Archive for April 29th, 2010

Cano Can Two

Cano heads home on the first of his two round trippers (Photo: Getty Images).

It takes a scalding hot hitter to overshadow a pitcher who throws 8 shutout innings, but that’s exactly what Robinson Cano did tonight in Baltimore. Cano belted out three more hits, including 2HRs and a double, to raise his average to .407. Incredibly, Cano’s most spectacular contribution wasn’t at the plate, but in the field. Leading off the third inning, Nolan Reimold grounded a ball up the middle that seemed destined for centerfield. Cano ranged behind the second base bag to glove the ball and then in one motion fired it across the infield to Mark Teixeira for the out. The combination grab and throw was a play likely beyond the ability of every other second baseman in the game.

AJ Burnett was the beneficiary of Cano’s hot bat and slick glove. With the sharp break on the curve still eluding him, Burnett once again relied on pinpoint control of his power fastball to keep the Orioles off the board. In addition to premium velocity that topped out at 97mph, Burnett’s ability to locate (77 of Burnett’s 117 pitches were strikes) allowed the right hander to last 8 innings while only giving up three hits and one walk.

In defeat, Brian Matusz threw a solid ballgame, but lacked the sharpness of his previous starts. The young lefty scattered nine hits over six innings, but managed to limit the damage on a night when he didn’t have his best stuff. The main culprits for Matusz were Cano and Thames, who combined went 5-6 with 2 RBIs against him. The other run was driven in by an Alex Rodriquez sacrifice fly in the first inning that followed a single by Jeter and double by Teixeira.

  • With the victory, AJ Burnett pushed his record to 3-0 for the first time in his career.
  • Derek Jeter’s first inning hit and run scored were the first of each surrendered by Matusz in the first inning.
  • Cano’s fourth inning HR was the first extra base hit surrendered by Brian Matusz to a left handed batter all season. It also extended the Yankees record HR streak at Camden Yards to 17 games.
  • Jeter’s fifth inning single was number 2,775 for his career, moving him past Andre Dawson and into a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. (who is still active) for 45th place in baseball history.
  • For the second time this season and sixth time in his career, Robinson Cano belted 2 HRs in one game. Both of the homeruns came against lefty pitchers, giving Cano five of his eight long balls against southpaws.
  • With his 3 for 3 night, Marcus Thames pushed his average to .588, which includes 10 hits in 16 ABs against left handers.
  • Nick Swisher’s hitless night snapped a personal 10-game hitting streak at Camden Yards that dated back to April 6, 2009.
  • Despite it not being a save situation, Mariano Rivera closed out the game in the ninth. Rivera had not pitched since last Wednesday, April 21 in Oakland.

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Tonight’s rubber game in Baltimore brings to an end one of the Yankees longest road stands of the season (they have another nine game swing in September). With a win, the Yankees would not only get back into the business of winning series, but also return home with a winning road trip. In order to accomplish both goals, the Yankees will need another strong outing from AJ Burnett, who looks to start the season at 3-0 for the first time in his career.

The Yankees lineup, which is without Jorge Posada and Nick Johnson, will go up against Orioles rookie Brian Matusz, the #4 pick overall in the 2008 draft. Matusz is still a rookie because the Orioles intentionally pulled the plug on his 2009 season with 44 2/3 innings, 1/3 shy of the cutoff for rookie eligibility. Among his handful of starts from the 2009 season, Matusz matched up against and beat AJ Burnett on September 12. In the game, Matusz yielded only four hits in seven innings.

Francisco Cervelli gets another start as Posada is still feeling the effects of being hit by a Jeremy Guthrie pitch the night before. Another changed to the lineup involves Marcus Thames taking over the DH slot from Nick Johnson. By keeping him out of the field, Girardi seems to have finally realized that Thames poor defense mitigates the benefits of his right bat against lefties. Filling Johnson’s #2 slot in the lineup is Nick Swisher. Girardi has previously batted Swisher second, but the latter’s prolific numbers at Camden Yards make the move particularly appropriate.



vs. Brian Matusz PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 4 1.000 0.250 0.250 0 0
Nick Swisher RF 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Mark Teixeira 1B 3 0.000 0.500 0.333 0 0
Alex Rodriguez 3B 3 0.000 0.333 0.333 0 0
Robinson Cano 2B 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Marcus Thames DH 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Curtis Granderson CF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Francisco Cervelli C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Brett Gardner LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 16 0.200 0.188 0.267 0 0
Adam Jones CF 23 0.227 0.227 0.455 1 4
Nick Markakis RF 38 0.314 0.342 0.371 0 3
Matt Wieters C 6 0.000 0.167 0.000 0 0
Miguel Tejeda 3B 17 0.333 0.412 0.333 0 1
Luke Scott DH 19 0.400 0.526 0.933 2 4
Ty Wiggington 2B 27 0.217 0.333 0.435 1 3
Ryan Hughes 1B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Nolan Reimold LF 6 0.750 0.833 1.500 1 1
Cesar Izturis SS 16 0.133 0.188 0.200 0 0
Total 152 0.276 0.342 0.455 5 16
Yankees vs. Orioles    
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
TIED: 1-1 NYY: 13-5 NYY: 11-7 NYY: 1223-839
  • AJ Burnett is 9-2 lifetime against the Orioles, but with 5.23 ERA. At Camden Yards, he is 4-0 with a 4.75 ERA.
  • With a double, Derek Jeter will pass Don Mattingly for third place on the Yankees all-time list. An additional base hit will also catapult him past Andre Dawson and into a tie with Ken Griffey Jr. (who is still active) for 45th place in baseball history.
  • Alex Rodriquez remains stuck on 585 HRs. His next long ball will move him into a tie with Frank Robinson for seventh place all-time.
  • Mariano Rivera needs two strikeouts to tie Roger Clemens for 10th place (1,012) in franchise history.
  • Last night, the Yankees set a Camden Yards record for visiting teams by homering in 16 straight games.
  • Nick Swisher has the highest OPS (1.247) by a visiting player at Camden Yards.

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This Date In Yankee History: April 29, 1933

With the sun starting to set on the final Saturday in April 1933, the Yankees seemed poised to drop a second straight game to the Washing Senators. The deficit was 6-2 heading into the bottom of the 9th, but as they often did, the Yankees began to rally. With one out, Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Dixie Walker all singled, narrowing the gap to 6-3 and bringing Tony Lazzeri up as the tying run. As Gehrig lead off second and Walker took his lead from first, Senators pitcher Monte Weavers delivered a pitch that Tony Lazzeri ripped into right center. Gehrig got a late start from second and Senators’ outfielder Goose Goslin quickly retrieved the ball. As he fired into the cutoff man, Joe Cronin, both Gehrig and Walker were on their way to the plate. Cronin’s relay found a waiting Luke Sewell, who upon catching the ball tagged Gehrig and then Walker, who was just behind. All of a sudden, the Yankees rally was dashed. The ballgame was over on one of the oddest plays anyone could remember. The next day, the New York Times headline blared “GAME HAS THRILLING END Gehrig and Walker Nailed in One Play at Plate After a Lusty Drive by Lazzeri”.

Sewell’s twin killing at the plate was the first recorded putout of two runners trying to score on the same play. Interestingly, of the six times the event has happened in the regular season (the Dodgers made the same blunder against the Mets in the 2006 NLDS), the Yankees have been the victims on three occasions.

Carlton Fisk tags out a flying Bobby Meacham...

  • On August 2, 1985, Dale Berra and Bobby Meacham managed to turn a Rickey Henderson double into a rally killing double play as both runners took their turn bouncing off a Carlton Fisk tag at home plate. After the game, Yankees manager Billy Martin fumed, “I’ve never seen a play like that in grammar school, let alone the major leagues.” Of course, the play was almost identical to what happened in 1933, except it came in the bottom of the 7th inning . Still, the gaffe proved costly as the Yankees wound up losing the game 6-5 in extra innings. More than that, the play epitomized a particularly futile stretch in which the team lost 8 of 11 and plummeted from 2.5 games out of first all the way to 9.5 games behind.

I’ve never seen a play like that in grammar school, let alone the major leagues. – Billy Martin

...and then turns to nab Dale Berra, who was trailing right behind.

  • On September 28, 2000, with the Yankees stumbling toward the playoffs, Jose Canseco was thrown out trying to score on Tino Martinez’ second inning double. It was a close play at the plate, and Canseco attempted to argue. The only problem was the play wasn’t over yet. Devil Rays’ catcher Mike DiFelice followed up his tag of Canseco by throwing wildly in an attempt to nail Martinez as he was taking third on the throw. Seeing the ball bounce away, Martinez made a dash for the plate, but before he could make it, DiFelice was once again waiting with the ball to tag out another Yankee trying to score. All the while, Canseco stood by patiently, waiting for his chance to protest the original call. Everyone lingered on the field before dazedly wandering off. Needless to say, the Yankees didn’t clinch the division that night.

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Is this a face that only an Indians' fan could love?

In a blow to the collective psyche of Yankee fans around the world, The Nielsen Company has determined that the Bronx Bombers are not the most hated team in all of baseball. In fact, they aren’t even in the top four. So much for jealousy being the greatest form of flattery?

According to the study, which uses an “online sentiment scale” to gauge consumers’ reactions to different brands and products, the Cleveland Indians sit atop the baseball world as the most despised. Who knows…maybe Chief Wahoo is to blame?

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