Tagged: Joe Girardi

Yankees lose pitcher, argument, and game

The Yankees lost to the Marlins on Sunday, 6-5, and more importantly, lost starter CC Sabathia when he left the game in the 2nd inning with tightness in his left biceps.He didn’t seem to think it was anything serious, saying that he’d felt tightness between starts before.

Joe Girardi filed an official protest with the commissioners office on Monday over a Marlins a double switch substitution mix-up in the 8th inning. We’ll see what, if anything, comes from that protest.

Alex Rodriguez had reserved approximately 100 tickets for family and friends in his return to his hometown, but he didn’t give them much to see, going 1-4 with two strikeouts. He did hit a 2-run single in the 3rd inning, but he also struck out to lead off the 9th inning.

I’m betting that the Yankees will be thrilled to see the end of interleague play for this season.

EDIT: I forgot to include the standings last night…must’ve been too sleepy! LOL

Current AL East Standings:

                    W       L       Pct      GB
Boston Red Sox      42      27     .609      —
New York Yankees    38      31     .551      4.0
Toronto Blue Jays   38      38     .535      5.0
Tampa Bay Rays      37      34     .521      6.0
Baltimore Orioles   32      37     .464      10.0

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Nice recovery

I’m not sure what’s worse…being 0-8 vs. the Red Sox or losing 2 out of 3 games to the worst team in baseball. The series against the Nationals was pretty bad, but the Yankees recovered from it quite nicely, defeating the Marlins, 5-1. Playing in front of a crowd that was mostly Yankees fans who had traveled to Miami, Andy Pettitte pitched extremely well, giving up just 1 run (a home run to Cody Ross) on 3 hits, with 1 strikeout in 7 innings. Brian Bruney and Brett Tomko combined for 2 hitless, scoreless innings. Derek Jeter, Angel Berroa (playing for for the slumping Alex Rodriguez), Nick Swisher, and even Andy Pettitte hit doubles for the Yankees. There’s nothing like an American League pitcher getting a hit (a double, no less) to bump up the fun factor of interleague play! And Pettitte’s double resulted in an RBI, so he helped his own cause. It’s a good thing that the Yankees were able to score those 5 runs and limit the Marlins to just 1 run, because they left 24 runners on base.

Although the Yankees had not performed will in their last two interleaugue series against young, unfamiliar pitchers, they redeemed themselves against Sean West, who lasted just 4 innings while giving up all 5 of the Yankees runs on 10 hits. Like Pettitte, he had 7 strikeouts.

Good decision by Joe Girardi to bench Alex Rodriguez. Let’s hope he comes back stronger, with a renewed ability to actually get some hits.

Good job, Yankees!
thumbs_up.gifCurrent AL East Standings:

                    W       L       Pct      GB
Boston Red Sox      40      27     .597      —
New York Yankees    38      29     .567      2.0
Toronto Blue Jays   37      32     .536      4.0
Tampa Bay Rays      35      34     .507      6.0
Baltimore Orioles   30      37     .448      10.0

The Nats still suck…but changes may be coming

The Nationals lost to the Rays on Saturday, 8-3, after giving up 7 runs in the bottom of the 6th inning. With the Nats leading 2-1, Jason Bergmann replaced Jordan Zimmermann. Zimm2 had pitched fairly well after being scratched from his previous start due to minor elbow soreness. But he was on a strict pitch count and had thrown 92 pitches through his 5 innings of work, so in came Bergmann for the 6th inning. 18 pitches and 5 runs (including 2 home runs) later, Bergmann was removed from the game without recording an out and was replaced by Jesus Colome, who then gave up 2 more runs.

Bergmann was “rewarded” for his effort by being sent down to triple A Syracuse. His replacement is Kip Wells, who just came off the DL. I wish the Nats would bring up Tyler Clippard, who has pitched very well in AAA. Pitching well in AAA doesn’t guarantee success in the majors, of course, but he sure as hell couldn’t be any worse than the drek that’s already in the Nats’ bullpen.

Regarding last night’s 5-4 loss to the Rays, completing the sweep in St. Petersburg, the Nationals find all kinds of ways to lose, or at least to suck.

Way #1: Ben Zobrist hit a foul ball in the 8th inning. Willie Harris, playing 3rd base because Ryan Zimmerman was the DH, attempted to make the catch while running towards his bullpen. Unfortunately, the bullpens are in foul territory (I’ve never understood why a Major League ballpark would have its bullpens on the field…but I digress…), and the Nats’ bullpen catcher could not get out of the way fast enough. Harris tripped over him and failed to make the catch. Zobrist ended up striking out, so that mishap ultimately didn’t matter, other than to be one more display of suckitude from the Nationals.

Way #2: Pinch hitter Willie Aybar got a double when a ground ball that appeared to be headed for Harris’ glove at 3rd instead bounced off the base and went into left field. Carlos Pena then scored the go-ahead run.

This kind of crap only happens to the Nationals, who have lot 15-18 of their last 18 games. This was the 7th series in which the Nats have been swept this season.


The big news in Natstown (jeez, I hate that nickname….) is really just a strong rumor so far, which is that manager Manny Acta will be fired very soon. Per a report on foxsprts.com:

Manny Acta’s time as manager of the Washington Nationals is just about over, according to major-league sources.

Acta will be by replaced bench coach Jim Riggleman, as originally reported on FOX Saturday Baseball. The only question is when. It could be a matter of days….

Riggleman has managed for the Padres, Cubs and Mariners….

Riggleman’s record as a manager is 522-652.

Interesting comments from Nationals Team President Stan Kasten in the Washington Post’s Nationals Journal:

Hours before Saturday’s game against Tampa, a Fox Sports report, citing major league sources, suggested that Acta will be fired by week’s end and replaced with bench coach Jim Riggleman. Team president Stan Kasten neither confirmed nor denied the report, saying, “I would never talk about personnel, because I don’t. I’ve been asked a variation of that question (about Acta’s job security) — from some media outlet — almost every day since the first week of the season. And if I had a policy to talk about personnel, I’d have to do that story every single day.

“Having said that, I can’t tell you how perplexed I am by this season and this team and the things that are going on. And our record is, you know, very troubling for me every single day ….. So yeah, I’m troubled by everything. We continue to look for solutions. Have I thought about every possible recourse? I have. As has [acting general manager] Mike [Rizzo], as have our owners. We’re certainly not satisfied with our record; far from it. We’re distraught over it and we’re going to consider everything we need to do to make it better.”

One would assume that Mr. Kasten would defend his manager and vehemently deny the Acta-to-be-fired rumors if those rumors were not true. So…the Acta watch continues.

I stated here that that I thought it was time for Acta to go. For the most part, I still believe this, because I believe that a change is desperately needed. However, someone posted a comment on the above item in Nationals Journal, pointing out that the Nats record isn’t entirely Acta’s fault — “Casey Stengel couldn’t manage this team to a .500 record.” He has a point. This team just flat out stinks. Firing the pitching coach has made little difference. Firing Acta may just be rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Whatever happens, I wish it would happen soon. Leaving Acta to twist in the wind is unfair to him (as well as the team), and it also feeds the notion of complete ineptitude on the part of the Nationals front office.

According to SI.com, the Nationals are supposedly considering Bobby Valentine as a replacement for Acta. Bobby Valentine?! Oh my. Too bad such a change couldn’t be made in time for the Nationals/Yankees series. Bobby Valentine vs. Joe Girardi would be highly entertaining! 

Yankees rout Rangers

Outstanding performances from Phil Hughes (3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts over 8 innings) and Alex Rodriguez (5-5, with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored) highlighted the Yankees 11-1 win over the Rangers. A-Rod was booed before each at bat, though the boos obviously didn’t bother him…perhaps they actually motivated him to perform so well. His performance raised his batting average from .189 to .259.

As for Hughes, he pitched a gem. I can’t figure out why Joe Girardi didn’t let him finish the game, since he was obviously pitching so well. I realize that managers tend to limit their young pitchers to about 100 pitches, and Hughes had thrown 101 when he was replaced by Alfredo Aceves for the 9th inning. But he was dealing, and his team was up by 11 runs. It’s not as if the Yankees were ahead by just a run or two, and a possibly tiring Hughes would have given up the lead.

An 11-1 rout is a great way to start a road trip, especially after the nail-biters in the last two games. And this win, combined with the Blue Jays loss to the Orioles, has moved the Yankees past the Blue Jays into second place in the AL East.

More A-Rod drama, continued….

In an article on the Yankees mlb.com site, Bryan Hoch wrote an article about the report in today’s New York Times about Major League Baseball investigating Alex Rodriguez with regard to his steroids use. The Times story claims that MLB investigators are “checking into the
accuracy of Alex Rodriguez’s statements about when he used
performance-enhancing drugs.” These investigators have contacted A-Rod’s “associates” to find out whether or not he used banned substances before or after the 2001-03 time period he admitted to in February. According to Hoch, Joe Girardi, Brian Cashman, and Derek Jeter are unaware of any investigation and have not been contacted by any investigators regarding steroids use by Rodriguez.

Also per Hoch’s article, Joe Girardi is quite upset about the soon-to-be released book about A-Rod by Selena Roberts. He says he doesn’t understand why anyone would write a book like that. C’mon, Joe, you can’t be that na├»ve. You know it’s all about the money…books like this sell like crazy, which will make lots of money for Ms. Roberts and will make her a pseudo-celebrity. That doesn’t make it right, of course…but that’s just the way it is.

I find this whole situation utterly ridiculous. While I personally was disappointed and disgusted to find out in February that A-Rod had, in fact, used steroids, I find it equally disgusting that the only name leaked from that list of 103 players was Alex Rodriguez. If MLB is, in fact, investigating A-Rod about his steroids use, then those investigators should also investigate each of the other 102 players on that so-called “anonymous” list of players who failed drug tests. It’s time to stop persecuting ONLY Alex Rodriguez, simply because he’s Alex Rodriguez.

I wonder…would there be all of this hype and publicity — in fact, would Roberts have even written this book — if A-Rod was still playing in Texas, or if he had ended up with the Red Sox rather than the Yankees? Did all of this mess happen just because he is a Yankee?

Catching up with the Yankees

Swisher pitches: There was nothing to smile about in the Yankees embarrassing loss to the Rays on Monday. Nick Swisher, however, did his best to help his team get through the loss. Attempting to save the bullpen, Joe Girardi needed a relief pitcher and went looking for one when the Yankees found themselves down by 10 runs after 3 innings. As it turns out, Swisher used to be a pitcher…in high school. Desperate situations call for desperate measures, so Swisher ended up pitching for the Yankees in the 8th inning.

Apparently, while many of the Yankees were amused by Swisher being used as a relief pitcher, Jorge Posada — who replaced Swisher at first base — was not. Considering how fiesty and intense Posada is, I’m not surprised that he wasn’t amused by the situation. Derek Jeter, however, had a better attitude about the whole thing. According to what I’ve read online in several blogs, Jeter was amused simply because it was Swisher, and Swisher’s not going to shut up about it.

Peter Abraham was amused too. He thought is was funny when Swisher “shook Jose Molina off, even through there were no signs.” Ditto for Swisher rolling the ball into the dugout for a souvenir after striking out Gabe Kapler. (You have to wonder how Kapler will ever live that down!)

I love Nick Swisher. I seriously love this guy! I think his sense of humor is exactly what the Yankees need. His bat is pretty nice to have too.

Burnett’s gem: A.J. Burnett followed Wang’s disaster with a near no-hitter on Tuesday. CC Sabathia got more headlines (and more money) when he signed with the Yankees, but Burnett is the one who has really earned his money so far for the Yankees. I hope he keeps it up!

Teixeira is back: Mark Teixeira returned to the lineup on Tuesday. He still isn’t hitting his weight (hell, after tonight, he’s almost hitting my weight), but at least the Yankees can count on his glove once again.

Nady injures elbow: Xavier Nady has been placed on the DL for additional tests on his surgically repaired and now injured right elbow. There were some rumors that he was headed for more Tommy John surgery, which would end his season, but, according to an article on yahoo.com, it looks like doctors want to run more tests to see if rest and rehab will be enough to take care of the problem.

The not-so-grand Grand Opening: the Yankees got the snot beat out of them tonight by the Indians, which is unfortunate considering that tonight was the Yankees home opener in the new Yankee Stadium. Not a good way to get things started. This is the second blow-out suffered by the Yankees in less than a week…I understand that late in the game, Yankee fans were chanting “We want Swisher,” since he pitched a scoreless inning in the blow-out vs. Tampa Bay. But from what I’ve read here at MLBlogs, the reviews of the new Yankee Stadium are overwhelmingly positive. And that’s really more important than this one loss.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The Good:

After A.J. Burnett stopped the bleeding and prevented the Orioles from sweeping the Yankees, Andy Pettitte turned in a vintage performance on Friday to continue his career dominance over the Royals (he’s 13-3 in 16 career decisions against Kansas City). The Yankees beat the Royals, 4-1. Robinson Cano was 2-3 with another walk.

After making a small adjustment in his mechanics, CC Sabathia regained his usual form and helped the Yankees defeat the Royals on Saturday, 6-1. He pitched into the 8th inning, allowing 6 hits but no runs, and striking out 6. That performance dropped his ERA from over 12 to under 5. Nick Swisher, making a start at first base, had 2 hits in 3 at bats with 3 RBI and 2 walks, and he scored 3 runs. Swisher’s two hits were a triple and a home run. He’s certainly making a case for being in the Yankees’ everyday lineup. The Yankees are definitely back on track!

Alex Rodriguez will continue his rehabilitation from right hip surgery by heading to the Yankees spring training complex in Florida on Monday. Joe Girardi described his progress as “encouraging.”

The Bad:

The Yankees $180 million dollar man, Mark Teixeira, is suffering from tendonitis in his left wrist and has missed two games. His status is listed as day-to-day.

The Yankees were unable to complete the sweep of the Royals today, losing 6-4. Joba Chamberlain got a no-decision in his first start of the season, giving up 3 runs on 5 hits over 6 innings, with 6 strikeouts. The Yankees were leading in the 8th inning, scored 3 runs to take the lead. The Yankees were unable to respond in the 9th inning and lost the game. Oh well, you can’t win them all.

The Ugly:

Despite tying the score in the 9th inning, the Nationals lost to the Braves, 6-5 in 10 innings, on Friday night. That game was delayed just over two hours due to rain. The Nationals record after this game — 0-4.

Despite taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the 3rd inning, the Nationals lost to the Braves on Saturday, 5-3. The Nationals record after this game — 0-5.

Despite tying the game at the top of the 5th inning, the Nationals lost to the Braves today, 8-5. The Nationals current record — 0-6. After the Indians finally won their first game of the season today, the Nationals find themselves in a familiar position, with the worst record in baseball.

The Nationals finally play their home opener tomorrow against the Phillies. The reception from the home fans to their winless Nats should be very interesting, to say the least.

On a personal note…after reminding my boss and several co-workers on Friday that I will not be in the office tomorrow because I’ll be attending the Nats’ opening day game, I told them to check the news on Tuesday night if (a) the Nats lose tomorrow and (b) I don’t show up for work on Tuesday. If they see a report about an unidentified body found floating in the Anacostia River, that body may be mine…because I may just throw myself off the Douglass Bridge if the Nationals end up 0-7 after tomorrow’s game. So if you guys don’t hear from me again here in this blog, you’ll know what happened to me.

Oh, by the way, my cold is much better today. The chicken soup and Cold-Eeze are doing the jobs!