Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Yanks Finally Clinch

Well at least they didn't totally back into the playoffs. CC Sabathia has been what the Yankees have needed all season long and tonight was no different. Sure it was a panic move to start Sabathia against the Jays rather than letting him get his long rest and taking the ball on Friday to put him on schedule, but at least Joe Girardi can finally have a good night's sleep for the first time in about a month.

Sabathia was dominant for 8.1 innings to pick up his 21st win of the season. Once the Yankees pushed across their second run of the night with a Mark Teixeira sacrifice fly in the third, you had the feeling that the game was over. That Sabathia just wouldn't let the Jays get anything going.

But this has been the case for a while now. The Yankees have been playing atrocious baseball for about a month and a half. The only time they look good is when Sabathia is on the mound. Hopefully they get back into a groove before the postseason starts. I hope they don't think they can just turn it on when they roll into Texas or, more likely, Minnesota.

Now the wonder is how the Yankees get set for the playoffs since. I'm imagining that Phil Hughes is done for the regular season and so is Sabathia. Andy needs his start tomorrow to make sure that he gets as close to ready as he can for the Division Series. A.J. Burnett will have to pitch and pitch exceptionally well to garner any consideration for a start in the first round.

The division is probably out of reach with the Rays having a virtual game and a half lead with the tiebreaker they own over the Yankees, so it looks like the Twins are up next.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I must apologize. I've been MIA for most of September. Like I said before, it's hard to maintain interest when the Sox are totally mailing it in and Pedroia and Youk are at home playing Madden 11. It's hard to get excited about Daniel Nava, Bill Hall, and Josh Reddick. (Although truthfully like Reddick and as I type this he destroyed Kevin Milwood's first offering. I think if gets more playing time he can develop some consistency and be a decent player.)

Now we play a game of who the hell is this guy? Yamaico Navarro? Someone help me. I'm too lazy to do the research. and he's to lazy to take the bat off his shoulder. Backward K. Oh good Ryan Kalish is next up.

Perhaps I'm just going to have to start NFL Hyperbolic Statements early this season. Washington is looking interesting. Perhaps not good or playoff bound, but interesting.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brackman Shuts Down Rock Cats in Regular Season Finale

So rather than spend the day frustrated by a Yankee defeat at the hands of the rejuvenated Baltimore Orioles, I traveled again to New Britain Stadium to see Andrew Brackman take on the Rock Cats in the season finale for both teams.

Brackman didn't disappoint. He had good stuff all day, firing fastball's that sat at 93-94 and touching 95 on several occasions. He snapped off some good curves that made a few New Britain batters look silly and even threw several quality change ups. He was fairly consistant through out his start. The only time he seemed to lose his command was in the fourth. He didn't walk anybody, but it was the first time he fell behind hitters all day.

Brackman battled back and struck out the first to hitters in the inning before allowing a hard hit single through the left side of the infield.

Brackman's line for the game says it all. Though he didn't strike out a ton of guys, none of the Rock Cats had comfortable at bats against him. He induced a bunch of ground balls and only a couple of balls were hit hard.

As for the bats, Austin Romine showed what he could do with the bat today, launching a homer that easily cleared the left-centerfield wall. He also ripped an opposite-field RBI-double down the right field line to score Dan Brewer in the fourth.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yankees Hold Off Jays

Javy Vazquez was shaky in his return to the rotation, but the Yankee bats picked him up and New York pushed its winning streak to a season high eight games.

Vazquez seemed to have carried over his excellent work out of the bullpen in the first three innings of tonight's game, but it all fell apart in the third when he gave up a pair of home runs. The first to Lyle Overbay was a legit shot into the right field seats. Javy had some bad luck on the second one when John McDonald dented the left field pole two batters after Vazquez walked John Buck.

The Yankees got the runs back in the third and Vazquez pitched out of a little trouble in the fourth. Giving the Yankees a chance to take a two-run lead without the benefit of a hit in the bottom half.

That's when we come to the point in the game when Joe Girardi nearly booted it away. With two outs and no one on base Vazquez walked Jose Bautista on a full count and then surrendered a single to Vernon Wells that pushed Bautista to third. Girardi decided that was enough and went to the pen. Much to the dismay of Javy.

Girardi believed that Dustin Moseley would somehow be a shut down reliever in this instance, and predictably the righthander gave up a double to Lyle Overbay to tie the game. There is a time and a place to use a pitcher like Moseley, and this afternoon was not one of them.

He is an innings eater, and anything you get out of him beyond that is icing on the cake. Really the Yanks should cut ties with him while they are still in the black. Moseley has had good luck in his few outings so far, but now the cracks are showing. New York already have two of him in the bullpen with Sergio Mitre and Chad Guadin out there, there is no need for a third of the same.

The Yanks managed to pull back in front when Marcus Thames found his stroke versus Jason Frasor and deposited his 11 homer of the year into the Blue Jay bullpen. The Yankee bullpen continued its dominant run with four scoreless innings.

It was a good win for the Yanks and they have a decent shot at the sweep with Phil Hughes taking on Brett Cecil in the fourth of five straight daytime affairs in the Bronx.

Night in New Britain with the Baby Bombers Part II

Here are a few more photos from last night's game. The first two are of Corban Joseph and the last two are of Austin Romine. Sandwiched in between the two of them is a shot of the night sky at the start of the game courtesy of the remnants of Hurricane Earl.

Joseph has a sweet swing and seemed to hit the ball hard every time up. He may not be the all-around player that David Adams was before the ankle injury, but he has some skill with the bat. I think that if he was given more time in Tampa his bat wouldn't have seemed so diminished at the Double-A level.

Romine looked tired at the plate. Even his first double was more a result of poor defense on his ball in the gap.

It is to be expected that he would tire toward the end of his first full season as a catcher. After having his OPS north of .850 in April and May Romine has been in a steady decline over the last three-plus months of the season. His swing was still solid. He just lacked some life in behind it and it was slow through the zone.

Check back over the weekend. Hopefully I'll have some photos for tomorrow night's game and then Monday afternoon when Andrew Brackman takes the mound for the regular season finale.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Night in New Britain With the Baby Bombers

There usually isn't a ton of stuff to do in New Britain, but the Rock Cats are one of the few things that consistently draw people to NB. Every once and a while we are blessed enough to have the Baby Bombers roll through town. Tonight was one of those nights and along with the Trenton Thunder came Dellin Betances. I've always been a fan of his and I'm glad he finally made it to the Thunder and his turn came up while Trenton was in town.

Now the big righty had a big lead to work with early and he was effective in the first two innings, but in the third the rain started to creep in and it took some of his command with it.

Betances seemed to lose his fastball command and fell behind in a few counts. His velocity was ok, he hit 95 in the first inning, but he never seemed to ramp it up. He was sitting at 93 early and 91 late. I'm guessing that the cool night had something to do with that.

His curveball had some bite. He got the Cats short stop Estarlin De Los Santos to swing and miss on three filthy ones to end the fourth. The Thunder played it safe and pulled him after the fourth.

Anyway below are some photos for the night. Not the best of quality, but they get the job done for a lowly blogger. I'll have a few more later on of Corban Joseph and Austin Romine.