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Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees failed to capitalize on a late inning comeback but a walk-off hit by Jhonny Peralta allowed the Indians to add a game in their win column as the Yankees fell by a score of 5–4 in the third game of this four-game series. The Yankees failed to get to the .600 mark for the first time since they were 9–6 on April 22 and had their lead in the A.L. East cut to a half game after the Red Sox beat the Blue Jays this afternoon in Toronto.

Phil Hughes threw two hitless innings to start the game, but he labored a bit after that, finishing with a line of four runs on five hits in five innings of work. Chien-Ming Wang came into the game to relieve Hughes and didn't allow a run in three innings. Wang has now pitched seven straight scoreless innings and has gotten his E.R.A. down to 16.07.

The Yankees didn't get anything going offensively until the 6th inning, when Mark Teixeria hit a two-run homer to make it 4–2 Indians. Teixeira returned for an encore in the 8th, lining a two-run double off the wall to tie the game at 4.

In the 9th, the Yankees were poised to take the lead with runners on first and third with just one out, but Brett Gardner decided not to attempt to steal second despite being given the sign (he says he just didn't get a good enough jump) and Jorge Posada grounded into a double play to end the Yankees' half of the inning.

The bullpen gave the game away in the bottom of the ninth. Phil Coke walked Trevor Crowe to lead off the inning, who was promptly moved over to second with a sacrifice bunt. After David Robertson entered the game to relieve Coke and walked Ben Francisco, Jhonny Peralta lined a base hit down the left field line that scored Crowe and ended the game.

The Yankees finished the month of May with a 17–11 record (.607). They'll begin their June schedule tomorrow by finalizing their four-game series with the Indians before coming home for a series with the Rangers. Joba Chamberlain will take the mound for the Yanks and will face the Indians and Jeremy Sowers. Game starts at 7:05 and will be on ESPN for those of you outside of the NY market.

Recap records: Patrick: 14–7, Seamus: 11–10, Andrew: 4–4.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham writes about the chemistry of the Yankees in a pair of fun articles on his blog. Read them in full for all of the details, but here's a nugget:

Nick Swisher purchased a toy laser gun in Detroit at a gas station — “A gas station in Detroit? What a surprise it was him,” Derek Jeter said — and has spent the last few weeks playing with it. That is when Joba Chamberlain and A.J. Burnett aren’t playing with it.

Ha.
Posted by: Patrick
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George A. King III reports that Johnny Damon was hurting during last night's win against the Indians. He's got a leg gash and bruise, following his on field collision with a wall in Texas on Wednesday.

In the same article, he also notes that Minor League pitcher Jason Johnson collapsed in Tampa on Saturday during extended spring work, due to diabetes. He was diagnosed with retinal cancer in February. He'll be in our thoughts.
Posted by: Andrew
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CC Sabathia took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before attempting to barehand a comebacker. He gave up two runs in that inning, but at that point, the Yankees had a 7-0 lead and were well on their way to a 10-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians Saturday night.

The Yankees hit two solo home runs in the second inning to get on the board first. Jorge Posada hit his to right, while Nick Swisher hit one to straightaway center. Posada's home run was his first since May 2 (he was activated from the disabled list last night) and Swisher homered for the first time in nine game.

They would go on to score five more runs in the top of the fourth inning, thanks to two Indians' errors. Hideki Matsui hit a one-out double and Swisher followed with a walk. Brett Gardner then hit a groundball to first baseman Ryan Garko who proceeded to throw wide of second base, allowing all runners to be safe.

Derek Jeter then hit a two-run single and Johnny Damon also had a run-scoring single (Jeter advanced to third when right fielder Shin-Soo Choo bobbled the ball). Later, with two outs and the bases loaded, Robinson Cano drove in two runs with a single, but Alex Rodriguez, who walked, was out trying to get to third.

The two runs Sabathia gave up in the bottom of the fifth made the game 7-2. The Yankees would get one run back in the next half-inning after Damon's groundout scored a run. However, Sabathia followed by allowing a long solo home run to Grady Sizemore to lead off the bottom of the sixth.

Sabathia didn't look the same after trying to barehand the ball in the fifth inning. John Flaherty pointed out on the television broadcast that Sabathia perhaps was struggling pitching out of the stretch, as he only allowed one baserunner prior to that fateful comebacker. Nevertheless, the big lefty gave the Yankees seven innings on 113 pitches, striking out eight, walking three and allowing five hits.

The Yankees scored two more runs in the ninth to widen their lead to seven. Cano had an RBI single and Matsui had an RBI double. Cano drove in three runs on the day, while Matsui had three hits. Jeter and Damon also had two hits apiece.

Those two runs would actually turn out to be rather important, as Jose Veras had a typical meltdown in the bottom of the ninth inning. Choo homered and Ben Francisco hit an RBI double.

The Yankees had an errorless game for the 16th straight game, extending the franchise record. They are also now nine game over .500, which is their highest mark of the season. With Boston's loss, the Yankees have a 1.5-game lead in the American League East.

Phil Hughes and Carl Pavano will oppose each other on the mound tomorrow afternoon starting at 12:40.

Recap records: Patrick: 14–7, Seamus: 11–9, Andrew: 4–4.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andy Pettitte left last night's game against the Indians with stiffness in his back. But, he is expected to make his next start, according to Newsday and Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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One point that I neglected to mention in the recap of last night's game is that it marked the 58th time that Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera have combined for a Pettitte win and Rivera save in the same game. They passed the mark of 57 held by Bob Welch and Dennis Eckersley.

After the game, they spoke with MLB.com's Bryan Hoch about the milestone.

"It means we are old," Rivera said. "We've been playing together for a long time, that's what it means. It's great. I think nobody deserves that more than Andy. He's been a big guy for us, and I'm glad that I just follow and try to do my job." ...

"It's awesome. He's awesome," Pettitte said. "What can you say? I feel honored to have been able to play with him for as long as I have. He's a tremendous person and a tremendous baseball player."

Check out the full article for more.

It's been a pleasure to watch Andy and Mo all these years.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andy Pettitte went up against Indians ace Cliff Lee on Friday night and the pitching was pretty much as good as advertised. There was only one extra base hit in the entire game (a double, by Jorge Posada, who collected 2 hits in his first game since May 4).

The Yankees did well against Lee, getting on him early with a 2 spot in the second. Derek Jeter singled in Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira grounded out to bring in Brett Gardner. Swisher again played a role in the third, when he hit a sacrifice fly that allowed Robinson Cano to score.

Those three runs were all they would score off of Lee in six innings of work. But, considering that he entered the game with a 3.04 ERA, that is pretty good. They had 9 hits and 2 walks off of him.

Pettitte was great through five, holding the Indians scoreless on 5 hits and 4 walks. He allowed a single and a walk to start the 6th and was removed for Alfredo Aceves, who allowed just one run to score in that inning. Pettitte was dealing with stiffness in his lower back, according to Peter Abraham.

Aceves pitched great, allowing just 1 hit in 3 innings of work. Meanwhile, the Yankees offense was stymied by Matt Herges (2 innings) and Rafael Perez (1 inning). And so, the game went to the bottom of the 9th with the Yankees holding a 3-1 lead.

Mariano entered the game and, after allowing a single to pinch hitting Shin-Soo Choo, struck out Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore and got Victor Martinez to ground out to end the game.

In addition to Posada, Jeter was the only other Yankee to have 2 hits. But, everyone in the lineup except for Matsui collected at least one.

Tomorrow, CC Sabathia (4-3, 3.42) will pitch in Cleveland for the first time as a New York Yankee. He will go against Fausto Carmona (2-4, 6.42).

Recap records: Patrick: 14–7, Seamus: 11–9, Andrew: 3–4.
Posted by: Patrick
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To make room for the returning Jorge Posada, Kevin Cash has been optioned down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, reports MLB.com's Bryan Hoch. Cash has hit .231 in 10 games this season for the Major League Yankees.
Posted by: Patrick
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On Michael Kay's show on 1050 ESPN Radio today yesterday, Andrew Marchand reported that the Yankees had instructed Chien-Ming Wang to resist his usual leg work this offseason, as he recovered from his lisfranc injury. This comes from Brian Cashman, who has called the move a mistake in hindsight.

For what it's worth, Wang is unhappy with how the Yankees are using him right now. Brian Cashman apparently told Marchand that Wang's contract says "baseball player, not starting pitcher." That's correct, though I don't know how necessary it was to put it in those terms. At any rate, hopefully Wang has turned a corner and we'll see him back to his old self soon.

Via Mike Axisa via The Artist.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner of the Times has a feature on Phil Coke. Worth a read if you're interested in learning more about the reliever.

Via Mike Ashmore.
Posted by: Patrick
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From ESPN's Buster Olney:

Imagine DeRosa as a big hunk of tuna, bait on a hook. One of the looming shadows circling below is that of the New York Yankees, who are weighing options and haven't decided whether to take a shot at the versatile veteran.

DeRosa, 34, is hitting .266 with a .333 OBA and .446 SLG so far this season. His career line is .278/.347/.423. He's a versatile defender, who has spent substantial amounts of time at short, second, third and right field and has seen time in left field and at first, as well.

Joseph Pawlikowski at River Ave. Blues analyzes DeRosa's potential and is right when he says that it's all about what the Yankees would have to give up. DeRosa could be a nice addition, certainly, but if it costs a prospect of note to acquire what may very well amount to a rental (DeRosa becomes a free agent after this season), it's going to be difficult to pull the trigger.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that both Jorge Posada and Melky Cabrera will be back with the team on Friday. As previously reported, Melky will be out for 5-7 days.
Posted by: Patrick
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On June 1 at The Pierre, Joe Girardi will be given the Community Leadership Award by the New York City chapter of the Alzheimer's Association at their annual "Forget-Me-Not" gala.

David Cone will accept the honor for Girardi, whose father has the disease, while actor David Hyde Pierce will emcee. They'll be holding a silent auction which includes, among other things, a meet and greet with Joe Girardi, Yankees tickets and autographs. It's a black tie event and you can find out more on their website.

Below, check out the public service announcement that the Yankees recorded for the organization. It features Girardi, Mark Teixeira, Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Andy Pettitte, CC Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, Alex Rodriguez, Nick Swisher, A.J. Burnett, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera.

Posted by: Patrick
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It hasn't yet been announced by the Yankees, but Chad Jennings reports that the Somerset Patriots, a team in the independent Atlantic League, say that the Yankees have signed Paul Bush, one of their relievers. Bush has a 1.62 ERA in 16.2 innings, to go along with 22 strikeouts.
Posted by: Seamus
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Just about everything clicked tonight for the second time in three nights and the Yankees beat the Rangers by a score of 9–2 to take the rubber game in a three-game set against the first place Rangers. The win, coupled with a loss by Boston puts the Yankees in a first place tie with the Red Sox and ironically also puts them just a half game behind Texas for the best record in the American League.

It was another big night for the Yankee lineup, as they just poured it on the young Derek Holland as well as the Ranger bullpen. Derek Jeter went 3-3, Hideki Matsui hit two home runs, and MarK Teixeira and Robinson Cano each homered as well in the Yankees' 9-run, 15-hit effort. Every Yankee starter had a hit in the game with the exception of Johnny Damon, who was 0-5. Jeter's three hits extended his hitting streak to 11 games, Teixeira pulled to within one home run of Carlos Pena for the A.L. home run lead, and Cano's two hits brought his average back up to .320.

A.J. Burnett pitched his best game since April 14, which had been his last victory and also a game where he took a no-hitter into the 7th. There was no such drama this time around, but Burnett did allow only three hits in six shutout innings. The only offense Texas got was a two-run homer by Ian Kinsler off of Jose Veras, who continues to struggle.

Another sight for sore eyed Yankee fans occurred in the final two innings of the game, when Chien-Ming Wang came in and pitched two scoreless, hitless, walkless innings. Wang struck out two batters and got his E.R.A. down to a miniscule 20.45.

The Yankees have altered wins and losses everyday since that Friday night loss against the Phillies that ended their 9-game win streak, but the Yankees did dominate this series in Texas. The Yanks outhit their opponents by a whopping 47–18 margin and outscored them 23–10. Leaving 12 men on base on Tuesday night was the difference between a sweep and winning two out of three.

The Yankees will have the day off tomorrow before heading into Cleveland for a four-game series with the Indians. The pitching matchup for Friday night should be a good one, as Andy Pettitte will take the mound to face reigning Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee and the Tribe. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–7, Seamus: 11–9, Andrew: 3–4
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has some updates on the injury front.

Following last night's injury, Melky Cabrera had an MRI and has an appointment with the team doctor tomorrow in New York. Right now, he is looking at missing 5-7 days. It it goes longer, Abraham says the team will DL him and most likely call up an infielder. Ramiro Pena has been seen taking some outfield drills, as well.

Brian Bruney has his appointment with Dr. James Andrews and he checked out OK - apparently his pain is due to a muscle strain. He'll be resting and Abraham says he'll most likely miss at least 2-3 weeks.

FInally, Jorge Posada will be back on Friday, barring any strangeness.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tuesday night's game, originally slated for 8:05 PM ET, did not get started until around 10:30 thanks to rain. When it finally did get started, Joba Chamberlain didn't get off to a great start, ballooning his pitch count to 84 in just four innings. He was removed after that, having allowed 3 earned runs on 4 hits and 4 walks, while striking out 5.

The Yankees first run of the game would come in the fifth, when Mark Teixeira took a ball deep to right for a solo home run. They would tie the game up in the sixth, as doubles by Hideki Matsui and Francisco Cervelli would score Brett Gardner and Matsui, respectively.

Unfortunately, the Rangers would regain the lead right away, as Aceves allowed a two out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth. To start the seventh, he allowed a single and a double, putting runners on second and third with no outs. That would be the end of his day as Phil Coke would enter.

Coke didn't allow a hit... and yet two runs still scored. First, a ground out brought around one runner and then, after an intentional walk to put runners on the corners, a sac fly brought in a second.

The Rangers would add one more off of Coke with a solo home run to start the eighth, bringing Dave Robertson into the game. Robertson retired the three batters he faced and the Yankees went down fairly quietly in the ninth, pushing the game to a close with the Rangers winning, 7-3.

Physically, Joba felt great, which is good news. But, there was bad news as well - in the first inning, going back on a fly ball, Melky collided awkwardly with the outfield wall, straining his right shoulder (video).

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that he underwent a fluoro exam, which came back negative and he will have an MRI today. The center fielder feels like it'll be a couple of days.

Brett Gardner replaced Melky and didn't waste the opportunity, leading the Yankees with three hits and scoring a run. Derek Jeter, Robinson Cano and Hideki Matsui all had two hits.

The Yankees and Rangers will play today at 8:05 PM ET as A.J. Burnett (2-2, 5.28) will go against Derek Holland (1-1, 4.82).

Recap records: Patrick: 13–7, Seamus: 10–9, Andrew: 3–4.
Posted by: Patrick
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Down at Class-A affiliate Charleston on Tuesday, Yankees prospect and RiverDogs starter Andrew Brackman had a bit of a strange line. Brackman faced 19 batters over 3 and 1/3 innings, walking 10 and throwing 5 wild pitches. Yet, despite that, he only allowed 1 hit and 3 earned runs and the RiverDogs beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods, 9-4.

Brackman was aided by a pair of double plays and left the bases loaded in the fourth, when Casey Erickson relieved him with one out. Erickson, who would be credited with the win, got out of the jam without allowing a run.

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
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Joe Girardi told MLB.com's Bryan Hoch yesterday that Jorge Posada could realistically be back in four or five days, following his extended spring action. The Yankees may continue to carry three catchers.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham shares this from the AP:

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada played three innings of defense during a simulated game Tuesday in Tampa.

Sidelined since straining his right hamstring while sliding in a game against Boston May 4, also batted in the simulated game. The five-time AL All-Star threw to second from behind the plate and ran the bases after the game.

Outfielder Xavier Nady (right elbow ligament) and infielder Cody Ransom (right quadriceps) also batted.
Posted by: Seamus
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Phil Hughes put together his best start of the season, if not his career, and the Yankee lineup put on a clinic this afternoon in Texas as the Yankees defeated the Rangers by a score of 11–1. The win put the Yankees in the lead for the American League wild card (yeah, it's a bit early) and also kept them within one game of Boston for the A.L. East lead.

Phil Hughes was on all afternoon, allowing just three hits and striking out six in eight shutout innings. The only real trouble for Hughes came in the second inning, when he put the first two batters on base, but was able to get out of it by striking out three straight hitters. Hughes allowed a player to reach third base only twice in the game.

The Yankees' offense had a pretty easy time against the Rangers pitching staff, as well. The Bombers went ahead with two in the first inning and another four in the third, and never looked back. The Yankees' eventual 11-run performance was highlighted by a 5-5 day for Alex Rodriguez, who raised his batting average 70 points. Kevin Cash had three hits, and Johnny Damon, Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano all had multi-hit games as well.

Alfredo Aceves entered the game in the 9th to finish things out, and allowed a solo home run to Nelson Cruz, but that would be all the offense the Rangers would get.

The Yankees will try to repeat their performance tomorrow night, as Joba Chamberlain will take the mound to face the Texas lineup. The Yankees will be up against Kevin Millwood, who is actually off to a pretty decent start (4–4, 3.12 E.R.A., 1.15 WHIP). Game starts at 8:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–6, Seamus: 10–9, Andrew: 3–4
Posted by: Patrick
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Newsday reports that Brian Bruney is back on the DL. The Yankees aren't guessing how long it'll take for him to get right. But, David Robertson has been called up to fill his slot.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli has an update on Brian Bruney, Joba Chamberlain and Chien-Ming Wang.

Bruney is in rough shape. He played catch today and his right elbow was still hurting him. Both an MRI and an arthogram showed no structural damage. He says that the more he throws, the less it hurts.

Girardi indicated that Bruney could be headed to the DL, but was waiting to see the pitcher throw and for Dave Eiland to weigh in. Bruney expects to pitch on Monday, pain or no pain.

Chamberlain threw a good bullpen session on Sunday and appears good to go on Tuesday.

Finally, Wang will stay in the pen for now and will be waiting in the wings should anything change with Joba.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees came ever so close to recording their 5th walk-off victory in their 10-game homestand, but a double off the bat of Carlos Ruiz doomed the Yanks as the Phillies took the rubber game of this three-game set by a score of 4–3. Despite losing the series the Yankees still finish their homestand at 8–2. A win by the Red Sox over the Mets put the Yankees a game behind Boston for the division lead (Toronto lost again and is now in 2nd).

CC Sabathia could have been a little better but he could have been a lot worse as well. While he did allow 3 runs and 9 hits and only struck out 4, he did give the Yankees something that they've generally been lacking over the last couple years, which is an eight-inning performance. Pretty impressive how a guy can still go eight innings in this day and age without completely dominating the entire lineup throughout. Sabathia threw a total of 110 pitches in the game.

The Yankees trailed most of the way but were able to tie the game up in the 9th thanks to yet another clutch late-inning hit by Melky Cabrera, this time a single up the middle that scored Ramiro Pena from 2nd. That forced the game into extra innings, and the Yankees had runners on first and second with nobody out in the 10th, but failed to score after Mark Teixeira grounded into a double play and Ramiro Pena flew out to center.

The Phillies took the lead back in the 11th, this time for good, when Carlos Ruiz doubled down the left field line off of Brett Tomko to score Chase Utley from second to put Philadelphia up 4–3. That was how the score would stay and the Yankees were handed their third extra inning loss of the season.

The Yankees have to be heading out of the Bronx feeling pretty good about themselves, even after losing two of three to the defending champs, and will try to keep things going tomorrow afternoon, as they'll begin a three-game set with the Rangers in Texas. Phil Hughes and Matt Harrison will be the starting pitchers. Game starts at 2:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–6, Seamus: 9–9, Andrew: 3–4
Posted by: Patrick
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On MLB.com, Brittany Ghiroli writes that Xavier Nady, Jorge Posada, Cody Ransom and Jose Molina will all be headed down to Tampa on Sunday to behind rehab.

Joe Girardi believs that Nady could see action in an extended spring training game this week and so could Posada and Molina, if they're legs hold up. Ransom is farthest away.
Posted by: Andrew
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Another weekend, another Melky Cabrera walk-off hit.

For the majority of Saturday's game against the Phillies, the Yankees couldn't do anything offensively. Starter J.A. Happ gave up two earned runs over six innings, but left after throwing 75 pitches due to his pitch limit. After six innings, the Yankees were trailing 4-2.

Phillies middle relievers Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson pitched a scoreless inning apiece. That set up ninth-inning excitement against closer Brad Lidge.

Johnny Damon led off with a walk and took second on defensive indifference. Mark Teixeira struck out swinging and it looked like Alex Rodriguez would face a similar fate. However, he worked the count to 3-2. On the payoff pitch, he hit a fly ball to right-center that just cleared the wall to tie the game at 4. Lidge, who didn't a blow a save last year in 41 opportunities, has now blown three saves. He only gave up two home runs last year, compared to six already this year.

Following Rodriguez's heroics, Robinson Cano singled to center. With Cabrera batting, Cano stole second - only the second time he's stolen a base this season. It was rare to see Cano attempt a straight steal of a base, but it worked. Cabrera then singled to center to score Cano to win the game.

Andy Pettitte started for the Yankees and gave them seven innings. He gave up a solo home run to Raul Ibanez and a three-run home run to John Mayberry Jr. who was playing in his first game. In a humorous moment for fans, FOX broadcasters had cameras pointed on a man who they thought was former major leaguer John Mayberry Sr., the young Phillie's son. However, it was just a random fan and the real Mayberry Sr. was interviewed later.

Ibanez's home run was in the second inning and gave the Phillies a 1-0 lead. The Yankees responded in the bottom half of the frame when Nick Swisher hit an RBI groundout to score Cano. The Yankees fell behind 4-1 after Mayberry's home run in the fifth inning. They cut it to 4-2 with a Derek Jeter solo home run in the bottom of the sixth.

Jose Veras, who only faced one batter, was awarded the victory. He now has three wins, which is one more than A.J. Burnett has.

The Yankees are now 25-18. CC Sabathia and Cole Hamels each get the ball tomorrow afternoon in the rubber game.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–6, Seamus: 9–8, Andrew: 3–4.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Hale of the New York Post writes about Mariano Rivera Jr., the 16 year old son of the Yankees closer and an outfield and reliever for Iona Prep's junior varsity team. Hale talked with both his coach, Rich Salerno, and Mariano Rivera (the older one) about his ability and the challenge of playing the game with a father who has accomplished so much in it.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Puma at the Post reports that Brian Bruney is experiencing soreness in his elbow. This led him to have an MRI on Thursday, which came back clean. He also had an arthrogram and awaits those results.

"It's frustrating," Bruney told Puma. "I had tears in my eyes when I told Joe [Girardi] I had to get an MRI."

The right said that he could be at least a few days away from getting back on the mound and that he's hoping that the soreness can be addressed through the use of anti-inflammatory medication.
Posted by: Patrick
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As the lead off hitter of Friday night's Yankees/Phillies match up, Jimmy Rollins hit a home run to deep right off of A.J. Burnett. That pretty much set the tone for the evening and the Phillies would never surrender a lead as they beat the Yankees, 7-3.

After that initial run, the Phillies added 2 more in the second and 2 more in the fifth. The returning Chien-Ming Wang came in to start the seventh and he allowed 2 more runs over the final 3 innings. This allowed him to lower his season ERA from 34.50 to 25.00.

Phillies pitcher Brett Myers was in control, holding the Yankees scoreless through 6. A-Rod homered in the seventh, making it 5-1, Phillies. In the eighth, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira would both connect on solo home runs, as well.

And, yeah, in case you didn't notice, there were home runs. Of the 10 runs scored, 8 of them were on home runs - and there were 7 home runs in all. Though, Seamus watched the game and said all but the first one probably go out anywhere.

With the loss, the Yankees winning streak ends at 9.

Jeter, Teixeira and A-Rod all had 2 hits, but the Yankees only had 8 hits in all and walked a grand total of zero times.

The series picks back up tomorrow with Andy Pettitte (4-1, 4.18) going against J.A. Happ (2-0, 2.49) at 4:10 PM ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–6, Seamus: 9–8, Andrew: 2–4.
Posted by: Patrick
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This is just idle speculation, but fun to talk about anyway, right? MLB Trade Rumors reports that, while on ESPN Radio, eter Gammons speculated that, if Joe Mauer becomes a free agent after the 2010 season, the Yankees and Red Sox will go to Mark Teixeira money or better to sign the catcher.

The Yankees gave Teixeira an 8 year, $180 million dollar contract this season.
Posted by: Seamus
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Updating a previous story, Chien-Ming Wang has been brought up in wake of the 8 and 1/3 inning effort the Yankees needed out of their bullpen last night. Wang could be used in the bullpen tonight as a long reliever if need be.

(via Sam Borden)

UPDATE: Jonathan Albaladejo is the odd man out, as he's been optioned to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre to make room for Wang on the roster.
Posted by: Patrick
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After the scare during last night's game, Joba Chamberlain told Josh Thomson of The Journal News that he is "100 percent confident" that he'll be able to make his next scheduled start on Tuesday.

Joe Girardi didn't commit to anything, saying that a decision would be made as the day neared.
Posted by: Patrick
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Let's get the bad news out of the way. Joba was knocked out of the game after getting two outs in the first. He was hit below the right knee by a line drive. The good news is that X-rays were taken and they came back negative, so it looks like it's just a bruise.

But, Alfredo Aceves (how good has he been?) stepped and was lights out, taking a first and third, two out jam, getting out of it and pitching 3 scoreless innings after that. Aceves picked up the victory, improving to 3-0 with a 1.32 ERA.

The Yankees offense took the pressure off of the pitching staff early, getting out to a 4-0 lead in the first inning. It was a trio of RBI doubles that brought the runs in. First, Robinson Cano doubled in Derek Jeter, then Mark Teixeira doubled home Cano. Finally, Melky continued his hot hitting with a two RBI double that brought around both Teixeira and Nick Swisher

Cano hit in the second spot and had a huge day, hitting a two run homer in the second inning and finishing 3 for 4 with 2 runs and 3 RBI.

Jonathan Albaladejo relieved Aceves to start the fifth and immediately surrendered the first run of the game on a Brian Roberts home run. In the sixth, he allowed two more runs to score. And in the seventh, he allowed another homer. That was it for the big righty as Jose Veras was called in and did the job, throwing a scoreless 1 and 2/3, giving way to The Honorable Mariano Rivera.

His Judgeship pitched a 1-2-3 inning, needing just 11 pitches to set down the 2, 3 and 4 hitters in the Orioles lineup.

Beside Cano's hot night, Matsui hit a solo home run and Teixiera also went 2 for 3, raising his average to .250. Before A-Rod's first game of the season on May 8, the first baseman was hitting .198. Quite the difference 11 games can make - he's gone 17 for 45 in that span with 3 doubles, 6 home runs, 11 runs and 17 RBI.

The Yankees win streak rolls on to 9 games as the team improves to 24-17 - just 1 and a half games back from the division leading Blue Jays.

The Yankees begin an interleague series on Friday at 7:05 PM ET as A.J. Burnett (2-1, 5.02) will face Brett Myers (3-2, 4.50) of the Phillies in the Bronx.

Recap records: Patrick: 13–5, Seamus: 9–8, Andrew: 2–4.
Posted by: Patrick
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Newsday reports that Chien-Ming Wang will make another start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre as he'll go on Friday. Phil Hughes will start Monday for the Bombers.
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One of the great things that I enjoy as a Yankees fan is the charitable sense of the organization that seems to be a direct reflection of George Steinbrenner. It's been well noted and documented, but despite what the exterior might imply, The Boss is a man who has helped countless people in ways we'll never know. Once in a while, some random person comes out of the woodwork and explains how he helped them in this situation or that situation. I'm sure this will continue.

It's in this spirit that I pass along this pair of stories. First, Jack Curry of the Times talks about Tommy Belsky, a 6 year old boy who, one year ago Tuesday, learned that his acute myeloid leukemia had gone into remission after chemotherapy treatment.

He played catch with Jeter and Cano. He fooled around with Swisher. He received catching advice from Posada and praise from Girardi. "This is beyond words," Tom Belsky, Tommy's father, told Curry. "This is a dream come true for a son and for a dad."

The very next day, the Yankees invited Polly Tompkins, a 38 year old schoolteacher who is fighting Stage 4 melanoma, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer, to be their honorary bat girl. Bryan Hoch has the story. I'll let Hoch describe it:

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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch and Tyler Kepner of the Times both report on the Yankees holding their first kangaroo court in 14 years.

Apparently, Xavier Nady has been collecting violations reported by Yankees players for the past two months and they finally pulled them out on Wednesday with players, coaches and staff on hand. Nady acted as the secretary and stenographer with the Honorable Mariano Rivera (how awesome is that?) presiding. Derek Jeter, A.J. Burnett and Johnny Damon served on the jury. Andy Pettitte turned down a spot on the panel, as he felt he wouldn't be funny enough.

Here are the violations that were highlighted in the articles:

Phil Coke was fined $30 for actions relating to the Joe Mauer home run he allowed on Friday. Apparently, Coke pointed to where the ball was going, implying that Brett Gardner would be able to reach it. But, the ball left the ballpark and Coke was making this gesture while he was also running to back up third base. A misjudgment that did not go unpunished. "You can get fined for pretty much anything," Coke says.

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George King at the Post reports that Wang made his scheduled throws on Tuesday, but that no decisions have been made as of yet.

Chad Jennings mentioned that Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre only has four starters right now and that the team is without a starter for their game next Monday - the day when Hughes' next start would need to be for him to remain on the same schedule he's on now.

This doesn't necessarily mean anything, but the possibility is there.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees got a decent start from Phil Hughes, a set of back-to-back-to-back home runs, and another late inning explosion en route to an 11–4 win over the Orioles. It was the 8th straight win for the Bombers as they now seem to be clicking on all cylinders.

Mark Teixeira put the Yankees ahead early with an RBI double in the first inning. The Yankees led off the second with three straight home runs to right field (Swisher, Cano, Cabrera) to extend the lead to 4–0. Robinson Cano made it 5–0 with a base hit in the third before a couple of home runs in for Baltimore in the next two innings closed the gap to 5–3.

Phil Hughes put in his second best effort of the season, allowing just the 3 runs on 6 hits in 5 innings, striking out 9. Hughes was taken out in favor of Alfredo Aceves to pitch the 6th inning despite throwing just 89 pitches, and did another solid job as he pitched two scoreless innnings.

The Yankees exploded again in the 8th, as they batted around for six runs, highlighted by run scoring hits by Cano, Melky, Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon and a sacrifice fly by Kevin Cash. Despite the 6-spot put up in the inning, Jeter's two-run double was the only extra-base hit in the inning.

The rest of the bullpen work was good, as Phil Coke retired two batters in the 8th and Mariano Rivera was brought in for a four-out save (the Orioles trailed by just two and had the tying run at the plate when he entered). Mo did surrender a solo home run in the 9th, but that would be the only hit he'd allow and he was able to record his 8th save of the season.

The Yankees will go for the sweep at 7:05 ET tomorrow night and will send Joba Chamberlain to the mound to face Adam Eaton and the Orioles.

Recap records: Patrick: 12–5, Seamus: 9–8, Andrew: 2–4
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For the May 25 issue of Sporting News, the publication put together a panel of 100 former players and baseball personalities to rank the fifty greatest players in the game today (the full list of the panelists is below). This should be taken as the greatest players right now, not necessarily for the next 10 years.

The issue will feature Yogi Berra talking about Derek Jeter and Whitney Ford on Mariano Rivera. The Mets had the most players on the list with 6, followed by the Yankees at 5.

Here's the list:

1. Albert Pujols, Cardinals
2. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees
3. Johan Santana, Mets
4. Manny Ramirez, Dodgers
5. Hanley Ramirez, Marlins
6. Chase Utley, Phillies
7. Roy Halladay, Blue Jays
8. Derek Jeter, Yankees
9. Mariano Rivera, Yankees
10. Chipper Jones, Braves
11. Ryan Howard, Phillies
12. Grady Sizemore, Indians
13. David Wright, Mets
14. Justin Morneau, Twins
15. Jimmy Rollins, Phillies
16. Josh Beckett, Red Sox
17. Mark Teixeira, Yankees
18. Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox
19. Tim Lincecum, Giants
20. Evan Longoria, Rays
21. Lance Berkman, Astros
22. Jose Reyes, Mets
23. Carlos Beltran, Mets
24. Ian Kinsler, Rangers
25. Zack Greinke, Royals
26. Josh Hamilton, Rangers
27. Alfonso Soriano, Cubs
28. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
29. CC Sabathia, Yankees
30. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners
31. Brandon Webb, Diamondbacks
32. Ryan Braun, Brewers
33. Dan Haren, Diamondbacks
34. Francisco Rodriguez, Mets
35. Matt Holliday, A’s
36. Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox
37. Vladimir Guerrero, Angels
38. Jake Peavy, Padres
39. Joe Mauer, Twins
40. Carlos Quentin, White Sox
41. Jason Bay, Red Sox
42. Chad Billingsley, Dodgers
43. Cliff Lee, Indians
44. Torii Hunter, Angels
45. Victor Martinez, Indians
46. Roy Oswalt, Astros
47. Carlos Delgado, Mets
48. Carlos Zambrano, Cubs
49. Cole Hamels, Phillies
50. Brian McCann, Braves

» Read More

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CC Sabathia usually doesn't require much run support, but the Yankees gave it to him tonight, allowing him to retire after seven innings, earning his fourth win en route to a 9-1 Yankees victory over Baltimore on Tuesday night.

Both teams scored in the first inning. The Orioles Aubrey Huff had an RBI ground out to put the Orioles up 1-0. But, the Yankees came right back with an A-Rod two run homer, scoring Johnny Damon, to grab a 2-1 lead. But, then the bats fell silent as CC and the O's Brad Bergesen threw down from that point forward.

CC allowed just one hit after the first inning, including five 1-2-3 innings. And Bergesen matched him from the second to the sixth, allowing just one hit and his own and throwing four 1-2-3 innings. However, the bottom of the seventh is where it all fell to pieces for Baltimore.

After Hideki Matsui grounded out to lead off, Bergesen walked Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano. Chris Ray entered to try to stop the threat, but he only made it worse. After a Melky Cabrera single loaded the bases, Francisco Cervelli reached on a fielder's choice, driving in Swisher.

Derek Jeter busted it open with a two RBI double that scored three runs thanks to a throwing error that allowed Cervelli to score. Jeter moved to third on a passed ball and Damon drove him home. Finally, Teixeira cleared the bases with a two run blast. When the dust had settled, it was 9-1 Yankees.

And that is where it would end, after Brian Bruney and Brett Tomko each pitched scoreless 1-2-3 innings of their own. That's seven 1-2-3 innings in all for the Yankees staff on the evening as the team threw a combined 3 hitter with 1 walk and 8 strikeouts. Very nice.

Phil Hughes (1-2, 7.56) will go against Jeremy Guthrie (3-3, 5.31) tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 12–5, Seamus: 8–8, Andrew: 2–4.
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The RiverAveBlues Twitter account mentioned that Edwar Ramirez has been sent down to Triple-A Scranton to make room for the return of Brian Bruney.
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Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports that Brian Bruney will be activated today. He last appeared on April 21. When it comes to making room for Bruney, Sam Borden says that, of pitchers on the roster now, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez and Alfredo Aceves are the only ones with options allowing them to be sent down to the Minors.

As Hoch and Ron Blum of the AP point out, Bruney had an interesting excuse for the injury, which was the 8 and 1/2 minute video review delay that affirmed a Jorge Posada home run on April 19. Bruney continued to throw during the entire period.

"Major League Baseball needs a way to figure out if it's a home run or not," Bruney said Monday. "It shouldn't take 8 1/2 minutes, and I think that's what screwed me up." ...

"I don't know what the 8 1/2 minutes was all about," he said. "I don't know if like somebody was on lunch break or what." ...

"I could have quit throwing, I could have waited and started again," he said. "I don't know if he's coming out in 30 seconds or 3 minutes or 8 1/2 minutes. It turned out to be the latter. I mean, that's a long time for a reliever to be throwing or any pitcher to be throwing."

I'll agree with Steve Lombardi of WasWatching.com on this one. This is a pretty bad excuse. In baseball, these sorts of varied delays can come up. There could be a disputed call, managers arguing, drama from hit batters, a fan running onto the field, an injury, whatever. Just try to condition yourself better next time, if that was actually the reason.

Hoch also reports that Chien-Ming Wang has a bullpen session today at Yankee Stadium and how he performs will determine the next start in his rehab.

Finally, Borden notes that Brett Gardner is day-to-day with a right shoulder contusion, following his collision at home plate with Twins' catcher Joe Mauer on Sunday.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees got their first legitimate series sweep of the season (they did take two from the A's, but a game was rained out) as they put down the Twins for the fourth straight game, this time winning by a score of 7–6. The Yanks have now won six in a row and five straight by one run. The victory keeps the Yankees within 4.5 games of division-leading Toronto.

Mark Texeira homered from both sides of the plate, and is now 11 for his last 24 (.458) over his last six games. Alex Rodriguez homered for the third straight game and Melky Cabrera had two hits as did Robinson Cano, who got his average back over the .300 mark.

Andy Pettitte allowed 12 hits in 6 and 2/3, but was able to hold the Twins to just four runs and kept his team in the game. The bullpen had a few hiccups (2 runs in 2 and 1/3), but Phil Coke was finally able to retire the Twins in the 9th after allowing a run in the inning.

Man, this is probably going to be a rough flight out of the Bronx for the Twins. I don't know what can be more demoralizing than going into Yankee Stadium for a four-game series and losing all four by one run, three of them on walk-off hits.

The Yankees will welcome the Baltimore Orioles into the new ballpark for the first time tomorrow night. CC Sabathia will look to dominate the Birds again and he'll be faced by Brad Bergesen. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 11–5, Seamus: 8–8, Andrew: 2–4

EDIT: I should note that I made a bit of an oops earlier. I had said that the Yanks won all four games by one run, but in fact A-Rod's walk-off homer was a two-run shot so they won Saturday's game by a score of 6–4.
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Steven Jackson, designated for assignment on May 8, has been claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. Jackson had been throwing well this season, as he had held a 1.88 ERA in 7 games at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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On MLB.com, Keith Olbermann shares a story told to him by Vin Scully.

"When the Yankees let Mel Allen go in 1964, I got a phone call from the man who they had brought in to run their broadcasting operation, Craig Smith," Vin began. "He had been in charge of the World Series broadcasts forever, so I'd known him about 10 years by then. And he asked me if I'd like to come home to New York and become the lead announcer. He offered a very handsome salary, and a long contract.
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Chien-Ming Wang made his scheduled start today at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre reports John Parker at MLB.com.

While no one would mistake it for pitching against Major Leaguers, Wang did face the Columbus Clippers, who are leading the International League with an average of .285 and featured a lineup including Travis Hafner, Andy Marte and Tony Graffanino. He only threw 75 pitches and retired 12 batters on ground ball outs. He threw an additional 25 pitches in the bullpen after he had been removed.

Brian Bruney also saw action today, in the second game of a double header, pitching the first inning and allowing one run on two hits. His fastball reached 94 mph.

After wards, Brian Cashman spoke to Chad Jennings on both pitchers. On Wang:

“Performance-wise he was terrific," Cashman said. "This was a much better hitting club. Columbus is a much better offensive club than the team he was facing last time, but his stuff was better last time, to be honest, although he performed great in both outings. He didn’t have the slider that he had last time. His changeup was better today than last time. His fastball velocity was a little bit lower this time than it was last time. At the same time, he handled the lineup and got a lot of groundballs. Facing guys like Hafner kind of tells you a little something you want to know. I think he had some groundouts and that broken-bat single to center. I know Hafner is on a rehab assignment and he’s a guy who can really do some damage if you’re making mistakes, not making some pitches, and (Wang) made his pitches. That tells you a lot.”

On Bruney:

“He looked healthy, which is the biggest thing for him," Cashman said. "Unlike Wang, he’s coming off of an elbow injury, so you want to see health. And I saw health."

It is unclear what the next step will be for both players, but it's thought that Bruney could be back on Tuesday and that Wang's next start on May 17 could be in the Majors.
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One of the biggest revelations to come out of the Selena Roberts book on A-Rod was that the third baseman had tipped opponents has to what pitch was coming in games that were out of reach for one side. Those around the game commented and Major League Baseball is investigating, reportedly.

However, in combining Tom Tango's Leverage Index stat with data collected by Sean Forman of Baseball-Reference.com, Dan Rosenheck of the Times reports that the numbers don't support these events. In summary:

If a tipping conspiracy were in place, one would expect that Rodriguez and rival middle infielders in games he played to have hit better in low-leverage situations than in high-leverage ones. Using a fairly loose definition of high leverage as a L.I. above 1.5 and low leverage as below 0.7, the data provide a resounding answer: either no tipping was going on or it was pathetically ineffective.

There is more to look at, so check out the article. And, of course, this doesn't mean that Rodriguez didn't engage in pitch tipping. Even if you know what's coming, that's no guarantee you'll actually hit it, let alone reach base. But, the numbers are interesting to ponder.

Via Joe Pawlikowski of River Ave. Blues.
Posted by: Seamus
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A.J. Burnett put in a solid performance and another Yankee, this time Johnny Damon, came up big in extra innings as the Yankees defeated the Twins by a score of 3–2. Johnny Damon's home run in the bottom of the 10th gave the Yanks their third straight walk-off win, the first time the team has done that since 1972.

A.J. Burnett and his Twins counterpart, Kevin Slowey, pretty much matched each other pitch for pitch through the first six innings, both not allowing a run before the 7th inning. The Twins did eventually get to Burnett though in the top of the 7th, as Matt Tolbert's single put the Twins ahead 1–0 and Minnesota got a second run in the inning when Nick Punto scored on a wild pitch by Burnett. A.J. finished the game with a respectable line of 2 runs on 6 hits in 6 and 2/3 innings while striking out 7.

The Yankees were able to bounce back in the bottom of the inning. A-Rod led the Yankees' half of the inning off with a solo home run, and the Yanks tied the game on a sac fly by Melky Cabrera that scored Hideki Matsui.

In the bottom of the 9th with the game still tied, Brett Gardner was brought in to pinch run for Nick Swisher at first base with nobody out, and promptly went on to waste his appearance in the game. While there was nothing wrong of course with the decision to pinch hit Gardner in the 9th, he ended up advancing to second on a bunt by Melky that would have gotten Swisher to second just as easily. Fair enough. On the next play, Francisco Cervelli hit a ball off the pitcher that came back towards Twins catcher Joe Mauer. Mauer pump faked a throw to first as Gardner came in rounding third, thinking he could possibly score from second on the groundout since Mauer was a good 20-30 feet in front of the plate. Mauer, whether it was instinctively or somebody motioned to him, turned around and was able to tag Gardner just in time to get the second out of the inning. The next batter, Cano, flied out to left and on we went to extra innings. I've heard some people say it was all instinct on Gardner's part, but your basic instinct as a major league ballplayer should be not to go home with less than two outs unless you're absolutely sure you can make it.

It turned out to be all moot anyway, as Johnny Damon put one into the seats in the bottom of the 10th to give the Yanks their 5th straight win. It was the Yankees' 3rd straight walk-off victory and the 5th straight game in which the Yankees won after trailing at some point.

The Yanks will go for the four-game sweep tomorrow night. The pitching matchup features a battle of lefties, as Andy Pettitte will take the mound against the Twins' Glen Perkins. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 11–5, Seamus: 7–8, Andrew: 2–4.
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The recently DFAed Eric Hacker has been sent to the Pirates for Romulo Sanchez. Sanchez, 25, is a reliever who has has seen 26 games in the Majors, going 1-0 with a 4.60 ERA.
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MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports that Brian Bruney is set to pitch in Triple-A on Sunday and he could return to the Major League squad on Tuesday. He last pitched on April 21.
Posted by: Andrew
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For the second straight day, the Yankees beat the Minnesota Twins in walk-off fashion. Today, Alex Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning to lead the Yankees to an 6-4 victory. It was his first home run in his second game at the new Yankee Stadium.

Joba Chamberlain started for the Yankees and had a successful first inning for once. However, the Twins got on the board in the second inning in somewhat unusual fashion. With runners on first and third with one out, Brian Buscher hit a fly ball to Brett Gardner in center. Michael Cuddyer, the runner at first was in motion and slid into second base. He had to retreat back to first base but failed to retouch second base. Derek Jeter noticed this and Cuddyer was called out on the appeal. However, the run scored and the Twins led 1-0.

Mark Teixiera gave the Yankees a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the third with a three-run home run with two outs. This was part of a larger 4-for-4, four RBI day for Teixeira. His batting average now stands at .238.

The Twins scored again in the top of the fourth when Joe Mauer hit a leadoff home run.

That would be all of the scoring until the eighth inning. Chamberlain left after six innings and 108 pitches. He gave up three hits, two earned runs and four walks while striking out six.

Phil Coke entered the game with one out in the top of the seventh trying to clean up Jose Veras' mess. With runners on second and third, he induced a pop out to second and a fly out to center to end the threat. However, Justin Morneau hit a solo home run in the next inning of the Yankees' lefty to tie the game at 3. After a two-out walk to Michael Cuddyer, Buscher doubled to right, scoring the runner when Melky Cabrera overthrew the cut-off man to give the Twins a 4-3 lead.

However, the Yankees, who have shown fight over the course of this four-game winning streak, didn't quit again. Hideki Matsui led off the bottom of the eighth with a pinch-hit double. Derek Jeter sacrificed pinch runner Ramiro Pena to third. After Johnny Damon failed to get the run home, Teixeira responded with a two-out single to right to tie the game.

Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth and 10th innings and the Yankees were unable to put anything together offensively. Alfredo Aceves pitched a perfect 11th inning, leading up to Rodriguez's heroics. Teixeira led off with a walk against left-handed Craig Breslow. Rodriguez followed with a home run over the left-field wall after broadcaster Michael Kay asked his analysts if he should bunt. So much for that.

The Yankees are now 19-17 and have won six of their last eight game. A.J. Burnett will look to keep the line moving tomorrow afternoon at 1:05.

Recap records: Patrick: 11–5, Seamus: 6–8, Andrew: 2–4.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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Phil Hughes took the mound on Friday night, facing off against Francisco Liriano of the Twins. Despite 6 walks, it was Liriano who had the better knight as he scattered those 6 walks, along with 4 hits, far enough apart for only one run to score in 6 innings of work. Phil went 5, allowing 3 earned runs on 6 hits and 4 walks, moving his season ERA to 7.56.

The lone run off of Liriano came thanks to a Derek Jeter solo home run. After Liriano was out, Brett Gardner picked up an inside the park home run, making it 4-2, in favor of the Twins, after seven innings.

The Yankees bullpen did a solid job, allowing just 1 earned run on 3 hits and 3 walks over the final four innings. Jonathan Albaladejo, Phil Coke, Brett Tomko, Edwar Ramirez and Jose Veras combined for the effort.

To start the ninth, the Yankees brought in close Joe Nathan to protect the two run lead. Coming into the game, the righty held a 1-0 record, 1.29 ERA and 0.79 WHIP with 6 saves (1 blown). He was in trouble, right away, thanks to a lead off triple off the bat of Gardner (who ended the day a double short of the cycle).

Mark Teixeira came through with a single that scored the center fielder, shrinking the deficit to one. A-Rod walked for the fourth time of the night to put runners at 1st and 2nd with no outs for Hideki Matsui.

Matsui struck out to make the first out and Nick Swisher grounded out to first, moving Teixeira to third and A-Rod to second. At this point, Ramiro Pena was brought in to run for A-Rod. The Twins elected to intentionally walk Robinson Cano to load the bases for Melky Cabrera.

Melky, who has had an exceptionally rough time with runners in scoring position this season, made them pay. His two RBI single would be a walk off, ending the game with the Yankees victorious and a game over .500. Yessir.

Gardner collected 3 hits on the day, going 3 for 3 with 2 runs and his homer. Teixiera and Melky both had two hits and their runs/RBIs in the ninth were their only ones of the game.

The series will pick back up tomorrow at 1:05 PM ET, when Joba Chamberlain (2-1, 3.89) will face Nick Blackburn (2-2, 4.32).

Recap records: Patrick: 11–5, Seamus: 6–8, Andrew: 1–4.
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David Williams of MarianoRivera.com (and formerly this blog) shares his recent and disappointing attempts to see Monument Park at both the old and new Yankee Stadium.

At the age of 51, I have been a Yankees fan for more than forty years. I was privileged to see the “old” Yankee Stadium before the refurbishing done in 1974 and 1975 when the Bombers called Shea Stadium home.

In 1976, the stadium reopened and a pennant came when Chris Chambliss took Mark Littel of the Royals deep to claim the AL crown for the Yankees. We got swept in the Fall Classic by the Big Red Machine, but as a fan it was almost anticlimactic. Being born in 1957, by the time I was able to appreciate baseball, the glory days of the Yankees had passed. I suffered through the lean years from 1965 to 1975 when guys like Horace Clarke, Lindy McDaniel and Ron Bloomberg were suppose to replace Berra, Mantle and Ford.

In 1977, when I was in college, we reclaimed the prize and all was right with my world thanks to Reggie and the characters who called the Bronx Zoo home. In 1978, we came from 14 and 1/2 games behind to catch the Red Sox and then beat them in a one game playoff at Fenway Park. I recall skipping my late afternoon class during my senior year of college to go home and watch the game with my Mom. Mom was a gloom and doomer and I told her to leave the room when the Bombers had fallen behind 2-0 to the Bosox. But then Bucky Dent hit the famous home run and we held on to secure a 5-4 victory.

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Tonight's match up between CC Sabathia and the Blue Jays' Brian Tallet was more of a pitchers duel than we were hoping for, but the Yankees came up with a couple of big runs late to bring the lefty to an even 3-3 record by the end of the game.

Tallet got off to a bit of a rough start, allowing a double to Johnny Damon and then walking Mark Teixeira,, Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher to walk a run in. But, Cano grounded out with the bases loaded, allowing him to escape with only the one run allowed.

CC, meanwhile, cruised through 3 and 1/3 innings until an Alex Rios solo shot tied the game up in the fourth. In the fifth, the Blue Jays grabbed the lead thanks to a Rod Barajas RBI double.

Tallet came out to start the seventh, but was taken out after allowing a walk and a single, to put runners on the corners with no outs. Jason Frasor came in to face Derek Jeter, who promptly singled, scoring Brett Gardner. Unfortunately, with runners on 1st and 2nd and no out, the trio of Damon, Teixeira and A-Rod came up completely empty.

Matsui would break the tie as the lead off hitter in the eighth, driving a solo homer to deep center.

After allowing runs in the fourth and fifth, Sabathia was back on his grind, allowing just one hit during the sixth, seventh and eighth innings. After 111 pitches, he gave way to Mariano Rivera to pitch the ninth. Mo needed exactly 11 pitches to set the Jays down in order, picking up save number 7 of the season and 489 of his career.

With the win, the Yankees moved back to .500 at 17-17. They begin a four game set back at the stadium tomorrow, with Phil Hughes (1-2, 8.49) facing Francisco Liriano (2-4, 5.75) at 7:05 PM ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 10–5, Seamus: 6–8, Andrew: 1–4.
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Down at Single-A Charleston, Yankees prospect Hector Noesi, a right handed starting pitcher has run up an impressive scoreless innings stream of 27 and 1/3 innings pitched, reports John Torenli on MLB.com.

He's spread those innings over 9 games, including 3 starts, in which he's 1-0 with 35 strikeouts, 3 walks and a WHIP of 0.52. That's a 11.27 strikeouts to walks ratio.

On Wednesday night, he threw a no hitter through 7 innings and was removed. After Casey Erickson pitched a 1-2-3 eighth, Pat Venditte gave up the first and only hit of the game - a solo home run - before completing the combined one hitter.
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There have been a lot of complaints over the last month or so about the fact that fans who did not have tickets for field level seats could not come down to the field level seats to watch batting practice (I personally haven't been able to get to a game early enough to see batting practice anyway). Today, the Yankees have seemingly changed their policy, as now all fans will be able to be able to watch BP from certain sections of the field level area.

Peter Abraham has the announcement from the Yankees' official site:

BATTING PRACTICE
Remember fans, on game days, arrive early. Yankee Stadium Gates on Babe Ruth Plaza and Gates 2 and 8, open three hours prior to the start of every home game. All fans are encouraged to arrive early to enjoy batting practice and infield workouts from select areas of the Field Level and the Bleachers; specifically, all fans may watch batting practice and infield workouts from Field Level Sections 103, 104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110, 111, 129, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134, 135 and 136 and from all Bleachers Sections. Please note, on certain game days the Yankees may elect not to take batting practice, infield workouts or both. Those fans who take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy batting practice and infield workouts from the Field Level and/or the Bleachers may remain until the players leave the field following the conclusion of the Yankees batting practice or 1 hour and 45 minutes after the Gates open. At that time, all fans will be asked to return their respective seats.

MLB.com's Bryan Hoch also has some details.

Also, while I'm on here, Andrew over at Scott Proctor's Arm linked to some startling photos of the old stadium's ongoing deconstruction.
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Brett Gardner's first career home run came in last night's 8-2 win over the Blue Jays. According to Tyler Kepner, when he got back to his locker, he found the supposed home run ball, inscribed as follows:

First career home run, solo shot off Sam Richmand for Brett Garder, 5-14-09

The name of the pitcher, hitter and the date were all wrong, as well as the fact that it was a two run home run, and not a solo shot. But, it also wasn't the actual ball, which was delivered to Gardner and inscribed correctly by team trainer Gene Monahan.

Apparently this is a pretty common prank in game and Gardner didn't buy it. "Supposed to be a joke," he said. "Not too funny, though."
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It had been hinted at, but Brian Cashman confirmed to Tyler Kepner of the Times that Chien-Ming Wang's next start will be at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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I think I'm going to put the over-under at September 1 for the next time we'll see Brett Gardner pick up 7 total bases in a game. But he was on tonight, as well as most of the Yankee lineup, and the Yankees cruised to an 8–2 victory in Toronto to pull them back to within 5.5 games of the Blue Jays in the A.L. East.

The Yankees blew the game open with five runs in the 2nd. Brett Gardner put the Yankees ahead 2–1 with his first major league home run, a ball that just cleared the wall a few feet left of the right field foul pole. Ramiro Pena and Johnny Damon both hit almost identical triples in the right-center field gap (Damon's drove in a run), and Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano added RBI hits in the inning, as well. A sac fly for Teixeira in the 4th, an RBI triple for Gardner in the 5th (I wonder when the last time the Yankees had 3 triples in a game was) and an RBI groundout by Francisco Cervelli, also in the 5th rounded out the offense's eight-run effort for the evening.

Andy Pettitte pitched 6 respectable innings, allowing just 2 runs on 5 hits as he picked up his third win of the season. The bullpen (Aceves and Albaladejo) combined for three scorless innings, although Jonathan Albaladejo did have to work himself out of some trouble in the ninth.

Good to see the lineup as a whole come alive for once. I'd imagine the baseballs had to look like basketballs to these guys after having to face Roy Halladay the night before. The Yankees will try to take the final game of this series tomorrow night at 7:07 ET and will send CC Sabathia to the mound to face Brian Tallet.

Recap records: Patrick: 9–5, Seamus: 6–8, Andrew: 1–4
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Yes, everyone is injured. Thank you for noticing.

After yesterday's solid rehab start, it appears likely the Yankees will give Chien-Ming Wang another one, according to Chad Jennings. Though Brian Cashman wouldn't commit completely one way or the other, it sounds like he'll be making at least one more rehab start.

Jeter was scratched before yesterday's game, but he hopes to play tonight. "I've pulled that muscle before and been on the disabled list two or three weeks," Jeter told Peter Abraham. "I'm trying to avoid that."

Matsui told Abraham that he could have stayed in last night's game, saying that it was not so much a hamstring problem as it was a cramp. He's good to go.

George A. King III of the Post reports that Phil Coke likely was unable to pitch yesterday due to a stiff back. Coke didn't want to talk about it, and hopefully it doesn't become an issue.

Finally, in the same article, King notes that Brian Bruney is scheduled to have a bullpen session today after playing catch on Monday.

If he looks good, the Yankees could add him right back to the Major League roster, according to Joe Girardi. But, if he's not sharp, the team could send him down to Minors for some rehab appearances.
Posted by: Patrick
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Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay took on his old battery mate, A.J. Burnett, on Tuesday night in Burnett's first start back in Toronto since leaving the franchise to join the Yankees.

Halladay took this one, needing just 103 pitches to set the Yankees down, throwing a complete game five hitter. He allowed just one run, which came on an A-Rod RBI single in the seventh. Beyond that, it was all goose eggs.

Burnett wasn't awful, but 5 earned runs over 7 and 2/3 wasn't going to get the job done today. He allowed 7 hits and walked 4. Jose Veras pitched the final out of the eighth.

Johnny Damon continued his hot hitting as the only Yankee to have 2 hits. A-Rod, Melky and Ramiro Pena had the other hits.

Andy Pettitte (2-1, 4.38) will go against Scott Richmond (4-1, 3.29) tomorrow at 7:07 PM ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 9–5, Seamus: 5–8, Andrew: 1–4.
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Earlier today, we reported that Derek Jeter had been pulled from today's lineup due to a pulled oblique. Bryan Hoch has more on this. Jeter says that he hopes to play tomorrow and Girardi says he's day to day.

Hideki Matsui was taken out of tonight's game (recap soon). According to Peter Abraham, it's a tight hamstring.

Finally, Chad Jennings blogged Chien-Ming Wang's rehab start at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. He goes in detail, so check that out, but Wang threw 6 innings, allowing 0 runs on 3 hits with 3 walks and 6 strikeouts. He threw 82 pitches, 49 of them for strikes.
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Sam Borden reports that Steiner Sports has begun selling memorabilia from the old Yankee Stadium on their website.

They have a section dedicated to the sale as well as areas where you can buy seats, grass and other artifacts and they have an auction area, as well.

A pair of seats will set you back $1,499.99, while a single seat will cost you $749.99. You can get specific seats, too, but tack on an extra $500 for them. You can also buy seats from the bleachers, which probably amount to short planks of wood. $399.99 for one or $699.99 for a pair.

For $50,000, it looks like you can own the sod that features the logo that was behind home plate. I'm curious as to how that gets delivered. Do the rights to Kei Igawa come with it?

If that's not in your budget, you can get a hunk of freeze dried grass for $80. A square foot of sod will cost you $120 and two square feet will cost you $280 (that math seems funny to me). You can buy sod from specific areas of the field, as well.

There is a whole host of artifacts available. Signs galore. "All Space Reserved on Game Day," "Caution: Slippery When Wet," and more. A selection of available items:

» Read More

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Ian Kennedy had his surgery today. The pitcher will need to wait 6-8 weeks before he's able to throw, reports Peter Abraham. Our thoughts are with him - here's to a speedy recovery.

Meanwhile, details are short, but Derek Jeter has a pulled oblique, says Abraham. He's been scratched from the lineup.
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ESPN reports on Roger Clemens' exclusive interview with "Mike & Mike in the Morning" today.

He maintained his innocence, declaring it "impossible" for his DNA to be linked to the materials that Brian McNamee supplied to the government because he says McNamee never injected him with the drugs alleged. He has provided a DNA sample and has not been summonded to appear in front of a federal grand jury.

He also spoke on the Daily News' new book, "American Icon: The Fall of Roger Clemens and the Rise of Steroids in America's Pastime." He called the excerpts he's read "completely false."

He has only talked with Andy Pettitte a few times following Pettitte's admission to using performance enhancing drugs, though he still considers him a friend.

"I know what your polls say," he said, referring to the general public perception of his guilt. "I've been getting great responses everywhere I've gone in the cities I've traveled to. All I can do is be me and give them the message I just told you about that steroids are bad for these kids. You don't want to have anything to do with them the way they tear your body down."

"But I can't defend a negative. When you've got somebody that's out there that is really just crawling up your back to make a buck, which is what this is, other than speaking out, what else can you do?"
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Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees plan to announce their plans to sell memorabilia from the old Yankee Stadium tomorrow. Seats, sod, dirt, bricks and more will be available.
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Xavier Nady is set to start hitting off of a tee on Friday. If all goes well, the right fielder feels that a rehab assignment could be in his future, as early as May 25.

Nady has been receiving platelet-rich plasma injections in an effort to get back quicker and avoid surgery.
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Peter Abraham reports that Chien-Ming Wang will start on Tuesday for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees.

He's got the OK to throw 100 pitches and could return to the Majors if he does well.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees have looked rather flat in this series in Baltimore, but were somehow able to take two out of three thanks to Friday's gem thrown by CC Sabathia and a three-run homer by Johnny Damon in the rubber match earlier this afternoon. The Yankees got a solid start from Joba Chamberlain, as well, and the Yankees got a key 5–3 victory before heading to Toronto for a big series with the first-place Blue Jays.

Joba Chamberlain was solid for the third straight time, this time delivering a start that was in a way similar to his start last Tuesday against Boston. After allowing a three-run homer to Aubrey Huff with one out in the 1st inning that put the Orioles on top 3–1, Joba settled down to pitch 5 and 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball. He did get himself into some trouble, but was able to get a big double play in the 3rd, and he got out of a 2nd and 3rd, one out jam in the 4th without any damage, as well.

Despite Chamberlain's effort, the Yankees trailed most of the way until Johnny Damon put a 3–2 pitch into the right field seats for a three-run homer to give the Yankees a two-run lead in the 8th. All five Yankee runs were scored via the long ball (Teixeira and Cano homered, as well). Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th to record his 6th save of the season.

The game was not without controversy, as Aubrey Huff made two vintage-Joba fist pumps while he was rounding the bases after his home run in the first. Huff for his part said that it was all in good fun and that he did it because Joba had done it twice before after striking him out. But in the 1st inning? Really? That is just way too rehearsed. Baseball can be good fun without that stuff.

The game also featured something in the 3rd inning that I don't believe I've ever seen before — a player being retired on a walk...sort of. Adam Jones was attempting to steal with a 3-ball count on a pitch that was eventually ruled ball four. Jones was of course automatically awarded 2nd base but, not seeing the pitch, made a bad slide on the steal attempt and overran the bag. Derek Jeter applied the tag as Jones was trying to get back, and he was called out.

The Yanks will get the day off tomorrow and then will head to the Rogers Centre in Toronto to take on the division-leading Blue Jays. The opening game features a very interesting pitching matchup, as A.J. Burnett will be taking on his former teammate Roy Halladay. Game starts at 7:07 ET (what's with all these weird start times?)

Recap records: Patrick: 9–4, Seamus: 5–8, Andrew: 1–4.
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Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees have signed former Major Leaguer Josh Towers to a Minor League deal, placing him on the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre roster.

Towers, 32, started 112 games from 2001 through 2007, appearing 137 times total. He holds a 45-55 record with a 4.96 ERA and 1.38 WHIP.
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that today's starter, Joba Chamberlain, burst a blood vessel in his right thumb during batting practice last night and may not be able to make his start.

So, what was Joba doing during BP, you ask? Girardi said that he was flipping a ball underhanded. That's an interesting way to get injured. Apparently it doesn't hurt, but it is black and blue.

He'll try to go, but if he can't, Alfredo Aceves will step in. And that's why Aceves wasn't used last night.
Posted by: Andrew
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After having a solid 2009 debut in Detroit, Phil Hughes struggled against the Red Sox and was absolutely dismal tonight against the Orioles. The right-hander allowed eight earned runs in 1 2/3 innings in the Yankees' 12-5 loss at Camden Yards.

Hughes gave up three straight singles to begin the bottom of the second. On the third single, right fielder Nick Swisher airmailed a throw home when Luke Scott had already stopped at third. He then was able to score and the other runners advanced. A hit batter loaded the bases with no outs, and it was all downhill from there. A sacrifice fly made it 2-0, a wild pitch added another run, Adam Jones hit an RBI double, and Aubrey Huff hit a three-run home run.

At 7-0, Hughes was still left in by Joe Girardi. After a fly out, single and walk, Hughes finally got the hook in favor of Edwar Ramirez, who wasn't much better. He gave up an RBI single to Zaun (run charged to Hughes) but finally induced a fielder's choice to end the eight-run frame. In addition to the eight runs Hughes allowed over 1 2/3 innings, he also walked two and allowed eight hits on 53 pitches.

Ramirez gave up a solo shot to Nick Markakis in the bottom of the third to extend the Orioles' lead to 9-0. Nick Swisher's sacrifice fly in the fourth made it 9-1, but a two-run home run to left by Lou Montanez gave the Birds a 10-run lead.

The Yankees showed some power in the next two innings. Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira hit back-to-back home runs against starter Adam Eaton in the top of the fifth to make it an 11-4 ballgame. Swisher then added a solo home run in the sixth to make it 11-5. That would be as close as New York would get on the night.

Newly-added Brett Tomko gave up a home run to Adam Jones in the eighth to fully welcome himself into the Yankees' bullpen. He ended up surrendering three hits in his inning of work.

The Yankees drop to 14-16 with the loss. Joba Chamberlain will look to guide the Yankees to a series victory tomorrow afternoon at 1:35 p.m.

Recap records: Patrick: 9-4, Seamus: 4-8, Andrew: 1-4.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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Peter Abraham reports that Brett Tomko was promoted to the Majors while Dave Robertson was demoted and Eric Hacker was DFAed.

As reported, Tomko had an out in his contract that would have allowed him to leave if he wasn't in the Majors by next month.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees capped a five game losing stream on Friday night in glorious fashion as CC Sabathia marked A-Rod's return to the lineup by throwing a complete game four hit shutout. He walked just 1 batter while striking out 8. He even struck out the side in the ninth, throwing 112 pitches - 79 of them for strikes. Excellent.

A-Rod did his best to make up for lost time, smacking the first hit he saw out of the ballpark for a three run home run. Of course, that would be all CC needed. In the 7th, Damon would add another run on an RBI double that scored Francisco Cervelli. It was the first run of the catcher's Major League career.

Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera each collected two hits, with Melky moving his average up to .342.

At 7:05 PM ET, Phil Hughes (1-1, 2.70) will face Adam Eaton (1-3, 7.18).

Recap records: Patrick: 9-4, Seamus: 4-8, Andrew: 1-3.
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch has the terrible news. Originally diagnosed with a vasospasm, doctors have said that Ian Kennedy has an aneurysm under his right armpit.

He is scheduled to have surgery on Tuesday, performed by Dr. George Todd, who operated on David Cone in 1996, when he was diagnosed with an aneurysm.

Our thoughts are with Kennedy and those close to him.
Posted by: Seamus
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Updating a previous story, Jose Molina has officially been placed on the disabled list after injuring his quad in last night's game against Tampa Bay. Kevin Cash has been called up from Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes/Barre as the replacement catcher. Mark Melancon has been sent down to AAA, and as Peter Abraham notes, Steven Jackson was designated for assignment to make room for Cash on the 40-man roster. Francisco Cervelli started tonight's game against the Orioles in Baltimore.
Posted by: Seamus
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Dom DiMaggio, the brother of the late Yankee legend Joe DiMaggio, has passed away at the age of 92. Dominic played his entire 14-year career with the Boston Red Sox.

When people think of some of the great sibling combinations in sports, we tend to think of Venus and Serena Williams, Eli and Peyton Manning, Phil and Tony Esposito or perhaps Phil and Joe Niekro. Not too many people usually think of Joltin' Joe as part of one of the greatest brother combinations in the history of sports, in part because Joe's legacy in itself is so enormous, and partly because Dom was overshadowed by some guy named Ted Williams. But the two had a combined 20 All-Star selections between them (13 for Joe, 7 for Dom), and the two combined for 3,894 hits and 2,155 RBI. What's probably the most mind-boggling stat of all is that both DiMaggio brothers hold their respective club records for longest consecutive game hitting streaks. While we all know about the Yankee Clipper's 56-game streak in 1941, Dominic hit safely in 34 straight games for the Red Sox in 1949, a club record that still stands 60 years later (if that's not enough irony for you, it was actually Joe who made the final putout to end Dom's streak).

Amazingly enough, these guys weren't the only sons of Giuseppe DiMaggio to play in the big leagues. Their older brother Vince put together a pretty nice career for himself, as well.
Posted by: Patrick
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Indications from MLB.com's Anthony DiComo and Peter Abraham are that Jose Molina will probably be finding himself on the DL soon.

If that happens, either Kevin Cash or Chris Stewart will probably be called up from Triple-A. A 40 man roster move will have to be made and Abraham says that that could be Angel Berroa, who is hitting .167 in just 7 games and 12 at bats.
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MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports that Chien-Ming Wang put in another solid appearance in an extended spring game, allowing no runs on three hits and striking out seven over five innings pitched. His fastball was reportedly around 91 MPH.

Wang's next start will be Tuesday, and it might be for one of the Yankees' Minor League teams. It will probably be either Double-A Trenton or Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, DiComo notes, as Single-A Tampa will not be at home.

And if all goes well on Tuesday, he could be back with the Yankees, starting on Sunday, May 17.
Posted by: Patrick
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After last night's loss to the Rays, Joe Girardi told Peter Abraham that he 's been having issues tied to "arm strength."

MLB.com's Anthony DiComo has more from the manager.

"The velocity is not there," Girardi said. "That's part of it. I still think he's coming back from the surgery he went through. That's why we've been very careful with him. Mo's always going to take the ball -- that's Mariano Rivera. But he's had some days where he hasn't felt the greatest."

Let's hope it's just Mo working his strength back up, rather than an issue that will require time off.
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The Rays got on Andy Pettitte early on Thursday night, scoring two runs off the lefty in the first and third innings and putting the Yankees in a 4-0 hole.

They battled back, however, in the fourth. After a Melky Cabrera walk and a Ramiro Pena single, Jose Molina doubled Cabrera in for the team's first run. Later in the inning, Johnny Damon would double home both Pena and Molina to put the Yankees within 1.

Hideki Matsui would get that 1 with a solo home run to lead off the fifth. Unfortunately, Pettitte gave the lead right back to Tampa thanks to a solo home run hit by Ben Zobrist. It was one of four home runs that Pettitte would allow on the day.

Jose Veras would relieve Pettitte and pitch two innings, allowing an earned run while striking out 2. Down 2 with 2 outs in the bottom of the eighth, Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon staged their own mini-rally. Jeter singled and Damon homered to tie it up at 6.

Joe Girardi decided to bring in Mariano Rivera to pitch the 9th and, well, it didn't go so hot. After retiring the first hitter, Mo allowed back to back jacks by Carl Crawford and Evan Longoria. David Robertson would actually relieve Rivera to face Pat Burrell, retiring him to end the top of the 9th. That would be all the Rays needed as the Yankees went down quietly in the bottom half of the frame.

Fun fact wise, the RiverAveBlues Twitter account said that Mo had never allowed back to back home runs in a game... ever. So, there's that.

Damon was the bright spot of the day, going 4 for 5 with a double, a home run and four RBI. Jeter was the only other Yankee to have more than a hit.

Tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET, A-Rod will make his 2009 debut. CC Sabathia (1-3, 4.85) will take the hill, going against Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 5.05).

Recap records: Patrick: 8-4, Seamus: 4-8, Andrew: 1-3.
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MLB.com's Anthony DiComo reports that Alex Rodriguez will make his 2009 debut on Friday in Baltimore. He will bat cleanup and play the field, starting at third base.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner of the Times reports that Brett Tomko could make it up to the big league Yankees, once they are satisified that his mild oblique strain has healed.

Tomko has a 0.69 ERA at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, having allowed 1 run in 13 innings pitched, to go along with 15 strikeouts and 4 walks.

The pitcher posses an opt out in his contract that will allow him to cut ties with the team if he's not in the majors by next month.
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ESPN The Magazine's Rick Reilly has a profile of Pat Venditte, the Yankees switch-pitching prospect. Check it out.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees trailed by three runs in the 8th and rallied to tie the game, but a home run by Carlos Pena in the top of the 10th put the Rays ahead for good and the Yankees fell below .500 for the fourth time this season. A win by Toronto over the Angels put the Yankees 5.5 behind the Blue Jays in the A.L. East.

A.J. Burnett was for the most part pretty good through 6 innings, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and striking out 8. The bullpen was relatively solid, with the only run off of them in 4 innings being the home run by Pena off of Phil Coke in the 10th.

The Yankee offense was pretty dull, as for the second straight game all three runs came on one swing. The Yankees went scoreless for 7 and 2/3 until Mark Teixeira doubled with the bases loaded, scoring all runners to tie the game at 3. The 2-3-4 part of the order (Damon, Tex, Matsui) went 6-14, but the remainder of the team had just three hits total.

It's another frustrating loss, and what's probably most frustrating about it is the fact that the guys who are supposed to be the weak links with all these injuries actually came through in big spots (Pena and Molina both had key hits in the 8th) and the Yankees still came away empty-handed.

The Yanks will try to salvage a game in this two-game series and get back to the .500 mark tonight at 7:05 ET. Andy Pettitte will take the mound and his Rays' counterpart will be Jeff Niemann.

Recap records: Patrick: 8-3, Seamus: 4-8, Andrew: 1-3
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In last night's loss to the Red Sox, Joba Chamberlain struck out 12 hitters over 5 and 2/3 innings. Even more crazy, perhaps, is that he didn't strike out one hitter in the first inning, meaning he struck out 12 of the last 14 outs that he was responsible for.

Yahoo! Sports says that, at 23, he is the youngest Yankee to strike out 12 or more batters in a game since Al Downing struck out 13 against the White Sox in 1964, 7 days before he would turn 23.

Tyler Kepner did a little research and found that only four other pitchers since 1954 have struck out 12 or more hitters while pitching 5 and 2/3 or less innings in a game.

They are J.R. Richard in 1978 (5.1 IP, 12 K), Kevin Appier in 1994 (5.2 IP, 13 K), Curt Schilling in 1997 (5.2 IP, 12 K) and Cole Hamels in 2006 (5.1 IP, 12 K).
Posted by: Patrick
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From SI.com's Jon Heyman:

Major League Baseball is expanding its investigation of Yankees superstar Alex Rodriguez by adding the pitch-tipping allegation spelled out in Selena Roberts' new book A-Rod to the agenda, people familiar with the inquiry told SI.com. ...

MLB's burden of proof in a case like that would have to be extremely high to take action; they'd need either Rodriguez to admit to the charges, or for someone else intimately involved to swear to it. It would seem futile to go over video of the games and try to match up alleged tips and pitches, especially since ex-Rangers teammates have come forward to say they didn't notice any tipping, and they were there.

Via Steve Lombardi.
Posted by: Patrick
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Tuesday night's game against the Red Sox was pretty frustrating. To start, Joba got out of the box very poorly. Single, runner steals second, single, RBI single, 3 run HR, single. It was 4-0 Yankees, real fast. He got out of the inning, striking nobody out.

The funny thing about that is that Joba was on fire from this point forward, allowing just one more hit and striking out 12 (yes, twelve) in the next four and 2/3. So, he retired 14 more batters and struck out 12 of them. Averaged out over a whole game, that's 19 K's. Not saying he would have kept up that pace, but still.

Johnny Damon brought the Yankees to within a run, with a three run shot in the third, scoring Derek Jeter and Jose Molina. Unfortunately, that was the closest they would get.

Every relief pitcher not named Alfredo or Mariano pitched in this one. Jose Veras and Phil Coke each pitched 2/3 scoreless. Jonathan Albaladejo came out to pitch the eighth and, to lead off the inning, Ramiro Pena misplayed what should have been a routine play, allowing Jason Bay to reach on an error. And then Bay stole second.

Mike Lowell grounded out, moving back to third and the Yankees elected to intentionally walk J.D. Drew. Albaladejo then hit Jeff Bailey to load the bases. Jason Varitek hit a sac fly that allowed Bay to score. If Pena had made the play, the inning would have been over with no runs scored. But, it wasn't. Former Yankee Nick Green took full advantage of the extra out, driving Drew in with an RBI single.

Letting Green go could prove to be a bigger mistake than when the Red Sox traded Ruth to the Yankees. Or, at least, when the Yankees released Clay Bellinger. Edwar Ramirez got the final out of the eighth.

Mark Melancon was called out to the 9th and could not throw strikes. He walked Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Bay to start the inning and then threw 2 straight balls to Mike Lowell. That was it for him, as David Robertson came in and turned that 2-0 count into a strikeout against Lowell. After a J.D. Drew fly out, however, Robertson walked Bailey, bringing home a run. And that's where the game would end. Red Sox win, 7-4.

Melky Cabrera had a good day, going 3 for 4 with a pair of doubles and moving his average up to .344. Jeter and Damon each had 2 hits.

The Yankees begin a two game set with the Rays tomorrow at 7:05 PM ET. A.J. Burnett (2-0, 5.40) will face Andy Sonnanstine (1-3, 6.75).

Recap records: Patrick: 8–3, Seamus: 4–7, Andrew: 1–3.

Additional reporting by Seamus Molloy.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that the recently released Humberto Sanchez signed back on with the Yankees on May 1.

Sanchez had been let go in order to make room for Angel Berroa. He has been assigned to the disabled list of Double-A Trenton.
Posted by: Patrick
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From Jorge Arangure Jr. of ESPN The Magazine:

The former Dominican scouting director for the New York Yankees says he has filed a $3 million wrongful termination lawsuit against the team with a court hearing scheduled on Friday in the Dominican Republic.

Ramon Valdivia, one of two Dominican Republic-based scouts fired by the Yankees last year during a bonus-skimming investigation by Major League Baseball, is seeking damages against the team after he was alleged to have taken bonus money from 18-year-old Yankees prospect Kelvin De Leon.

Valdivia received a potential boost to his case against the Yankees when on April 22, a Santo Domingo court ruled that De Leon must pay Valdivia $55,000 in damages as a result of what the court found to be De Leon's libelous comments, according to documents obtained by ESPN The Magazine. De Leon had told several media outlets that Valdivia and Carlos Rios, the other former Yankees scout, had received $100,000 of the player's signing bonus. Additionally, the court also ruled De Leon must perform 64 hours of community service.

Via Peter Abraham.
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Peter Abraham reports that catcher Francisco Cervelli has been called up from Double-A Trenton to take the spot of the DLed Jorge Posada. He also has this:

The Yankees are saying officially that Posada will be out 2-3 weeks. But within the clubhouse, the fear us that it could be more like 3-5 weeks.
Posted by: Patrick
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Today marks four years of YanksBlog.com. We launched on May 5, 2005 (05/05/05) and, over 3,500 posts later, here we are.

In light of this accomplishment, I'd like to take a moment to thank everyone who has visited and supported the site. From our readers and commenters to our fellow bloggers and members of the media. We appreciate all of the support.

In addition, I'd like to thank Seamus for all of his work and support from day one, as well as others that have blogged with us in the past.

Thank you!
Posted by: Patrick
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VoteSwisher.com is a fan based effort to get Nick Swisher into the All-Star lineup. It'll be quite the challenge as he's not even on the ballot. But, they have instructions on their site to help people write him in. The site received a mention on Nick Swisher's official site, as well. We wish them luck.
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Andrew Fletcher of Scott Proctor's Arm reports that Jorge Posada has been placed on the DL, after hurting his hamstring in yesterday's game. This is according to Sweeny Murti at WFAN. It's unclear how bad the injury is and the Yankees have not announced a corresponding roster move.
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In the eighth inning of last night's loss to the Red Sox, Jorge Posada was pulled after he felt his right hamstring "grab," according to Joe Girardi. MLB.com's Bryan Hoch has the report.

Peter Abrahams says that the catcher "appears to have a serious hamstring injury." It would be terrible to lose Jorge again for any period more than a few days. Hopefully, this MRI brings better news.
Posted by: Patrick
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As we reported in February, Yankees prospect Bradley Suttle had been blogging at Future in Pinstripes. No longer.

In his first post, Tampa Yankees infielder Matt Cusick introduces himself and announces that he'll be taking over the post previously held by Suttle.

The Yankees acquired Cusick last year when they dealt LaTroy Hawkins to Houston. Cusick is hitting .179 so far in 16 games at Single-A Tampa. Welcome to the world of blogging, Mr. Cusick.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees, as they traditionally have the last few years, continue to struggle in their first couple series against the Red Sox, this time falling on the short end of a 6–4 contest. Phil Hughes was disappointing in his second big league outing of the season, allowing 4 runs and putting 11 batters on base in just four innings.

The Sox scored one run in each of the first four innings of the game. In the first inning, Dustin Pedroia scored on a passed ball. In the second, Mike Lowell put one into the left field seats for a solo home run. Lowell added an RBI single in the 3rd, and David Ortiz doubled in Jacoby Ellsbury in the 4th to put Boston up 4–0.

The Yankees were pretty flat throughout the first half of the game, but did begin to show some signs of life in the 5th. After Joe Girardi was thrown out of the game for arguing balls and strikes (he came out after Derek Jeter began to argue a called third strike), the Yankees responded by back-to-back home runs by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira to pull the Yankees to within 4–3.

The Red Sox made it 6–3 after Jason Bay put one into the seats for a two-run homer off of Alfredo Aceves. Aceves was actually not bad in his first Yankee appearance of the season, doing what he was brought up to do — pick up a starter after a shaky outing and give the Yankees some good long relief from the pen. Aceves allowed 4 hits in 4 and 1/3 innings and struck out 7.

The Yankees inched closer again with yet another home run from Mark Teixeira (he hit one from both sides of the plate) made it 6–4. That was as close as the Yankees would get, though, as Jonathan Papelbon was brought in and converted on a five-out save opportunity. The Yanks did put the tying run in scoring position in the 9th, but Robinson Cano was struck out swinging with the bases loaded to end the game.

Joe Girardi seemed to place some of the blame for Phil Hughes' rough start on something other than Phil Hughes' rough start. After being asked a few questions during the post-game press conference about having been tossed from the game (he said he didn't like the calls all night), Girardi then answered a question about Hughes' performance by saying that "There were a few things I didn't like" about the first four innings and then saying "And I don't mean from Phil Hughes." Girardi could also have been referring to Red Sox first base coach Tim Bogar, who as Peter Abraham points out, was accused by Girardi of stealing signs. It's good to see a manager sticking up for his players, but Hughes was not good tonight.

We'll see if any of this boils over tomorrow night. The Yanks will try to salvage one game in this short series at 7:05 ET as Joba Chamberlain will take the mound against Josh Beckett.

Recap records: Patrick: 8–2, Seamus: 4–7, Andrew: 1–3
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Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees have optioned reliever Anthony Claggett, opting to bring up pitcher Alfredo Aceves.
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Peter Abraham mentioned that an unnamed Yankees player picked up a toy WWE championship belt and brought it to the clubhouse. Whenever the team wins, the belt is given to the best performing hitter of the day.
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Peter Abraham reports that Xavier Nady is hoping to return at the end of May or in early June, thanks to a relatively untested (in athletes, at least) medical procedure.

Blood is taken from Nady and then the platelets in that blood are isolated. The platelet focused blood is then injected at the spot of his injury - the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Relief pitcher Takashi Saito had this procedure last year and Abraham believes that he and Nady are the only ones to have had it. Hines Ward of the Pittsburgh Steelers had it, as well.
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Before tonight's game was postponed, Joe Girardi spoke with the press and shared his thoughts on Selena Roberts' upcoming "A-Rod" book and the reported contents. Peter Abraham has quotes and the audio.

“I don’t want this Alex thing to be a target. I have some issues with it. It’s interesting how the book (publication) date got moved up now. I get tired of answering these questions. I don’t understand why someone would write a book like this anyway. You know what, some people may not care to hear that, but I don’t understand it.

“Just going into someone’s life. I have three small kids and there are things in my life that I probably wish I could have a re-do on. I wouldn’t want those dragged through the mud and I’m sure you wouldn’t, either.

“I think sometimes, things are written about that none of us are proud of There are things in my life I’m not proud of that I’ve done. I wouldn’t want my kids to have to deal with that. I tell my kids that daddy makes mistakes, I do. And I apologize for them. I say, ‘Daddy’s not perfect.’

“From the excerpts that I have read, there are negative things about his lifestyle. I’m a firm believer that what we do off the field is our personal life. Some people aren’t going to agree with my faith. Some people aren’t going to agree with all the things I do with my life. But I don’t necessarily know why it has to be in a book. It’s something I’ve never understood, whether it’s a book about Alex or other people. Whether it’s a book about a president or a book about whoever. I just don’t understand it. Maybe that’s a short-sighting on my part, but I don’t understand.

“My parents always taught me that talk about the good. Be positive. That might be, you know, that might be me being somewhat short-sighted. But my Mom and Dad always taught me and I love them to death.”
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Roger Rubin of the Daily News reports that both Chien-Ming Wang and Billy Connons feel that his recovering right foot was to blame for his early season struggles. The pitching instructor has been working with Wang, both physically and mentally.

Via Ben Kabak.

05/03: Marte to DL

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The Yankees have placed Damaso Marte on the 15-day DL, due to "tendinitis and weakness" in his throwing arm. Meatball machine Anthony Claggett (OK, he's pitched only one game) has been called up to take his place.
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Today's game against the Angels has been postponed due to rain. No makeup date has been announced yet.
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From Michael S. Schmidt at the New York Times:

Major League Baseball is investigating the accuracy of statements by Alex Rodriguez about his use of performance-enhancing drugs, according to people within baseball who were briefed on the matter.

Investigators have contacted several of Rodriguez’s associates to determine whether he used performance-enhancing drugs for a longer time than he has admitted, the people said.

Schmidt's sources say that the investigation was initiated in early March, after A-Rod met with investigators. Selena Roberts, the author of the upcoming "A-Rod" book, was contacted and declined participation, due to journalistic conflicts.

Via John Schlegel.
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From Mike Puma at the Post:

Chien-Ming Wang participated in the same game against Pirates minor leaguers and pitched four hitless innings in which he struck out three and walked two. The right-hander is tentatively scheduled to pitch another extended spring training game on Thursday.

I don't know how much it really matters, but it can't be a bad thing. Let's hope it's something to build on.
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30-year-old rookie Matt Palmer shut down the Yankees for 6 1/3 innings. He only allowed three hits and one earned run over that span, pitching the Angels to an 8-4 victory Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

For a while, however, it looked like Palmer would be the hard-luck loser against CC Sabathia. The Yankees and Sabathia carried a 1-0 until the sixth inning when the Angels were able to scratch across a run to even the score. They would then score seven more times over the next three innings to put the game out of reach, despite the Yankees scoring three in the ninth.

Hideki Matsui hit an RBI single in the bottom of the first to give the Yankees the early 1-0 lead. The Angels then put together a rally in the next half-inning, loading the bases with one out. However, Sabathia was able to strike out Brandon Wood and get Maicer Izturis to line out to Robinson Cano.

Sabathia finished the day giving up five runs (four earned) over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out five and walked four. The Yankees are now 2-4 in his starts.

The Angels tied the game in the sixth on Kendry Morales' RBI groundout. Then in the seventh, with runners on second and third and two outs, Howie Kendrick had an RBI infield hit, Torii Hunter hit a two-run double and Mike Napoli hit an RBI single. They'd score one more in the next inning on a Morales solo home run off struggling reliever Jose Veras.

They would then score two more times in the ninth inning on Juan Rivera's single coupled with Melky Cabrera's fielding error in right.

However, the Yankees, who rallied from a 9-4 deficit the previous night, tried again today. With Cabrera on third with two outs, Jorge Posada hit a two-run home run to right to make it an 8-3 game. Brett Gardner scored the Yankees fourth and final run after Derek Jeter reached on Gary Matthews Jr.'s error.

The Yankees are now 13-11, as the loss snapped their four-game winning streak. Phil Hughes and Joe Saunders will face each other tomorrow afternoon at 1:05 p.m.

Recap records: Patrick: 8–2, Seamus: 4–6, Andrew: 1–3.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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Johnny Damon, free agent to be, told ESPN.com's Andrew Marchand that he'd like to return next season, but that it's probably not likely.

"I know where I want to be next year," Damon told 1050 ESPN New York. "I want to be here in New York. I also know New York has a lot of young outfielders coming back. Austin Jackson is in the wings. At least, in this situation, I know my chances of coming back could be slim because of the young talent the Yankees do have."

Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady are all free agents after this season, clearing $32.55 million off the books, according to Cot's.

Nick Swisher is signed through 2011, with a club option for 2012, and Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner are under our control. Austin Jackson is tearing it up at AAA so far this season, hitting .371 with a .444 OBA in 62 at bats over 16 games. Jackson, however, has primarily played center field and it sounds like he's a stronger defender than Gardner.

Assuming that Swisher proves dependable, Jackson wins the job and Gardner doesn't really step it up, it would seem that the Yankees will still need one regular corner OF. The free agent crop includes Jason Bay, Matt Holliday, Rick Ankiel, Brian Giles and Vladimir Guerrero, in addition to the aforementioned Damon, Matsui and Nady. Carl Crawford and Magglio Ordonez both have options for 2010.

We'll see how it shakes out. I could see a scenario where Damon can return. But, it likely depends on how much money he's looking for, as well.
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Chad Jennings reports that the Yankees have signed Casey Fossum to a Minor League deal and he will start for the Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees today

Jennings guesses that Fossum may have cleared waivers on Thursday, which would mean that the Yankees wouldn't have been required to place a claim on him and give him a 40 man roster spot.

Fossum, 31, has pitched in 237 Major League games, starting 120. He has a record of 40-53 with a 5.45 ERA and 2 saves. As a starter, he is 29-47 with a 5.65 ERA.
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Friday night's pitching match up between the Yankees and the Angels, Andy Pettitte (2-1, 2.96) facing Jered Weaver (2-1, 2.45), had all the makings of a pitchers duel.

But, the Yankees offense silenced that notion early by scoring four runs in the first inning. After back to back Yankee walks by Jeter and Damon set the table, Hideki Matsui sacrificed Jeter home for the first run. Robinson Cano picked up an RBI with a two out single to follow. Finally, Posada cleared the bases with a home run to deep right. 4-0 Yankees after one.

Pettitte did his best to keep the pitchers duel dream together, holding the Angels scoreless through 5 innings. In the sixth, however, he became unraveled. He allowed back to back singles to start the inning, but it looked like he might get out of it, after eliciting a ground ball out and striking out a batter.

Unfortunately, the Angels would rally. A two RBI single, single and walk later, the bases were loaded and Joe Girardi opted to bring in Mark Melancon. Melancon was not effective, though, as Gary Matthews, Jr. drive all three runners home with a triple. After a Bobby Abreu walk, a wild pitch allowed Matthews to score. That was the end of the damage, but the Angels now had the lead at 6-4.

It would get worse before it got better. Jose Veras came out to start the seventh, but he struggled. Walk, single, RBI single, RBI sacrifice. Edwar Ramirez would get a turn next. Single, walk, RBI sacrifice and then, finally, a line out to end the inning. The score was ugly - 9-4, Angels.

The Yankees offense came right back in the eighth, though. After Hideki Matsui grounded out to start the inning, Cano doubled. And then Posada walked. Brett Gardner singled to load the bases for Melky Cabrera, who delivered with an RBI single that kept the bases loaded. Ramiro Pena did the very same thing. Derek Jeter grounded out to end the string of singles, but he drove in an RBI in the process. Johnny Damon struck out to end the inning, but the Yankees were back in the game, down by a run, 9-8.

Jonathan Albaladejo pitched a 1-2-3 9th to keep it close and Angels closer Brian Fuentes came out to close the game for the Angels. But the Yankees got all over him - and fast. Mark Teixeira worked a walk, Hideki Matsui singled and Robinson Cano did the same. Angel Berroa pitch ran for Matsui. This loaded the bases for Jorge Posada.

Jorge delivered, putting a walk off single into left field and scoring Teixeira and Berroa. Yankees win, 10-9!

Albaladejo picked up the win, improving to 2-1.

The last three hitters in the Yankees lineup delivered, as Nick Swisher/Gardner (more on that in a second), Melky and Pena combined to go 5 for 10 with 2 runs, 3 RBI, 1 walk and 1 HBP. Cano had a big day at 3 for 5 with a double, 2 runs and 1 RBI. But, the big hero was Jorge Posada. He was 2 for 4 with a homer, 2 runs, 4 RBI and a walk.

Swisher had to leave the game early, after he was hit on the elbow by a pitch. But, Peter Abraham says that all he has is a bruise and that x-rays were negative. He's day to day.

Tomorrow at 1:05 PM ET, CC Sabathia (1-2, 4.73) will go against Matt Palmer (1-0, 6.00).

Recap records: Patrick: 8–2, Seamus: 4–6, Andrew: 1–2.
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In his first rehab game action, A-Rod went 1 for 6 with a home run and 2 walks in an extended spring game, reports MLB.com's Dawn Klemish.

Of course, the hot topic of the day was the fresh speculation derived from Selena Roberts' new book. Namely, the suggestion that A-Rod used steroids both with the Yankees and in high school and that he engaged in pitch tipping in Texas. The book says that A-Rod would tell friends on other teams what was coming, when the game was out of hand, in expectation of receiving the same treatment from them. On Thursday, many players or former players and coaches commented on the speculation.

"To me, it seems like a lot of he-said, she-said kind of stuff," Joe Girardi told MLB.com's Anthony DiComo. "We've been down this road. We're going to move on. Alex has talked about how he's going to move on." Girardi said that he's never seen Alex tip pitches.

In an interview with SI.com, Robert detailed the pitch tipping accusations and what they are based on.

Also on SI.com, Ted Keith spoke with former A-Rod teammates R.A. Dickey, Doug Glanville and Shane Spencer. All three expressed outrage at the idea of pitch tipping. Both Dickey and Glanville said that they hadn't seen anything that would support the claims and that they would reserve judgment, hoping it to be untrue. Spencer, though, says that he heard whispers about it, but apparently never witnessed it himself.

Mike Cramer, who was the President of the Rangers when A-Rod was with the team, told the Post that he never heard anything about pitch tipping.

Both A-Rod's former high school coach, Rich Hofman, and a former high school teammate, Doug Mientkiewicz have come out refuting the claim that he used steroids while playing high school ball.

"It's totally unsubstantiated, totally false, all innuendo, a vendetta," Hofman told Linda Robertson of the Miami Herald. "We had a close-knit group and in all our conversations, steroids never came up. These kids loved to play baseball. We had a rigorous program and that's why we were good - we earned it."

When asked about the claim that Hofman's son, David, had seen A-Rod use steroids, Hofman called it "totally bogus."

"There’s no way," Mientkiewicz told Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports. "I was with him too much, I was with him for too long. Our team was together, like, 20 hours of the day. Every day."

"He also grew two or three inches," Mientkiewicz continued. "You’re talking about a 15 year old kid who looked really skinny and scrawny. Then he hit puberty and he grew into a man. Everybody goes through it. So now every 13 to 15 year old kid is going to be accused of this, because he hits puberty?"

Both Mark Teixeira and Johnny Damon issued your standard "no comment, we support Alex" type of statements.

A-Rod himself declined comment on the book. "I'm not going there," he told Klemish. "I'm just so excited to be back on the field and playing baseball."

Via the Post, Steve Lombardi and Steve, again via Rhett Bollinger.
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Congratulations to Reggie Jackson, who will be honored with the 2009 Joe DiMaggio Award on Tuesday. According to MLB.com's Anthony DiComo, the award highlights "commitment to the health, well-being and education of America's youth."