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You are currently viewing archive for August 2009.

Posted by: Seamus
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Tonight's game for the Yankees against the Orioles began at 7:05 ET. 21 batters and about 3 ulcers later, the Orioles had their first baserunner. An error by Jerry Hairston Jr. with two outs in the seventh followed by a base hit by Nick Markakis ended Andy Pettitte's perfect game and no-hit bids, but Pettitte's gem was still more than enough to help the Yankees secure a 5–1 victory over the O's in Camden Yards.

Pettitte was completely locked in, retiring the first 20 batters he faced in the game. Andy had Oriole hitters looking foolish until with two outs in the seventh inning, Jerry Hairston Jr. let a ground ball that was hit right at him go under his legs for an E5, ending Pettitte's perfect game bid just seven outs short. The next batter, Nick Markakis, ended Pettitte's no-hit bid with a solid single down the left field line. Hard to say what could have been, as not only did Hairston botch Pettitte's perfect game with his error, but Markakis' hit came with Pettitte pitching out of the stretch in the 7th, which he had not done all game. No point dwelling on the "what-ifs" though, and as Michael Kay would say, "That's the fallacy of the predetermined outcome."

Pettitte eventually lost his shutout in the eighth after Melvin Mora launched a solo home run to left-center field. The Yankees handed the ball over to Brian Bruney in the 9th, who put two runners on base before handing it over to Mariano Rivera to close the game out.

Offensively, the Yankees were led by Nick Swisher, who was 3-for-4 including a home run and 2 RBI on the night. Swisher has now homered 12 times in 80 career at-bats in Camden Yards.

A.J. Burnett will get the ball tomorrow night and he'll be up against David Hernandez as the series resumes at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 38–22, Patrick: 35–16, Andrew: 10–10
Posted by: Seamus
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That is the word according to Bryan Hoch's Twitter page. The Yankees will give cash back to the Orioles in return. Guzman has struggled at the Triple-A level this season, splitting 82 games between Pawtucket (the Red Sox' Triple-A affiliate) and Norfolk, putting up a line of .219/.261/.289 and an OPS of just .550.

Correction: Guzman also played 13 games for the Mariners' AAA affiliate in Tacoma this season (82 games in the International League, 95 total).
Posted by: Patrick
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SI's Jon Heyman reports that Brad Penny is going to the Giants. The Yankees had reportedly been interested.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
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Baseball Prospectus' John Perrotto reports that the Yankees would like to bring Johnny Damon back for just one year, which would help them keep Austin Jackson down in Triple-A for another season. They would then make plays for Matt Holliday and Jason Bay.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
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The regular season in the 2009 Yankees Bloggers Fantasy Baseball League has come to a close and here is how the standings sit right now:


Rank  Team              W-L-T    Pct    GB
*1. Eric (PP) 116-83-11 .579 -
*2. Aziz (POTY) 113-84-13 .569 2
*3 YankeeGM 110-88-12 .552 5.5
*4. Patrick (YB) 108-93-9 .536 9
*5. Dave (POTY) 104-97-9 .517 13
*6. Greg (SIH) 101-100-9 .502 16
*7. Dan (PA) 92-102-16 .476 21.5
*8. Steve (M2M) 86-112-12 .438 29.5
9. Andrew (SPA) 82-114-14 .424 32.5
10. Seamus (YB) 78-117-15 .407 36
Congratulations to Eric Schultz of Pending Pinstripes for being our top team heading into the playoffs. The top 8 teams are guaranteed a playoff spot, so congrats to Aziz Nekoukar of Pride of the Yankees, YankeeGM of Yankee GM Blog, Dave Nekoukar of Pride of the Yankees, Greg Cohen of Sliding Into Home, Dan LaTorraca of Pinstripes, Pa. and Steve Schwartz of The Yankees: Minors to Majors on that.

So, wait a second. The only two people not to make the playoffs are my fellow YanksBlog.com blogger Seamus Molloy and Andrew Fletcher of Scott Proctor's Arm, who has been recapping games on Saturday for us as a guest blogger all year? Really?! ... Well, let's just say they were too busy writing to field a good fantasy team? Yeah, let's go with that. I'll have to do enough winning for all of us.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Ashmore reports that pitching prospect Dellin Betances had Tommy John surgery recently and is now down in Tampa working on his rehab.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees continued to feast off of the fading White Sox today as blasts by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira helped the Yanks secure an 8–3 victory to finish off a sweep of Chicago and end their 6-game homestand at 4–2. The win guarantees the Yankees their 17th consecutive winning season, including the strike-shortened season of 1994.

Johnny Damon put the Yankees ahead with a two-run homer in the third inning, and a 5-run seventh highlighted by a 3-run bomb from Mark Teixeira turned a close game into a comfortable 8–2 lead for the Yankees. Teixeira had 4 RBI on the day and in the process became the first American League player to reach and surpass the 100 RBI mark this season. A home run by the Sox' Jermaine Dye in the ninth brought Chicago to within 8–3, which would prove to be the final score.

The Yankees implemented their new "Joba Rules" today, as they allowed Chamberlain to pitch only 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits as Alfredo Aceves entered the game in the 4th (he picked up his 9th win) with the Yankees leading 2–1. From here on out, the plan is for Joba to continue to pitch every 5th day but his starts are going to be shortened so he doesn't go over the innings limit the Yankees have decided to impose on him. With the win, Aceves actually surpassed Joba for fourth on the team in victories.

As far as Joba goes, it's really hard for me to pass judgment on the Yankees here because I've never pitched an inning of organized ball in my life. I couldn't tell you first hand about the wear and tear of a 200-inning season vs. a 150-inning season and how far a pitcher who's never gone more than 133 innings can go into a season without putting his arm in danger. But I really don't see how it benefits Joba or the Yankees to start him for 3 innings and then ask for 6 innings out of the bullpen. What we saw today really wasn't much different from what you see when teams use a reliever as a spot starter. I'd have to think that if the Yankees were only a game or two up or down in the division and not 9.5 games ahead of the closest wild card contender, the team would be approaching this a bit differently.

The Yankees will be in Baltimore tomorrow night to kick off a three-game set with the Orioles. Andy Pettitte, who we should expect to see more than three innings from, is scheduled to go up against Jeremy Guthrie and the O's. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 37–22, Patrick: 35–16, Andrew: 10–10
Posted by: Patrick
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Ken Belson at the Times has an interesting feature on New Era. A couple of neat factoids:

The Yankees have been the top selling cap for each of the past 7 seasons. Not only that, but it's not close - they're beating others by a 3 to 1 margin. The Dogers have been second in 5 of those 7 years and the Red Sox have filled that slot twice.

The Yankees logo requires 2,688 stitches. This is the 4th least of all teams, with the Pirates leading the way at 1,881 - 500 less than any other team. The most stitches? The Marlins at 10,966. That's 1,673 stitches more than the closest competition (Blue Jays).

At some point, you wonder if they say "man, these Marlins caps. 10,966 stitches?! We're never going to be able to make a profit on this!"

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
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Richard Sandomir of the Times and Neil Best at Newsday (care of Ben Kabak) report that George Steinbrenner (not the Yankees, just Mr. Steinbrenner) is being sued by Bob Gutkowski, the former President of the MSG Network, for fraud and breach of contract. He's seeking damages of $23 million dollars.

To be brief, he says that the YES Network was his idea and that he was promised compensation and a role at the company - neither of which occurred. Gutkowski alledges that he had an oral pack with the senior Steinbrenner, who told him that he would either be in charge of YES or play a substantial role.

According to Sandomir, Steinbrenner spokesman Howard J. Rubenstein called the claims "patently false and frivolous."

"Mr. Gutkowski had nothing to do with the initiation of the idea for an R.S.N. [regional sports network] for the New York Yankees, nor did he have any role in the establishment or the success of the YES Network," Rubenstein added.

Here is Gutkowski's statement, as well: "I did everything possible to avoid having to sue George Steinbrenner. I have repeatedly spoken with his people and asked for a meeting directly with George. Unfortunately, their positionwas to stall me, string me along and, in the end, block the meeting."
Posted by: Patrick
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Jorge Posada, healing his battered ring finger, is expected back tomorrow by Joe Girardi, reports Josh Thomson.
Posted by: Andrew
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Sergio Mitre carried a perfect game through 4 1/3 innings until Jim Thome doubled to right. Little did we know that would be the only hit the Chicago White Sox could garner, as they were shut out by the Yankees 10-0 Saturday afternoon.

Mitre pitched 6 1/3 innings and had to leave after being struck on the right forearm on a ball hit by A.J. PIerzynski. X-rays were negative. Chad Gaudin pitched the final 2 2/3 innings, striking out four.

New York got to starter Jose Contreras early and often. He allowed eight runs (six earned) on nine hits in only 3 1/3 innings. Johnny Damon, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano and Jerry Hairston Jr. each had two RBI apiece, and Rodriguez hit the game's only home run - a solo shot - in the eighth inning.

The Yankees scored four runs in the second and fourth to give Mitre a big lead to work with. When Mitre was forced to leave the game in the seventh, he had only thrown 73 pitches.

The Yankees have held the White Sox to two runs over the first 19 innings of this series, winning both games. They will look to sweep them tomorrow afternoon, with Joba Chamberlain on the bump.

Recap records: Seamus: 36–22, Patrick: 35–16, Andrew: 10–10

Andrew Fletcher regularly blogs about the Yankees at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mike Puma and Joal Sherman at the Post report that, according to a source, the Yankees were negotiating with free agent starter Paul Byrd, before he signed with the Red Sox, and that Byrd informed the team that he preferred the Yankees over any other team. However, Brian Cashman and co. were unwilling to comply with his request of a guaranteed 40-man roster spot.

When he signed with the Red Sox, believing that they likely had to have agreed to the request, the Yankees placed a claim on Chris Carter, which will force the Red Sox to put Carter on their 40-man for the rest of the season. The aim is decreased roster flexibility for the Sox who had to add Billy Wagner and also have Daisuke Matsuzaka due back soon.
Posted by: Patrick
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CC Sabathia and Mark Buehrle of the White Sox were both good on Friday night - though, CC was a bit better. He threw seven innings, one more than Buehrle and also strick out 9 more hitters (10 in all) and walked 1 (1 walk total) less while allowing the same number of runs and hits (8 and 2, respectively).

The Yankees first two runs came on solo homers - Derek Jeter hitting his 17th and Johnny Damon his 23rd. Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera both pitched 1-2-3 innings in the eighth and the ninth with Hughes striking out the side. But, the ninth ended in a tie at 2.

Brian Bruney pitched the top of the 10th and was great - the third straight 1-2-3 inning for the pen. 9 hitters up, 9 hitters down.

In the bottom of the 10th, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez both made outs to start it off. But, then, Hideki Matsui walked to keep it going. With Jerry Hairston Jr. pinch running for Matsui, Nick Swisher walked, as well. This set the table for Robinson Cano who would send a walk off, 3-run home run to right center field. Yankees win!

Bruney improves to 4-0. With 10 hits and 4 walks, every Yankee starter reached base.

At 1:05 PM ET, Sergio Mitre (2-1, 6.82 ERA) will start against whoever the White Sox decide to throw out there - as of those moment, it's to be determined.

Recap records: Seamus: 36–22, Patrick: 35–16, Andrew: 9–10
Posted by: Patrick
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The plan for Joba Chamberlain has been adjusted, reports Tyler Kepner of the Times.

Instead of pitching only a handful of games for the rest of the season, on extended rest, he'll go back to being a part of the five man, except that some of the starts that he makes will end after 3 or 4 innings, in an effort to keep his innings down.
Posted by: Patrick
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ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports that, according to sources, the Yankees placed a waiver claim on Chris Carter of the Boston Red Sox. The Sox had put Carter on waivers to clear the way for him to be traded to the Mets in the acquisition of Billy Wagner. But, now they have pulled him back from waivers and he'll need to occupy a 40 man roster spot for the rest of the 2009 season.This serves to limit, however minimally, the Red Sox roster flexibility.

The Wagner deal is officially two players to be named later, so the Mets will have to wait until after the season if they want Carter.

Via Howard Megdal.
Posted by: Patrick
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George A. King III of the Post reports that the Yankees have some interest in Brad Penny, just released by the Red Sox. It's believed that he'll clear waivers on Monday and he would then cost the Yankees $100,000.\

He's 7-8 with a 5.61 ERA this season.

Via Mike Axisa via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
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Thursday's starter, A.J. Burnett, picked up 12 strikeouts in 6 innings of work, allowing 3 runs on 2 hits and 3 walks. Emphasis on the walks because all of the runs the Rangers scored off of him were on one swing.

In the fourth, after he struck out the first two hitters, he walked Josh Hamilton and Nelson Cruz. Ian Kinsler made him pay with a three run home run before - what else? - the third out was made on a strike out.

As soon as he left, Phil Coke coughed up another three run homer in the seventh. The Rangers would get one more off of David Robertson in the eighth, but that was overkill because the offense was simply stymied by the Rangers bullpen after wasted chances against Rangers' starter Dustin Nippert, who labored for 98 pitches in just 3.2 innings.

In that 3.2 innings, the team had 4 hits, 7 (SEVEN) walks and... 2 runs. Robinson Cano stranded the bases loaded in the first. Johnny Damon stranded Melky at third in the second. Nick Swisher and Cano left runners on 1st and 2nd in the third. And A-Rod left runners on the corners in the fourth. So, yeah, a serious lack of timely hitting.

After Nippert left, it went from bad to worse as Jason Grilli, C.J. Wilson and Frank Francisco held the team to no runs on 4 hits and 1 walk over the final 5.1 innings. Yankees lose, 7-2.

Damon and Teixeira (2 RBI) had 2 hits. Jeter and Damon scored the runs. That's about it.

We'll welcome the White Sox to own at 7:05 PM ET tomorrow night with CC Sabathia (15-7, 3.59) going against Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.92).

Recap records: Seamus: 36–22, Patrick: 34–16, Andrew: 9–10
Posted by: Patrick
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Charity Buzz is hosting an online auction in cooperation with The Jorge Posada Foundation.

Everything from celebrity meet and greets and jewelry to memorabilia and a walk on role in an upcoming Spike Lee film. This catcher's mitt is pretty cool. It features the signatures of assorted Yankee catchers, including Yogi Berra, Jorge Posada, Joe Girardi, Ron Hassey, Mike Stanley, Charlie Silvera, Don Slaught, Kelly Stinnett, Todd Greene, Rick Cerone, John Flaherty, Ellie Rodriguez and Chris Widger. (What, he doesn't have Jose Molina's phone number?)

You can view all items over at the auction site.
Posted by: Patrick
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During last night's game, both Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez ran into a little injury trouble, reports Josh Thomson of The Journal News. Posada left ring finger took a hit and he was removed - the same finger that was hurt earlier this month. He had X-rays and he's sore, but he's alright. He'll probably get some time off.

Meanwhile, A-Rod fouled a ball off of his left foot. He's also sore, but no tests needed to be done. He's got a bruise, but that's about it.
Posted by: Patrick
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Andy Pettitte's last outing wasn't great - but it didn't matter because the Yankees offense was on fire. Today, the offense was powerful, as well, but Pettitte was just as good.

He held the Rangers to 2 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks over 7 innings, picking up win number 11 and lowering his ERA to 4.18.

The Yankees would provide him with all the runs he'd need in the second when Jorge Posada connected on a 3-run shot that scored Alex Rodriguez and Hideki Matsui. A solo homer from Jerry Hairston Jr. in the fourth would add another.

The Rangers would finally answer back with 1 run in each of the 5th and 6th innings, leaving the score at 4-2 heading to the bottom of the seventh. But, this is when the Yankees would put the game out of reach.

They went 6 batters before making an out, collecting 5 runs to stretch the lead to 7. Derek Jeter singled in Robinson Cano and Hairston Jr., Nick Swisher doubled in Melky Cabrera and Mark Teixeira singled home both Jeter and Swisher.

Every Yankee starter, except for Cabrera, had at least one hit, but Melky did score a run, of course. Matsui and Cano both had 2 hits and Hairston walked twice to go along with his homer. Posada had 3 RBIs to lead the team and Hairston's 2 runs did the same as 7 guys scored 1 run.

Brian Bruney and Phil Coke pitched back to back scoreless innings to end the game. Bruney loaded the bases with 1 out, but got Ivan Rodriguez to ground into an inning ending double play. Coke went 1-2-3.

The win allows New York to keep pace with the Red Sox, holding a 6 game lead. Tomorrow, at 1:05 PM ET, A.J. Burnett (10-7, 4.08) will go against Dustin Nippert (4-2, 3.95) in game 3.

Recap records: Seamus: 36–22, Patrick: 34–15, Andrew: 9–10
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Ian Kennedy will be sent to the Arizona Fall League, playing for the Surprise Rafters. This had been expected.

He'll be joined by three other members of the organization: catcher Austin Romine, infielder Brandon Laird and outfielder Colin Curtis.
Posted by: Patrick
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Though the Yankees book ended the game with two four run innings, it wouldn't be enough to beat the Rangers.

Things got off to a great start in the first with the team going up 4-0 thanks to two out rally that included a two RBI double by Hideki Matsui (scoring Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez) and a Jorge Posada home run to bring Matsui around.

This wasn't enough runs for a roughed up Joba Chamberlain, unfortunately. In 4 innings of work, he'd allow 7 earned runs on 9 hits and 3 walks, lifting his season ERA to 4.34. By the time he was done, the Yankees were down 7-5, with the fifth run coming on a Robinson Cano solo homer, his 20th of the season.

Chad Gaudin would be next in line to face the Rangers and that would mean 3 more runs over 3.2 innings. The Yankees bats, meanwhile? Silent. Damaso Marte pitched the final 1.1 innings scoreless, allowing only a walk.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli reports that Brett Gardner got some batting practice and throwing time in today - the last time he did so was about a month ago. If everything goes right, he could be back with the Yankees next week.
Posted by: Patrick
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Johnny Damon told Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports that he hopes to get something worked out with the Yankees that would allow him to stay in the Bronx "for a couple more years."

Meanwhile, Jon Heyman of SI.com says that the Yankees would like to have him back and they might offer him a second year. He says that the first offer will likely be in the $6-8 million dollar range.

Via Cliff Corcoran and Corcoran via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
Posted by: Patrick
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Red Sox starter Josh Beckett threw eight innings against the Yankees on Sunday night. When Beckett throws 8 innings, you expect the Red Sox to win. But, his earned run total matched his innings total as the Yankees picked up 8 runs on 9 hits, ending the day with a team left on base of only 2.

The Yankees were hitting the long ball. Solo homers by Matsui (two of them), Derek Jeter (on the first pitch of the game) and Robinson Cano and a two run shot by Alex Rodriguez (that scored Johnny Damon) accounted for six of the runs.

The other two came in the third when Mark Teixiera singled in Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez grounded out, allowing Damon to score.

It wasn't a smooth, slick CC Sabathia performance, but though he labored, he got the job done. It took him 118 pitches to get through 6.2 innings, in which he allowed 4 runs, 3 earned, on 8 hits and no walks, while striking out 8. Also noteworthy is he managed to pick Jacoby Ellsbury off of first base after the Red Sox leadoff hitter had reached on an error by Cano.

Phil Hughes threw 1.1 innings scoreless and Mariano Rivera, pitching outside of a save situation, did the same in the ninth. Mo's ERA is now 1.87, the lowest it's been since before he had allowed a run this season. Likewise, Phil Hughes ERA of 3.33 is the lowest it's been since his second appearance of the season. Sabathia gets win number 15.

The Yankees leave Boston with a 7.5 game lead and the Red Sox with a 1 game lead in the Wild Card race. New York also leads the league in home runs on the road, with 83, says Joel Sherman (via Peter Abraham).

The team will get Monday off, but will be back in action on Tuesday at 7:05 PM ET when Joba Chamberlain (8-3, 3.98) goes against Kevin Millwood (9-8, 3.48).

Recap records: Seamus: 36–22, Patrick: 33–14, Andrew: 9–10 (Seamus gets credit for this one)
Posted by: Patrick
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On August 25 at 7 PM ET on ESPN, E:60 and reporter Rachel Nichols will chronicle 11 year old Tom Ellenson's day at Yankee Stadium in July as part of HOPE Week. Ellenson has cerebral palsy and is unable to speak. But, with a device created by his father, he is able to communicate with others.

During HOPE Week, Andy Pettitte, Joba Chamberlain and Alex Rodriguez hug out with Ellenson and his little league team and invited them to a game at the stadium, which will be the focal point of the E:60 episode. For more on Ellenson's day, check out this video at YESNetwork.com (via Nick Ragone) and the promo clip for the E:60 episode below.


Posted by: Andrew
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A.J. Burnett was terrible in his third start at Fenway Park as a Yankee, allowing nine earned runs in five innings in the Yankees' 14-1 mauling at the hands of the Boston Red Sox Saturday afternoon.

After allowing only one earned run in 13 2/3 innings at Fenway Park last season, Burnett has allowed 20 earned runs in 12 2/3 innings.

There really isn't much to say here. The Yankees had their chances early on against Junichi Tazawa, but were unable to get big hits and continually let him off the hook. He pitched six shutout innings, allowing eight hits and throwing 99 pitches. The Yankees left 13 runners on base, compared to the Red Sox's three.

Kevin Youkilis hit two home runs, driving in six runs. David Ortiz and Alex Gonzalez added solo home runs for Boston. The Yankees' only run came on a Nick Swisher home run in the seventh when the Yankees were already down 12-0. Swisher and Robinson Cano each had three hits for New York. Derek Jeter's hitless day ended his multi-hit hitting streak at six games.

The Yankees will look to take the rubber game tomorrow night at 8:05 p.m. CC Sabathia will face off against Josh Beckett.

Recap records: Seamus: 35–22, Patrick: 33–14, Andrew: 9–10

Andrew Fletcher regularly blogs about the Yankees at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Patrick
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Yesterday, the AP reported on Jim Rice's meeting with players at the Little League World Series. They quoted him as saying this:

"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod, you see Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare."

"We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks. It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.

As I mentioned yesterday, it's of no consequence to Jeter because he's had plenty of Hall of Famers who have talked glowingly about the Yankees captain for not only his play, but the way he approaches the game.

Today, talking to Gordon Edes of Yahoo! Sports, Rice says he was misquoted. That was saying those things only about Manny - not about Jeter or, for that matter, Alex Rodriguez.

I will say that his comment seemed very strange. It's certainly possible that he was misquoted. But, it's unclear if he even mentioned Jeter and A-Rod at all. In which case, is he suggesting the AP just inserted their names into his quote? "I said, 'The guys who play right, you know who they are, and they know in the clubhouse, too. You can’t fool your teammates,'" Rice told Edes. "I mentioned 'guys,' not those guys."

For his part, Edes says that upon hearing Rice's contention that he had been misquoted, Jeter had only this to say: "Misquoted? How was he misquoted?"
Posted by: Patrick
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Tyler Kepner of the Times pointed out some interesting statistics accompanying Hideki Matsui's crazy night last night at Fenway.

His 7 runs batted in were the most that any player has had at the park since Freddie Patek of the Angels drove in that number on June 20, 1980. But, that's not all. The last Yankee to drive in 7 against the Sox (at Fenway or at Yankee Stadium) was Joe Pepitone on August 29, 1964. But, no, wait. That's not all. Here's the real good one: the last Yankee to drive in 7 against the Red Sox at Fenway was Lou Gehrig on July 31, 1930.

Also, Kepner points out that the 31 runs scored last night shattered the 106 year old record of 29 that was made on July 29, 1903. It was the New York Highlanders vs. the Boston Americans at Huntington Avenue Grounds.

Via ESPN.
Posted by: Patrick
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On MLB.com, John Torenli reports that the five Trenton Thunder (the Yankees Double-A affiliate) pitchers combined to throw a ten inning one hitter against the New Hampshire Fisher in a 1-0 win.

The one hit, off of starter Paul Bush, was made by the second hitter of the game. Bush went four innings. Josh Schmidt (2 inning), Eric Wordekemper (2), Jose Valdez (1) and Humberto Sanchez (1) went the rest of the way.
Posted by: Patrick
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5 walks, 12 singles, 8 doubles, 1 triple, 2 home runs and 20 runs. That was the Yankees tally on Friday night off of Red Sox pitchers Brad Penny (4 inning, 1 walk, 10 hits, 8 runs), Michael Bowden (2 innings, 3 walks, 8 hits, 7 runs), Manny Delcarmen (1 inning, 1 hit, 1 run), Takashi Saito (1 inning) and Ramon Ramirez (1 inning, 1 walk, 4 hits, 4 runs).

Every Yankee starter except Robinson Cano (who doubled and scored 2 runs) had at least two hits. Every starter except for Nick Swisher (who scored 1 run) had at least two runs scored. It was just that kind of night for the offense. Hideki Matsui had a monster night, going 2 for 6 with 2 home runs, 2 walks and 7 RBI.

Derek Jeter continued his torrid pace, going 3 for 6 with a double, 3 runs and 2 RBI. He is now 25 for 46 in his last 11 games. That's a .543 batting average. Mark Teixeira was 2 for 5 with 3 runs and 3 RBI. A-Rod had 4 hits, including his first triple of the season. Melky had 4 hits, too. Let's just stop there. Everyone looked good.

There were three rough spots. First: Johnny Damon left early in the game with a bruised knee, according to Peter Abraham. He's day-to-day.

Second, Andy Pettitte didn't look good. 5 innings, 7 hits, 7 runs, 5 earned, 1 walk. We blew them out and he'd been on a roll lately, so it's not that big of a deal.

Third, Sergio Mitre was brutal in the ninth. After pitching a scoreless eighth, he allowed two homers, 4 runs and hit a batter before bringing this one to a close.

But, what can I say? Enjoy it. The Yankees are up 7.5 games.

Tomorrow's game is on Fox at 4:10 PM ET. It'll be A.J. Burnett (10-6, 3.69) against Junichi Tazawa (1-2, 5.40).

Recap records: Seamus: 35–22, Patrick: 33–14, Andrew: 9–9
Posted by: Patrick
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Update: Rice says he was misquoted.

According the AP, this is what Jim Rice told players at the Little League World Series today:

"You see a Manny Ramirez, you see an A-Rod, you see Jeter ... Guys that I played against and with, these guys you’re talking about cannot compare."

"We didn’t have the baggy uniforms. We didn’t have the dreadlocks. It was a clean game, and now they’re setting a bad example for the young guys.

The AP article says that Rice was sharing his belief that Major League Baseball players today "are too focused on individual goals and getting big contracts." That's not a quote from Rice, just from the article's author.

Whaaaa? Bryan Hoch got a response from Jeter: "That's a first for me. I didn't know I was like that."

Talk about coming from out of left field. Derek Jeter? Yikes. It's no skin off the Captain's nose, obviously. There are plenty of current Hall of Famers who have heaped praise on him for his work both on and off the field. This is just a strange situation, that's all, and it makes Rice look out of touch.

Via Peter Abraham.
Posted by: Patrick
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Ken Davidoff reports that the Yankees have activated Damaso Marte. To make room on the roster, Ramiro Pena has been sent down.

Marte last pitched on April 25 against Boston. He is 0-1 with a 15.19 ERA in 7 appearances.

Via RiverAveBlues.
Posted by: Patrick
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The player to be named that the Yankees would need to send to the Padres to finish the Chad Gaudin deal has turned into cash. $100,000, says MLB.com's Corey Brock.

Via Mike Axisa via Brian Shepard.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Doug Miller reports that Minor League pitchers Nestor de Leon and Ramon Rodriguez have tested positive for anabolic steroids and been suspended for 50 games.
Posted by: Patrick
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Mark Feinsand of the Daily News reports that Joba Chamberlain has six starts remaining this season. Joba has thrown 126.2 innings this season in 23 starts, averaging nearly 5.2 innings per start. Six more at six innings each would put him at 162.2 for the season.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees finally finished up their west coast trip Wednesday night, capping off a 5–2 trip with a 3–2 victory over the Athletics. Mark Teixeira drove in all three Yankee runs, and Chad Gaudin kept his team in the game in his spot start as the Yankees remain 7 games ahead of Boston in the standings.

The Yankees jumped ahead with a little small ball early on, as Derek Jeter's leadoff single (12-18 on the current road trip) was followed up by a stolen base, a ground ball to the right side by Johnny Damon that moved Jeter to third, and an RBI ground out by Teixeira that put the Yanks ahead 1–0 in the first. Teixeira added a two-run blast to left in the 4th inning that made it 3–0 and also capped off the Yankee offense for the night.

Three runs were all they would need, however, as Chad Gaudin and company were for the most part pretty effective. Gaudin was only able to pitch into the 5th inning and he did walk 5 batters, but he allowed only one hit and kept the A's off the board in his first Yankee start. Both of Oakland's runs were scored off Alfredo Aceves, who was actually the winning pitcher in this one (8–1) as he finished out the 5th inning in relief of Gaudin.

The rest of the bullpen (Coke, Hughes, Rivera) pitched 2 and 1/3 scoreless innings, including a key ground out induced by Coke, who relieved Aceves with the tying run at second in the 7th inning. Phil Hughes got himself out of a little trouble in the 8th and Mariano Rivera set down the A's in order to pick up his 36th save.

The Yankees will have the day off today as they'll travel back across the country for a three-game set beginning tomorrow night in Boston. Andy Pettitte and Brad Penny will face each other in the opener.

Recap records: Seamus: 35–22, Patrick: 32–14, Andrew: 9–9
Posted by: Patrick
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ESPN E:60 sat down with Pat Venditte (and his father) to talk about how one becomes an ambidextrous pitcher. They briefly touch on his future prospects, as well.


Via Mike Axisa.
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You can vote now for the 2009 Hank Aaron Award winner in the American League. Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira are up from the home team, writes Bryan Hoch.
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The AP reports that on Ian Kennedy's road to recovery after he was diagnosed with an aneurysm in May.

The righty expects to pitch in the instructional league in September and is slated to play in the Arizona Fall League following that.
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As has happened more than a few times this season, the A's managed to get some early runs off of CC Sabathia. The big lefty has an 8.14 ERA during pitches 1 through 15 in 2009 - allowing 19 earned runs, which is 6 more than any other 15 pitch segment of his starts.

But, as Sabathia has shown day in and day out this year, as well, is that it's not how you start - it's how you finish. With those first two frames out of the way, CC pitched his final six innings scoreless, allowing just 3 more hits to go along with a walk and seven strikeouts. He needed just 94 pitches - 66 of which were thrown for strikes.

The Yankees scored early, too, with Melky Cabrera scoring when Derek Jeter reached on a fielding error in the second. Jorge Posada added an RBI ground rule double in the third, which brought around Alex Rodriguez.

Things remained deadlocked at 2-2 until the sixth, which proved to be the only other inning that had any scoring. The Yankees made it count. After a Robinson Cano ground out, Nick Swisher doubled and then advanced to third on a passed ball. Melky Cabrera was hit by a pitch to put runners at the corners for the Captain.

» Read More

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Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reports that the Yankees are still looking for starting pitching, but probably won't do anything until the rosters can expand on September 1. They did take a look at Aaron Harang and Bronson Arroyo of the Reds, but talks hit a roadblock when the Reds refused to add cash to a potential trade.

Via Ben Nicholson-Smith.
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Tyler Kepner of the Times writes that Johnny Damon wants to return to the Yankees last year. Given that Damon, Hideki Matsui and Xavier Nady are all set to become free agents, it could make sense to snap him up to a short term, budget conscious deal, like Ben Kabak of River Ave. Blues says.
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Baseball America's Jim Callis reports that the Yankees came to terms with 44th round pick LHP Evan DeLuca for $500,000.

Meanwhile, noMaas.org's Lane Meyer contradicts an AP report that indicated that 17th round pitcher Chad Thompson had signed.
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Veteran hurler Russ Ortiz has opted out of his contract with the Yankees after three minor league starts, reports Peter Abraham. He was 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA for Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees lost back to back games for the first time since they lost the first three in Chicago from July 30 to August 1, thanks to a second straight sub-par performance by the Yankee offense. This time they were shutout 3–0 by an A's staff that was headed by Brett Tomko, who the Yankees designated for assignment on July 21.

Tomko allowed just 5 hits in his 5 scoreless innings despite a few hard-hit balls early on. The A's also got 4 shutout innings from Craig Breslow, Brad Ziegler and Andrew Bailey. The only Yankee who really came through offensively was Derek Jeter, who had 3 hits and as Ken Singleton mentioned during game, is 11–20 so far on this road trip.

If you take away the bottom of the 4th inning, A.J. Burnett was actually the best pitcher in this game. Burnett allowed 3 runs in the inning, including a balk that allowed Kurt Suzuki to come across the plate, but aside from that he was really untouched and he went the entire way despite being the losing pitcher.

CC Sabathia will get the ball tomorrow night and will face Vin Mazzaro and the A's. Game is scheduled to start at 10:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 34–22, Patrick: 31–14, Andrew: 9–9
Posted by: Patrick
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According to reports by Bryan Hoch, Peter Abraham, Jim Callis and Callis again, the Yankees have come to terms with 1st rounder Slade Heathcott ($2.2 million), 2nd rounder J.R. Murphy ($1.25 million), 5th rounder Caleb Cotham ($675,000), 16th rounder Bryan Mitchell ($800,000) and 21st rounder Joe Talerico.
Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Hideki Matsui had his swollen left knee drained. The Yankees are optimistic that he'll be back this week.
Posted by: Seamus
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Everybody is allowed a clunker once in awhile, I guess. Today's 10–3 loss in Seattle is pretty hard to be upset about considering the Yankees still won 3 of 4 in the series, still have won 12 of 14 games overall and remain 7.5 games ahead of the Sox, who lost in Texas.

The pitching wasn't really there for the Yankees the way it has been over the last month or so. Joba Chamberlain put 10 batters on base in just 5 innings, allowing 4 runs. The bullpen struggled as well, most notably in the 7th, when Alfredo Aceves and Chad Gaudin combined to allow 5 runs (4 were charged to Aceves). The M's added on a final insurance run in the 8th to cap off their 10-run attack.

Even if you take the bullpen out of the equation, though, the Yankees still would not have come up with enough offense to win. They were held to just 3 runs in this one by rookie Doug Fister, all coming in the first 4 innings of the game. Derek Jeter had 3 hits in the game, overtaking Luis Aparicio for the most career hits ever by a shortstop. Nick Swisher homered for the second straight game. Other than that, there wasn't much offense to speak of.

The Yankees will be in Oakland tomorrow and will force us to stay up late for three more nights as they'll begin a set with the last place A's. A.J. Burnett will take the mound tomorrow and will be opposed by Vin Mazzaro. Game starts at 10:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 34–21, Patrick: 31–14, Andrew: 9–9
Posted by: Patrick
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Steve Serby of the Post has his Sunday Q&A with Mariano Rivera this week.

Q: The last time you were nervous away from the mound?

A: That's not for you to know.

Ha.
Posted by: Andrew
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Coming into Saturday night's Yankees/Mariners game at Safeco Field, the Mariners had struck out 22 times in the first two games of this four-game series. Tonight would be no different, as the M's went down on strikes 11 times at the hands of Yankees pitchers, including eight from the bullpen. The strikeouts helped secure a 5-2 victory for the Yankees and Sergio Mitre.

Mitre allowed two runs (one earned) in 5 1/3 innings and a dropped fly ball by Franklin Gutierrez in the second inning helped propel the Yankees.

The Mariners got on the board in the first inning on a sacrifice fly. Robinson Cano got eaten up on an in-between hop off the bat of Ichiro that resulted in a two-base error. Following a groundout, Jose Lopez flew out to left to drive in the run.

But the Yankees countered with four in the second, helped by Gutierrez's miscue with one out. Cano led off with a single. After Jerry Hairston Jr. flew out, Melky Cabrera hit a fly to center. Ichiro Suzuki got close to Gutierrez, which threw him off and eventually led to the ball dropping. Jose Molina followed with an RBI single. Derek Jeter then added a sacrifice fly to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead. After that, Nick Swisher hit a two-run home run to left.

Mitre seemingly ran out of gas in the sixth. After getting Ken Griffey Jr. to strike out, he allowed two singles and a walk before being removed in favor of David Robertson. Robertson got Josh Wilson to strike out swinging for the second out. He then struck out Ryan Langerhans looking, in what was a questionable call by C.B. Bucknor.

In total, Robertson struck out three batters in one inning of work and Phil Coke, who was brought in with one out in the seventh, struck out three in his 1 2/3 innings.

There was another questionable call in the bottom of the seventh - this time strategically - as Suzuki was caught trying to steal third with two outs and the go-ahead run at the plate.

Derek Jeter hit a solo home run in the ninth to extend the Yankees' lead to 5-2. Mariano Rivera nailed down the save in the ninth, his 35th of the season. The Yankees are now 31 games over .500 and have a 7.5-game lead in the American League East. Joba Chamberlain starts tomorrow afternoon, as the Yankees will look to sweep the four-game series in Seattle.

Recap records: Seamus: 34–20, Patrick: 31–14, Andrew: 9–9

Andrew Fletcher blogs about the Yankees regularly at Scott Proctor's Arm.
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Marc Carig of The Star-Ledger asked Mariano Rivera about the elbow surgery that he had back in 1992 - an operation that some had thought was Tommy John surgery.

But, that was not the case, according to Rivera. Apparently, they had expected it to required, but once they got in and looked at the ligament, they didn't need to replace it. Instead, Rivera says, they "moved" it.

Via Ben Kabak.
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Tyler Kepner reports that the prospects of a Damaso Marte return any time soon are pretty dim. Even though his rehab assignment is set to conclude this weekend, Joe Girardi doesn't sound like he's expecting much. "We're not sure if he’s going to get there," he said.

Via Joseph Pawlikowski.
Posted by: Patrick
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The first inning was not kind to Andy Pettitte. Yet, he minimized the damage. It started single, single, RBI double. After that, a ground out scored another run. But, he struck out the next two hitters to strand a runner at second and, after that, he flipped the switch.

Over the next five innings, he allowed no runs on 3 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 10. The last time he struck out that many hitters was when he struck out 10 on August 21, 2006 when he was with the Astros. The last time with the Yankees? October 2, 2003 in the playoffs. Regular season? July 6, 2003. And, yes, he also picked off a runner to end an inning. His ERA is down to 4.09, the lowest it's been since May 17.

Mariners' starter Ryan Rowland-Smith was good, too, though. The Yankees got one off of him when Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded into a fielder's choice, scoring Jorge Posada. They added a second run to tie the game in the fifth with a Derek Jeter RBI single (Melky Cabrera scored).

The game would be tied going into the ninth. Brian Bruney pitched a scoreless seventh and Phil Hughes (the eventual winner) did the same in the eighth.

After having only four hits in the first eight innings, the Yankees got off to a quick start in the ninth with a Mark Teixeira lead off home run to break the tie. After two outs were made by Hideki Matsui and Posada, Robinson Cano hit a ground rule double and then came around to score on a Nick Swisher single, giving the Yankees an insurance run.

It wasn't needed. Mariano Rivera sat down the Mariners in order in the bottom of the ninth, collecting his 34th save and dragging his ERA back below 2 (1.98).

The Yankees have now won 11 of their last 12 and maintain a 6.5 game lead on the Red Sox.

Tonight's game will start at 10:10 PM ET once again and Sergio Mitre (1-1, 7.04) will get the ball, against Luke French (2-2, 4.31).

Recap records: Seamus: 34–20, Patrick: 31–14, Andrew: 8–9
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Though Joe Girardi had thought of starting Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin back to back this weekend, he's decided against it. Peter Abraham reports that Mitre will go on Saturday, but Joba will start on Sunday. Gaudin will make the start on Wednesday and Joba's next start will be August 25.
Posted by: Patrick
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8 singles, 4 doubles, 3 home runs. The Yankees picked up 8 runs on Mariners starter Ian Snell in 6 innings on Friday night, giving CC Sabathia far more than he would need in an 11-1 win in Seattle.

Hideki Matsui was the offensive star in this one, going 4 for 5 with 2 home runs, 4 runs and 5 RBI. Derek Jeter (homer, 2 runs, RBI), Johnny Damon (2 doubles, 2 runs), Mark Teixeira (double, 2 runs, 1 RBI), Robinson Cano and Jerry Hairston Jr. (double, 2 RBI) all had 2 hits. Every Yankee hitter reached base in this one.

On the other side, Sabathia took care of business. 104 pitches over 8 innings allowing just 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks, while striking out a season high 10. It's the sixth start this year in which CC has allowed 3 or less hits. He's now pitched 170.2 innings this season. Brian Bruney finished with a 1-2-3 ninth.

The Yankees pick it up tonight with another late game at 10:10 PM ET. Andy Pettitte (9-6, 4.14) takes the ball against Ryan Rowland-Smith (2-1, 3.86).

Recap records: Seamus: 34–20, Patrick: 30–14, Andrew: 8–9
Posted by: Patrick
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Peter Abraham reports that, if all goes well, Joe Girardi would like Sergio Mitre to take the ball on Saturday with Chad Gaudin going on Sunday.
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Bill Madden of the Daily News reports that Mariano Rivera was held out of last night's action due to a sore shoulder.

Girardi doesn't seem concerned, according to the report, and Mariano shared a similar sentiment. An earlier report by Andy McCullough of The Star-Ledger said that Mariano did not travel with the team to Seattle, due to "personal reasons."

Girardi expects Mo to be available tonight. "I'd be shocked if he's not ready tomorrow," he said. Whatever it is, we hope it's nothing serious.

Via Steve Lombardi and Ben Kabak.
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Brian Cashman told Peter Abraham that the Yankees have no interest in free agent lefty Mark Mulder. It's been four seasons since Mulder was last effective - when he went 16-8 with a 3.64 ERA in 2005.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees came on top of a back-and-forth matinee affair this afternoon, thanks to a walk-off single by Robinson Cano in the 11th that gave the Yankees a 4–3 victory. With the win, the Yankees wrapped up a 6–1 homestand and remain 5.5 games up on Boston, who defeated the Tigers in Boston this evening.

After the Blue Jays erased an early Yankee lead via a long ball from Randy Ruiz in the 2nd, the Yankees jumped back on top in the 3rd with a solo shot to right from Johnny Damon. Robinson Cano added a little insurance for the Yanks in the 4th with a solo homer of his own.

A.J. Burnett was roughed up for 10 hits in 6 innings, but he would have escaped with minimal damage if not for some major control issues in the 6th inning. Randy Ruiz was able to score Toronto's second run on a single by Raul Chavez after advancing to third on a wild pitch. Edwin Encarnacion, who advanced to second on the wild pitch, went to third on Chavez' single. With the tying run just 90 feet away, Burnett looked like he might get out of this one after striking out Joe Inglett for the second out. Burnett was just one strike away from escaping with the lead before he let another pitch get away from him, this time allowing Encarnacion to score the tying run.

3–3 was where the score would remain for the next four innings, as neither team could push across the winning run before going into extra frames. The game finally ended on a drive by Robinson Cano that landed on the warning track, scoring A-Rod from second for a walk-off single.

Chad Gaudin got his first action as a Yankee today and picked up his first victory as well, pitching scoreless 10th and 11th innings and allowing just one hit.

Somewhat concerning is the condition of Alex Rodriguez, who was plunked on the elbow in the 11th and looked to be in severe pain. A-Rod did stay in the game and went on to score the winning run. Rodriguez will get the day off tomorrow night in Seattle according to Josh Thomson, although Joe Girardi says they were going to sit him tomorrow anyway.

The Yankees will hit the west coast and will play seven games out there (4 in Seattle, 3 in Oakland), before wrapping up a 10-game road trip with three games in Boston next weekend. Tomorrow night they'll be in Safeco Field taking on the Mariners, and it will be CC Sabathia who will get the nod against the M's newly acquired Ian Snell beginning at 10:10 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 34–20, Patrick: 29–14, Andrew: 8–9
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Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Joba Chamberlain's next start will be on seven days rest. Joe Girardi said that Joba's starts for the rest of the season have been planned, but that he'll only announce one start at a time, to help eliminate any distractions.
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Back in May, the Yankees held their first Kangaroo court session since 1995. The judge? None other than Mariano Rivera.

On Tuesday, they held their second one of the season, reports Josh Thomson of The Journal News. There aren't many details included and Mo declined to name names, saying there were many. "Even the judge got fined," he admitted. Ha.
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Josh Thomson of The Journal News reports that Brett Gardner is now cast free - his broken left thumb will be put on a split and he hopes to be back in two weeks.

Also, Joe Girardi said that Chad Gaudin could start on Sunday - what would ordinarily be Joba Chamberlain's spot in the rotation.
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The Yankees offense amassed 14 hits and 2 walks on Tuesday night against Toronto, scoring 7 runs which would be enough to beat the Jays, 7-5.

They grabbed an early lead when RBI singles from Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez scored Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon, respectively, in the first inning. Melky Cabrera sacrificed Robinson Cano home in the second, making it 3-0, Yankees.

Joba Chamberlain took the ball and threw 6 innings, allowing 4 runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He left the game down, 4-3. Brian Bruney (1 inning), Phil Coke (.2 innings) and Dave Robertson (.1) picked up the slack in the seventh and eighth. But, the Yankees remained down a run.

They got to work quickly in the bottom half of the eighth, however. Hideki Matsui led off with a home run to tie it - and then Jorge Posada did the same to give the team the lead. For the third straight night, the Yankees had back to back home runs.

It wasn't over, yet, though. Eric Hinske doubled and Melky singled to bring in Jerry Hairston, Jr., who pinch ran. After Melky stole second and Jeter struck out, Damon singled to score Melky - but then got caught out at second. Nonetheless, the damage was done. Yankees leading, 7-4.

Mariano Rivera came in to pitch the ninth and he allowed a home run to Edwin Encarnacion. It was the first run that Mo had allowed since June 12 against the Mets. But, besides a single, the game was over. Save number 33 for Mo, win number 70 for the Yankees.

Tomorrow, at 1:05 PM ET, A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.67) goes against Ricky Romero (10-5, 3.66). Yikes. Would you believe me if I told you that Romero and Burnett have the same WHIP? Well, they do. 1.37.

Recap records: Seamus: 33–20, Patrick: 29–14, Andrew: 8–9
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After looking unbeatable for about a week or so, the Yankees were finally solved for a night, this time by the Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees fell for the first time in 8 games despite plating more earned runs across than the opposition, and had their lead in the division cut to 5.5 games as the Red Sox .

Sergio Mitre's line wasn't terrible, allowing just 3 earned runs and 6 hits in 5 innings. Mitre's undoing, however, was in the 4th inning when he made a wide throw to second base after making a nice grab that turned what could have been a bases clearing double play into a run scoring fielder's choice. The Jays went on to score 3 runs in the inning to take a 4–2 lead.

The Yankees did tie the game in the bottom of the inning as they started their frame off with back-to-back home runs by Robinson Cano and Jerry Hairston Jr. The Blue Jays quickly went back in the lead though in the next inning, as Lyle Overbay completely demolished a ball into right center field to put Toronto ahead 5–4, where the score would stay for the remainder of the game.

From the 5th inning on, the Yankees had only 3 hits (out of 11 total) and failed to put a runner in scoring position.

Alfredo Aceves pitched the last four innings of the game and was effective, but it was probably unnecessary to stretch him out like that. I'd imagine he won't be available again for the remainder of the series.

The series resumes tomorrow evening at 7:05 and A.J. Burnett will get a crack at his former team. He'll be up against the young Ricky Romero.

EDIT: Made a mistake with the pitching matchup. Tuesday's matchup is Scott Richmond vs. Joba Chamberlain. Burnett vs. Romero is Wednesday's matchup.

Recap records: Seamus: 33–20, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 8–9

Posted by: Patrick
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch reports that Merlyn Mantle, Mickey Mantle's widow, has passed away at the age of 77. She died due to the effects of Alzheimer's Disease. Our thoughts are with those who were close to her.
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In the last couple of weeks, over at River Ave. Blues, Joseph Pawlikowski, Mike Axisa and a guest posting Rebecca have highlighted the impressive season that the Captain has been having; the latest in a career made up of impressive seasons. In doing so, they've sounded the alarm on the 2009 Derek Jeter for MVP campaign.

Though he has fallen in the rankings over the last week or so, Jeter still ranks as the 5th most valuable position player in the American League, by WAR or wins above replacement. He trails only Ben Zobrist, Joe Mauer, Evan Longoria and Marco Scutaro. All of which play for teams that would not make the playoffs if the season ended now. And Jeter could certainly gain ground.

Count me in. Not only is he deserving, but it would be a delight to see Jeter win the award at this stage of his career. I've always held out hope that Jeter would be able to collect one MVP award and Mariano Rivera would be able to nail down a Cy Young before both players leave the playing field behind.

The closest that Jeter has come was a second place finish in 2006 when he was just 14 points behind Justin Morneau. Mo also managed a second place finish in the Cy Young voting in 2005 when Bartolo Colon won (it wasn't particularly close). Make it happen, Cap'n. (Corny, yes).
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Chad Jennings reports that Cody Ransom, recently designated for assignment has accepted an outright assignment to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
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Matt Imbrogno of Bronx Baseball Daily did some research and concluded that Derek Jeter was the MVP of the Yankees 1996-2004 dynasty, exceeding Mariano Rivera by a good number.

Of course, this is just for fun as, at the end of the day, the team was a dynasty because of the players on the team - not because of one player. Jeter, Mo, Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte and others all played important roles and without any one of those players, who knows if we'd be calling it a dynasty at all.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Seamus
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Oh, how things can change in baseball in the span of two months or so. In early June, the Yankees hit what might have been the low point of their season thus far after they were swept by the Red Sox in Fenway Park. The series turned a one-game division lead for the Yankees into a two-game defecit and put their record at an atrocious 0–8 against the rival Sox. But that was then, and this is now. The Yankees have gone 35–16 since then (June 11) and after a convincing four-game sweep by the Yankees over the Sox at Yankee Stadium, and they now have a commanding 6.5 game lead in the A.L. East.

The Yankees came into tonight's game having shut out the Red Sox for 24 consecutive innings, and tonight it was Andy Pettitte's turn to keep the line moving. Pettitte did endure a few hard-hit balls and threw 112 pitches, but he still went on to post 7 shutout innings, allowing only 5 hits as he put the Sox' scoreless streak at an almost unimaginable 31 innings.

Pettitte was matched for 6 innings by his counterpart Jon Lester until Alex Rodriguez homered to left center field to give the Yankees a 1–0 lead. A-Rod at that point had driven in 3 more runs than the entire Red Sox team over that span of 31 innings.

The BoSox did finally get on the board, however, when Victor Martinez took a two-strike pitch over the left field wall for a go-ahead two-run homer off of Phil Coke in the 8th.

The Bombers would not be outdone. With two outs in the 8th and the Yankees facing hard-throwing Daniel Bard, Johnny Damon took the ball deep into the Yankee bullpen to tie the game at 2. Two pitches later, Mark Teixeira went deep to put the Yankees ahead 3–2. The Yanks added two more in the inning after Nick Swisher lined a soft line drive into center field for a two-run single.

Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless 9th to record his major-league leading 32nd save. Rivera has not allowed an earned run in any of his last 20 appearances. The last time he allowed a run was on June 12 against the Mets.

The Yankees will try to become the first team to reach 70 wins this season and they'll be facing the Blue Jays and Marc Rzepczynski. The Yankees will send Sergio Mitre to the mound. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 33–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 8–9
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For the second straight game, a Yankees high-priced starter shut out the Red Sox for 7 2/3 innings. CC Sabathia followed A.J. Burnett's lead as the Yankees defeated Boston 5-0 Saturday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.

Sabathia struck out nine and walked two over 7 2/3 innings, mimicking Burnett's one-hit effort over that span Friday night. He even took a no-hitter into the sixth inning before Jacoby Ellsbury broke it up with two outs.

Like yesterday's 15-inning pitchers' duel, this game was all pitching with minimal offense for the majority of it. The Yankees took a 1-0 lead in the third inning on Mark Teixeira's RBI single. Melky Cabrera led off with a single and Jose Molina walked. However, Derek Jeter grounded into a double play which almost bailed out Red Sox starter Clay Buchholz. But he ended up walking Johnny Damon, which allowed Teixeira to come up with Cabrera at third.

The Yankees got a crucial insurance run in the sixth when Molina hit a sacrifice fly to score Robinson Cano who doubled to lead off the inning. They would score again in the next frame when Nick Swisher walked with the bases loaded against Enrique Gonzalez. Ramon Ramirez started the seventh inning but was ejected immediately after hitting Alex Rodriguez with a pitch. And for good measure, Jeter added a two-run home run that barely made it over the right field wall next to the foul pole to give the Yankees a 5-0 lead.

But the day belonged to Sabathia, who threw 123 pitches and left to an enormous ovation. After starting the season 0-8 against their rivals from Boston, the Yankees are now in position to sweep this four-game series tomorrow night. Andy Pettitte will face Jon Lester.

Recap records: Seamus: 32–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 8–9

Andrew Fletcher regularly blogs about the Yankees at Scott Proctor's Arm.
Posted by: Seamus
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MLB.com's Bryan Hoch mentioned on his Twitter that the Yankees have purchased the contract of pitcher Josh Towers from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Towers has gone 4–6 with a E.R.A. of 3.42 and has allowed 80 hits in 81 and 2/3 innings for Scranton this season.

The Yanks have optioned Mark Melancon to Triple-A to make room for Towers.
Posted by: Seamus
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The game was 5 hours and 33 minutes and 15 innings long. 14 pitchers were used in the game. 113 batters came up to the plate. It was the Yankees and the Red Sox. And the score of the game was...2–0??? That's what the box score says, as the Yankees edged by their arch rivals by the slimmest of margins in what has to go down as one of the greatest pitching duels in recent history.

If you like good pitching, you knew you were going to like this one after the first few innings. A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett were both on fire, and both got through at least 7 innings without a run coming across. Burnett did walk 6 batters, but you can get away with that when you limit the opposition to just 1 hit in 7 and 2/3 innings.

The game went into extra innings after Jorge Posada struck out swinging following a balk by Daniel Bard that put the winning run at third base with two outs. The Yankees again got the tying run just 90 feet away in the 10th, but failed to capitalize when the Sox brought in Jonathan Papelbon, who struck out Derek Jeter to end the inning and prolong the game.

The Yankees had yet another chance in the 14th. and it appeared that they might have finally taken this one when Eric Hinske lined a ball into right field with Ramiro Pena (called up before the game) at second that ultimately landed in the glove of a stretched out J.D. Drew for the second out. Melky Cabrera ended the inning by striking out after lining a ball just foul down the right field line.

The bottom of the 15th inning showed a little promise when Derek Jeter led the inning off with a base hit. And this time, the Yankees did come through, as Alex Rodriguez ended the game with a long home run into the Red Sox bullpen. It was A-Rod's first home run in 73 at bats, and it put the Yankees 4.5 games ahead of Boston in the A.L. East.

A lot will be made of A.J. Burnett's performance because he started the game, but a lot of credit has to go Alfredo Aceves and Brian Bruney, who pitched a combined five scoreless innings after the 9th inning had ended.

The series resumes this afternoon and while we shouldn't expect a repeat of the drama we saw Friday night, the game still has the potential to be another good pitching matchup. The Yanks will be sending CC Sabathia to the mound and he'll be facing the Sox and Clay Buccholz. Game is scheduled to start at 4:10 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 32–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees finally broke out of their funk against the Red Sox tonight, winning in dominating fashion to grab their first win against the Sox in nine tries this season. The victory puts the Yankees 3.5 games ahead of Boston for the A.L. East lead.

It didn't look good early on, as Joba Chamberlain labored through his five innings of work. He was able to get through the first two without any significant damage, but he had to work himself out of jams and it looked like he was in big trouble. When he finally gave up a two-run homer to Dustin Pedroia in the 4th that put the BoSox up 3–1, it seemed like the Yankees were in for one of those nights.

The game took a complete 180-degree turn from there, however. After an RBI single by Robinson Cano and a walk by Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera turned on a high inside pitch and sent it into the second deck in right field to give the Yankees a 5–3 lead. The onslaught would continue, as the Yankees went on to score four more in the inning to cap off an 8-run fourth inning.

Joba labored again in the 5th, but was again able to escape with minimal damage, allowing just one run. Chamberlain's final line was not pretty (4 R, 6 H, 7 BB), but thanks to the offense it was enough for him to pick up his 8th win of the season.

The bullpen pretty much held it down from there on out, as they held the Sox scoreless until Anthony Claggett allowed two runs to score on back to back hits with two outs in the ninth.

Every Yankee starter had at least one hit, with six of them having two or more. Seven different Yankees drove home at least one run in the game.

The Yankees are now 66–42 and are tied with the Dodgers for the best record in baseball, pending their late result out on the west coast. With 108 games played, the Yanks are exactly two-thirds of the way through the season. They are on pace to win 99 games.

The two rivals will be back at it tomorrow night and we'll see a good pitching matchup as it will be Josh Beckett for the Sox and A.J. Burnett for the Yankees beginning at 7:05 ET. These two pitchers faced off against each other on April 25, and neither of them pitched very well, as both were tattooed for 8 runs in 5 innings. The Yankees led 6-0 early on in that game and lost 16–11.

Recap records: Seamus: 31–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees announced during tonight's game against Boston that they have acquired pitcher Chad Gaudin from the Padres for a player to be named later. Gaudin posted a 5.13 E.R.A. this season in 19 games for San Diego. He's also posted just a 4–10 record, although in his defense he was playing for the Padres.
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees needed five pitchers and had to overcome a gutsy performance by Blue Jays' rookie Marc Rzepczynski, but a big 7th inning and some late inning insurance helped the Yankees cap off a two-game sweep of the Jays with an 8–4 victory. The Red Sox loss, putting the Yankees' lead in the A.L. East at 2.5 games.

The Yanks only got 4 and 1/3 innings out of Sergio Mitre, but he kept them in the game, allowing 3 runs on 8 hits. Mitre struck out the first two batters he faced, but those strikeouts were followed by four straight two-out hits that brought in two runs to give the Blue Jays an early lead. The other run he allowed was on a solo home run by Adam Lind that broke a 2–2 tie in the 5th.

The Yankees tied the game with a lead-off home run by Nick Swisher in the 7th. The Yankees went on to score three more times in the inning, all on RBI singles. They would hold onto the lead from that point forward, picking up a run each in the 8th and 9th innings.

Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira were the main contributors offensively, driving in five of the Yankees' eight runs in the game. Every Yankee starter reached base at least once with the exception of Melky Cabrera.

The Yankees will be home tomorrow to begin a much anticipated four-game series with the Red Sox. The Yanks can end the series up by as many as 6.5 games if they win all four, and they can fall as much as 2.5 games behind if they are swept. They will need to win only one of four to come out of this series ahead in the standings. Joba Chamberlain will be on the mound for the Yankees tomorrow, and he'll be opposed by John Smoltz, who is nearly twice his age. Game starts at 7:05 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 30–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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The Yankees have finally designated Cody Ransom for assignment, reports Peter Abraham. Aside from spending about two months on the disabled list this season, Ransom really struggled at third base as well as at the plate, collecting just 15 hits in 79 at bats.

The move was made to make room for Anthony Claggett, who some of you may remember for relieving Chien-Ming Wang after a rough start in a 22–4 rout of the Yankees by the Indians and pitching just as poorly, getting shelled to the tune of 8 runs in an inning and two-thirds (he has an E.R.A. of 43.20).

According to Abraham, Joe Girardi has said that the move was just to give the bullpen a little insurance in the bullpen for tonight's game in Toronto and that they plan on calling up a position player soon. I'd imagine Shelley Duncan will be packing his bags for the Bronx pretty soon.
Posted by: Seamus
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Roy Halladay did give the Blue Jays nine innings, which is nothing new, but he was on the losing end tonight as Andy Pettitte left his bullpen just enough wiggle room to help the Yankees come up with a 5–3 victory in Toronto. The Yankees have now won two games in a row after losing three straight and are now 4–4 on their nine-game road trip with one game to go.

I'm not sure I can remember the last time a guy gave up 5 runs (4 earned) and 10 hits and still went the distance, but that's what the Blue Jays got out of Roy Halladay. The numbers are a bit misleading though — after allowing 2 runs in the 1st inning, he held the Yankees scoreless for the next six before allowing back to back solo home runs by Johnny Damon and Mark Teixeira in the 8th. A home run by Hideki Matsui plated the 5th and final run of the game for the Yankees.

Andy Pettitte, as you would expect, did not go quite as deep but gave the Yankees what they needed, allowing only one run which came on a sacrifice fly by Alex Rios in the 4th. In 6 and 2/3 he allowed just 4 hits and struck out 6.

Phil Hughes entered the game with two on and two outs in the 7th and the Yankees still leading by just a 2–1 margin and was able to strike out Jose Bautista to end the inning. He was not as fortunate in the next inning, however. After his team scored two runs on the back to back homers Hughes put two runners on in the 8th and was pulled with two outs in favor of Mariano Rivera, who allowed both of Hughes' runners to score on a two-run double by Vernon Wells that pulled the Jays back within a run.

Rivera struggled a bit more in the 9th, this time with the Yankees up by two, but was able to just squeak out of it by getting Aaron Hill to fly out to Melky Cabrera with runners at the corners to end the game.

The Yankees will finish up their road trip with one more game in Toronto before coming home for a four-game battle with the Red Sox at Yankee Stadium. The Blue Jays will be sending 23-year old rookie Marc Rzepczynski (just copy and paste) to the mound to face Sergio Mitre, who will be looking to bounce back from his rough outing Friday night in Chicago. Game starts at 7:07 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 29–19, Patrick: 28–14, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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You know how just about every other night there's that one player towards the end of the game who the announcer mentions is just "a triple away from the cycle" and it completely skips over your head because it NEVER happens? Well, today it happened. With one out in the 9th, Melky Cabrera drilled a ball to right and chugged all the way around to third for a triple, capping off the first cycle achieved by a Yankee since Tony Fernandez did it back in 1995. Oh yeah, and the Yankees won 8–5 over the White Sox to salvage the final game of this four-game series after losing the first three.

Melky's day included a three-run homer that just cleared the left field wall and gave the Yankees a 3–0 lead early in the second, a leadoff double in the 4th, an RBI single in the 5th and of course the triple in the 9th. Cabrera drove in four runs and scored three times, and his 4-for-5 afternoon pushed his average up to .292.

On the other side of the ball, CC Sabathia was OK, all things considered after he briefly coughed up the 3–0 lead by allowing four runs in the bottom of the third. The Yankees did go ahead for good in the 4th, and Sabathia would last until he was taken out after facing one batter in the 8th, finishing with a line of 5 runs on 10 hits. Not pretty, but he did show some grit by getting through 7 in this one while throwing just 100 pitches.

Phil Hughes came into the game to relieve Sabathia, and struck out two batters and walked a guy before Joe Girardi pulled him in favor of Mariano Rivera. Rivera did cough up an RBI single off of Carlos Quentin (run charged to Sabathia), but he settled down after that, as he struck out Chris Getz to end the inning and set down the Sox without any damage done in the 9th to record his 30th save of the year. He is now tied with Angels' closer Brian Fuentes for the most in baseball.

The Yankees' lead over the Red Sox remains at just a half game, however, as the BoSox trampled the Orioles by a score of 18-10 (yes that's Sox-O's, not Pats-Ravens).

Joe Girardi's crew will have the day off tomorrow and they'll be in Toronto Tuesday night to take on the Blue Jays for the first game of a quick two-game series at Rogers Centre. Today's victory becomes ever more important because they'll be facing Roy Halladay on Tuesday. Andy Pettitte will be on the mound for the Yanks. Game starts at 7:07 ET.

Recap records: Patrick: 28–14, Seamus: 28–19, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Patrick
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The innings to remember: the second and the eighth. Why? The ugliness. In the second, starter A.J. Burnett gave up a six spot that we would not recover from. And in the eighth, Phil Coke would do the same.

In his first game with the Yankees, Jerry Hairston, Jr. had a noteworthy day, going 1 for 3, with a run and an RBI. He scored in the third when Mark Teixeira's two run single put the team on the board for the first time. Derek Jeter also scored on the play.

In the sixth, Hairston grounded into a fielder's choice that scored A-Rod and, in the seventh, A-Rod added an RBI of his own, scoring Jeter on a single. A-Rod had three hits on the day and Teixeira and Jeter each had 2. All in all, a game we'd like to forget. If the Red Sox win tonight, we'll have only a .5 game lead in the division.

Tomorrow at 2:05 PM ET, CC Sabathia (10-7, 3.83) will go against Mark Buehrle (11-4, 3.45).

Recap records: Patrick: 28–14, Seamus: 27–19, Andrew: 7–9
Posted by: Seamus
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For anybody wondering how Cody Ransom could possibly still be on the roster and playing first base for the Yankees today, it's because Shelley Duncan was the odd man out, as he's been optioned back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in order to make room for newly acquired Jerry Hairston Jr. The move comes one day after he was called up to fill a need in the outfield in the absence of Brett Gardner, who is on the disabled list.