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You are currently viewing archive for October 2009.

Posted by: Patrick
Steve Serby has a Q&A with George Steinbrenner. Of course, it's through his spokesperson Howard Rubenstein, so it's kind of like a series of issued statements. But, nonetheless, it's an interesting read and the Boss shines through.
Posted by: Patrick
The Philadelphia Daily News reports that the Phillies have elected to start Joe Blanton over Cliff Lee on short rest in game 4 of the World Series on Sunday. CC Sabathia is likely to be his opponent.

Via Justin Sablich.
Posted by: Patrick
With much hoopla, Pedro Martinez returned to postseason baseball at Yankee Stadium on Thursday night, facing A.J. Burnett in Burnett's first ever World Series start.

The Phillies struck first, in the second inning, when Matt Stairs hit a hard grounder by A-Rod, scoring Raul Ibanez to take a 1-0 lead.

Mark Teixeira put the Yankees on the board with a solo home run in the fourth. And Hideki Matsui would hit one of his own in the sixth, moving the Yankees ahead, 2-1.

Pedro's night was at an end after back to back singles by Jerry Hairston Jr. and Melky Cabrera to start the bottom of the seventh. Joe Girardi opted to punch hit Jorge Posada for Jose Molina and the Phillies brought in Chan Ho Park to face him. But, he delivered a single to put the Yankees ahead 3-1.

After a weird bunt foul out by Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon hit a line drive to Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. Howard scooped the ball, but it was really close to being a catch and the umpire called Damon out. Posada, thinking it was a ground ball, had advanced to second and was easily doubled off. After some debate with Girardi and the Yankees waiting to take the field, the umpires decided to stick with the incorrect call and the game moved to the top of the eighth. In comes Mariano Rivera.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Howie Rumberg at the AP reports that Derek Jeter was named as the recipient of the 2009 Roberto Clemente Award, which honors an MLB player for his service to the community. Well done.
Posted by: Seamus
The first World Series game at the new Yankee Stadium was one for the Yankees to forget. Cliff Lee, Chase Utley and the rest of the defending champion Phillies dominated the Yankees in Game 1 of the 2009 World Series, winning the game by a final score of 6–1.

The game was scoreless until the 3rd inning, when Chase Utley went yard off of CC Sabathia to give the Phils a 1–0 early advantage. Utley would strike once again in the 6th, taking an 0-2 pitch deep into the right field bleachers for his second solo shot of the game and a 2–0 lead for Philadelphia.

The Phillies would tack on two more runs in each of the 8th and 9th innings, rolling to an eventual 6–1 final score.

The Yankees just could not get anything going offensively, striking out 10 times and not drawing a walk against Cliff Lee. While the Yankees used six pitchers, Lee went the distance for the Phillies in this one, with the only Yankee run coming on a throwing error by Jimmy Rollins in the 9th inning.

Despite the Yankees' offensive futility, the Yankees found themselves still in the game most of the way thanks to a nice job by CC Sabathia on the mound. CC allowed just 4 hits in 7 innings, with just the two runs scoring on the solo home runs by Chase Utley.

One interesting albeit rather useless stat from Wednesday night's game: None of the Yankees who were playing in their first World Series game (Teixeira, A-Rod, Cano, Swisher, Cabrera) had a hit in the game and were a combined 0–for-17. Each of the four Yankees who DID have World Series experience coming in (Jeter, Damon, Posada, Matsui) had at least one hit and were a combined 6-for-15.

The Yankees will take another crack at the Phillies in a huge Game 2 in the Bronx tonight. A.J. Burnett will make his first World Series start while the Yankees will matchup against old friend Pedro Martinez. Scheduled start time is 7:57 ET.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees have altered their roster just a touch from what they had in the ALCS, dropping Freddy Guzman and Francisco Cervelli in favor of Brian Bruney and Eric Hinske.

With the subtraction of Cervelli one might wonder if Joe Girardi will still go with Jose Molina as the personal catcher for A.J. Burnett in this series. Burnett pitched well through most of the postseason, but was shelled to the tune of 6 runs in his last start out in Anaheim.

Leaving Guzman off the roster seems like an easy decision considering that he is..well, rather useless, especially with a guy like Brett Gardner coming off the bench. Not exactly sure why Girardi decided to go with Brian Bruney after not pitching for almost a month, but having an extra pitcher is not the worst idea since not having the DH for three games will give the Yankees an extra bat off the bench anyway.
Posted by: Patrick's Jon Heyman reported that the Yankees had invited Aroldis Chapman to ALCS game 6.

On his Twitter, ESPN's Jorge Arangure reports that, according to a source, Brian Cashman and other team officials had "good conversations" with the lefty. It couldn't hurt to have him watch the team win a pennant. That has to be a good selling point, no?
Posted by: Seamus
The Phillies' quest to any possible repeat will have to include a stop in the Bronx as the Yankees put away the Halos with a 5–2 victory at Yankee Stadium. The pennant is the Yanks' first since 2003 and their 40th overall, and the Yankees have now opened up each rendition of Yankee Stadium with a trip to the Series (1923, 1976, 2009).

The Yankees had an early scare, as an RBI single by Bobby Abreu in the 3rd put the Angels up 1–0. The Yankees would answer back an inning later, however, as Johnny Damon put the Yankees ahead with a two-run single in the bottom of the 4th. A walk to A-Rod with the bases loaded later in the inning made it 3–1 Yankees.

Andy Pettitte was clearly unaffected by Saturday's rainout, as he held the Angels to just a run on seven hits in 6 and 1/3 innings. Joba Chamberlain finished out the 7th in relief of Pettitte, and recorded two quick outs before Joe Girardi went to Mariano Rivera in the 8th for an attempt at a 6-out save.

Rivera was touched up a bit in the 8th, and the Angels pulled to within a run when Vladimir Guerrero brought home Chone Figgins from second with an RBI single. The Yankees would add some insurance in the bottom of the inning, though, as Scott Kazmir threw the ball over the head of Kendry Morales at first after a sacrifice bunt by Melky Cabrera, making it 4–2 Yankees. A sacrifice fly to deep center field by Mark Teixeira would make it 5–2.

Mo went back to work in the ninth, and this time didn't even give the Angels a chance to breathe. He put down the side in order, capping the pennant off by getting Gary Matthews Jr. to wiff at a 3-2 pitch on the high outside corner.

So the Yankees are now set up for a date with the Phillies in the World Series. For what it's worth, the Yanks went 1–2 against the Phils this year, losing two out of three in an interleague series at Yankee Stadium. The series will actually be the second Fall Classic between these two teams, as the Yankees swept the Phillies 4–0 in the 1950 World Series. The series will begin Wednesday with a battle of former Indians teammates, as CC Sabathia and the Yanks will be up against Cliff Lee and the Phillies.
Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees found themselves just nine outs away from a trip to the World Series, but a 7th inning tandem of A.J. Burnett, Damaso Marte and Phil Hughes couldn't hold a 6-4 lead and this series will be heading back to New York for a Game 6 on Saturday.

The game at first looked like the Yanks might not even get into it, as A.J. Burnett allowed 4 runs to score before recording an out in the game. Burnett would settle down, however, as he held the Angels scoreless from that point on through the 6th inning.

The Yankees struggled to get anything going offensively as John Lackey kept them off the scoreboard through 6 and 2/3. That would all change with two outs in the 7th, as the Halos went to Darren Oliver to face Mark Teixiera and Teixeira made them pay. With the bases loaded, Tex lined a double through the left-center field gap for 3 runs, pulling the Yankees to within 4-3. After a walk to A-Rod, Hideki Matsui tied the game with a base hit up the middle. Robinson Cano would then put the Yankees up 6-4 with a two-run double to cap off a 6-run inning.

The lead was short-lived. After Burnett put the first two batters on, Joe Girardi went to Damaso Marte and then Phil Hughes, who couldn't keep the Yanks on top of the scoreboard. Vladimir Guerrero would eventually tie the game with a base hit and Kendry Morales would put the Angels ahead, this time for good, with a ground ball that found its way into right field.

The Yanks did threaten in the 9th, but Nick Swisher ended a lengthy two-out at-bat by popping up to shallow left with the bases loaded to end the game.

So back to the Bronx we go. The teams will meet again for Game 6 on Saturday at 7:57 ET, weather permitting. Andy Pettitte will face off against Joe Saunders.
Posted by: Patrick
In a night where bad umpiring was a story that didn't impact the outcome of the game, CC Sabathia gave the Yankees a dominating start on 3 days rest as the team moved within a game of an American League pennant.

Having been held scoreless through the first three innings by Scott Kazmir, the Yankees broke through in the fourth after A-Rod and Jorge Posada led off with a single and double respectively. After a Hideki Matsui strike out, Robinson Cano would hit a grounder just slow enough for Alex Rodriguez to score, sliding under Angels catcher Mike Napoli. Posada moved to third on the play.

After Nick Swisher walked to load the bases, Melky delivered with a two RBI single, putting the Yankees up at 3-0. Swisher was the aim of a pick-off attempt at second base and video replays showed him to be out, even though he was called safe. He would advance to third as Derek Jeter walked to load them up once more.

However, one bad call begot another as Johnny Damon hit what appeared to be a sure thing sacrifice fly. Swisher tagged and scored. Wait, not quite. The Angels questioned whether or not Swisher had left the base early and third base umpire and crew chief Tim McClelland decided that Swisher hadn't. Once again, replays showed this to be the wrong call.

» Read More

Posted by: Patrick
Joel Sherman and George King of the Post report that MLB has investigated the alleged Mariano Rivera spitball and have concluded that Mo did not spit on the baseball. I doubt it'll do much to effect the people who believe he did, but it's nice to have a quick, official response to this.
Posted by: Patrick
So, let's acknowledge this story. In the clip below, popularized by Angels fan blog Halos Heaven, Mariano Rivera is shown spitting in the general direction of a baseball he is holding, in the 10th inning of last night's ALCS game 3. Here's the clip:

The post at Halos Heaven is tremendously unfair and short sighted, unfortunately. Even if Mo comes out today and admits to using a spitball for his entire career, the post would still be unfair and short sighted. While suggesting that "you be the judge," it also calls the clip "pretty conclusive evidence of why Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera is able to throw only one pitch that has unpredictable, yet precise movement." Really? You're ready to throw a man's entire career away because of an 11 second clip where he may or may not have spit on a baseball? This goes beyond team loyalty and into fairness in judgment. This is really a case of treat people as you'd want to be treated. It makes me think of the discussion we had on the "Social Media: The Bad and The Ugly" panel, on which I was a panelist, at Blog World & New Media Expo, which I just returned from.

At it's very best, the clip is inconclusive, and it is just as likely that Mo spit in the direction of the baseball while holding it, as he did actually spit at it. As Big League Stew's 'Duk points out, the white shadow that some people are taking to be spit hitting the baseball, is actually the Majestic logo on Mike Scioscia's jersey.

In our society, we build people up to tear them down. Rivera, revered by players, front office people, fans and press alike, is in a special tier of player. He is a rare blend of performance and success as a human being. Unfortunately, because he has done things the right way, those looking for him doing the wrong thing will look that much harder to find something that could cast him in a bad light and this may be an example of it.

At the end of the day, the only factual thing about this clip is that Mariano Rivera spit in the general direction of the baseball while holding it. Everything, and I mean everything, else is not fact; it's opinion or speculation. It comes down to what you want to believe and how much you want to judge from an inconclusive video clip.

Choose what you want to believe, but be open to people judging you in the same manner.
Posted by: Seamus
Well, it all started off well enough. Derek Jeter led the game off with a home run, the Yankees led the game 3–0 halfway through, and Andy Pettitte had the Angels scoreless through the first four innings of the game. The Yankees even got some more timely extra inning pitching and defense that made it look like they might be headed for another tight postseason victory. This time, however, it wasn't meant to be as some over-managing by Joe Girardi cost the Yankees a chance at a 3–0 ALCS lead.

The Yankees went ahead early as three solo home runs (Jeter in the 1st, A-Rod in the 4th, Damon in the 5th) had the Yankees up by a score of 3–0 after four and a half at Angel Stadium.

The Halos would begin to claw back as Howie Kendrick crushed a pitch from Andy Pettitte and took it deep over the left field wall to pull the Angels to within 3–1. The Angels would tie it in the next inning after Vladimir Guerrero launched a ball over the left field wall for his first home run in over a month. Pettitte would leave the game after 6 and 1/3, allowing 3 runs and 7 hits.

Joe Girardi would summon Joba Chamberlain with one out in the 7th. Joba did not fair well in this one, as Kendrick got ahold of another one, taking the first pitch from Chamberlain the other way and launching it off the right field wall for a triple. Maicer Izturis would bring him home in the Angels' next at-bat, as a deep fly ball to right would score Kendrick on a sacrifice fly to give the Angels a 4–3 lead.

The Yankees tied the game in the 8th on a solo blast to center from Jorge Posada. The fact that the home run only tied it was unfortunate, as the shot came just after Brett Gardner was caught stealing second base.

The game was still tied after nine innings, and the Yanks and Angels went to extra innings for the second straight game. The Angels looked like they might be able to end it in the bottom of the 10th as they had runners at the corners with just one out, but back-to-back ground balls served up by Mariano Rivera and some excellent defense at first base by Mark Teixeira prevented Jeff Mathis from scoring the winning run.

The Yankees failed to score in the 11th, giving the Angels another shot to win it in the bottom of the inning. The inning started off innocently enough, as David Robertson retired the first two batters in order. Enter Joe Girardi, who comes in and pulls Robertson in favor of Alfredo Aceves for no apparent reason to face Howie Kendrick (Aceves had never faced Kendrick in his career and Robertson had faced him twice). Kendrick would hit a ground ball up the middle for a base hit, and what followed was a double from Jeff Mathis into the left-center field gap that scored Kendrick all the way from first, giving the Angels a 5–4 victory and keeping them alive in this series.

I couldn't for the life of me tell you what Girardi was thinking in that situation, but the folks over at NoMaas say that it was perhaps because Robertson is a predominantly fastball pitcher and Kendrick is predominantly a fastball hitter. Either way, it was probably unnecessary especially with two outs and nobody on base. Besides, this game could have gone on forever. If Girardi didn't think Robertson could come in and pitch a full inning, why would he even go to him in the first place?

Whatever the case, the Angels are now within one game of tying this series and they'll have a chance to do so tonight. CC Sabathia and the Yanks will try to shrug this one off and look to take a commanding 3–1 series lead. Scott Kazmir will be going for the Angels. Game is slated to start at 7:57 ET.

Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees got off to a head start in the 2009 ALCS thanks to some stellar pitching from CC Sabathia, some timely hitting and some lousy defense on the part of the Angels. Friday night's game was the third straight time the Yankees opened up a postseason series against the Angels with a victory (the Angels won the other two series).

The Yankees would lead throughout this one, as they jumped ahead early with two runs in the 1st inning. A sac fly by Alex Rodriguez with one out made it 1–0 Yankees. The second run came on a bizarre missed pop up hit by Hideki Matsui that both third baseman Chone Figgins and shortstop Erick Aybar were unable to haul in. The play was scored a single and an RBI for Matsui.

Through 8 innings, Sabathia plowed right through a powerful Angels' lineup, allowing a run on just 4 hits and a walk while throwing 113 pitches. The loan run for the Halos came on a 4th inning RBI single by Kendry Morales.

Hideki Matsui would record a second RBI in this game as a 5th inning double scored Johnny Damon and almost scored A-Rod, who collided with Jeff Mathis, but was unable to jar the ball loose. Derek Jeter added some more insurance in the next inning with base hit that scored Melky Cabrera. Jeter would end up at second base after Torii Hunter misplayed the ball in center field, but this error would not cost the Angels any further damage as Jeter was left stranded.

That was pretty much it for the ballgame as Mariano Rivera closed the game out in the 9th and after walking the leadoff hitter, retired three straight batters to put the Yankees just three victories away from a trip to the World Series.

It hasn't been determined if there will be even be any baseball at all today because of the inclement weather that is expected, but if the game is played we'll see A.J. Burnett take the mound for Game 2 against Joe Saunders. Scheduled start time is at 7:57 ET. Stay tuned.

Posted by: Patrick
Anthony DiComo of reports that Mariano Rivera has been named as the 2009 Delivery Man of the Year award. The award is given to the best relief in all of baseball.

Thanks Mr. Diaz for the tip.
Posted by: Patrick
Earlier today, we passed along a report indicating that games 1 and 2 of the ALDS, to be played on Friday and Saturday, would begin at 7:37 PM ET. Well, the full schedule has now been released and the start time of both of those games is actually 7:57 PM ET. Here's how it all shakes out:

Game 1: Friday, October 16 at 7:57 PM ET
Game 2: Saturday, October 17 at 7:57 PM ET
Game 3: Monday, October 19 at 4:13 PM ET
Game 4: Tuesday, October 20 at 7:57 PM ET
Game 5: Thursday, October 22 at 7:57 PM ET
Game 6: Saturday, October 24 at 4:13 PM ET (if the NLCS has completed, this game will move to 7:57 PM ET)
Game 7: Sunday, October 25 at 8:20 PM ET
Posted by: Patrick
Though MLB hasn't posted the times yet, Marc Carig reports that games 1 and 2 of the ALCS will start at 7:37 PM ET on both Friday and Saturday. They'll be broadcast on FOX.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
Alex Belth at Bronx Banter has a great piece on Derek Jeter and the joy in which he plays the game. Check it out.
Posted by: Seamus
Carl Pavano and the Twins came into the night needing a win in order to extend the life of the Hubert H. Metrodome (at least as far as baseball is concerned) for one more day, but they ultimately failed as it was the Yankees who were triumphant in this one. The Yankees defeated the Twins 4–1 to cap off a 3–0 series sweep and advance to the ALCS for the first time since 2004.

The first half of this game was very tight, as Andy Pettitte and Carl Pavano were pretty much matching each other pitch for pitch through the first six innings or so. There was not even a baserunner until Melky Cabrera reached on an infield single in the third, and the Twins didn't put a man on until Michael Cuddyer led off the bottom of the fifth with a single.

The Twins were finally able to jump out ahead in the bottom of the sixth after Joe Mauer brought home Denard Span with an RBI single. With the way Pavano was pitching (yeah I know, that was weird to type), it looked like the Twins might hold on and force a Game 4 Monday evening.

It was all for naught though for the Twinkies as Alex Rodriguez tied the game for the second straight game with a home run that tied the game in the following inning. Two batters later, Jorge Posada put one out the other way to give the Yankees a 2–1 lead they wouldn't relinquish.

What was probably the defining moment of the game came in the eighth inning with the Yankees still leading 2–1. With nobody out and Nick Punto representing the tying run at second for the Twins, Denard Span hit a grounder that was scooped up by Derek Jeter deep behind second base. Punto, probably thinking that the ball had gotten through, broke for home and was caught up when Jeter picked up the ball and threw home to Posada. Punto was unable to retreat and time and a throw from Posada to A-Rod at third was in time to record the first out in the inning. The Twins would go scoreless in the inning and the Yankees would tack on two more runs in the ninth to put the game and the series in the bag.

Mariano Rivera entered the game with two outs in the eighth and finished the game out for a four-out save.

So here we are, just four victories away from a trip to the World Series for the first time in six years. The Yankees will have a date with the Angels, who finished off the Red Sox earlier in the afternoon, in the ALCS beginning on Friday at a time still yet to be determined.

3 down, 8 to go.
Posted by: Patrick
Chad Jennings reports that the Twins have placed third baseman Matt Tolbert on the DL with a pulled oblique. He hit .235 with a .360 OBA (no typos there) in 164 plate appearances.

Meanwhile, Twins catcher Joe Mauer isn't "feeling too well," according to Jack Curry of the Times. He's not specifying what is wrong, but he is hurting.
Posted by: Patrick
Mike Reynolds of Multichannel News reports that the YES Network was the most watched regional sports network in the first three quarters of 2009, according to Nielsen.

They averaged 101,000 households in prime time, topping Red Sox network NESN by 7,000. Over the course of a day, YES averaged 36,000, which also beat NESN by 9,000. That's not all, though. In the New York DMA (designated market area), they also beat ESPN by 26,000.

Via Ben Kabak.
Posted by: Patrick
John Branch of The New York Times has an interesting story on a recent discovery made by a man in New Hampshire. While looking through his grandfather's film collection, he found a 90 second clip taken from the stands at Yankee Stadium. The clip featured Babe Ruth.

It was later determined, by MLB's video archivists, to be from 1928. They are still nailing down the exact date that the video was taken. The article also talks about baseball's film library; definitely worth reading.

Via Alex Belth.
Posted by: Patrick
At the start of September, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Philippon, the doctor who performed surgery on his hip earlier this season, both indicated that there was a chance that the third baseman may not need further surgery, as originally planned.

The latest piece of info comes from the Twitter account of writer Ed Price. "I need a little more tests but so far I don't think he will need [further] surgery," Philippon is quoted as saying.

Via Mike Axisa.
Posted by: Patrick
In his first ever postseason appearance, A.J. Burnett delivered. It wasn't pretty - but he held the Twins to 1 run on 3 hits and 5 walks over 6 innings.

Nick Blackburn of the Twins matched Burnett over 5.2 innings. A-Rod providing the lone run against the righty in the fourth inning, with an RBI single that scored Derek Jeter to tie the game at 1.

The Twins went ahead by 2 runs in the eighth, when Phil Coke went from 2 outs and no runners on to walk, single and RBI single. Mariano Rivera was then called upon and he allowed an RBI single before striking out Orlando Cabrera to end the threat. Mo came back out for the ninth and had less trouble, striking out 2 and allowing a single.

So, the team was down by 2 heading to the bottom of the 9th. Mark Teixeira led off with a single and A-Rod delivered with a huge home run to tie the game at 3. Unfortunately, Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano went down in order after that.

The teams exchanged zeros in the tenth with Alfredo Aceves throwing a nice inning. The Yankees threatened to score, after a one out Jorge Posada single. Brett Gardner was submitted as a pinch runner and stole second. On a pick-off attempt, Joe Nathan threw the ball into center field and Gardner made it to third, even if it was way too close and scary for my liking. They then walked Jeter to put runners on the corners and set up the double play with Johnny Damon due up. Damon hit a dud of a line drive, but Gardner broke on contact and was easily doubled off.

» Read More

Posted by: Seamus
The Yankees opened up their 2009 postseason run on the right foot, defeating the Twins 7–2 in the first postseason game ever at the new Yankee Stadium. The victory came exactly two years to the day after their last postseason win, which was on October 7, 2007 (recap) against the Cleveland Indians.

The game was scoreless until CC Sabathia ran into a little bit of trouble in the third. After back-to-back two out hits by Orlando Cabrera and Joe Mauer, Michael Cuddyer brought Cabrera in with a single to right. Sabathia then ran into a little misfortune, as Jorge Posada was unable to handle a high pitch from the big man, allowing Mauer to score as the ball bounced out of Posada's glove and got away. The Twins led 2–0 after two and a half.

The Yankees tied the game up in the bottom of the third after Derek Jeter followed up a Melky Cabrera infield single with a two-run homer to left. They would jump ahead in the fourth when Nick Swisher brought Robinson Cano home with an RBI double.

The game was somewhat blown open with a 3-run Yankee fifth inning. Alex Rodriguez brought in Derek Jeter from second with one out, grabbing his first hit with a runner on base in his last 30 postseason attempts. Hideki Matsui would make it 6–2 Yankees after he blasted a long home run over the center field wall.

Alex Rodriguez put the icing on the cake with an RBI single in the seventh, making it 7–2 Yankees which would prove to be the final score of the game. Despite all of A-Rod's postseason woes, Alex is actually 10-for-21 (.476) in his career against the Twins in the postseason, with all 21 of those AB's coming as a Yankee.

Overall, CC Sabathia's performance was respectable, as he allowed just two runs across and didn't walk anybody in 6 and 2/3 innings. He was lifted for Phil Hughes with two outs in the seventh, and he ended the inning by striking out Orlando Cabrera. Hughes, Phil Coke and Joba Chamberlain all combined for a 1-2-3 eighth inning and Mariano Rivera ended the game with a scoreless ninth.

The Yankees, as well as a very fatigued Twins team will get the night off but will be back in the Bronx for Game 2 on Friday. A.J. Burnett will get the call for the Yanks and he'll be facing the Twins' Nick Blackburn. The game will begin at 6:07 ET.
Posted by: Patrick
Mark Feinsand has the official Yankees ALDS roster. Here it is:

Catchers: Francisco Cervelli, Jose Molina and Jorge Posada.

Infielders: Robinson Cano, Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira.

Outfielders: Melky Cabrera, Johnny Damon, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher.

Designated hitter: Hideki Matsui.

Utility: Jerry Hairston and Eric Hinske.

Starting pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and CC Sabathia.

Bullpen: Alfredo Aceves, Joba Chamberlain, Phil Coke, Chad Gaudin, Phil Hughes, Damaso Marte, Mariano Rivera and Dave Robertson.
Posted by: Seamus
Ken Davidoff announced on his Twitter that Joe Girardi is going with a rotation of CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettitte in the ALDS, in that order. Also of note is that Jose Molina will be the catcher for A.J. Burnett, meaning that the Yankees could play up to 40% of this series, including a possible Game 5 without Jorge Posada in the lineup.
Posted by: Seamus
Alex Rodriguez entered Sunday's game against the Rays with 28 home runs and 93 RBI. He needed two home runs and seven RBI to become the first player ever to reach 30 homers and 100 RBI for the 13th time. Alex got it...all in the same inning.

With the Yankees trailing 2–0 in the sixth, Rodriguez launched a ball into the left field seats for a 3-run homer, giving him 29 home runs and 96 RBI and giving the Yankees a 3–2 lead. A-Rod would get another chance later in the inning, this time with the Yanks up 6–2 and with the bases loaded, and this time he launched one the to the opposite field for a grand slam, giving him exactly 30 home runs and 100 RBI. The Yankees altogether sent 16 batters to the plate in the inning, and the 10-run frame was the entire offense for the Bombers for the day.

Also of note in this game was a relief appearance from Joba Chamberlain, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh inning in what he hopes was a tuneup for an appearance or two out of the bullpen in the ALDS.

The Yankees will rest a little for the next two days and will begin their postseason run at 6:07 ET Wednesday against an opponent yet to be determined. They'll face the winner of the Twins-Tigers one-game playoff that will be played on Tuesday. The Yankees went 5–1 against the Tigers this season and they were 7–0 against Minnesota.

Recap records: Seamus: 49–27, Patrick: 42–20, Andrew: 12–12
Posted by: Seamus
CC Sabathia failed in his bid to win 20 games for the first time in his career, as the Rays knocked him around in Friday night's 13–4 defeat. It was an offensive feast for the Rays, which included B.J. Upton hitting for the cycle by the fifth inning.

Only 5 of the 9 runs allowed by Sabathia were earned, but he just didn't have it last night. CC walked in a run in the first inning and the Rays were 5-for-7 with runners in scoring position against him. He left the game with two outs in the third with a line of 8 hits and 9 runs (5 earned) in his 2 and 2/3 innings of work.

The Yankees ended up using seven pitchers in total, and after Jonathan Albaladejo and David Robertson both allowed RBI hits to B.J. Upton (the latter was the single that gave him the cycle in the 5th inning), the Yankees were able to hold the Rays to just one run in the last four innings.

The Yankees didn't get a lot going offensively, as the 2 through 6 spots in the order were a combined 0-for-17. The one bright spot was Juan Miranda, who in the 8th inning launched a home run to right for his first major league homer.

A.J. Burnett will get a postseason tuneup tonight and hopefully it'll look a little bit better than the one CC had last night. He'll be up against Wade Davis. Game starts at 7:08 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 48–27, Patrick: 42–20, Andrew: 12–11
Posted by: Patrick
Sports Illustrated's Tom Verducci has a great on Mariano Rivera and his cutter of lore. Check it out.

Via Steve.
Posted by: Seamus
Joba Chamberlain labored through another mediocre performance in a contest some say he needed to pitch well in as the Yankees lost to the Royals 4–3 in their last home game of the regular season.

Joba was unable to get through the fourth inning as he put 11 runners on base in just 3 and 2/3 innings (7 H, 4 BB, 3 R). Chamberlain's rough ending to the regular season creates more uncertainty about his role in October. Tough to say whether or not he'll get a start at all during the postseason, especially considering the nice job Chad Gaudin has done of late at the back end of the rotation.

Offensively, there wasn't much to talk about as the Yankees were held to just 5 hits, with just one coming against the Royals' bullpen that shut the Yankees out for the final 4 innings of the game. Derek Jeter was the only Yankee with more than one hit, including a home run as he raised his average to .335.

The Yankees did get the tying run into scoring position in the ninth after Freddy Guzman stole second, but that was immediately followed by a Ramiro Pena fly out to end the game.

Today will be the Yankees' final travel day of the regular season and they'll begin a three-game set tomorrow night in St. Petersburg against the Rays. CC Sabathia will get a tuneup for the postseason and will face David Price, who will be tuning up for next season as the Rays are currently 19.5 games back. Game is scheduled to start at 7:38 ET.

Recap records: Seamus: 48–26, Patrick: 42–20, Andrew: 12–11