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Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees squandered an early lead and some sub par pitching prevented the Bombers from climbing back as they eventually lost the second game of this four-game series 10–5 to the White Sox.

The Yankees scored three runs in the top of the first, but Sergio Mitre was unable to preserve the lead as the Sox were able to light him up for five runs and seven hits in just three innings. Eric Hinske tied the game with a home run in the fourth, and Carlos Quentin put the White Sox back ahead with a double in the fifth to make it 6–5.

With the game still close, the Yanks were an out away from getting out of the bottom of the seventh unscathed with Alfredo Aceves on the mound, but a walk followed by two straight hits and a double steal (Posada made a bad throw to second, and then flat out dropped the ball on the return throw, allowing Jayson Nix to score) led to four runs as the Sox pretty much sealed the deal.

The Yankees were unable to climb back. They looked like they might get some sort of rally going in the ninth, but all hopes were pretty much ended when Alex Rodriguez decided not to run hard out of the box on a ball hit to the left field wall and was tagged out trying to get into second base with a double.

Despite the rough two nights they've had so far in Chicago, the Yankees finished the month of July with an 18–9 record (.667). That's the best month the team has had since they went 19–8 (.704) in September of 2007.

The series will resume tomorrow afternoon as A.J. Burnett will take the mound for the Yankees and will be opposed by John Danks. Game starts at 4:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 27–19, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees have acquired Jerry Hairston Jr. from the Cincinnati Reds, according to Joseph Pawlikowski over at River Ave. Blues (via Joel Sherman). Haven't found any word yet as to what the Yankees gave up in return. Hairston, 33, has put up an OPS of .703 (.254/305/397) in 307 AB's so far this season.

Hairston can play pretty much anywhere on the diamond (he's played everywhere this season except first base and catcher), but he has gotten a plurality of his AB's as a third baseman.

The Yankees have also called up Shelley Duncan and he will be in Chicago for tonight's game, reports Peter Abraham. I think I smell a DFA coming for Cody Ransom.

Update: The Yankees gave up minor league catcher Chase Weems in the trade for Hairston, according to Ken Davidoff.
Posted by: Seamus
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Via Peter Abraham:

Damon defended the 2004 Red Sox, saying the team was more than two players

"I know the '04 year was special and I know we could not have won without a bunch of the players we had there," he said. "David and Manny were great, but I had probably the best year of my career hitting in the clutch. We had Derek Lowe pitch well, Pedro (Martinez) pitch well, added (Curt) Schilling. I would have to see if there's more names and then I'd be able to comment on that."

As much as I want to yell "Told you so!" to all my fellow Sox fan friends (it's true, I regret to admit there are some), I have to agree with Damon here. It would be unfair to try to take that title away from the players who were clean, especially considering most if not all of the teams they played against likely had players who were using PED's as well. I don't think there's any way we can point at the Sox and try to discredit them without acknowledging that the Yankees' championship teams of the 90's and in 2000 had players that were linked to 'roids as well, and I think that goes without saying. I'd imagine that goes for just about any team that's won a title in the last 20 years or so. And as Ken Davidoff rightly pointed out a few days ago, you can't discredit these guys without discrediting all the players who played before Jackie Robinson entered Major League Baseball. Numbers and championships have been tainted in one way or another almost since the game's inception, and they are what they are. We can't go back in time and say the games didn't happen.

Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees lost a bit of a heartbreaker Thursday night, after a game-tying home run by Nick Swisher in the ninth went to waste when Dewayne Wise ended the game with a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the inning to give the White Sox a 3–2 victory.

Runs were difficult to come by as both starters gave quality outings, with Andy Pettitte allowing just one earned run in 6 and 1/3 innings. The Yankees couldn't get to Gavin Floyd, who also allowed just one run, going 7 and 2/3 and striking out 10 Yankee batters.

The game was tied after six and a half but some sloppy defense in the bottom of the seventh cost the Yankees. Jim Thome reached on an error by Pettitte to start the inning. Then with two on and one out, Carlos Quentin grounded into what might have been an inning ending double play, but a throwing error by Robinson Cano allowed Thome to come around and score the go-ahead run.

The Sox remained ahead until the Yankees were down to their last out in the ninth, but Nick Swisher took his former teammate Matt Thornton's pitch over the left field wall for a game-tying home run.

After putting two runners on base in the bottom of the ninth, Joe Girardi opted to pull Phil Hughes in favor of Phil Coke with one out. Coke got A.J. Pierzynski to fly out to center and was a strike away from getting the Yanks into extra innings, but Dewayne Wise took a 2-2 pitch right up the middle for a game-ending base hit.

The Yanks will try to bounce back tonight at 8:11 ET with Sergio Mitre taking the mound against the White Sox and Clayton Richard.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 27–18, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees were able to take the rubber game of their three-game series in Tampa Bay thanks to another sizzling performance by Joba Chamberlain. The 6–2 victory gives the Yankees more breathing room over the Rays, who now trail the bombers by 7.5 games and also puts the Yankees' lead over the Red Sox at 3.5 with the Sawx losing at home to Oakland.

Joba was dominant for the third consecutive start, allowing just three hits in eight shutout innings while throwing a manageable 101 pitches. Chamberlain has allowed a run or less in each of his last three starts.

Offensively, the Yankees scattered six runs, three of which came off of solo home runs (Cano, Cabrera and Teixeira). Johnny Damon was the only Yankee starter without a hit, and four Yankees had two hits or more in the game.

The only bump in the road the Yanks hit was in the ninth inning, when Brian Bruney came in and was immediately knocked around, serving up a triple to Carl Crawford which was followed by a long two-run bomb off the bat of Evan Longoria. After Bruney put Carlos Pena on by allowing a double to right, Joe Girardi was forced to call on Mariano Rivera to close things out. Rivera, as usual, had no problems, striking out two of the three batters he faced to end the game.

From the Rays' perspective, a lot of folks were making a huge deal of this series, the Rays included, but I wouldn't write them off just yet. Yes, picking up 7.5 games is a bit of a long shot, but this team is just too good to sleep on with 60 games still to be played.

The Yankees will be in Chicago tomorrow night to open up a four-game series with the White Sox. The Sox are currently just two games out of first place in the A.L. Central despite their 51–50 record. The most eye-popping matchup of the series won't be until Sunday, when CC Sabathia will be up against Mark Buehrle, who in his last outing flirted with a second consecutive perfect game (he was perfect through 17 batters, but did eventually allow five runs and lost the game). Tomorrow we'll see Andy Pettitte for the Yankees and Gavin Floyd taking the hill for the White Sox. Game starts at 8:11 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 27–17, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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This game looked promising for the Yankees before it started with CC Sabathia facing a struggling Scott Kazmir, but it wasn't meant to be as the Yankees failed to bring their "A" game to Tropicana Field and lost 6–2 to a desperate Rays team.

Ugly defense was the culprit in this one along with some mediocre pitching from Sabathia. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez both made throwing errors early on and Nick Swisher played a little hot potato in right field as he struggled with a couple plays out there. Despite the sketchy defense, however, five of the six runs allowed by CC Sabathia were earned, and he was forced to exit earlier than he and the Yankees would have liked, leaving with two outs in the sixth after allowing nine hits in the game.

Offensively there wasn't much to talk about really, aside from an RBI single by Hideki Matsui in which he was caught rounding first too sharply and was tagged out trying to get back. Matsui also drove home the other run scored in the game, bringing in A-Rod with an RBI double in the ninth.

Things have been so good for the past two weeks and really for the last month or so that you almost sort of forget that games like this just happen every once in awhile. Fortunately for the Yankees, a clunker like this was coupled by a late inning collapse by the Red Sox, who blew a three-run lead in the ninth and lost in extra innings.

The Yanks and Rays will finish things up tonight as Joba Chamberlain will go up against Matt Garza in the rubber game of this series beginning at 7:08 ET. Chamberlain is showing signs of heating up, allowing just one earned run and going 6+ in each of his last two outings.

Off the field news: I decided against giving this its own post since I'm a little late on it (I fell asleep pretty early last night), but Chien-Ming Wang's season is done after he and the Yankees have decided to undergo season-ending surgery. After winning a total of 38 games in 2006 and '07, Wang will end this season having won only 9 in his last two seasons.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 26–17, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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A.J. Burnett gave the Yankees another solid start and the offense overwhelmed both James Shields and the Rays' bullpen en route to an 11–4 victory that puts the Yanks' record at 10–1 since the All-Star break.

Burnett allowed just two hits and didn't allow an earned run in his 7 innings of work. Burnett has pitched 6 innings or more in every start since his clunker in Boston on June 9, allowing 3 runs or less each time (8 starts) and has an ERA of just 1.68 in that span.

The offense also had it going, as every player in the lineup recorded at least one hit in the Yankees' 11-run attack. Nick Swisher had two home runs, Robinson Cano homered while driving in two and Johnny Damon added his 200th career home run with a three-run shot in the 9th. Derek Jeter had 3 hits and the bottom third of the order was a combined 6-for-12.

Brian Robertson struggled a bit with the Yankees leading big in the 9th, but did record a key strikeout against Carlos Pena in the bottom of the 8th with the tying run still on deck.

Tonight's game should offer the potential for another good pitching matchup, as CC Sabathia will be faced by Scott Kazmir. Kazmir, however, has really struggled this season as he's battled both injuries and inconsistency throughout the year. His opponents are hitting .289 against him and his ERA is at an uncharacteristic 6.69. Game starts at 7:08 ET.

Also of note: I didn't get this through the original post, but a couple stats to pass along: The Yanks now have the best run differential of any team in the A.L. East (+84) and the win last night was also Joe Girardi's 150th as Yankee manager.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 26–16, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees should be able to enjoy their flight down south later tonight after they defeated the A's once again to take three out of four in the series and finish out their 10-game homestand with a 9–1 record. They also put a little more distance between themselves and the Red Sox and Rays, who both lost this afternoon.

This one was a bit of a back-and-forth affair, as the A's went ahead twice but both times were answered back in the same inning. The Yankees erased a 2–0 first inning deficit and took the lead with a 4-run bottom of the inning, highlighted by a 3-run double by Robinson Cano (Cano tried to make it to third but was tagged out after oversliding past the bag). Oakland regained the lead in the 6th with a two-run home run by Mark Ellis off of Phil Coke that put the A's ahead 5–4, but a two-run single in the bottom of the inning by Derek Jeter put the Yankees back ahead. The Yankees tacked on another run in the 6th thanks to a base hit up the middle by Mark Teixeira that made it 7–5, and that would prove to be the final score.

The Yankees got an acceptable performance out of Sergio Mitre, who bounced back from a rough first inning and left the game after pitching to one batter in the 6th and was holding onto a one-run lead. The home run allowed by Phil Coke erased Mitre's chances to pick up his 2nd win, however. In all the Yankees used five pitchers in the game. Phil Hughes pitched the 7th and he along with Brian Bruney and Mariano Rivera each recorded one out in the 8th. Rivera put the A's down 1-2-3 in the 9th to wrap up the Yanks' very successful homestand and recorded his 29th save in the process.

The Yankees will be in St. Petersburg tomorrow to pay the Rays a visit for the second time this season (the Yankees took two out of three in April). The pitching match up should be a good one as the red hot A.J. Burnett will be going up against James Shields. Game is slated to start at 7:08 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 25–16, Andrew: 7–9

07/26: Gardner on DL

Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees placed Brett Gardner on the 15-day disabled list last night after he broke his left thumb sliding into second early on in the game against Oakland. Gardner remained in the game and made a few nice defensive plays and also had a triple in the game.

Jonathan Albaladejo was called up to take his spot on the roster, but the Yankees plan on eventually bringing up an outfielder. Perhaps Shelley Duncan will finally get the call, as he's been raking in Scranton all season (.923 OPS, 25 HR, 75 RBI in 86 games) but he is also just 5 for his last 37.
Posted by: Andrew
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All good things must come to an end.

And that's exactly what happened to the Yankees' eight-game winning streak Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium, as the Oakland Athletics defeated the Yankees 6-4.

The game started out as a pitchers' duel between Andy Pettitte and Gio Gonzalez. Gonzalez, who gave up 11 earned runs in his previous start, took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before a Melky Cabrera bunt single ended that bid. Pettitte also was dealing, as he had a perfect game going until one out in the fourth.

The Yankees got on the board first in the sixth inning when Brett Gardner hit an RBI triple to right center.

But things unraveled for Pettitte and reliever Alfredo Aceves in the top of the seventh inning. Pettitte allowed a leadoff double and a walk. With one out, Rajai Davis hit an RBI single to tie the game. Following that, Bobby Crosby reached on a bunt single to load the bases and knock Pettitte out of the game.

Aceves started out well, as he got Mark Ellis to pop out. However, three straight hits resulted in five more runs for the A's, as they took a 6-1 lead. Aceves had catcher Landon Powell in an 0-2 hole with two outs when the game was 1-1, but his single to left opened the floodgates.

All told, Pettitte was charged with four runs in 6 1/3 innings, striking out seven and allowing five hits. Aceves gave up two earned runs in 1/3 of an inning.

The Yankees went on the comeback trail in the eighth inning. Derek Jeter hit a two-run home run over the right center manual scoreboard to cut Oakland's lead to 6-3. Mark Teixeira followed two batters later with a solo home run just to the left of the right field foul pole. They would try to muster a rally in the ninth - Cabrera and Johnny Damon both walked with no outs - but Jorge Posada grounded into a double play right after to end any hopes of a comeback.

Sergio Mitre goes for the Yankees tomorrow afternoon as they'll look to take three of four against their Oakland foes.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 24–16, Andrew: 7–9

Andrew Fletcher regularly blogs about the Yankees at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees clicked on all cylinders Friday night as a good start by Joba Chamberlain and some good production out of the offense helped the Yankees extend their winning streak to eight with an 8–3 victory over the A's. Amazingly, it was the first time during this streak that the Yankees won by a margin of more than three runs.

It was also the sixth time in these last eight games that the opposing team scored first. The A's led briefly after jumping ahead with a run in the first inning but it was short lived as the Yankees scored two runs in the third to take a 2–1 lead. The Yanks led from that point on, and blew the game open with a four-run eight inning that made it 8-1.

Joba Chamberlain was very solid for the second straight time, as he allowed only 2 hits in 7 innings of work. Phil Coke pitched a scoreless eighth and David Robertson shut the door in the 9th, although he did allow two runs in the inning.

The Yanks will try to make it nine in a row this afternoon and will send Andy Pettitte to the mound to take on 23-year old Gio Gonzalez and the A's. Game starts at 1:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 24–16, Andrew: 7–8
Posted by: Patrick
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CC Sabathia became the first Yankee to reach 10 wins this season as the team topped the Athletics, 6-3.

Those three Oakland runs were also the first three of the game, putting the Yankees at a deficit after the first 3 and 1/2 innings. But, the team stormed back in the bottom half of the inning. First, a Mark Teixeira two run home run scored Johnny Damon. This was followed by an RBI double by Posada that brought home A-Rod. Finally, Eric Hinske singled in Posada, allowing the team to take a 4-3 lead after 4.

The offense did not treat A's starter Vin Mazzaro very hospitably, pushing him out after just 4 and 1/3 innings of work. To start the fifth, Deerk Jeter walked, Damon singled, Teixeira doubled to score Jeter, A-Rod struck out, Hideki Matsui walked and Posada singled to score Damon. That was the end of Mazzaro's day. It also proved to be the end of offensive production by either team.

Sabathia cruised for his final three innings of work, retiring 9 of the last 11 hitters he faced. Phil Hughes came in and was lights out: 6 batters up, 6 batters down. He earned his first career save in the effort, giving Mo a much deserved night off. It's worth nothing, as well, that the combo of Sabathia and Hughes did not issue a single walk.

Damon (2 for 4, 2 R), Teixeira (2 for 4, double, home run, 3 RBI) and Posada (2 for 4, double, 1 R, 2 RBI) led the offense.

At 7:05 PM ET on Friday, Joba Chamberlain (5-2, 4.05) will face Brett Anderson (5-7, 4.25).

Recap records: Patrick: 28–13, Seamus: 23–16, Andrew: 7–8
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees improved their record after the All-Star break to 6–0 as they capped off a sweep of the Orioles with a 6–4 victory this afternoon. The Yanks extended their A.L. East lead to a game and a half, pending the Red Sox' game in Texas later on tonight.

It was all Yankees pretty much from the start, as the Yankees jumped ahead with a 4-run first inning in which the team batted around. The Yankees' 6-run, 11-hit attack was also highlighted by 2 RBI from Jorge Posada, who homered in the third and brought in another run with a double in the eight.

A.J. Burnett was on his game once again, leaving the game after 7 innings with a line of 2 runs on 6 hits and 6 strikeouts. Burnett was put into a jam in the third thanks in part to Nick Swisher, who let a ball pop right out of his glove in right field to start the inning, but Swisher redeemed himself and saved two runs by making a great running catch to end the inning.

Phil Hughes pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Brian Bruney entered the game with a four-run lead in the ninth. Bruney struck out the first two batters he faced, but with one out to go he served up back to back homers by Adam Jones and Nick Markakis, causing Joe Girardi to bring in Mariano Rivera to record the final out. Rivera struck out Aubrey Huff to end the game and recorded his 28th save of the season, which is just one behind Angels closer Brian Fuentes for the league lead.

The Yankees will open up a four-game series with the A's tomorrow night (tomorrow's game is a makeup of the rained out game originally scheduled for April 20) at 7:05 ET. CC Sabathia will take the mound for the Yankees while the A's will be sending Vin Mazzaro to the hill.

Recap records: Patrick: 27–13, Seamus: 23–16, Andrew: 7–8
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham has Brett Tomko's reaction to being designated for assignment.

"I don't think I got a fair shot," he said. "I pitched great in spring training and didn't make the team. I pitched great in the minors, got called up and didn't get much of a chance. I understand other guys are pitching great. But it could have been different. I can't see the point in coming back." ...

"I never felt like I got a chance to show them anything," he said. "I wasn't pitching much. As much as I want to be here and be with a winning team, I want to pitch. It would be great if they traded me in the next 10 days to help me out. But if not, I'm sure something will come up. Plenty of teams need pitching."

Between May 9 and July 20, Tomko pitched in 15 games and 20.2 innings. One appearance every 4.8 games, in other words. He was 1-2 with a 5.23.
Posted by: Patrick
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Sergio Mitre's debut for the Yankees, if not pretty, was still a winning effort, as the Yankees took game one in Baltimore, 6-4. He was aided by a lock down effort by the bullpen, who allowed only one base runner in the final 3 and 1/3 innings.

The offense got on Orioles starter Rich Hill, forcing him to throw 82 pitches in 3 innings, ending his day at that point. They scored 5 runs on 3 hits and 4 walks, led by Alex Rodriguez (1 for 2, 1 run, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SB) and Robinson Cano (2 for 3, HR, 2 RBI). Cody Ransom also scored 2 runs.

Alfredo Aceves relieved Mitre with 2 out and a runner on in the sixth, retiring the first batter he faced. He'd pitch a scoreless seventh and Phil Coke would do the same in the eighth, setting the table for Mariano Rivera, who was making an appearance in his fourth straight game. Three batters later, the game was over.

The Red Sox lost, giving the Yankees the AL East lead all alone at 56-37 - the best record in the American League, second only to Joe Torre's Dodgers in all of baseball.

Tomorrow at 1:05 PM ET, A.J. Burnett (8-4, 3.81) will face Jason Berken (1-7, 6.44).

Recap records: Patrick: 27–13, Seamus: 22–16, Andrew: 7–8.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees have designated Brett Tomko for assignment in order to make room for Sergio Mitre, reports Peter Abraham. Mitre will be making his Yankees debut tonight against Baltimore.

To be honest I thought this move was coming about a week earlier when they had to call up another reliever for the Angels series, instead of sending down Jonathan Albaladejo just days after he was called back up. I guess it doesn't really make a difference, though.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees got another walk-off win Monday night, this time thanks to Hideki Matsui, as the Yankees for the third straight day won by a score of 2–1. Matsui's walk-off home run, coupled with a Red Sox loss, put the Yanks into a first place tie with Boston in the A.L. East.

Not only was this the third straight game in which the Yankees won by a score of 2–1, but it was also the second straight game in which all three runs were scored on solo home runs. A homer by Long Island-born Nick Markakis put the Orioles up 1–0 in the 1st. The Yankees tied the game in the bottom of the 2nd with a solo shot by Eric Hinske. Hinske now has 4 home runs in just 15 at-bats as a Yankee (slugging 1.153). Neither team scored the rest of the way and the Yankees didn't even record a hit until Hideki Matsui ended the game with a home run to right with one out in the 9th.

Andy Pettitte was effective, going 7 and 1/3 innings and allowing just a run on 6 hits. Phil Coke finished out the 7th in relief of Pettitte without any trouble and recorded the first out in the 9th (he did hit a batter) before handing it over to Alfredo Aceves, who walked a batter but was able to escape further trouble. Aceves received the victory in this one and is now 4th on the team with 6 wins despite having only made one start this season.

The series will resume tonight in the Bronx as Sergio Mitre will be making his Yankee debut on the mound. Mitre was signed by the Yanks before the season began but had to serve a 50-game suspension after testing positive for a banned substance. His counterpart will be Rich Hill. Game time is 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 26–13, Seamus: 22–16, Andrew: 7–8.
Posted by: Patrick
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Wang was feeling good late last week, but MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that he's experienced a setback: he's feeling some tenderness in his right biceps. He will not be throwing until at least Friday.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees today kicked off HOPE (Helping Others Persevere & Excel) Week, a new program which is described by MLB.com's Bryan Hoch as being "designed by the Yankees to bring to light five remarkable stories, which are intended to inspire individuals into action in their own communities." To start things off, Alex Rodriguez, CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira appeared on the Today Show on NBC to talk a little about the program with Lester Holt and Meredith Viera.

Posted by: Seamus
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I'll admit I didn't watch much of the Old Timer's game itself, but I did make sure to catch the introductions and all that ceremonial stuff. I guess I can be considered a bit of a young'un, so I was happy to see some of the guys I actually grew up watching; guys like Jeff Nelson, Homer Bush, Chad Curtis, Doc Gooden, Mike Mussina and even Pat Kelly. Of course there were the usuals such as Whitey Ford, Reggie Jackson, Moose Skowron and of course good 'ol Yogi who remind us all of the legacy we hope our current heroes will be able to carry on. What really caught my attention though was the introduction of Don Zimmer, who had previously vowed to stay away from the Yankee organization after a rough divorce from the franchise in 2003. A visibly emotional Zim waved his cap as he got a long and loud standing ovation from the fans who decided to make it to the park early enough to catch the festivities.

After about an hour or so of the old timers getting in some action and testing out the surface of the new stadium for the first time, the stage was cleared out for the final game of the three-game set between the Yankees and Tigers. Sunday's game was another pitcher's duel, a 2–1 victory for the Yanks, as all three runs in the game were scored on solo home runs. Clete Thomas homered for the Tigers in the top of the 4th to put the Tigers ahead 1–0, A-Rod homered to left center in the bottom of the inning to tie the game, and Mark Teixeira put the Yankees ahead for good in the 6th with a solo shot to right.

Joba Chamberlain put in what was probably his best performance since an 8-inning performance in Cleveland on June 1, going 6 and 2/3 this time and allowing just a run on 3 hits. Phil Coke came in and recorded a one-pitch out to finish off the 7th, Phil Hughes pitched a scoreless 8th, and Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th and recorded his third save in as many days.

The Yankees will continue this 10-game homestand tonight as they'll begin a set with the Orioles. Andy Pettitte will take the mound for the Yanks and will face David Hernandez and the O's. Game time is slated for 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 26–13, Seamus: 21–16, Andrew: 7–8.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mickey Rivers is the subject of Steve Serby's latest Sunday Q&A.

Q: The Boss wouldn't let you return to your Hackensack home.

A: He said, "The only thing I want you to do is worry about playing ball."

Q: He put you up in the Sheraton off Route 17 under an alias.

A: Juan Rivera (laughs).

So, that's what he's been up to.
Posted by: Patrick
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It wasn't the prettiest scoreless seven innings, but they were scoreless nonetheless, requiring 116 pitches from CC Sabathia, who allowed 5 hits (including 2 doubles), walked 3 and hit a batter en route to a 2-1 Yankees win.

The Tigers' Justin Verlander matched the big lefty all the way until the seventh, when A-Rod lead off with a solo home run - the first run either team had scored all day. Melky Cabrera singled in Robinson Cano for a second.

Alfredo Aceves was called on to the pitch the eighth and he allowed a solo home run to former Yankee Marcus Thames. It would be the one and only Detroit run as Mariano Rivera would enter in the ninth and retire the side in order for his 25th save of the season. His ERA is now down to 2.31, the lowest it's been since April 28.

Sabathia's ERA dropped 20 points to 3.66 as he improved to 9-6. Derek Jeter was the only Yankee to collect 2 hits.

Recap records: Patrick: 26–13, Seamus: 20–16, Andrew: 7–8 (technically, this one counts for Andrew).
Posted by: Seamus
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From the Star Ledger's Marc Carig:

NEW YORK -- Yankees pitcher Chien-Ming Wang said Friday that his right shoulder is pain free. But Wang, sidelined since July 5 with a strained right shoulder, declined to put a date on his potential return from the disabled list. On Monday, Wang said he is scheduled to play catch for the first time since suffering his injury.

The article goes on to say that the team is making sure not to Rush Wang back. Sergio Mitre has has taken Wang's spot in the rotation for the time being.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees scored only 5 runs on Friday night, despite 13 hits and 4 walks, but it was enough to pick up a 5-3 victory over the Tigers in New York.

A.J. Burnett got the start and went 6 innings, allowing all 3 Tigers runs on 6 hits and 5 walks. He left the game down 3-2 with Johnny Damon scoring both of those runs. First on a Hideki Matsui single and second through an error on a ball that Mark Teixeira put in play.

Phil Hughes relieved A.J. and pitched two scoreless innings. Damon would score once more in the seventh on a Teixeira three run shot that brought Jeter around, as well.

The rain delay would come in the bottom of the eighth. After all was said and done, the stage was set for Mariano Rivera in the top of the ninth.

Things got a little hairy when Placido Polanco put up a one out double, but Mo retired the next two batters to secure save number 24. He's presently on pace for 43 saves, which would be his most in a season since he hit that same number in 2005.

Tomorrow at 1:05 PM ET, CC Sabathia (8-6, 3.86) will go against Justin Verlander (10-4, 3.38).

Recap records: Patrick: 26–13, Seamus: 20–16, Andrew: 6–8.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Mike Mussina, Don Zimmer, Mel Stottlemyre and Dwight Gooden have been added to the list of former players to attend Old Timers' Day on July 19.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Jared Diamond reports that, according to Joe Girardi, Sergio Mitre will probably be the one who steps in to start on Tuesday in place of Chien-Ming Wang.
Posted by: Patrick
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A Harris Interactive poll has found that the Yankees are the "favorite baseball team among those who follow Major League Baseball" for the seventh year running. 2,177 adults in the United States form the basis of the results.

The Red Sox came in second, but 21% of respondents picked them to win the World Series this season, followed by the Yankees at 19%.

Via Ben Kabak via Maury Brown.
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From Yahoo! Sports:

INF Ben Zobrist got to keep an interesting souvenir from his first All-Star Game, the ball he caught for the final out. Zobrist first offered the ball to Yankees closer Mariano Rivera, who earned his record fourth All-Star save. “He said he’d like it, but if I want it, I can have it,” Zobrist said. “So I have it.”

Nice of Mo.
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On July 2, the Yankees came to terms with a trio of prospects from the Dominican Republic. One of them was Damian Arredondo, a 16 year old shortstop.

Turns out there was a couple of problems with that claim. According to a source, SI.com's Melissa Segura reports that Major League Baseball has revoked the deal after an investigation found that the player the Yankees signed is neither 16 years old, nor Damian Arredondo. His deal requiring the passing of these sort of investigations, so no money had been lost.

Via Peter Abraham.
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MLB.com's Bobbie Dittmeier reports that Damaso Marte is slated to kick off a rehab assignment on Thursday. He'll throw for the Gulf Coast League Yankees.
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In a game that was about half as long as last year's All-Star contest at Yankee Stadium, the American League defeated the National League to extend its All-Star unbeaten streak to 13 games, this time with a tight 4–3 victory.

The two Yankee starters in the game, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira, went a combined 0–5, although Jeter did score two runs (hit by a pitch in the 1st, reached on fielder's choice in the 5th). Mariano shut the door with a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his 4th All-Star Game save, breaking a tie with Dennis Eckersley for the most all-time.

Rays outfielder Carl Crawford was named the game's MVP. Crawford was 1-3 in the game and did not score or drive in a run, but he kept the game tied in the bottom of the 7th when he reached just above the wall to snare a fly ball hit by Rockies outfielder Brad Hawpe, robbing him of a go-ahead solo home run.

This will be the 8th consecutive season in which the American League's representative in the World Series will have home field advantage. The A.L. has won all seven games since "it counted" beginning in 2003, and also had home field in 2002, the last year in which the leagues would alternate who had home field each year.
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The San Francisco Chronicle reports that, before each series, Athletics closer Andrew Bailey watches footage of Mariano Rivera pitching against said team, to see how the veteran attacked their hitters. Bailey, the A's lone representative at the All-Star game, is excited about the prospect of meeting Rivera during the festivities.
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Here's the press release from Peter Abraham:

The New York Yankees today announced the creation of Yankees Universe, an official fan club granting members exclusive benefits, unique access and special savings.

Membership privileges extend to all aspects of the fan experience, including exclusive Web site advantages, outstanding discounts on official Yankees Clubhouse merchandise, and Fast Track entrance perks on game day, all for only $19.95 for a membership valid through the end of the year. Fans may sign up for the club on MLB.com or Yankees.com.

All members of Yankees Universe will have access to special content on the members-only Web site, including behind-the-scenes video of Yankee Stadium, player interviews, chats, photos and articles. Members will also receive a complimentary subscription to Gameday Audio on MLB.com, providing the ability to listen to live baseball games online, as well as the archives of those games.

Yankees Universe members will receive a 10 percent discount on merchandise, valid at participating Yankees Clubhouse stores. Members can also save with special online offers routinely delivered via e-mail and/or the Yankees Universe Web site.

For regular season home games, all Yankees Universe Members (with membership card and valid ticket) can enter at Gate 2 without delay. In addition, on each Wednesday, Thursday afternoon and Sunday during regular season home game, members can enter Yankees Museum through a Fast Track entrance.

Upon registering, new members will be issued a personal membership card and New York Yankees sticker.

“A membership to Yankees Universe gives fans the chance to experience a world of new and unique team essentials,” said Christy Lee, Director of Yankees Fan Club. “We are proud to offer Yankees Universe to the best fans in the world.”

In continuance with the New York Yankees longstanding commitment to the Department of Pediatrics at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Yankees Universe will donate a portion of its proceeds to support the hospital’s research and treatment initiatives for children with cancer.
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Yankees prospect catcher Jesus Montero started at catcher for the World team in the 2009 Futures Game, going 0 for 2 with an RBI as the World beat the U.S., 7-5. The other Yankee representative, Manny Banuelos, also of the World team, did not see any action.
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The Yankees had about as much luck today as they've had the last five years or so in Angel Stadium, as a 5–4 loss put the Yankees on the wrong end of a sweep for the first time since they were swept in Boston June 9-11. Much like in the previous two games, the Yankees missed some opportunities and the Angels had some luck on their side. The Yankees will go into the All-Star break 3 games behind the Red Sox and 2.5 games ahead of Texas in the A.L. wild card standings.

The Yankees for the most part got some good pitching out of CC Sabathia, but his performance was marred by a rather disastrous 4th inning, in which he allowed 4 runs on 4 hits. Aside from that rough inning, the big man allowed only one more run and struck out 6 batters in 6 and 2/3 innings of work.

The Yankees left 9 men on base and squandered opportunities throughout, although the most gut-wrenching failures occurred in the 7th and 8th innings. The Yankees scored a run in the 7th and loaded the bases with nobody out, but Mark Teixeira struck out swinging and Alex Rodriguez ended the inning with a 5U-3 double play. In the 8th, the Yankees pulled to within a run and had the tying run in scoring position with one out, but a rocket hit by Nick Swisher was snared by Angels pitcher Darren Oliver before the ball could reach the ground, and he was able to double off Melky Cabrera trying to get back to first.

So the Yankees quickly go from not wanting a day off because of the rhythm they were in, to now probably embracing a four-day break after the sweep. The Yankees should still go into the break feeling pretty good about their team though, as their 53–37 record is the third best in baseball. The Yankees are, however, a combined 5–15 against division leading teams (Red Sox, Angels, Tigers, Phillies). The Yankees will have an opportunity to improve on that record when the Tigers come into town for a three-game set beginning Friday.

Recap records: Patrick: 25–13, Seamus: 20–16, Andrew: 6–8
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With two homers last night, A-Rod now has 570 in his career, moving past Rafael Palmeiro's 569, and resting at 10th place all-time.

The next mark for him is Harmon Killebrew's 573. If A-Rod can stay healthy and maintain his production, he'll likely reach 7th place by the end of the season, passing Mark McGwire at 583 and Frank Robinson at 586.
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For the second game in a row, the Yankees blew a 4-0 lead. Five home runs, including two each from Alex Rodriguez and Eric Hinske, wouldn't be enough, as Andy Pettitte and his relievers gave up 14 runs to lose 14-8 Saturday night at Angel Stadium. The Yankees have now dropped the first two games of this series to end their streak of five straight series wins.

Thing started out nicely for the Yankees, as Rodriguez hit a two-run home run in the first, Hinske hit a solo shot in the second and Cano drove in a run on a single in the fourth.

But Pettitte imploded over the next two innings. He gave up an RBI single to Bobby Abreu in the fourth and then was charged with five of the Angels' seven runs in the fifth inning. Brandon Wood started the scoring party with a two-run home run to right center. He then gave up three singles to score a run. After being relieved by David Robertson with one out, Pettitte was charged with two more earned runs on Mike Napoli's double.

In 4 1/3 innings, Pettitte allowed six runs on seven hits while walking two and striking out one.

Robertson allowed a run of his own to score in the fifth to give the Angels an 8-4 lead. He then gave up an RBI triple to Erick Aybar in the sixth inning to extend the Angels' lead to 9-4. He was then relieved by Brett Tomko.

The Yankees got a couple of runs back in the seventh when Hinske hit a two-run shot against Darren Oliver to bring the Yankees within 9-6. However, Tomko allowed a solo home run to Napoli.

With the Angels up 10-6, the Yankees hit back-to-back solo home runs - Rodriguez and Hidkei Matsui - in the top of the eighth to come within two runs. But Phil Coke went on to give up four runs in the bottom of the eighth to effectively end the game.

CC Sabathia gets the start tomorrow afternoon as the Yankees will look to prevent getting swept.

Recap records: Patrick: 25–13, Seamus: 20–15, Andrew: 6–8.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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Through the fourth inning on Friday night, everything looked peachy. Yankees had four runs on the board (2 of them scored by Derek Jeter), thanks to an RBI double by Alex Rodriguez and RBI singles by Nick Swisher and Johnny Damon.

Meanwhile, a somewhat rough second inning aside, Joba was getting results as he held the Angels to 1 run on 5 hits.

After an A-Rod homer gave Joba a four run lead in the top half of the frame, the bottom of the fifth is where it all started to blow up. Chone Figgins lead off with a single and proceeded to steal second. After a Maicer Izturis foul out, Bobby Abreu brought Figgins around with a single. He, too, stole second. An A-Rod throwing error put Juan Rivera on first base. Kendry Morales cleared the bases with a three run home run. After a Mike Napoli double, Joe Girardi had seen enough. Mark Melancon relieved Joba and retired the final two batters of the inning without further incident.

The Angels tacked on two more in the bottom of the sixth, making it 7-5, Angels. To start the game, Jeter had been given a day off in the field, acting as the team's designated hitter and Jorge Posada had simply been given the day off. But, in the top of the 7th, things would get switched around.

Mark Teixeira singled to lead off the inning, but A-Rod struck out and Nick Swisher flied out and it looked like Teixeira would be stranded. But, Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera came through with back to back singles to bring the first baseman home.

» Read More

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Peter Abraham has a partial roster for the 2009 Old Timers' Day at the stadium on July 19. Tony Cloninger, Chad Curtis, Mike Easler, Charlie Hayes, Lindy McDaniel and Jerry Narron are the first year attendees.
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Peter Abraham reports that Jonathan Albaladejo has been optioned down to make room for Mark Melancon.
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Chad Jennings reports that Mark Melancon is on his way to the big league club. The corresponding move has not yet been announced.

Via Bryan Hoch.
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Mike Axisa at River Ave. Blues reports that Baseball America has released it's midseason list of the top 25 prospects in the game. Number 3? Our very own Jesus Montero. Austin Jackson also factors into the "next 25," an unnumbered list of 25 players after the initial list.
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Filling in for the injured Chien-Ming Wang, Alfredo Aceves made his first start of the season this afternoon, following a four inning save on Sunday. He last 3 and 1/3 innings, throwing 65 pitches and allowing 4 runs (3 earned). Two of those came around on bases loaded walks by David Robertson, who relievred Aceves in the 4th with the bases loaded and 1 out.

Beside that, the bullpen was on point, allowing no earned runs over the last 5 and 2/3 innings of the game. That was 1 inning from Robertson, 1 and 2/3 innings from Jonathan Albaladejo (who got the win), 2/3 of an inning from Phil Coke, 1 and 1/3 innings from Phil Hughes and a scoreless ninth for Mariano Rivera, who collected his 23rd save.

While the offense only had 8 hits, 3 walks and 6 runs - they spread it around. 8 players had 1 in (all except Nick Swisher, who was 0 for 5 in the second spot in the order). Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera had doubles, while Mark Teixeira had a home run. Runs were also scored by A-Rod, Jorge Posada (2) and Cano (2) and more RBI came from Derek Jeter, Cody Ransom (2) and Brett Gardner (2).

With the win, the team improves to 51-34 - the third best record in the game. They are only half a game out of first place but with a Red Sox loss tonight, could grab a share of the division lead.

Tomorrow, the team heads to Los Angeles to face the Angels in the final series of the first half. Joba Chamberlain (4-2, 4.04) goes against Joe Saunders (8-5, 4.44).

Recap records: Patrick: 25–12, Seamus: 20–15, Andrew: 6–7.
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During Tuesday's loss, third base umpire Marty Foley mistakenly called out Derek Jeter on a steal of third and then, according to Jeter, he told the Captain that the ball beat him and that's why he was out - he didn't need to be tagged. This led to Joe Girardi being tossed from the game.

Yesterday, umpire crew chief John Hirschbeck revealed that Foley told him that he said something different: "The ball beat you, and I had him tagging you."

Derek Jeter has responded, talking to the Post. "He didn't say that," Jeter said. "He knows exactly what he said and he didn't say that." Third base coach Rob Thomson added that he didn't hear Foley say that, either.

I'd be surprised if anything at all came of this, but I'm glad that Jeter didn't just back down.
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As expected, Francisco Cervelli was demoted to make room for Jose Molina, returning from the DL, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo.
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The Yankees held on to win a tight game in which they led almost the entire way, as a 4–3 victory over the Twins helped keep the Yanks within one game of Boston in the A.L. East. The Yankees have now won five straight series and have won 12 of 14 games overall.

The Yankees went jumped ahead in the top of the 2nd with three runs off of Anthony Swarzak, who started for the Twins in place of a sick Glen Perkins. A wild pitch by A.J. Burnett in the bottom of the inning followed by an RBI double from Joe Mauer brought the Twins within 3–2. A-Rod made it 4–2 with an RBI single in the 5th.

A.J. Burnett was pulled with one out in the 7th (6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 2 K) and two lefties due up to bat. Joe Girardi went to Phil Coke, who entered the game and immediately served up a solo home run to Joe Mauer. After striking out Justin Morneau, Girardi went to Phil Hughes.

Hughes recorded three outs and allowed one hit, and Girardi went to Mariano Rivera with two outs in the 8th. Rivera retired all four batters he faced en route to recording his 22nd save of the season. The declining Rivera struck out one batter, and now has 43 strikeouts on the season compared to just 3 walks (a 14.33 K/BB ratio).

For the fourth straight series, the Yankees will be heading into the final game attempting to complete a sweep, and they will send Alfredo Aceves to the mound to make his first start of the season. No official word yet on who the Twins' starter will be, but it will most likely be Francisco Liriano (thanks to Patrick for helping me out with this). Tomorrow night will also be the last time the Yankees play in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, provided the two teams don't meet in the postseason. Game starts at 8:10 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 24–12, Seamus: 20–15, Andrew: 6–7

EDIT: I just realized a major goof I made. Thursday's game began at 1:10 ET. I apologize for the error.
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MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez has umpire crew chief John Hirschbeck findings, in regard to the little controversy that erupted yesterday when third base umpire Marty Foley incorrectly called Derek Jeter out on an attempt at stealing third base. It wasn't the call that was the problem as much as what Jeter says Foley said afterward, which was that the ball beat him, so he was out - he didn't need to be tagged.

Hirschbeck says that Foley told him that that isn't what he said. Instead, Foley claims that he said: "The ball beat you, and I had him tagging you."

"Sometimes when tempers flare, you don't hear everything that's said," Hirschbeck added.

I share the skepticism expressed by Ben Kabak of River Ave. Blues. That said, this is probably the end of this story.
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Joel Sherman of the Post says that, according to anonymous Yankee officials, there is "zero chance" (Sherman's words) that the team will trade for Roy Halladay, for the same reasons that they didn't pull the trigger on Johan Santana: the cost is simply too high.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
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Chad Jennings reports that Trenton catcher Jesus Montero has been added to the Eastern League Northern Division All-Star team as a replacement player, after just 26 games. He'll be joining five other Trenton players on the team.
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The bottom three hitters in the Yankees order - Robinson Cano, Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli - turned in quite the effort on Tuesday night. Combined, they were 7 for 14 with 2 doubles, a triple, 5 runs and 6 RBI. Of course, the offense as a whole was pretty good - especially Mark Teixeira (4 for 6, 1 run, 1 RBI).

On the other side of the ball, CC Sabathia victimized the Twins, holding them to 1 earned run on 3 hits over 7 innings. Brett Tomko pitched the final two innings and allowed the Twins a second run, but that would be hit - a combined 4 hitter for the two righties.

Tomorrow at 8:10 PM ET, A.J. Burnett (7-4, 3.83) will go against Glen Perkins (4-4, 4.38).

Recap records: Patrick: 24–12, Seamus: 19–15, Andrew: 6–7.
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Peter Abraham reports that the Yankees will not carry three catchers - as soon as Jose Molina is back, Francisco Cervelli will be sent down. Not a shock.
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Peter Abraham reports that Alfredo Aceves will start Thursday in place of Chien-Ming Wang. Meanwhile, the team has officially released Angel Berroa.
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Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports that the Blue Jays intend to see what they might be able to get for ace Roy Halladay and he speculates that the Yankees could make a push for him, perhaps with Phil Hughes leading a package. Just idle chatter right now, but it's something to ponder.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
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After today's loss, the AP reports that Derek Jeter revealed what bothered him enough to argue, after he was caught stealing in the first inning. Beyond just being safe, he said that third base umpire Marty Foster told him that he didn't need to be tagged - the ball had beat him.

The chief of today's umpiring crew, John Hirschbeck, had a fair approach to the situation. "It would make his actions seem appropriate if that's what he was told," Hirschbeck said. He plans to talk with Foley about what happened. Check out the article for his full remarks.
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Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger has a neat feature on Brett Tomko and his hobby of painting. Check it out. The video clip from the article is included below.

Yankees pitcher Brett Tomko is also a painter

Via Mike Axisa.
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The Yankees got the tying run to the plate in the 9th, but that's as far as they would get as they fell 7–6 to the Blue Jays, failing to complete a four-game sweep of their A.L. East rivals.

The Yankees never led in this one, and the Blue Jays were ahead ever since Rod Barajas brought in Kevin Millar with a base hit with two outs in the 2nd inning. Andy Pettitte was not particularly sharp, allowing 6 runs on 5 hits and 5 walks in 6 innings. After Brian Bruney coughed up a two-run double to Scott Rolen in the 7th, the Yankees trailed the game 7–1 (one of the runs was charged to Pettitte).

The Yankees would make a game of it though, and a two-run bottom of the 7th followed by a one-run 8th would pull the Yankees to within 7–4. The Yankees had the bases loaded in the 8th, but Nick Swisher flew out on the first pitch to end the inning.

Things got more interesting in the bottom of the 9th, when after the first two batters were retired, Jorge Posada and Robinson Cano came through with back-to-back hits to bring the tying run up to the plate. Hideki Matsui came up next with runners on second and third, and brought both runners in with a base hit to center. That brought up Eric Hinske, who homered earlier in his Yankee debut. Hinske worked the count to 3–1, but swung at what would have been ball 4 to bring the count full and then struck out swining on the following pitch.

Also of note: There was a bit of an incident in the 1st inning, when Derek Jeter was called out attempting to steal third with nobody out. Jeter, who rarely will argue a call, had a few words with umpire Marty Foster, which promptly led Joe Girardi to leave the dugout and back his star up. Girardi was ejected from the game. Jeter said the explanation he was given by Foster was that he didn't need to be tagged in order to be called out. I'm going to assume that Derek Jeter didn't just make that up, and I'm not even going to attempt to wrap my head around the absurdity of that explanation.

Anyhow, the Yankees will be embarking on a 6-game road trip to wrap up the "first half" of the season and will be in Minnesota tomorrow night to take on the Twins. CC Sabathia will try to bounce back from the rough outing he had Thursday against Seattle. The Twins will send Scott Baker to the mound. Game starts at 8:10 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 23–12, Seamus: 19–15, Andrew: 6–7
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Peter Abraham reports that Jose Molina is expected to be activated on Tuesday and, barring any surprises, Francisco Cervelli will be demoted to make room.
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MLB.com's Jared Diamond reports that Chien-Ming Wang has been added to the disabled list, as expected. In his place, we have Jonathan Albaladejo. It's unclear who will make the start on Thursday, when Wang would have pitched, but that decision will come later.
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There were 18 total runs scored in today's contest between the Yankees and Blue Jays, and they all came in the first five innings of the game. The Yanks got the last laugh in this one, coming away with a 10–8 victory, overcoming an error and some sketchy pitching in the top of the 4th inning to secure their 9th win in their last 10 games. The Yankees remain one game behind Boston, who defeated Seattle this afternoon.

The Yankees were ahead 4–0 before Toronto came back with 3 runs in the 3rd off of Joba Chamberlain in the top of the 3rd. The Blue Jays scorched the Yankees for 5 more in the 4th and seemingly were on the verge of blowing this one open after an error by Cody Ransom led to 5 unearned runs in the inning. Joba was unable to pick up his defense and was pulled with two outs in the inning, finishing with a line of 8 runs (only 3 were earned) and 9 hits allowed in just 3 and 2/3 innings. Jonathan Albaladejo entered the game in relief and pitched an inning and a third of scoreless ball in his return to the Bronx.

The Yankees bounced back in the bottom of the inning, however, as Hideki Matsui belted a three-run homer to pull his team to within 8–7. The Yankees went back ahead, this time for good, when a two run-homer by Derek Jeter in the 5th made it 9–8. Jeter was later brought in by Jorge Posada, who launched an RBI double to right.

That would be all for the fireworks in this one, as neither team scored in the last four innings of the game. Alfredo Aceves pitched the final four frames, striking out 5 and allowing just one hit.

The Yankees will go for the sweep tomorrow afternoon as Andy Pettitte will take the mound and will be matched up against promising young rookie Ricky Romero. Game starts at 1:05 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 23–12, Seamus: 19–14, Andrew: 6–7
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The 2009 All-Star rosters were announced today, and the Yankees will be sending two usual representatives (Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera) as well as Mark Teixeira, who will be making his second career All-Star appearance. Both Jeter and Teixeira were voted in by fans and will start the game.

The entire rosters for both teams can be found on Major League Baseball's official site, as well as the ten "Final Vote" candidates (no Yankees included).
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George A. King at the Post reports that the Pirates sent scouts to the Yankees game on Thursday, leading to speculation that the Yankees might consider trading for LHP John Grabow, who is 3-0 with a 3.65 ERA in 36 games this season.

The teams were thought to have discussed Grabow in December of 2007 and the Pirates were shopping him at the trade deadline in 2006, as well. King says that the Dodgers and Rockies sent scouts to the game, as well.

At the end of June, it was reported that the Phillies had interest in Chien-Ming Wang. Add the Rangers to this list, SI.com's Jon Heyman. He even says that the Phillies have already made an offer, a prospect that the Yankees didn't like.

Via Mike Axisa and Mike, again.
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Steve Serby's latest Sunday Q&A for the Post is up and it's with Derek Jeter. As jimmyjack, a commenter on the article says, I think this is like a guide for how athletes should handle themselves, how Jeter has always handled himself, actually - it's nothing new. He avoids speculation and personal matters and answers meaningful questions. Some fans give him a bad wrap for not answering these sorts of questions, but it's his choice not to feed the machine and I can't say I don't respect it.
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Peter Abraham reports that, after being removed from tonight's game, Chien-Ming Wang went and had an MRI and the team says he has a strain with bursitis. Apparently, he's expected to be back within a month.

For the time being, Abraham says not to expect Phil Hughes or Alfredo Aceves to replace him. Instead, he suggests that Sergio Mitre could be the one to do so. Mitre is 2-1 with a 3.26 ERA in 5 starts at Triple-A.
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ESPN has released their 2009 rankings of professional sports teams, ordered by the amount that they give back to their fans. The Yankees are ranked a really low 107 out of 122 (the list is comprised of teams from the MLB, NFL, NHL and NBA).

Breaking it down by their categories - the team ranks worst in Affordability at 121, beating only the Toronto Maple Leafs, and 26th in Title Track, which is supposed to be an indicator of championships already won and expected to be won in a fan's lifetime.

Via Ben Kabak.
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The Chien-Ming Wang/Roy Halladay matchup didn't seem to favor the Yankees on paper heading into Saturday's game at Yankee Stadium. However, when the dust settled, the Yankees were able to come back against the Jays' big right-hander and eventually defeat them 6-5 in 12 innings.

The Yankees got on the board in the bottom of the first on Alex Rodriguez's two-out RBI single to right. Johnny Damon drew his first of two walks against Halladay and was in scoring position after a Mark Teixeira groundout.

However, Toronto was able to come right back and take the lead off Wang in the top of the second. Lyle Overbay walked with one out and Vernon Wells popped a ground rule double to right. Alex Rios followed with a two-run single up the middle to give the Jays a 2-1 lead.

Halladay, who has dominated the Yankees over the years, was a little rusty in his second start coming off the disabled list. He allowed a solo home run to Hideki Matsui in the bottom of the second to tie the game at 2. Jorge Posada then hit a leadoff solo home run in the fourth to give the Yankees the lead again. It would be short-lived, however.

Adam Lind hit a two-run home run in the top of the sixth to give the Jays at 4-3 lead. Wang would leave after throwing another pitch with a strained shoulder. In 5 1/3 innings, he allowed four earned runs on six hits. He walked one, struck out one and threw 67 pitches. David Robertson relieved Wang and promptly allowed two straight walks. After recording a strikeout, he allowed an RBI single to Rios to extend the Jays' lead to 5-3.

Halladay pitched a scoreless sixth inning to preserve the lead. However, Derek Jeter led off the seventh with a single. Johnny Damon was up next and proceeded to hit a patented "New Yankee Stadium home run" to right to tie the game at 5. This proved to be Halladay's last inning. All five runs were earned and he struck out three and walked three.

Aside from Robertson, all of the Yankees relievers - Brian Bruney, Phil Hughes, Mariano Rivera, Phil Coke and Brett Tomko - all pitched scoreless innings through the 12th.

The Yankees were hitless in extras heading into the 12th. Mark Teixeira got lucky when he hit a ball off the first base bag for a double to lead off the frame. Rodriguez was intentionally walked to face Robinson Cano, who finished the day 0-for-6 with 10 runners left on base. For some reason, he bunted on a 3-0 count, forcing Teixeira out at third. However, Posada was able to pick up his second baseman with an RBI single to center to win the game 6-5.

On a day the Red Sox lost, the Yankees pulled into within one game of first place while reaching 14 games above .500 for the first time this season. Joba Chamberlain starts for New York tomorrow afternoon as the Yankees look to win the first three games of this four-game series in the Bronx.

Recap records: Patrick: 23–12, Seamus: 18–14, Andrew: 6–7.

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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ESPN.com has released letters written by Lou Gehrig and his wife, Eleanor, during the time when Gehrig's health rapidly declined. The letters are written to Gehrig's doctor, Paul O'Leary and the last one is dated March 3, 1941. Gehrig would pass away on June 2. There is a video presentation, as well. The letters are owned by a private collector. The letters make for difficult reading.
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The AP reports that Major League Baseball honored Lou Gehrig today on the 70th anniversary of his famous speech, where he called himself the luckiest man in the world. The speech was played at all 15 games today and all players, coaches and on field personnel inside of the game wore patches.

Flowers were placed at his plaque in Monument Park by the Yankees, who also donated $25,000 to the league's "MLB 4 ALS" initiative. For more, check out the full article. It's nice to see.
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Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports reports that the Yankees are keeping tabs on Diamondbacks relief pitcher Chad Qualls. If the team decides it needs to trade for a bullpen arm, he could be one of the names that they target.

Via Mike Axisa via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
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Don't look now, but A.J. Burnett is a man about his business. After holding his old battery mates to 2 runs on 6 hits over 7 innings on Friday, the righty is 3-1 in his last 4 starts, with an ERA of 0.98. His season ERA, now 3.83, is the lowest it's been since April 24 (3.20), just three starts into the season.

The Yankees offense wasn't great, but it just happened to be good enough. Robinson Cano homered in the second for the first run. Mark Teixeira walked with the bases loaded to score Brett Gardner and then Johnny Damon scored on a past ball. Alex Rodriguez earned a valuable insurance run with a solo homer in the eighth.

The Phils - Coke and Hughes - combined for a scoreless eighth and Mariano Rivera was flawless in the ninth. His 1-2-3 inning lowered his ERA to 2.67 for the year.

Offensive contributions were spread around as the team had 8 hits from 7 players - Derek Jeter was the one with two hits.

Game two is tomorrow at 1:05 PM ET. Chien-Ming Wang (1-6, 10.06) goes against Roy Halladay (10-2, 2.56), in just his second start since coming off the DL.

Recap records: Patrick: 23–12, Seamus: 18–14, Andrew: 5–7.
Posted by: Patrick
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It wasn't CC Sabathia's night. The big guy lasted 5 and 2/3 innings, throwing 107 pitches and allowing 6 runs on 10 hits and 3 walks. Nonetheless, the Yankees were still in this one, tagging Mariners' starter Jason Vargas for 4 runs in his 4 innings of work.

But, the Seattle bullpen just silenced the Yankees bats, holding them scoreless for the final 5 innings. Alfredo Aceves pitched 2 and 1/3, allowing 2 runs (1 earned) and Dave Robertson pitched a scoreless ninth. But, what's it matter with a punchless offense?

Robinson Cano had a good night, however, going 3 for 3 with 2 runs and a double. Hideki Matsui was the other ofensive star, going 2 for 3 with a double, a home run and 3 RBI. The rest of the lineup had a combined 7 hits (Jeter and Swisher had the others).

The seven game win streak comes to an end. The team will start a new series tomorrow as Toronto comes to town for a four game set. All four games will be at 1:05 PM ET. Friday's starters will be A.J. Burnett (6-4, 3.93) and Brian Tallet (5-5, 4.47).

Recap records: Patrick: 22–12, Seamus: 18–14, Andrew: 5–7.
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Today marked open season on 16 year old international free agents and the Yankees came to terms with catcher Gary Sanchez, as expected. Kiley McDaniel at Baseball Prospectus reports that the team also brought in RHP Chris Cabrera and SS Damian Arredondo. Mike Axisa of River Ave. Blues says that Sanchez's $3 million dollar bonus is the biggest one that the Yankees have ever given to an amateur hitter.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Seamus
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...literally. In a game that took only 2 hours and 17 minutes, the Yankees defeated the Mariners 4–2 thanks to some stellar pitching and a few timely long balls. The win was the Yankees' 7th in a row and they kept pace with Boston and created some room between them and the Rays, who lost to Toronto.

All four Yankee runs were scored via the home run tonight. Johnny Damon homered in the 3rd to put the Yankees up 1–0 and Melky Cabrera (confirmed by replay) hit a monster shot into left field in the 5th inning to put the Yanks up again by a score of 2–1. Both of those home runs were answered in the next inning by 1-spots from Seattle. A-Rod put the Yankees ahead for good in the 6th with a two-run shot into Monument Park.

Andy Pettitte was solid after being roughed up a bit in Atlanta, with the only blemishes being a home run by Ken Griffey Jr. and a run-scoring ground out by
Wladimir Balentien (I'll admit, I had to copy and paste that name). Pettitte finished with a line of 2 runs on 6 hits in 7 innings of work. Alfredo Aceves and Phil Coke combined for a 1-2-3 8th inning and Mariano Rivera pitched a hitless 9th to record his 20th save of the season and the 502nd of his career.

As an aside, I heard just a minute ago on YES that Xavier Nady will in fact have Tommy John surgery and that Jose Molina will play for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on a rehab assignment tomorrow in Pawtucket.

The Yankees will send CC Sabathia to the mound tomorrow at 7:05 ET and will try to complete a sweep of Jason Vargas and the Mariners.

Recap records: Patrick: 22–11, Seamus: 18–14, Andrew: 5–7
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that Ramiro Pena has been optioned to Triple-A to make room for Eric Hinske. The Yankees plan to give him some time in center to increase his flexibility.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Ashmore reports that five players on the Trenton Thunder, the Yankees Double-A affiliate, have been named to the Northern Division team for the Eastern League All-Star Game. They are pitchers Zach McAllister and Josh Schmidt and infielders Reegie Corona, Eduardo Nunez and Jorge Vazquez. McAllister and Vazquez were added through fan votes. Trenton manager Tony Franklin will lead the coaching staff.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com has video of Mariano Rivera throwing out the ceremonial first pitch before last night's game. He would later throw the real last pitch in the game, as well.
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MLB.com's Doug Miller has the latest update in the 2009 American League All-Star balloting. With 3,046,813, Derek Jeter is the only player with 3 million or more votes, holding a commanding lead at the shortstop position.

Mark Teixeira has fallen behind Kevin Youkilis by 40,047 votes. You can vote online through Thursday at 11:59 PM ET.

Via Tyler Kepner.
Posted by: Patrick
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Chad Jennings reports that George Kontos, a 23 year old RHP with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees, is expecting to have Tommy John surgery, requiring 10 months of rehab. After going 1-1 with a 2.66 ERA on Double-A Trenton, Kontos had been 3-4 with a 3.35 ERA in 9 starts at the Triple-A level.
Posted by: Patrick
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The Yankees and David Wells. Always destined to be together, it seems. John Harper of the Daily News says that the Yankees were eying the then 32 year old Tigers right hander and when Detroit sent back the players that they had in mind, Mariano Rivera's name appeared, according to Gene Michael, the Yankees general manager then.

Joe Klein, Detroit's general manager during that period, told Danny Knobler of CBS Sports that he offered Wells straight up for Rivera. Klein felt that Michael was interested, but wouldn't say yes. Klein made it clear the offer wasn't going to last forever - but he gave the Yankees GM some time. However, Michael says, somewhere around that point, Mo's velocity jumped up in the Minors and he refused to include him in a deal.

Michael says it was in the minors, but Knobler disputes that, saying that Mo was in the Major League rotation when Wells was eventually dealt to the Reds for C.J. Nitkowski, Mark Lewis and Dave Tuttle.

Talks of Wells to the Yankees revived in the next offseason, however, when the Reds were looking to trade the pitcher away. Ben Kabak was River Ave. Blues points to an article in The New York Times on December 27, 1995, authored by Murray Chass.

Chass said that, according to an "official familiar with the Wells talks", George Steinbrenner made a call to Reds general manager Jim Bowden, offering not just Mariano Rivera - but also Jorge Posada. Yikes. However, Wells ended up in Baltimore with the Reds receiving Curtis Goodwin and Trovin Valdez.

The Yankees would finally get David Wells in the offseason following the 1996 season, signing him on Christmas Day. Wells would pitch two full seasons, winning a world title, before being shipped in a package for Roger Clemens. He'd return once more for the 2002 and 2003 seasons, finally leaving the club for good. And, of course, we know what happened with Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
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Joba Chamberlain's pitch count issues continued on Tuesday, but as he has many times this season, Chamberlain managed to keep things under control.

It took him 96 pitches to get through 5 and 1/3. In that span, he walked 3 hitters and allowed 9 hits, but only 3 runs scored. He exited with the game tied at 3.

He left a runner in scoring position with one out for Phil Coke, who retired the only two batters he faced to get out of the jam.

After Phil Hughes pitched a 1-2-3 seventh, Alex Rodriguez hit a two run shot in the bottom half of the frame to put the Yankees ahead 5-3.

It wasn't a lead the team could keep, though. Brian Bruney began the eighth and immediately, three consecutive singles put runners on first and third and the lead to a single run. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk, the bases were loaded for Russell Branyan, who hit a sacrifice fly that tied the game. Bruney retired Jose Lopez for the third out.

Hideki Matsui lit the fire to with a double to lead off the bottom of the eighth. Brett Gardner pitch ran and Nick Swisher bunted for a single, moving Gardner to third. Melky Cabrera came up with a big hit, doubling home Gardner and then Derek Jeter brought both Melky and Swisher around with a two RBI single. 8-5, Yankees.

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