Archive for April 18th, 2010

After briefly struggling in the 3rd inning, Andy Pettitte rebounded to pitch 8 full innings, the longest stint by a Yankee starter this season. Over one stretch, Pettitte retired the next 12 batters in a row. In the 8th inning, Pettitte seemed on the verge of losing it after walking Elvis Andrus and falling behind Michael Young 2-0. However, Dave Eiland trotted to the mound for a quick word and then Pettitte rebounded to strike out Young on the next three pitches before getting Josh Hamilton to pop up. It seemed as if Eiland told Pettitte to ignore the runner and stop using the slide step. The advice deemed to work.

Andy Pettitte battled for 8 innings against the Rangers (Photo: Getty Images).

Unfortunately for the Rangers, Rich Harden never found his rhythm. Instead, he pitched cautiously to the Yankees lineup, walking 6 while racking up 94 pitches in 3 2/3 innings, his second start this season of less than four innings. Although he was able to dial up 93mph to strike out Nick Swisher in a key bases loaded situation in the 3rd inning, Harden’s velocity was way down in the 87-89mph range, while his breaking ball was flat for most of the game. Harden, whose inefficiency as a starter has basically rendered him a 5 inning pitcher for most of his career, was only the latest victim of the Yankees’ methodical approach. Texas’ pitching staff entered the series with the lowest ERA in baseball, but the three starters in the series only lasted a combined 12 innings, and needed 266 pitches to do it.

  • Brett Gardner started off the game with an attempted bunt single that just rolled foul. On the next pitch, Rich Harden nailed Gardner in the shin. Was it retaliation for the attempted bunt? Rangers’ president Nolan Ryan was known to discourage bunting in a similar manner, so one wonders if that has become an organizational philosophy. 
  • In the third inning, Mark Teixeira snapped his season long homerless drought when he went deep into the right field second deck. It was his only hit of the game, but Teixeira hit the ball hard in his final three times at bat.
  • Teixeira also flashed the leather, making a leaping grab of Josh Hamilton’s line drive in the 3rd inning and then stealing a hit from Matt Treanor with a diving stop in the 4th inning.
  • As a team, the Yankees have been solid defensively. With another errorless game, they’ve now played clean baseball for 10 straight games. Then again, considering the very poor official scorekeeping exhibited in this series (almost all on balls hit by Yankee batters and misplayed by the Texas defense), perhaps that streak isn’t too significant?
  • The Yankees took the lead in the third inning when Ramiro Pena pulled a two out single with the bases loaded. In his young career, Pena is now 4 for 5 with the bases loaded. (more…)

Read Full Post »

The Yankees look to keep on a roll as they bring their first home stand of the season to a close with Andy Pettitte on the mound. They will be opposed by Rangers’ starter Rich Harden, who has not begun a game against the Yankees since April 15, 2007 when he was with the Oakland A’s. In that game, made famous by Marco Scutaro’s walk off home run against Mariano Rivera, Harden also matched up against Pettitte. Despite pitching well, he had to leave early because of an injury, a trend that has become a reoccurring theme in Harden’s career. Look for the Yankees to once again use their patient approach to get into the Rangers’ bullpen early. Harden, never know for efficiency, has thrown 90 and 104 pitches in 3 2/3 and 6 innings, respectively.

vs. Rich Harden PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Brett Gardner LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
NickJohnson DH 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 1
Mark Teixeira 1B 30 0.222 0.300 0.259 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 22 0.300 0.364 0.500 1 1
RobinsonCano 2B 9 0.111 0.111 0.222 0 0
Jorge Posada C 17 0.200 0.294 0.200 0 2
Curtis Granderson CF 6 0.333 0.333 0.833 1 1
Nick Swisher RF 2 0.000 0.500 0.000 0 0
Ramiro Pena SS 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 89 0.2222 0.2809 0.333 2 5
vs. Andy Pettitte PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Elvis Andrus SS 5 0.500 0.800 0.500 0 0
Mike Young 3B 34 0.259 0.353 0.333 0 5
Josh Hamilton CF 6 0.500 0.500 1.000 1 2
Vladimir Guerrero DH 24 0.391 0.417 0.522 0 1
Nelson Cruz RF 12 0.111 0.333 0.111 0 1
Ryan Garko 1B 6 0.333 0.333 0.333 0 0
David Murphy LF 9 0.500 0.556 1.000 1 3
Matt Treanor C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Andres Blanco 2B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 96 0.333 0.417 0.481 2 12
  • On this date in 1923, the original Yankee Stadium opened its doors for the first time. In the game against Boston, Bob Shawkey pitched a complete game and Babe Ruth homered to lead the Yankees to a 4-1 victory.
  • By beating the Rangers on Saturday, the Yankees assured themselves of four straight series wins to start a season. Incredibly, that had not been accomplished since 1926, when the team won its first five series.
  • Derek Jeter, suffering the effects of a head cold, is not in the lineup for the first time this season. Starting in his place is Ramiro Pena, the last Yankee position player to be in the pre-game lineup. The Captain must really be feeling under the weather to miss a game against Harden (.375/.500/.500 in 21 PAs).
  • Alex Rodriguez finally passed Mark McGwire for sole possession of 8th place on the All-time HR list. The opposite field blast was number 584 for Arod. It also snapped a career long 10-game homerless streak at the start of a season. Arod also went 10 opening games without a HR in 2001, but then went on to hit 52.
  • Jorge Posada’s second inning hit in yesterday’s game was number 1,500 in his Yankee career, making him only the 19th player and 4th catcher in franchise history to accomplish the milestone.

Read Full Post »

No Hitter History

By no-hitting the Atlanta Braves on Saturday, Ubaldo Jimenez became the first Rockies pitcher to accomplish the feat. Only three teams in major league baseball have never had a no-hitter: the Mets, Padres and Rays. On the other end of the spectrum, the Braves (Atlanta, Milwaukee and Boston) have no been no-hit 17 times, tying them with the Philadelphia Phillies for the most hitless games. The team with the most no-hitters is the Dodgers with 20, including 4 by Sandy Koufax.

Team  Total Last Opponent Date Times No-Hit
Dodgers 20 Hideo Nomo Rockies 9/17/1996 15
Red Sox 18 Jon Lester Royals 5/19/2008 12
White Sox 17 Mark Buehrle* Rays 7/23/2009 14
Indians 15 Len Barker* Blue Jays 5/15/1981 12
Reds 15 Tom Browning* Dodgers 9/16/1988 9
Braves 14 Combined (3 pitchers) Padres 9/11/1991 17
Cubs 13 Carlos Zambrano Astros 9/14/2008 6
Giants 13 Jonathan Sanchez Padres 7/10/2009 15
Yankees 11 David Cone* Expos 7/18/1999 7
Astros 10 Combined (6 pitchers) Yankees 6/11/2003 3
Athletics 10 Dave Stewart Blue Jays 6/29/1990 14
Cardinals 9 Bud Smith Padres 9/3/2001 7
Orioles 9 Combined (4 pitchers) A’s 7/13/1991 13
Phillies 9 Kevin Millwood Giants 4/27/2003 17
Angels 8 Mark Langston (7)/ Mike Witt (2) Mariners 4/11/1990 7
Pirates 7 Francisco Cordova (9)/ Ricardo Rincon (1) Astros 7/12/1997 6
Tigers 6 Justin Verlander Brewers 6/12/2007 12
Twins 6 Eric Milton Angels 9/11/1999 9
Rangers 5 Kenny Rogers Rangers 7/28/1994 4
Marlins 4 Anibal Sanchez D-backs 9/6/2006 1
Nationals 4 Dennis Martinez* Dodgers 7/28/1991 4
Royals 4 Bret Saberhagen White Sox 8/26/1991 2
Mariners 2 Chris Bosio Red Sox 4/22/1993 2
Bluejays 1 Dave Stieb Indians 9/2/1990 3
Brewers 1 Juan Nieves Orioles 4/15/1987 3
D-backs 1 Randy Johnson Braves 5/18/2004 2
Rockies 1 Ubaldo Jimenez Braves 4/17/2010 2
Mets 0 N/A N/A N/A 7
Padres 0 N/A N/A N/A 8
Rays 0 N/A N/A N/A 2
*Perfect Game        

No Hitter Facts

  • The record for most no-hitters by a pitcher is Nolan Ryan with 7, giving him more than 14 teams.
  • Bobo Holloman is the only pitcher to throw a hitter in his first major league start. Holloman had previously pitched 4 games in relief before no-hitting the Philadelphia Athletics on May 6, 1953. (more…)

Read Full Post »