.09 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and .222 BAA.

All of the Yankees offense came in one inning, the fourth.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports:

Justo Arias and Rafael Martinez of the Yankees tested positive for metabolites of stanozolol, according to an announcement made by the office of the Commissioner.
Posted by: James
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Well, if the Yankees had lost this game, it would have just added insult to injury. However, and thanks to Jason Giambi and Mike Mussina, the Yankees were able to salvage a game in the series that ended (more or less) their playoff viability.

Mussina unfortunately didn't get the win and will now have to get very fortunate to get to the magical 20...but was very effective nonetheless, giving up only 2 runs in the appearance.

It looked like it would be just another offense-fueled Yankee loss (not that they didn't have opportunities...they just didn't capitalize) but the bottom of the seventh was a nice change-of-pace. With two outs, Cody Ransom doubled and rather than have Jose Molina face Hideki Okajima, Joe Girardi wrote in Jason Giambi as a pinch-hitter. The Giambino came through and tied the game up by knocking the ball out of the park.

In the 9th, with Justin Masterson pitching (curious that Papelbon didn't start the inning), Xavier Nady singled (Brett Gardner pinch-ran and took second by stealing), Hideki Matsui was intentionally walked and Pudge Rodriguez worked the unintentional walk. Bases loaded and now the Red Sox call in Papelbon to face Jason Giambi...and he delivered once again. His single to center plated Brett Gardner and gave the Yankees the win.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have promoted pitcher Alfredo Aceves from Triple-A. He becomes the first Yankee to wear the number 91. Why?

"When I was in high school, I used to watch basketball and the Chicago Bulls," Aceves said. "Dennis Rodman was one of the best players at that time. The way he played, you know? He made the other players [upset]. I liked that. They get frustrated."

"But I'm not nuts," he told Peter Abraham.

To make room, David Robertson was demoted. Robertson got off to a great start, allowing just 2 earned runs in his first 12 and 1/3 innings, but he has been largely ineffective for the past month. In the 13 and 1/3 innings that followed that dominant span, he has allowed 16 earned runs.
Posted by: Seamus
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Every time you think it just can't get any worse...it gets worse. This time the Yankees were bad both offensively and defensively, as the Red Sox went to town on the Yankee bullpen and left the stadium with an 11-3 victory. The loss puts the Yanks 7 games behind Boston in the wild card race and 10.5 behind Tampa Bay in the division.

The Yanks appeared to be in it early, as they cut a 2-0 deficit to 2-1 in the 1st with an RBI double by A-Rod, and tied the game at 2 apiece in the 4th with an RBI single by Robinson Cano.

The Red Sox went back ahead with two runs in the top of the 5th off of Sidney Ponson, who wasn't great, but kept the Yankees in the game for 4 and 2/3 innings. Ponson left the game with a line of 4 runs on 7 hits with 3 strikeouts.

Boston started to pull away in the top of the 8th. Jose Veras struggled, allowing three runs before being taken out of the game. David Robertson entered the game with one out, and like I said, just when you think things can't get any worse...Robertson gave up a base hit to Jacoby Ellsbury to load the bases, and the next batter, Dustin Pedroia put the Yankees away for good in this one with a grand slam over the left-centerfield wall to make it 11-2. Two more runs were charged to Veras, who probably had the worst outing of his Yankee career.

So now even if you are one of those believers and you are still holding onto that last bit of hope, surely even you'd agree the Yankees are toast if they don't come away with a victory this afternoon. Mike Mussina will be on the mound, hoping to allow Yankee fans dream for at least another day. His Boston counterpart will be Jon Lester. Game starts at 1:05 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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C.J. Henry, the former Yankees prospect who was traded for Bobby Abreu, only to come back to the Yankees, will now give college basketball a try. Mike Decourcy of SportingNews.com reports that Henry will be a walk on at Memphis and the Yankees will pay for his education, as per the contract he signed with the team.

Via Travis G.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andy Pettitte turned in a clunker Tuesday night against Boston, lasting just 4 and 2/3 innings pitched and throwing 101 pitches. He allowed 6 earned runs on 10 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. The bullpen did a good job, finishing the final 4 and 1/3 innings with just 1 earned run, but the damage was done and the offense would not recover as the Yankees lost, 7-3.

This was despite Johnny Damon's best effort, as he went 2 for 4 with 2 home runs, giving himself 11 on the season. Jose Molina chipped in the other RBI by scoring Hideki Matsui on a single in the second. Once Red Sox starter Tim Wakefield left the game to start the sixth. That's not to say they didn't have any chances.

In the bottom of the 7th, Damon, Jeter and Abreu loaded the bases for A-Rod, who grounded into a double play. In the 8th, Giambi and Nady reached to make it 1st and 2nd with no outs. But, Matsui struck out, Cano popped out and I-Rod grounded out. Finally, in the ninth, Jeter was on first with one out for Abreu, who grounded into a fielder's choice. And then A-Rod struck out. Frustrating.

I don't want to say it's over because it's not. We're 6 games back of Boston with 5 games left against them. But, it needs to start tomorrow and with us winning the final two games of this series.

Who will we send to the hill? None other than Sidney Ponson (7-4, 4.67). He'll go against Paul Byrd (8-11, 4.61. Game time is 7:05 PM ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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Will Carroll at Baseball Prospectus has some thoughts on Joba's return, which will probably lead him to the bullpen. Overall, good news, as Carroll ends with, "... in the end the Yankees have one starter who should be established enough for them to build around for 2009 and beyond."

Via Bronx Liaison.
Posted by: Patrick
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From the AP:

Allie Reynolds, Joe Gordon and Vern Stephens are among 10 players whose careers began before 1943 who will be considered by the Hall of Fame’s constituted Veterans Committee when it meets on Dec. 7.

After starting in Cleveland, Reynolds spent the final 8 seasons of his career with the Yankees, winning 6 titles and collecting a 7-2 record in 9 starts and 15 appearances. He finished his career with a 182-107 record.

As luck would have it, the Yankees acquired Reynolds by trading Joe "Flash" Gordon, who was a Yankee from 1938 through 1946. He won the 1942 MVP award and finished top 10 in voting a total of 5 times.

Carl Mays, acquired from the Red Sox in 1919, is the final Yankee on the ballot. In exchange, the Yankees sent Allen "Ruberarm" Russell, Bob McGraw and $40,000 to Boston. Mays played out the remainder of 1919, plus 1920 through 1923, before being purchased by the Cincinnati Reds. He led the league in wins in 1921, going 27-9 with a 3.05 ERA.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports had a good, 35 pitch session today at the Stadium. However, he says not to expect Joba to return as a starter this season.
Posted by: James
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Man, this could have been a lot of things...it's could have been an brutal loss (if the Yankees had lost after leading by 5) or GREAT win (if Red Sox had lost to the Jays which they allllmost did)...but thanks to Robbie Cano, it turned out to be a good win anyway.

Let's start at the top. Darrell Rasner started the game, coming off his best performance in a while, and promptly got into trouble by giving up back to back homers to Melvin Mora and Aubrey Huff in the first. 2-0 Orioles. Rasner had problems all afternoon and ended up throwing 97 pitches in 3 1/3 innings.

The Yankees got right back in it by scoring 4 in the second, with 3 coming on a homer by Johnny Damon. They put up another 3 in the fourth from a Giambi sac-fly and a 2 run double off the bat of Xavier Nady. 7-2 Yankees and you would think that this would be a cruise to the end...

Well, the Yankees started giving in back in the fourth. With one out, a Derek Jeter error and a Nady miscue in left scored a runner and put another one in scoring position. Rasner walked the next batter (which would be his last) and David Robertson came in and allowed both inherited runners to score (by the by, I have major concerns with the Ohlendorfing of Robertson). 7-5 Yankees.

The Orioles tied up the game when Edwar Ramirez came in and ended up giving up a two-run shot to Brian Roberts on a change-up that got all of the plate.

The Yankees took the lead for good in the seventh when Robbie Cano (who went 4-5 on the day with two doubles) hammered a pitch to left-center. Robbie raised his OPS 19 points with this performance and has gotten his OPS+ to 89. Can he make it to 100+ by the end of the season?

After Edwar, Veras was shaky in relief but Damaso Marte came in and tossed 1 1/3 innings of scoreless relief, with three big strikeouts. Mo came in for the ninth and ran into a little trouble (Brian Roberts worked a walk, stole second and took third on a throwing error by Pudge) before striking out Nick Markakis to end the game.

Now, after a day off to get rested, here come the Red Sox. A tidy sweep would be nice..improbable, but nice. Now, let's see the Yankees make it happen.
Posted by: Seamus
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Carl Pavano did just enough in his 2008 debut and a couple of Yankee home runs helped the team defeat the Orioles by a score of 5-3. Pavano recorded his first win since April 9 of last year. Losses by both teams with "Sox" in their name helped bring the Yankees within 5 games of Boston and 4.5 games of Chicago in the wild card race.

Carl Pavano wasn't fantastic in his first Major League outing of the season, but he wasn't terrible, either. He got out of a major jam in the first inning, mostly thanks to a weird-looking, unassisted double play turned by Robinson Cano. He had a rough second inning, as he allowed three runs. His only 1-2-3 inning came in the 3rd. His location was off, which you might expect from a pitcher who hasn't pitched in a major league game in 16 months, and that drove up his pitch count, as well. When it was all said and done, Pavano threw 91 pitches, struck out five, allowed seven hits, and allowed three runs in five innings, just as I told a more pessimistic Patrick he would. (/gloat)

The Yanks bounced back after the Orioles' 3-run inning off of Pavano in the 2nd, as a two-run homer by Jason Giambi put the Yankees back up by a score of 4-3. Hideki Matsui put the cap on with a solo shot of his own in the 7th to make it 5-3.

The bullpen was great, as Brian Bruney, Jose Veras and Mariano Rivera pitched a combined four scoreless innings. Rivera recored his 30th save this season in his 31st opportunity.

The Yankees will go for the sweep this afternoon at 1:05 ET as Darrell Rasner will take the mound for the Bombers. Rasner might have to get shelled in this one, as the Yankees are 1-2 in games in which he allows one run or less. Rasner's Orioles' counterpart will be the enigmatic Daniel Cabrera. This will be a huge opportunity for the Yankees, and if they can cut the lead to four games heading into this week's series against Boston, they'll be in a real position to get back in this thing.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham spoke with Yankees scouting director Damon Oppenheimer on the Gerrit Cole negotiations - or the lack thereof.

"They made their decision without even listening to our formal presentation, thus turning down an opportunity to play for the team we were led to believe was his dream team, receive his college scholarship paid in full, get the best care for his arm, and become an instant multimillionaire," Oppenheimer said.

The Yankees paid another Boras client, Andrew Brackman, $3.3 million to sign last summer. Cole's deal would have been in that neighborhood. The Yankees' offer included a full college scholarship.

Cole now says that his goal all along was to play college baseball. If that is true, he lied to the Yankees and cost them the ability to land a premium prospect.
Posted by: Patrick
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Billy Traber was demoted yesterday in order to make room for last night's starter, Carl Pavano.
Posted by: Patrick
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Before Friday's game against the Orioles, Bobby Abreu arranged for the recently eliminated Venezuelan team, from the Little League World Series, to attend the game. Abreu, who was born in Maracay, a city in central Venezuela, treated the kids to food and on field access before the game. Then, during the game, he put on a show, helping the Yankees to a 9-4 win over the Orioles.

Abreu collected five hits in as many at bats, all singles, scoring two runs while driving in one. It was the first time that Bobby had five hits in a game since August 8, 1999, according to Yahoo! Sports. His average shot up 7 points, giving him a line of .295 AVG/.367 OBA/.466 SLG. Those average and on base figures are the highest they've been since June 11 and May 10, respectively.

It was Abreu who drove in the Yankees first run of the day, scoring Johnny Damon in the first inning.

Mike Mussina started the game for the Yanks and the Orioles answered right back in the bottom half, with an RBI single. Moose would log yet another solid start, throwing 6 innings and allowing 4 runs while striking out 3 and walking no one.

However, the Yankees would come away scoreless in the second, third and fourth innings. In the fifth, Robinson Cano and Jose Molina connected for lead off, back to back home runs that, at the time, tied the game at 3.

Mussina finished with 115 pitches through six, leaving the game down a run. Jose Veras entered and pitched a 1-2-3 inning, keeping it close.

The Yankees managed to take back the lead in the eighth, when Abreu scored on a wild pitch, that also moved A-Rod to third base. The very next batter, Xavier Nady, hit a single to right, bringing Rodriguez around, making the score 5-4, Yankees lead.

Damaso Marte was called on to start the eighth inning. He retired Nick Markakis and a hot Melvin Mora. But, then he hit Aubrey Huff and that was enough for Girardi, who immediately went to Mariano Rivera to pitch to Kevin Millar. Millar popped out.

After Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter led off with back to back outs in the ninth, the Yankees staged a two out rally to put this one away. It all started with (guess who?) Bobby Abreu, who singled. After a pitching change, A-Rod hit a ground rule double, putting runners at second and third for Cody Ransom, who entered in the eighth as a defensive replacement.

Ransom hit a deep fly ball to left center, putting the Yanks up by four runs. It was Ransom's second home run in as many at bats for the Yankees this season. He now has 5 RBIs. His line is 1.000/1.000/4.000. That's not bad. After the game, Brett Gardner would comment, to Ramson, "You should retire." "Thinking about it," was how Ransom responded.

But, the Yankees weren't done. For the second time in the game, the Yankees would hit back to back home runs as Nady followed the Ransom home run with a deeper one of his own. When the smoke cleared, the Yankees held a 9-4 lead.

Mariano stayed in the game and pitched the bottom of the ninth, retiring the side in order. He retired all four batters he faced, collecting his 29th save in 30 chances. Jose Veras was credited with the win, improving to 4-2.

In the first inning, Jeter singled, reaching the 2,500 hits plateau (video). "It means we won the game today," Jeter told Peter Abraham. "I guess if you play long enough, you’re bound to get some milestones. More importantly we won. We needed this game." Just two other Yankees have collected this many hits in the pinstripes: Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. I hope fans aren't taking this for granted.

At 7:05 PM ET tonight, the series continues with a true oddity. Carl Pavano will start, making his first Major League appearance since April 9 of last season. He'll face the very capable Jeremy Guthrie, who is 10-9 on the season with a 3.15 ERA. In two starts against the Yankees, he has a 2.70 ERA over 13 and 1/3 innings of work.
Posted by: James
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That was awful. Just awful. I, who haven't written off the Yankees season yet, have now officially done so. Going into a game with one of the best righties in baseball, they got bombed. Now, yes, you can kind of expect these games from Sir Sidney every now and again...but come on. Last night was just...brutal.

It began early and kept getting worse. The Jays scored at least one run every inning for the first five innings and led 14-0 at that point. The Yanks scored 3 on a Hideki Matsui HR off of Halladay (and that's probably the only decent part of this game). The only pitcher on the Yankees that came in and didn't give up a run was Edwar Ramirez. Everyone else (Ponson, Robertson, Traber & Britton) came in with lighter fluid. Actually, about that, Girardi seems to think that Robertson is Ohlendorf and is seemingly doing his best to get him off track. Also, why is Traber even on the roster? I mean, he's been fairly bad in both AAA and the majors? At this point, is it worth wasting a roster spot on him? I say nay.

At least the Rays and Red Sox didn't win Thursday night, right? RIGHT? Someone give me a silver lining to grasp! And don't look now but Toronto is climbing those standings and is right on the Yankees heels. I wonder when the last time that the Yankees were in 4th place this late in the season was...

At this point, you gotta think that the Yankees might just be playing out the stretch...and if that's the case, it's a sad, sad turn of events.
Posted by: Patrick
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Dr. Peter Venkman: This city is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Mayor of New York: What do you mean, "biblical?"
Dr. Raymond Stantz: What he means is old testament, real wrath of God type stuff. Fire and brimstone coming down from the sky! Rivers and seas boiling!
Dr. Egon Spengler: 40 years of darkness! Earthquakes, volcanos!
Winston Zeddmore: The dead rising from the grave!
Venkman: Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together - mass hysteria!

Is this what the Ghostbusters were talking about? Bryan Hoch reports that Carl Pavano will start on Saturday.

"He's very excited and just looking forward to getting up there and joining his teammates and pitching on Saturday," [Pavano's agent Tom] O'Connell said. "He's worked extremely hard to put himself in this position and to be able to come back and compete at the highest level this season. I think it's just a testament to how hard he's pushed himself to rejoin his club before the end of the season."
Posted by: Seamus
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Andy Pettitte came through in another must-win game and the Yankees defeated the Blue Jays by a score of 5-1 to move to within 5.5 games of the Red Sox in the wild card race. The Twins won their game, and are 5 games ahead of the Yanks in the standings.

The Yankees got a sacrifice fly by Jason Giambi and an RBI single by Xavier Nady, and Andy Pettitte wouldn't need any more than that. Pettitte pitched seven strong innings, allowing just a run on five hits and striking out four.

After a run-scoring fielder's choice by Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter added a two-run home run in the 4th to make the score 5-0. That score would hold until Alex Rios put the Jays on the board in the 6th with an RBI single.

Brian Bruney relieved Pettitte and pitched the last two innings. He retired all six batters he faced.

The rubber match will begin tonight at 7:07 ET as Sidney Ponson will take on Roy Halladay, who doctors the ball with kryptonite whenever he faces the Yankees. It's a huge opportunity for the Yanks, as the Red Sox are off and the Twins are in Anaheim facing John Lackey and the Angels.
Posted by: Patrick
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Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times spoke with Victor Zambrano, on his recent start in Trenton and his chances of being the starter for the Yankees on Saturday.

“I am doing good and feeling good, and my arm is in good shape,” Zambrano said. “It was my second Tommy John surgery, so you have to be patient. My velocity is there — 90, 91, 89. When I signed with the Yankees it was to prove that I am healthy and to get an opportunity to pitch.”
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees offense struggled against A.J. Burnett, as they usually do, dropping the series opener with the Blue Jays, 2-1.

The Yankees only run came in the top of the first inning when Bobby Abreu hit a 1 out double to score Johnny Damon. Following that, it was eight and two thirds of scoreless misery, as the Yankees came up with a total of 6 hits and 1 walk.

Darrell Rasner pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of solid work, allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 1 walk. On the other site, Burnett pitched eight innings, giving up 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 13.

Jose Veras was saddled for the loss in this one, as he allowed a 2 out double to Marco Scutaro in the eighth that brought around the go ahead run for the Blue Jays.

Tomorrow, at 7:07 PM ET, Yankees innings leader Andy Pettitte (12-9, 4.30, 163.1 IP) will go against David Purcey (2-3, 5.93).
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that, in order to make room for Hideki Matsui, Justin Christian was optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Jason Lane was released.
Posted by: James
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Man, that felt good. Pretty much everything that could go RIGHT for once this season, DID.

Moose started off a little rocky (get it? Ok, so it's not funny ha-ha, per se...) but overcame the early shakiness when he gave up a two-run double to Billy Butler and a sacrifice fly to make the score 3-0 before the Yankees even came up to bat.

That score didn't last very long. In the first, the Yanks sent 10 men to the plate in the first against Brian Bannister, scoring 6 in the frame. The highlights were A-Rod three-run shot into Monument Park and Xavier Nady's solo shot off the right-field foul pole.

Mussina cruised after that but just to be safe, the Yankees battered Bannister some more in the second. They loaded the bases with no one out and Jason Giambi stepping up to the plate. On a 1-1 count, The Giambino nailed the next pitch out of the park for a grand slam. 10-3 Yankees. They plated another run in the third and scored 4 more in the 7th (including Cody Ransom's first HR in pinstripes so good for him) to make the score 15-6 when all was said and done. The Royals scored their final 3 off of Traber (1) and Britton (2) in garbage time.

All told, 15 runs, 17 hits, 7 walks and win #16 for Moose. All the Yankees starters got on base at least once and only Johnny Damon left the game with no hits. It was a very pleasant Sunday to be a Yankees fan. Now, let's hope that they packed these hot bats when they take on the Blue Jays...who have given up a TEAM ERA of 2.72 over the last 13 games with a .245/.314/.386/.700 line allowed. The Yankees also have the misfortune of facing A.J. Burnett, the league leader in Ks, and Roy Halladay, he of the 2.64 ERA. The only way that this series could look worse would be if they were facing Shawn Marcum as well...yeesh.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has the story:

In what appeared to be his final tuneup start in the minors, Phil Hughes was rocked. The 22-year-old allowed five runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings pitching for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre at Lehigh Valley last night. Hughes tossed two scoreless innings, but allowed a two-run double in the third and three more runs in the fourth, including a two-run homer. Hughes, who was expected to throw near 100 pitches, lasted for 91, 63 of them strikes. He struck out four and walked none. The forever-rehabbing Carl Pavano fared better pitching for Double-A Trenton, allowing six hits and one run (a homer) in six innings against Reading. Both pitchers are candidates to earn a start in Baltimore over the weekend. ...
Posted by: Patrick
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Good news for Godzilla. He's likely to be activated on Tuesday.

"I'm very happy, definitely happy, and the only thing left is do whatever I can to help the team," Matsui told the AP through a translator. "I'll just have to try and see what happens, but I'm sure I'll be able to help the team."
Posted by: Seamus
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You know, Brett Gardner hits pretty well for a guy who can't hit. Gardner ended Saturday's game with a walk-off single in the 13th inning that scored Robinson Cano to give the Yankees a 3-2 victory. Losses by both Tampa Bay and Boston brought the Yankees a game closer in the standings.

In what was probably the most boring 13-inning game ever played, the Yankees pulled a victory out of their hats, despite leaving 13 runners on base and going just 3-15 with runners in scoring position (.200). Gardner led the team, believe it or not, with 3 hits. Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu and Robinson Cano each had 2 hits, as well.

Sidney Ponson was solid once again, and it looked like yet another good start by him would go to waste, as he left the game in the 7th with the Yankees trailing 2-0. Ponson finished with a line of 2 runs on 7 hits in 6 1/3 innings. The bullpen was phenominal, as six different relievers combined for 6 2/3 innings of scoreless ball. That included two innings from Mariano Rivera, who for a day escaped his tie-game jitters, pitching scoreless innings in the 10th and 11th.

Poor Chris Britton couldn't even get into a 13-inning game. Billy Traber was warming up for the Yanks to pitch the 14th.

Mike Mussina will be facing Brian Bannister this afternoon in the rubber game. Game starts at 1:05 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has the details on the draft signings made before today's deadline. He notes that, according to Baseball America, the Yankees signed supplemental first round pick, LHP Jeremy Bleich. His bonus was $700,000.

Abraham notes that if that amount is right, it's below what that slot would usually command. Bleich's elbow injury may be more serious than first thought. They also signed their 27th round pick, SS Garrison Lassiter, for $700,000, as well.

As was reported earlier today, first rounder Gerrit Cole did not sign. Second round pick Scott Bittle also did not sign.
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The losses are mounting. It was a tough one tonight, as the Yankees wasted a good outing from Andy Pettitte, who threw 7 innings and 6 hit, 3 run ball. He struck out 7 and walked 4.

The Yankees first run came on an RBI single by Derek Jeter, scoring Jose Molina. They tied it up, 3-3, in the bottom of the 7th, thanks to an RBI single by Bobby Abreu, that scored Damon, and a sacrifice fly off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, that allowed Jeter to score. Pettitte left with the game tied.

Edwar Ramirez threw a scoreless eighth and gave way to Mariano in the ninth. Once again, Mo struggled in a tie game. After getting the first out, he allowed a double, single and then threw a wild pitch, which brought a run around.

If the top half of the inning was frustrating, the bottom half may have been even worse. Wilson Betemit pinch hit for Jose Molina and singled. Justin Christian came in to pinch run for Betemit. As a pinch runner, the one thing you definitely don't want to do is get picked off. But, that's what Christian did. With the top of the order due up, Christian was picked off. One out.

Damon grounded to the shortstop for the second out. But, the Yankees weren't done yet. Jeter stroked a two out single to right and Bobby Abreu walked. A-Rod then hit an infield single, loading the bases for Jason Giambi. That's where it would end, as Giambi flew out to end the game. Argh.

Tomorrow, at 1:05 ET, we'll have Sidney Ponson (3-2, 4.72 as a Yankee) going against Zack Greinke (9-8, 4.09), who will be returning from his recent suspension.
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The AP's Ronald Blum reports that, according to a source, the Yankees have fired two two that are under investigation in MLB's probe of contract skimming with Latin American players.

The Yankees terminated the contracts of Carlos Rios, their director of Latin American scouting, and Ramon Valdivia, their Dominican Republic scouting director, a baseball official said Friday. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.

08/15: Britton Up

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Bryan Hoch reports that Chris Britton has been called up, taking the place of the injured Dan Giese. Darrell Rasner will start on Tuesday in place of Giese.
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Peter Abraham reports that Melky Cabrera has been optioned to Triple-A while Richie Sexson has been released.

In their spots, we have outfielder Brett Gardner and infielder Cody Ransom coming up from the minors.
Posted by: James
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Anyone who reads this site reads River Ave Blues for sure, but in case you didn't notice his comment last night on the DoTF thread, Mike A. will be hosting a chat on RAB at 2 (EST) today.

The Ax (hey, he gives all the prospects nicknames...) is a very knowledgeable and opinionated guy and while I probably won't be able to head over at 2 to take part, I will certainly read the transcript as I look forward to seeing the questions and reading Mike's responses. If you have the time, head over and check it out.
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Tyler Kepner reports:

According to a person involved in the negotiations, the Yankees have learned that [first round pick Gerrit] Cole intends to go to college, no matter what they offer. The person was granted anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly before Friday’s deadline for teams to sign drafted players.

It could be just a negotiating tactic. The deadline is in a few short hours, so we'll know soon. If Cole doesn't sign, we'll receive a compensatory pick, in next year's draft, right after the spot we selected Cole in. Since he was drafted at the 28 slot, we'd effectively receive the 29th overall pick in the draft.

08/14: Giese to DL

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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Dan Giese has been placed on the 15-day DL with rotator cuff tendinitis.

Rotator cuff tendinitis is an epidemic!
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Ed Price of The Star-Ledger spoke with Triple-A catcher Chad Moeller, who caught Phil Hughes on Tuesday. Moeller reports that Hughes is a new pitcher, as compared to the pitcher he was earlier this season, thanks to increased velocity and a new pitch: a cut fastball.
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From Jon Heyman:

Never mind the Yankees' current standing in third place, or their recent struggles. Both Steinbrenner brothers are now said by people familiar with their thinking to be on board with Brian Cashman as their general manager, for now and long into the future. Even if the Yankees fail to play into October for the first full season since 1993, club insiders say that the Steinbrenners plan to offer Cashman a contract extension after this season.

Cashman didn't want to discuss his situation when reached by phone on Tuesday night. But he should have plenty of clues to know he's wanted back, according to club officials.
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Steven White was released yesterday and Mike Ashmore puts the move into context.

I was speaking to a scout who saw White’s last start here, and he was only hitting 84 on the gun. That’s a big drop in velocity, and there really wasn’t much room for him in an organization stacked with pitching.

Quite the dive for White who was once ranked as high as #4 in the Yankees system by Baseball America (right behind Hughes). It's a little sad to see but hey, TINSTAAPP, right? I mean, this year has just been horrendous for him and it looks like he's lost it. His mechanics, velocity and overall presence on the mound have gotten to the point that, thinking of the starters that the Yankees have in the system pushing up behind him (Z-Mac, Pope, De la Rosa, etc.), he's just holding others back at this point. Still, some team will pick him up as a reclamation project, I am sure and I certainly wish the guy well.
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Ed Price of The Star-Ledger reports that Hideki Matsui will make his first rehab start on Thursday. Brian Cashman told him that it'll be for either the Gulf Coast League Tampa team or the Yankees Class-A affiliate in Tampa, depending on what the weather is like.
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I guess it should be the norm, this season, by now, but I'm still amazed by the consistency that Mike Mussina has had this year. If there is one individual milestone I want a Yankee to accomplish this season, it's for Moose to win 20 games. In last night's effort, he threw 7 innings, allowing just 3 earned runs on 8 hits while striking out 5 and walking 1. He left the game with a 6-3 lead. Win number 16, here we come!

Not so fast. Damaso Marte relieved Moose and allowed a double to the first batter. After a fly out, pinch hitter Randy Ruiz singled to right, putting runners on first and third for Delmon Young. Mariano entered, in attempt to clean up the mess.

What's the worst possible thing that could happen? Well, it happened. Young took Mo deep to right, hitting a three run homer that tied the game and gave Rivera his first blown save of the season. Ouch. But, with that out of the way, Mo retired 5 out of the next 6 batters, allowing just a single and forcing extra innings.

The Yankees offense was quiet in the 10th and Jose Veras entered to pitch the bottom half, retiring the side in order. Another scoreless inning for both teams followed in the 11th, Veras again faced three hitters and retired three hitters. Veras' ERA is now down to 2.79.

In the top of the 12, with one out, A-Rod homered to center to give the Yankees the lead. The red hot Xavier Nady added a pair of insurance runs with a home run of his own, scoring Ivan Rodriguez.

Edwar Ramirez pitched the 12th and it was yet another 1-2-3 inning. So, Veras and Ramirez combined to set the entire Twins lineup down in order in the extra innings of this game. Ramirez collected his first save of the season, while Veras collected win number 3.

With the exception of Jose Molina (0 for 4, 1 run and 1 walk), every Yankee starter collected a hit in this one. The offene was led by Xavier Nady (2 for 5, a double, a home run and 4 RBIs), Johnny Damon (3 for 5, a home run and 2 runs) and Derek Jeter (3 for 5, 1 RBI). Abreu and Giambi also had 2 hits each.

Jeter fouled a ball off his foot in the fourth inning. He stayed in the game, collecting hits in his next three at bats, but was removed in the ninth. He had x-rays and they were fine, so he may play today.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankee lineup couldn't manage anything against Glen Perkins, and a decent start by Sidney Ponson went to waste as the Yankees were shutout by the Twins. The 4-0 loss was the Yankees' 4th straight, and their 6th loss in their last 8 games. The Yankees fell further back behind the Rays and Red Sox, and are now 9 and 5 games out, respectively.

Sidney Ponson was not bad, as he allowed 4 runs and 7 hits in 72/3 innings. He probably pitched a little better than his line shows, and a 4-run outing certainly should be more than enough to keep this Yankee lineup in a game. Edwar Ramirez relieved Ponson in the bottom of the 8th and retired the only batter he faced.

The story of this game, however, was the ineptitude of the Yankees' offense. They had a big chance to go ahead in the 2nd, as they had runners on 1st and 3rd with nobody out, but Pudge Rodriguez popped up just past the infield dirt, and Melky Cabrera grounded into a double play to end the inning. After that, it was just six more innings of Glen Perkins mowing them down. The Yanks didn't fare any better against Joe Nathan in the 9th, either.

YES was just all over Girardi throughout the game about starting Justian Christian in LF and benching Johnny Damon, and I think rightfully so. There's no way you can sit Damon simply to rest him in a game like this, especially coming off of a three-game losing streak. It's unacceptable at this point in the season to have both Christian and Melky Cabrera in the starting lineup. Perhaps Girardi was on another one of his "sit lefties against lefties" tangents, but YES rightfully pointed out that Perkins has a .353 BAA vs. lefties (.898 OPS). I think Giambi should have played, too.

Hopefully Girardi puts a better lineup in tonight against Nick Blackburn. The Yanks will have Mike Mussina on the mound, who will be looking for his 16th win. Game starts at 8:10 ET.
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Cody Miley, the 17 year old son of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Dave Miley, passed away on Monday after a car accident, according to the Tampa Tribune. Very sad. Our thoughts are with the Miley family.

Via Chad Jennings.
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Ed Price of The Star-Ledger reports that Joba Chamberlain will begin his throwing program on Friday. He had said that he would start on Wednesday, but Joe Girardi had it pushed back.

Girardi told price that he's "not necessarily so sure" that Joba will need to make a rehab start in the minors, before rejoining the Major League club.
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From Peter Abraham:

Hideki Matsui increased the intensity of his workouts in Tampa, Fla., doing more sprints and taking a longer session of batting practice. The injured designated hitter (left knee) could be a day or two from playing in a minor-league rehab game. "It was a good day," Matsui told the Associated Press. "As long as we keep progressing this way, I think I'll be able to play in a game soon."
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After his loss on Friday and his controversial comments after wards, Ian Kennedy has optioned to Triple-A, according to Kat O'Brien. Billy Traber is up.
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David Brown of Big League Stew has a great interview with Mike Mussina.

Via Ben via BBTF.
Posted by: Seamus
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Dan Giese was phenominal in a game that felt like a must-win game, but the bullpen could not hold on to a late two-run lead, and the box score shows a laughable 11-4 loss for the Yankees against the Angels. Tampa Bay and Boston both won, so the Yankees are now 4 games out of the wild card and 6.5 out of the division with just 45 games left to play.

I've heard a lot of people talking about how pathetic it is that the Yankees have to start Dan Giese in a big game in August, but he's pitched well all around since he's been up here, and on Saturday he actually outpitched Angels' ace John Lackey. Giese allowed only a run on three hits in 6 innings, and it's a mystery to me why he didn't come out for the 7th, as he threw only 83 pitches.

The offense was carried by a pair of back-to-back home runs by A-Rod and Giambi in the 5th that put the Yanks up 2-0. An RBI single for Johnny Damon that scored Ivan Rodriguez made it 3-1 in the 7th, but from there it was all downhilll.

Jose Veras relieved Giese in the bottom of the 7th and gave up a pair of solo shots to tie the game for the Angels. The wheels completely fell off in the 8th, as Edwar Ramirez allowed four hits and the Angels scored 6 runs before even recording an out. David Robertson relieved Ramirez and was just as bad, although in the box score only three of the eight runs were charged to him.

The Yankees scored one in the 9th, but it was not nearly enough and a very important game that looked like the Yankees may come out of victorious turned into a 7-run slaughter.

So now the Yankees have to bounce back today to avoid falling even further behind in the playoff chase. Fortunately the right guy is on the mound for the Yanks, as Andy Pettitte will get the start against the very good Joe Saunders. Game starts at 3:35 ET.
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Joba Chamberlain expects to be throwing again by the beginning of next week and hopes to be back on the mound before the end of the month, according to the Yankees' official website.

"I'll be throwing in a week," Chamberlain told the Associated Press in Tampa, Fla. "I'll probably throw the beginning of next week. Everything feels fine now."

The article does state that despite Joba's comments, Joe Girardi has given no timetable on when the 22-year old will be back with the club.
Posted by: Seamus
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Ian Kennedy continues to be the best player for opposing teams. Kennedy didn't last three innings, and the Yankees failed in yet another opportunity to gain ground on the Red Sox as the Angels defeated the Yanks by a score of 10-5. The Rays won their game in Seattle, so the Yanks fall to 6.5 games behind Tampa Bay in the A.L. East.

To say Ian Kennedy struggled in his return to the big-league club would be quite an understatement, as he was tattooed to the tune of 5 runs on 9 hits in just 2 innings, and was unable to retire any of the five batters he faced in the 3rd. Darrell Rasner relieved Kennedy and did a much better job. He allowed three runs in five innings, but if you take Torii Hunter out of the equation, he'd have gotten out of that game pretty much untouched. I'd expect to see him back in the rotation in the next go-around.

The Yankees' offense did get some timely hitting (and walking) early on, as they were able to take the lead with a two-run inning in the 3rd, highlighted by a game-tying walk for Jason Giambi and an infield single for new Angels' nemesis Xavier Nady. After the Yankees again fell behind, Nady brought them back in it with a home run in the Bombers' two-run 6th. The Yankees were within 6-5, but a double play off the bat of Bobby Abreu in the 7th kind of put the air out of the Yankee comeback.

Torii Hunter homered in the 7th and Brian Bruney put the game out of reach later in the inning by allowing three runs to score (one was charged to Rasner).

The Yanks will try to bounce back later this afternoon as Dan Giese will take the mound against the Angels' John Lackey. Hopefully the Yankees can work some of the magic they worked against Lackey last Sunday, as the lineup did a nice job against him once they got his pitch count up. Game starts at 3:55 ET.
Posted by: James
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Mike Mussina, Yankee Ace. Moose picked up his 15th win in a superb start against the Texas Rangers last night. As the rest of the rotation lies in tatters, Mussina has stepped up and given the Yankees everything they could have wanted (though they have not always rewarded him with run support). Against a good hitting team in Texas, he spun 7 innings of shut out ball, giving up 8 hits and 1 walk while striking out 6. Truly impressive work from Moose. The bullpen then came in (Bruney, Marte and Rivera) and completed the shutout, going the final 2 innings without allowing a baserunner.

The Yankees scored their runs thanks to Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter and Robbie Cano, who totaled 8 of the 11 total Yankee hits. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead when Jeter homered in the first. They tacked on a run in the 5th when Damon singled home Wilson Betemit who had followed up Robbie Cano's single with a force out (and took second on a Jose Molina groundout). The final run came in the top of the 9th when Jeter came up with men on first and second with 2 out and singled through the right side. 3-0 Yankees...and a much needed win.

Rotation in taters, WOE (Worst. Offense. Ever., courtesy RLYW) in full effect and yet, still only 3 GB of a playoff spot. It's all good though...help is on the way. Let's go Carl Pavano.
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The Yankees were able to keep pace with the Rays and Red Sox with a 5-3 victory over the Rangers, but not before a collision at the plate bruised up another Yankee. Pudge Rodriguez left the game in the 2nd inning after taking a shot to the knee. The Yankees are calling it a "bruised knee" and he is listed as day-to-day.

As for the rest of the game, the Yankees got a pretty good start from Sidney Ponson, who allowed 3 runs on 6 hits in 6 and 1/3 innings. Most of the damage on Ponson was done in the 2nd when he allowed two runs on four hits and also hit a batter.

The Yankees took the lead in the 3rd, however, with a three-run inning that included an RBI double by Wilson Betemit and an RBI single by Derek Jeter. The Yankees tacked on a couple more later on in the game, thanks to a solo home run by Jason Giambi in the 4th and an RBI double by Jeter in the 5th.

Chris Young launched a home run off of Ponson in the bottom of the 6th cut the Yankee lead to 5-3, but the game was scoreless after that as both bullpens pitched well. The Yankees' pen pitched 2 and 2/3 innings of scoreless ball, but it was probably unnecessary for three guys to have to get three outs in the 8th.

There's something about this team and these four-game series where the Yankees like to drop the first two and still manage to salvage a split by winning the next two. It happened against Boston in early July, again this weekend against the Angels, and they've got a shot to do it again here in Texas. Mike Mussina will be going for his 15th victory tonight and his counterpart will be Scott Feldman. Game starts at 8:05 ET.
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Forbes has published their list of the top 20 most valuable teams in Minor League Baseball.

The Yankees Triple-A affiliate, the Scranton-Wilkes-Barre Yankees, came in eighth place, with a value of $21.7 million.

Via Digg.

08/07: More on Joba

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Tyler Kepner, Peter Abraham and Ed Price have more on Joba's injury, including a general skepticism that the picture isn't as bright as it has been painted.

Via Alex.
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Jim Molony of MLB.com reports that the Yankees have signed sixth round draft choice, Brett Marshall, a high school pitcher, to one of the richest deals ever for a player drafted in that round.

KRIV-TV reported Marshall received a signing bonus of $850,000 plus another $200,000 to use for his college education. The Yankees also gave Marshall an incentive package worth $7,500 that he can earn as he moves through their Minor League system.
Posted by: Seamus
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Kim Jones announced during YES' pregame show that Joba Chamberlain has been given a diagnosis of rotator cuff tendinitis by Dr. James Andrews.
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WFAN is reporting that Joba Chamberlain will be placed on the 15-day disabled list and Chris Britton will be called up, as he is headed for Texas for tonight's game. No news so far on exactly how Chamberlain's visit with Dr. Andrew went, but we now know that he will be missing three starts at least.

Britton will be called up to take his place on the roster, who will also be sent down and then be called back up and sent back down again all within the next three hours.

Also of note: As of the time of this post (about 5:30 P.M. ET), Jeff Karstens is perfect through seven against Randy Johnson and the Diamondbacks.

UPDATE: Karstens just allowed a double in the bottom of the 8th with two outs, so his perfect game ends just four outs short. Karstens has not allowed a run in two starts since the Yankees unloaded him.

Yikes.
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Andy Pettitte started this one and was roughed up early, allowing 3 earned runs in the first 2 innings. After a scoreless third, he allowed another run in the fourth.

The Yankees offense was silent through 5, picking up just 3 hits and not scoring a single run. In the sixth, Johnny Damon led off with a triple and Derek Jeter drove him home with a sacrifice fly. The Rangers answered back with a run in the bottom of the sixth and it was 5-1, Rangers.

After allowing back to back singles (and a run) in the sixth, Pettitte was removed and relieved by David Robertson. Robertson got out of the inning without allowing any runs, but did so in an odd fashion, which included an intentional walk, a regular walk and a wild pitch. He struck out the final two hitters of the inning, with the bases loaded.

The Yankees added another run in the top of the 7th, though that was a bit of a disappointment, considering the bases with loaded with one out. Melky popped out to make it two and then Johnny Damon walked, scoring Robinson Cano. Jeter lined out to end the threat.

Robertson got off to a great start in the bottom of the 7th, striking out the first two batters he faced (making it 4 strikeouts in a row), but then he walked Marlon Byrd. And then David Murphy singled, moving Byrd to third. Girardi opted to go with Bruney.

Bruney walked the first batter he faced to load the bases for Chris Davis who made him pay, big time, with a bases clearing double, making the score 8-2.

But, the Yankees got right back in the game in the top of the eighth as two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases for Richie Sexson who hit a grand slam, to bring the game back within reason at 8-6. Jose Veras kept it there, pitching a scoreless inning.

Eddie Guardado came in to face the Yankees in the 9th, with Jeter, Bobby Abreu and A-Rod due up. Jeter got it started with a walk. Abreu, representing the tying run, struck out. Finally, A-Rod grounded into a double play to end the game. Yankees lose, 8-6.

Tomorrow, the Yankees will face the Rangers again at 8:05 PM ET. Sidney Ponson (6-2, 4.23) pitches against Tommy Hunter (0-0, 10.80), making his second career start.
Posted by: Patrick
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The AP reports that Joba will see celeb sports Dr. James Andrews on Wednesday. The Yankees will not be revealing anything until after they hear what he has to say.
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The Yankees blew a golden opportunity on Monday night to gain ground on both the Rays and the Red Sox as they lost a tough one in Texas on a walk-off grand slam by Marlon Byrd. A win by the Yanks would have moved them to within a game and a half of Boston and 4.5 of Tampa Bay.

The loss was compounded by an injury to Joba Chamberlain, who left the game early with a "stiff shoulder." Joba left the game with the Yankees trailing 5-4 in the fifth and Joe Girardi said he'll probably miss at least one start in the rotation. Hopefully it wasn't anything more than being cramped up in the 105 degree Texas heat.

The Yankees tied the game at 5 in the 8th on a solo shot by the red-hot Xavier Nady. The Yankees had a shot to take the lead with Johnny Damon on 2nd with two outs in the 9th, and Derek Jeter hit a line drive that at first looked like it might find the gap in left centerfield, but Josh Hamilton made a diving catch to keep the game tied at 5 apiece.

Joe Girardi brought Damaso Marte out for the 9th after he had gotten out of a runner on 3rd, one out jam in the 8th, as Mariano Rivera was again unavailable due to back spasms. Marte just didn't have it in the 9th, however, as he walked three batters and then the first pitch he delivered to Marlon Byrd was tattooed over the centerfield wall for a game winning grand salami.

I would say it's a devastating loss, but the beauty of it is that the team gets a chance to redeem itself only 24 hours later. Andy Pettitte will take the mound tonight and will face Matt Harrison. Harrison has an E.R.A. of 7.40 and has allowed 31 hits and 14 walks in just 241/3 innings, which means the Yanks will probably score two runs or less off of him. Game starts at 8:05 ET.

Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Joba Chamberlain left last night's game with a stiff shoulder. He'll have an MRI in New York today to determine the severity of the injury. He'll miss at least one turn in the rotation.
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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Darrell Rasner will now work out of the bullpen as Dan Giese has been named to the rotation. Giese has a 1.35 ERA since July 1.
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Yesterday, after a jog, Mo reported that he felt nothing and that his back is no longer hurting him. The Yankees held him out of last night's game, opting to give him the day off.
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Michael S. Schmidt of The New York Times reports:

Several Yankees employees who scouted in the Dominican Republic have been placed on leave by the organization pending an investigation by Major League Baseball into the signing of prospects, according to a person in baseball who has been briefed on the matter.

What the MLB is looking into is if they paid players only a portion of their supposed bonus and then kept the rest of it. The employees that we put on leave are all located in the Dominican Republic.

Via the AP.
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Peter Abraham reports that Jason Giambi has shaved his Mustache off, after his recent struggles at the plate. But, wait, there's more.

He cites anonymous sources, which we have learned to be Chuck Norris and Chuck Norris' Fist. Norris, in a jealous rage, snuck up on Jason Giambi's Mustache last night, while It was sleeping - and shaved It off. Witnesses report screams and fierce battle between Norris and the 'Stache, after It noticed that It was being murdered, with only three hairs remaining. The three hairs almost defeated Norris, but he managed a sucker punch and finished them with one fail swoop.

Norris' jealousy stems from the fact that the Mustache's toughness had overshadowed his own. Giambi has vowed to dedicate the remainder of this season to his Mustache.
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The Blog World & New Media Expo is an upcoming conference, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, covering everything to do with, well, blogging and new media. This includes communities, forums, podcasting, video blogging, technology, journalism, monetization, entrepreneurship, management and more, discussing varying levels of experience.

It's scheduled for September 20 and 21 with the extra Executive and Entrepreneur (E&E) conference being held on September 19. I will be there for all 3 days. It would be cool to meet some other Yankees bloggers, if any are going.

This will be my first time there. It looks like an awesome conference that will be attended by loads of cool people. I will be on a panel called "Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media", along with Lee LeFever (Principal, Common Craft), Jason Falls (Social Media Explorer, Doe-Anderson and Blogger, SocialMediaExplorer.com) and Darren Rowse (Owner, ProBlogger.net; Co-Founder, Sixfigureblogging.com; Co-Founder and VP Training, b5media and Co-Author, "ProBlogger: The Book"), who is tentative. It should be a lot of fun.

If you are interested or involved in any of these fields and can afford to come, I'd definitely recommend checking it out. Through August 22, I have a 20% off coupon code that you can use while signing up. This code is FROGVIP and it is good for the "Exhibits Only," "Exhibits Only + Opening Party," "Full Access" and "E&E Conference" packages. The full access pass is currently $300, so the 20% off ticket would take it down to $240. The E&E pass is $750, making it $600 with the coupon.

If you are able to attend, definitely let me know so that we can meet, if you'd like. And, of course, I invite you to come to my panel, as well!
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From Lisa Kennelly of The Star-Ledger reports that Mariano is day to day, thanks to back spasms.

"I don't think it's anything major," Rivera told Kennelly. "I don't think it's nothing I need to be concerned or worried about."
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On the remix to Young Jeezy's "Put On", Jay-Z ends his verse with:

I put on for my city, so when I'm dead and gone, I've got one last wish: put my Yankee hat on.
Posted by: James
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Well, here we go. The Yankees are looking to salvage a split with the Angels (after getting handled in the first two games, a split would feel like a win to me). On the hill, Darrell Rasner who is pitching for his roster spot versus John Lackey who has been in a groove lately.

Anddd, here we go with Rasner as the first two men are on. After getting Texiera to ground out for the first out, Garrett Anderson drives in 2 with a single.

In the second, with one out, a single and double puts runners on the corners with one out and an Eric Aybar single plates another run. 3-0 Angels.

And after an uneventful 3rd, here we go again. With two outs, a walk and a single puts men on first and second for Eric Aybar again...and he delivers again, doubling them both home. 5-0 Angels.

While all this is going on, Lackey has been mostly cruising through 5 with the only run given up being a Pudge solo homer. The Yankees did have an opportunity in the 4th with the bases loaded with one out but Bobby Abreu got caught not getting back in time on a Xavier Nady fly out. Unconventional double play...but it worked out. 5-1 Angels.

Rasner has thankfully been replaced by Dan Geise and after Ponson's last start, Rasner will be the one to go and it has to happen now. You can't keep giving the guy starts when he does this. Either start Geise or bring up IPK. They can't possibly be worse than Rasner right now.

Here comes Lackey for the sixth and while he had been cruising, the Yankees have gotten him to use up some pitches and it might be helping them out now as he's stumbling in this inning. Single, single, walk loads the bases for the Yankees with Giambi up. Jason pops up (as hot as he had been, that's how cold he is now...yeesh). However, Xavier saves the day with a ground-rule double that makes the score 5-3. A Betemit groundout scores another one and all of a sudden, we're looking at a tight 5-4 game.

Another good inning from Dan Geise and here come the Yankees in the bottom of the seventh against Jose Arredondo. With one out, Jeter hits a fly ball that Gary Matthews should have had and ends up at second on the error. Next up is the red hot Bobby Abreu who singles in the tying run. A-Rod follows with a single and there are men on first and second with one out for Jason Giambi, who pops out for the second out. Come on Jason. Here comes Xavier Nady...and he promptly deposits a 1-1 pitch in the left field bleachers...and the crowd goes nuts. There hasn't been this much love for an Xavier in NY since the X-Man, Xavier McDaniel (okay, I'm reaching...). 8-5 Yankees.

Here comes Bugs, excuse me, Edwar, whom the announcers just said had a 95 mph fastball. Seriously guys? Do you not check the guns...or at the very least read a quick scouting profile when someone comes into the game? This is why there are so many fans think they can do your job...

After striking out the first two, Edwar gets in serious trouble. A walk, a single, and another walk has loaded the bases for Tex-Mex...and Edwar stays in to face him. THIS IS A BAD IDEA JOE. And I am proven right as Texiera pounds the second pitch into the right field bleachers for a grand slam. 9-8 Angels. ARE YOU SERIOUS?

The Stadium got realll quite now. Well, here we go Yankees against Scott Shield. First up I-Rod. Nice at bat results in a clean single through the left side on a breaking ball. Melky up...and after a few pitches, Justin Christian comes in to run (why didn't they do that to begin with? I guess they wanted to wait for the 3-2 count). 3-2 pitch, easy double play groundball to short which is BOOTED by Eric Aybar. Whoo - first and second, no one out, Damon up at bat...and there goes Christian to third. The throw issss...past the third baseman so here comes the tying run and Melky goes to third. WOW. Damon ends up walking and Derek Jeter grounds out so we have runners on second and third with one out and Bobby Abreu up. Scot Shields issues the free pass to Abreu (the last pitch being nowhere close) so here we go, bases loaded for A-Rod (who apparently has no go-ahead RBI after the seventh inning). First pitch grounder to third, could be two...and CHONE BOOTS IT, throw to first, SAFE. 10-9 YANKEES! 3rd Angel error of the inning! What a game! Get Mo warming!

Bases are still loaded with one out for Jason Giambi Robbie Cano who comes in to pinch hit so let's see some insurance runs. First pitch coming in, easy breezy swing put the ball right up the middle and scores two. 12-9 Yankees with Nady up and runners on first and second. A Nady single scores A-Rod and a Justin Christian single plates Cano before the inning comes to an end. 14-9 Yankees on 9 unearned runs in the 7th and 8th. Whoo!

With a 5-run lead, you don't gotta go to Mo...so here comes Jose Veras. A couple pitches and Howie Kendrick is out. Following a Juan Rivera double, a strikeout of Gary Matthews and a flyout from Jeff Mathis close out the game and the Yankee win. What a win for the Yankees. Let's hope this gets them on a groove because this is gonna be a tough road to hoe. I figure they need 92 wins for a playoff spot. 61 games left and 31 of those need to be wins...a .608 winning percentage. Let's see them pull it off (and get Rasner back to the minors). Update: IPK, who pitched well today against the best hitting team in the International League (though Brandon Moss and Jed Lowrie no longer play there), is even on the same schedule as Rasner. This pretty much writes itself, no? Rasner helped early...but just take a look at what has happened since his last great start.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees were FINALLY able to solve the Angels, if only for a day, as Mike Mussina sizzled en route to an 8-2 Yankee victory. The Yanks absolutely needed this one, as they'd been slipping, losing 5 of 6 after an 8-game winning streak. The Yankees remain 2.5 games behind Boston for the wild card and 5.5 behind Tampa Bay for the division lead, as both teams won last night.

It seems like every time I recap a game that Mike Mussina pitches, I say it was his best start of the season, but this one really does take the cake. Mussina allowed just two hits in seven innings, striking out five and walking two. Both hits he allowed were in the second inning, and he allowed two runs, one unearned.

The Yankees tied the game at 2 apiece in the second with a two-run shot by Wilson Betemit. In the 3rd they went ahead as Jose Molina scored on a double play groundout by Derek Jeter. Bobby Abreu homered later in the 3rd to make it 4-2. Jose Molina also homered (gasp!) as did Alex Rodriguez to cap off a four-homer attack by the Yanks on Jered Weaver.

Jose Veras pitched an uneventful 8th and Brian Bruney made his first appearance after coming off the DL in the 9th. Bruney's control was a little off, but overall he looked pretty good, as he allowed a walk and a bloop hit before retiring Juan Rivera to end the game.

Well, I don't think the Yankees are going to lose too many games when Jose Molina and Wilson Betemit have five hits between them. The Yanks will finish this four-game set this afternoon before heading to Texas for a four-game series with the Rangers. Darrell Rasner will take the mound and will face John Lackey (I think I hear the faint sound of "UH OH!"). Game starts at 1:05 ET and will also be carried on TBS for you non-locals.
Posted by: Patrick
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Alex Belth, Willie Bans, Jake Thomases, Brian Heyman and Lisa Kennelly and Jenny Vrentas have reports from the final Old-Timers day in the current Yankee Stadium.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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Bryan Hoch reports:

The familiar old Yankees pinstripes still fit well on Willie Randolph's frame, though the former Mets manager says that his heart remains with some of his old players across town.

Randolph was a surprise guest for the Yankees' scheduled Old-Timers' Day festivities on Saturday at Yankee Stadium, slipping back into his No. 30 jersey in one of his first public appearances since he was dismissed by the Mets in the early morning hours of June 18.
Posted by: Patrick
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I thought that it would be interesting to start a monthly feature, here at YanksBlog.com, showing the top 10 keywords or phrases that visitors have used to find this site through search engines, for the previous month. For the month of July:

1. Yankees Blog
2. YanksBlog
3. Bobby Murcer
4. Yankee Blog
5. YanksBlog.com
6. Yankee Blogs
7. Jason Giambi Moustache
8. Yankees Blogs
9. Jason Giambi Mustache
10. Jason Giambi's Mustache
10. Yanks Blog
Posted by: Patrick
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The never ending saga of Chris Britton continues as he has been optioned to Scranton to make room for Brian Bruney, who is off the DL.
Posted by: Patrick
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The starting pitchers for this game were Ervin Santana and Sidney Ponson. Most people were probably thinking "mismatch." But, in surprise fashion, Ponson matched Santana pretty closely in what was a total pitcher's duel. Santana threw 8 innings, allowing no runs on 5 hits and 2 walks while strikin out 8. Ponson went 7, also allowing no runs, but on 2 hits and 4 walks while striking out just 1.

Damaso Marte pitched a scoreless eighth for the Yankees and the game was tied at zero going into the ninth inning.

Girardi turned to Mariano, who immediately found himself in trouble, by walking Mark Teixeira. This was followed by a Vladimir Guerrero single, moving Reggie Willits (who had pinch run for Teixeira) to third. Torii Hunter added another single, scoring Willits. Without making a single out, the Angels now had the lead with runners on first and second and no outs.

Garret Anderson was up next and made the first out, on a strikeout. Howie Kendrick then grounded into a double play to end the inning. But, the damage was done and Mo's odd numbers in non-save situations continue.

Facing Francisco Rodriguez, the Yankees 4-5-6 hitters (A-Rod, Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano) went down in order. Angels win, 1-0.

There were no extra base hits in this game on either side and Derek Jeter was the only player to collect 2 hits. The other Yankee hits were provided by Johnny Damon, Bobby Abreu and Wilson Betemit.

Mike Mussina (13-7, 3.56) will go against Jered Weaver (9-8, 4.11) today at 3:55 PM ET.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner reports that the Yankees have signed Victor Zambrano to a minor league deal.
Posted by: Patrick
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Willie Bans of MLB.com reports that Edwar Ramirez has been suspended three games for the pitch he threw to Kevin Millar on Wednesday. He will also be fined. Ramirez plans to appeal, claiming, "I didn't do anything."
Posted by: Patrick
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Nearly a couple of weeks ago, we reported on the list of former Yankees that would be present on Old-Timers Day on August 2. Peter Abraham provides a new press release revealing a number of new names that have been added to the bill.

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