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Archive for July 26th, 2010

With all eyes on Alex Rodriguez’ pursuit of home run number 600, it was Curtis Granderson’s long ball that stole the show. Meanwhile, Jake Westbrook nailed his trade deadline audition by holding the Yankees to one run on two hits over seven innings before Granderson’s two-run blast in the eighth finally brought the curtain down.

All eyes started the day on Arod, but shifted to Curtis Granderson by game's end (Photo: Getty Images).

While Westbrook was hoping to catch the eye of a contending team, Javier Vazquez was trying to further establish himself as a vital component of the Yankees’ rotation. Over the first two innings, the aggressive Indians hitters attacked Vazquez’ fastball, but could only plate one run on Travis Hafner’s second inning long ball. After giving up the blast, Vazquez seemed to switch gears and rely more on his curveball and change, an adjustment that helped him retire the next nine batters in a row with relative ease. The Indians finally got to Vazquez for another run in the sixth inning when Shin-Shoo Choo’s two-out double scored Michael Brantley, but he rebounded to strikeout the rookie Carlos Santana. Then, in the seventh, the Indians rallied again, but came up short when Vazquez’ induced a ground ball from Jason Donald with runners on first and second.

Westbrook had a much easier time dealing with the Yankees’ lineup, retiring the first 10 batters of the game before surrendering a game tying homerun to Nick Swisher in the fourth inning. The next batter in the inning, Mark Teixeira, then drew a walk, but was doubled off when Alex Rodriguez’ fly ball to left was ruled a catch despite appearing to be a trap. Westbrook got some more help from second base umpire Dale Scott in the fifth when he called Granderson out at second on a ball that just missed going over the right field wall. Choo’s laser throw beat Granderson to the bag, but the replay once again showed that Scott’s ruling was incorrect. Westbrook took advantage of his good fortune by retiring the next seven batters, but his luck finally ran out in the eighth when Jorge Posada singled ahead of Granderson’s game winning drive, which this time made it over the wall with plenty of room to spare.

Despite throwing 20 pitches in the sixth and seventh, Girardi entrusted Vazquez with the eighth inning, but quickly summoned David Robertson after a lead off walk to the speedy Michael Brantley. The decision was particularly notable because Joba Chamberlain was nowhere to be seen in the bullpen. Before the game, Girardi hinted that he might shy go to Robertson in a key spot late in the game, and sure enough that’s exactly what he did. After Robertson promptly rewarded his manager’s faith with a double play ball, Girardi then called on Boone Logan, who whiffed Choo to end the inning.

With the bridge to Mariano Rivera safely navigated, Girardi’s next decision was a no brainer as the Yankee manager called on his trusted closer, who recorded his first save since July 8. Rivera’s remarkable dependability has helped to mollify the Yankees’ bullpen woes, but the absence of a consistent late inning counterpart has remained the team’s greatest weakness. Unless Brian Cashman is able to acquire a reliever in a deadline deal, tonight’s game could be a preview of how Girardi will handle the bullpen for the rest of the season.

Javier Vazquez’ Pitch Breakdown

Avg. Speed Max Speed Count Strikes Percentage
Changeup 79 82.6 20 14 70.0%
Curve 74.9 82.3 22 14 63.6%
Four Seam Fastball 89.2 91.6 38 21 55.3%
Slider 84.2 86.4 9 7 77.8%
Two Seam Fastball 89.2 90.6 13 8 61.5%
Inning Pitches Strikes Percentage
1 10 5 50.0%
2 16 11 68.8%
3 9 7 77.8%
4 10 8 80.0%
5 10 6 60.0%
6 20 13 65.0%
7 21 12 57.1%
8 6 2 33.3%
Total 102 64 62.7%

Source: http://www.brooksbaseball.net

  • Nick Swisher’s scored the 500th run of his career when he homered in the fourth inning.
  • Robinson Cano’s received his 11th intentional walk in the ninth inning, a record for Yankees second basemen.
  • Mark Teixeira’s fourth inning walk extended his streak of reaching base to 42, the most by a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez reached base in 53 straight games during the 2004 season.

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vs. Jake Westbrook PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 25 0.320 0.320 0.400 0 0
Nick Swisher RF 23 0.087 0.087 0.217 1 3
Mark Teixeira 1B 18 0.214 0.389 0.286 0 2
Alex Rodriguez 3B 26 0.375 0.423 0.542 1 4
Robinson Cano 2B 8 0.500 0.500 0.625 0 1
Jorge Posada DH 15 0.385 0.400 1.000 2 9
Curtis Granderson CF 25 0.217 0.280 0.391 1 4
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 140 0.277 0.314 0.454 5 23
vs. Javier Vazquez PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Michael Brantley CF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Asdrubal Cabrera SS 18 0.467 0.529 0.667 0 4
Shin-Soo Choo RF 8 0.286 0.375 0.714 1 1
Carlos Santana C 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Travis Hafner DH 25 0.182 0.240 0.318 0 6
Johnny Peralta 3B 32 0.161 0.188 0.290 1 3
Matt LaPorta 1B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Trevor Crowe LF 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Jason Donald 2B 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 83 0.240 0.289 0.413 2 14

Yankees vs. Indians
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
NYY: 3-1 NYY: 5-3 CLE: 4-3 NYY: 1088-865

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Last 10 Last 20 Last 30
Yankees 7-3 15-5 21-9
Indians 7-3 11-9 15-15

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Road vs. RHP
Yankees 28-19 40-21
Home vs. RHP
Indians 22-23 29-39

  • Jake Westbrook has not started a regular season game against the Yankees since August 12, 2007. Javier Vazquez last faced the Indians on September 27, 2008.
  • Although not in the lineup, Marcus Thames has hit .417/.500/.833 against Westbrook in 14 plate appearances.
  • During his pre-game meeting with the media, Joe Girardi announced that Dustin Mosely will start on Thursday, replacing Sergio Mitre as Andy Pettitte’s replacement in the rotation.

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Robinson Cano has already become one of the best 2B in Yankees history...

In the eighth inning of yesterday’s 12-6 victory over the Royals, Robinson Cano recorded his 1,000th career hit with a run scoring double off reliever Victor Marte. Contrary to repeated published reports that Cano was the “third fastest ‘homegrown’ Yankee” to reach the milestone (although sourced to Stats, no publication defined what was meant by “homegrown”), the Yankees’ 27-year old second baseman was actually the sixth fastest to accomplish the feat (based on number of at bats).

...but still has more of a climb to pass Tony Lazzeri.

Whether third or sixth, Cano’s rapid ascent to 1,000 hits is still very impressive. In fact, when using a prorated 2010 hit total of 213, Bill James’ “favorite toy” projects that Cano will reach 2,471 hits by the end of his career. Although most Yankee fans would probably consider that a modest prediction for the sweet swinging Cano, it would still place him fourth on the all-time Yankees hit list. The favorite toy also gives Cano a 22% of reaching 3,000 hits, which, if accomplished in pinstripes, would have him join Derek Jeter (assuming the Yankee Captain does not suffer a catastrophic injury or sign with another team during the off season) as the only player in franchise history to reach that mark.

By any measure, Robinson Cano is on his way toward being considered the greatest second baseman in Yankees history. With only Tony Lazzeri, and perhaps Willie Randolph, still ahead of him for that honor, it seems like a forgone conclusion that with good health Cano will eventually attain that distinction.

Below is a look at where Cano’s march to 1,000 hits stands in franchise history, as well as a snap shot of how he compares to other Yankees’ second basemen.

Fastest Yankees to 1,000 Hits (based on at bats)

Player AB Date Opponent Pitcher
Joe DiMaggio 2924 5/11/1941 Red Sox Earl Johnson
Earle Combs 3012 9/10/1929 Tigers Earl Whitehill
Don Mattingly 3042 7/3/1988 White Sox Bill Long
Bob Meusel 3081 9/28/1925 Tigers Ken Holloway
Derek Jeter 3112 9/25/2000 Tigers Steve Sparks
Robinson Cano 3232 7/25/2010 Royals Victor Marte

Source: Baseball-reference.com

Yankees Second Basemen* with 1,000 or More Hits

Player H From To Age G PA BA OBP SLG
Tony Lazzeri 1784 1926 1937 22-33 1659 7058 0.293 0.379 0.467
Willie Randolph 1731 1976 1988 21-33 1694 7465 0.275 0.374 0.357
Bobby Richardson 1432 1955 1966 19-30 1412 5783 0.266 0.299 0.335
Horace Clarke 1213 1965 1974 25-34 1230 5143 0.257 0.309 0.315
Joe Gordon 1000 1938 1946 23-31 1000 4216 0.271 0.358 0.467
Robinson Cano 1000 2005 2010 22-27 830 3454 0.309 0.345 0.489

*Based on at least 75% of all games played at second base.
Source: Baseball-reference.com

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