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Archive for September 20th, 2010

vs. Matt Garza PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 33 0.300 0.344 0.433 0 1
Curtis Granderson CF 24 0.273 0.292 0.455 0 2
Mark Teixeira 1B 23 0.111 0.261 0.278 1 5
Alex Rodriguez 3B 24 0.450 0.500 0.800 2 5
Robinson Cano 2B 28 0.370 0.393 0.704 2 6
Nick Swisher RF 16 0.462 0.563 1.231 3 3
Lance Berkman DH 13 0.100 0.231 0.100 0 1
Brett Gardner LF 12 0.091 0.167 0.091 0 1
Francisco Cervelli C 5 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 178 0.282 0.337 0.519 1 8
             
vs. Ivan Nova PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
John Jaso C 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0 1
Ben Zobrist 2B 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Carl Crawford LF 3 0.500 0.667 0.500 0 0
Evan Longoria 3B 3 0.500 0.667 0.500 0 1
Dan Johnson DH 2 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Matt Joyce RF 3 0.333 0.333 0.333 0 1
Carlos Pena 1B 2 1.000 1.000 4.000 1 1
BJ Upton CF 2 0.500 0.500 1.000 0 0
Jason Bartlett SS 0 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 21 0.333 0.429 0.556 1 4

 

Yankees vs. Rays    
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
TBR: 8-6 NYY: 11-7 NYY: 11-7 NYY: 139-77

 

  Last 10 Last 20 Last 30
Yankees 4-6 11-9 17-13
Rays 5-5 11-9 17-13

 

  Home vs. RHP
Yankees 49-25 59-36
  Away vs. RHP
Rays 43-30 55-42

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No matter where you stand on the importance of winning the division, the story of yesterday’s extra inning loss begins with Andy Pettitte.

Orioles get Wiggy as walkoff double by Ty Wigginton helps Baltimore avoid a weekend sweep (Photo: AP).

After some early jitters (he went 3-0 on the first two batters), Andy Pettitte settled into a groove and became a strike throwing machine, locating both his fastball and curve with incredible precision for a man who had not been atop a major league mound in two months. The only run surrendered by Pettitte came on a two out bunt single in the first inning, after which the Yankees lefty allowed only two base runners. Pettitte only needed 78 pitches to complete six innings, and retired the last 11 batters he faced.

While Pettitte was picking up where he left off, the Yankees were once again leaving men on base. So, instead of building a big lead, the Yankees allowed the Orioles to hang around and eventually tie the game when they scored single runs in the eighth and ninth, the latter coming on a lead off homerun by Luke Scott off Mariano Rivera. Scott’s blast, which just made it over the 18-foot wall in right, gave Rivera his second blown save on the road trip.

The game wasn’t lost when Rivera surrendered the lead. In fact, in the eleventh, the Yankees seemed as if they were poised to get a second chance at winning it. In that frame, however, Buck Showalter proved himself to be a master tactician, while Joe Girardi seemed to be one step behind in the managerial game of chess that ensured.

Alex Rodriguez led off the inning with a walk and his pinch runner, Eduardo Nunez, advanced to third on a wild pickoff attempt that bounced into the stands. Before the errant throw, Ramiro Pena had been attempting to sacrifice, but with the runner already on third, Girardi opted to send Marcus Thames to the plate with a 1-1 count. Thames eventually struck out in his abbreviated at bat, prompting Girardi use Mark Teixeira in place of Brett Gardner. Showalter then had Gonzalez walk both Teixeira and Jeter, putting the game in the lap of Lance Berkman, who had batted .177/.270/.266 against lefties this season. Sure enough, one weak ground ball later and the Yankees had let another golden opportunity slip through their hands.

Ultimately, winning and losing comes down the performance of players, but a manager’s job is to put his team in the best position to succeed. In this game, Girardi didn’t do that, while Showalter did. Once Thames struck out, Showalter knew exactly what his exit strategy was going to be. Girardi, however, seemed to be caught off guard by Showalter’s approach. By sending his last potent bat into an obvious intentional walk situation, Girardi was basically falling into Showalter’s trap. With no useful bench remaining, the Berkman versus a lefty matchup was checkmate for Buck.

After wiggling out of the jam in the top of the eleventh, the Orioles finally put the game away with back-to-back doubles by Scott and Ty Wigginton off David Robertson, who was pitching in his second inning.  The Orioles’ walkoff helped the team avoid a home sweep, proving that turn around is fair play, as a Nick Swisher walkoff HR helped the Yankees avoid the same fate against Baltimore only 10 days earlier.

With the Jays building a strong young pitching staff and the Orioles under the control of one of the game’s better managers, the 2011 AL East could be an absolute monster. That’s a concern for next year, however. The Yankees still have two weeks to worry about winning this year’s division title.

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According to Buster Olney, speaking on the Mike and Mike morning radio program, Joe Torre will be among the baseball luminaries on hand to help unveil George M. Steinbrenner III’s monument during this evening’s ceremony at Yankee Stadium.

The appearance will mark the first time Torre has returned to Yankee Stadium since his acrimonious parting with the team after the 2007 season. It also suggests the beginning of a permanent thaw that should culminate in series of future honors for Torre, including a retired number and plaque in monument park.

There are no issues with Joe Torre and the Yankees. In terms of what Joe did and what we all did together, no one is ever going to change that. No one wants to change that. We’re all really proud of what we all did together.” – Brian Cashman speaking to reporters on Friday, from the LoHud Yankees Blog

As Brian Cashman stated over the weekend, nothing can change what Torre and the Yankees accomplished together, so it’s nice to see a reconciliation of sorts on a day meant to honor the Boss. After all, if the Boss stood for anything, it was the importance of keeping the family together. Whether you view Torre as a prodigal son or an aggrieved party, his return to Yankee Stadium has been long overdue.

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