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Kuroda gives Yankees the sweep in 6-0 rain shorted victory

When the Yankees started their game 45 minutes late, all eyes were on Hiroki Kuroda to see if the rain delay was going to slow him down. In the end, Kuroda looked victorious as the Yankees swept the Blue Jays 6-0 in a 7 inning game.

The Yankees started their run scoring bargade with a Derek Jeter double in the 1st inning, followed by an RBI single by Nick Swisher and a 2 run homer by Mark Teixeira (it was also Mark Teixeirs figurine day at the stadium). Andruw Jones scored the 4th run in the first which plated Robinson Cano. In the bottom of the 4th inning, Dewayne Wise hit a ground rule double which scored Jayson Nix, but Wise and Nix weren’t done scoring runs. In the 6th inning Wise singled and scored Nix for a second time which equaled the 6 runs for the Yankees.

Kuroda pitched 7 innings of shutout baseball and earned the win after the game was cut short due to a rain delay.

– Robinson Cano has a 21 game hit streak which is the longest active hit-streak in the majors.

– No news on Brett Gardner and his MRI results.

Mariano Rivera went to the New York Stock Exchange and rang the opening and closing bell.

The Yankees now head to the West Coast where they will play 4 games vs. Oakland (I won’t cover the series until Sunday which is an afternoon game) and 3 vs. Seattle.

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Week 12 Yankees Player of the Week

This week in Yankees baseball was more about injuries than anything that happened on the field. The Yankees were rolling and really did not have a worry in the world. They had a 7 game lead in the loss column over the Red Sox and Rays. However, the Yankees world turned when CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte got injured on Wednesday. Sabathia will only miss 1 more start but the Yankees are just hoping Pettitte can be healthy for October. On the field the Yankees had a good week going 5-2. They beat the Mets on Sunday, swept Cleveland, and lost the first 2 out of 3 against Chicago. The one that hurts is Thursday’s loss that the Yankees had in the bag going into the 9th.  Rafael Soriano was unavailable and the combination of Cody Eppley, Clay Rapada, and David Robertson blew the game. The nominations for Week 12 Yankees Player of the Week are Hiroki Kuroda, Dewayne Wise, Robinson Cano, and Nick Swisher.

The Case For Kuroda: Kuroda came up big in a big game Saturday vs.Chicago. The Yankees were desperate for length and production from Kuroda, as their bullpen was taxed. Kuroda got over throwing a bunch of pitches early to throw 7 shutout innings. Kuroda also had 11 strike outs. Kuroda also pitched a wonderful game on Monday vs.Cleveland. Kuroda pitched 7 innings, allowed 1 run, and struck out 7. He had the young Indians looking silly on his splitter all night long.

The Case For Wise: Well who would have thought Dewayne Wise would ever be a candidate for Player of the Week? It may be the only week, but Wise certainly earned it. Wise was 7-11 on the week, with 2 HR’s, and 5 RBI. He was 3-3 in the biggest win of the week Saturday vs.Chicago.

The Case For Cano: Cano has continued his assault on baseball this week. Cano hit .429 on the week, with 4 HR’s, and 9 RBI. Cano had a hit in all 7 games this week. Cano also had an RBI on 6 of the 7 games. The fact that Cano is a 2nd half hitter should have the rest of theAL scared out of their minds.

The Case For Swisher: Swisher’s big moment of the week came Sunday at Citi Field. His 3 run home run against R.A. Dickey got the Yankees out to a 4-0 lead. Swisher hit .292 on the week, with 2 HR’s, and 4 RBI.

The Week 12 Yankees Player of the Week goes to Hiroki Kuroda. Cano was deserving as well but Kuroda almost threw 2 shutouts this week and came up huge yesterday.  This is Kuroda’s 3rd Player of the Week award this year. As always you are encouraged to vote for your choice in the poll and discuss in the comments.

Morning Bits: Rivera, June, Wise

Good morning everyone and Happy Sunday to you all! Today is Old-Timers Day at Yankee Stadium so make sure to tune in at 11:15am on YES Network to watch the ceremony and the Old-Timers game. Followed by that will be the actual Yankees game where Phil Hughes takes the mound at 2:05pm as the Yankees look to even the series with the White Sox at 2 games apiece. Before we get to the Morning links I wonder, who are you most excited to see at Old-Timers Day? And with that, let’s move on to the morning links! 

– Speaking of Old Timers Day, Yankees fans should enjoy Mariano Rivera while they can since he may be pitching in an Old-Timers game maybe 5 years from now after he calls it a great career.

– The Yankees had a magical June going 20-7, but it may be harder to repeat in July now that the Yankees have more injuries to deal with.

 – After fooling the umpires into thinking he caught the ball, pitching to 2 batters (and getting both out) and getting 3 hits including a HR in yesterday’s game? Yep, Dewayne Wise had some week.

Here is a list of who will be at Old Timers Day.

Luis Arroyo, Jesse Barfield, Yogi Berr , Ron Blomberg, Dr. Bobby Brown, Homer Bush, Jerry Coleman, David Cone, Bucky Dent, Al Downing, Brian Doyle, Cecil Fielder, Whitey Ford, Oscar Gamble, Jake Gibbs, Joe Girardi, Rich “Goose” Gossage, Ron Guidry, Charlie Hayes, Rickey Henderson, Sterling Hitchcock, Arlene Howard, Helen Hunter, Reggie Jackson, Tommy John, Pat Kelly, Don Larsen, Graeme Lloyd, Hector Lopez, Jill Martin, Tino Martinez, Lee Mazzilli, Stump Merrill, Gene Monahan, Diana Munson, Kay Murcer, Matt Nokes, Paul O’Neill, Joe Pepitone, Lou Piniella, Willie Randolph, Bobby Richardson, Mickey Rivers, Aaron Small, Mel Stottlemyre, Darryl Strawberry, Tanyon Sturtze, Ralph Terry, Joe Torre, Bob Turley , Roy White, Bernie Williams

Note: Sturtze, Nokes, Monahan, Hitchcock and Merrill are first-time Old Timers.

Kuroda pitches gem as Yanks shut out White Sox 4-0

After yesterday’s circus performance which resulted in a 14-7 loss, the Yankees turned to Hiroki Kuroda to pitch the Yankees to victory. That was exactly what Kuroda had done as the Yankees were able to shut out the Sox 4-0.

Kuroda pitched 7 innings of shutout ball while only allowing 3 hits, at one point retiring 15 batters in a row. Kuroda was saved from trouble in the 1st inning when Alejandro De Aza was caught stealing by Martin to begin the game. David Robertson came in for the 8th inning and retired all three men he faced (2 on strikeouts, one on a shallow “Mariano Rivera style” pop up). Boone Logan came in for the 9th inning and retired one batter while Rafael Soriano retired the last 2 batters with a double play ball to short.

The Yankees were also able to take advantage of the 93 degree weather by hitting 3 home runs: 1 by Curtis Granderson in the 1st, 1 by Dewayne Wise in the 5th and 1 by Robinson Cano in the 6th. The 4th run scored on an RBI double by Dewayne Wise which plated Nick Swisher.

Tomorrow the Yankees have a big day ahead of them as it is the final home game for the first half of the season (the Yankees are on the road all next week). Also tomorrow is Old Timers Day so tune into YES Network early for extensive coverage and of the Old Timers Game. First pitch for the actual Yankees game is at 2:05pm with Phil Hughes on the mound.

Morning Bits: Wise, Warren, Jeter, Gardner

Good morning everyone. Last night’s game was ugly, I admit but it’s time to turn the page and focus on today. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Yankees and first pitch is at 1:05. Here are your morning links! 

– Last night Dewayne Wise pitched great for the Yankees (no, this isn’t a typo). Adam Warren–ehh–not so much.

– Derek Jeter made history last night by overtaking Cal Ripken Jr. on baseball’s all-time hit list.

– Here’s an article that I wrote for Yahoo! about how Brett Gardner actually changes the dynamics to the Yankees when he’s in and out of the lineup.

Morning Bits: Sabathia, Pettitte, Wise, HRs, SWB Yanks

Good morning everyone. The Yankees begin a new series tonight against the White Sox at 7:05pm ET. Here are your links…

— The Yankees have lost both C.C. Sabathia and Andy Pettitte to injuries. Sabathia luckily will only be missing 2 starts, while Pettitte will be out for around 6 weeks.

— Dewayne Wise says it’s not his fault that the umpire Mike DiMuro made a bad call on his “catch”.

— The Yankees lead home run scoring while stranded runners wait for hits.

— The Scranton/Wilkes-Barres Yankees defeated Gwinnett for the second straight game last night. Ramon Ortiz had a strong performance on the bound and Francisco Cervelli broke the 2-2 tie with an RBI single, leading them to victory.

Have a great day!

Yankees Report Card: June

Here’s a new monthly article I like to call the Yankees Report Card. Every month based on the Yankees performances (pitchers included), I will give them a letter grade from A-F and explain why they got the grade they deserved. If there is a grade that you might not agree with, place the grade that you would have given a player down in the comment section below. All stats are as of June 26. 

Derek Jeter (B): Derek Jeter’s bat hasn’t been as hot as it was in April & May since his average is .240 in the month of June. However, Jeter hit 2 home runs in the month of June (He’s not a HR hitter so it’s remarkable) and he has 7 RBI’s.  It also helps that he kept his average over .300 for the past 3 months. A downside as to why Jeter didn’t get a higher grade? He struck out 17 times.

Curtis Granderson (B-): Curtis Granderson’s average for June is .211, but of course we all know Curtis Granderson isn’t hitting for average. In the month of June, Granderson hit 5 home runs, drove in 14 RBI’s and walked 13 times in the month of June. Granderson’s strikeouts are however a little outrageous. He struck out 29 times in June which brings his total for the season so far to 86.

Mark Teixeira (B): Again, it looks as if Mark Teixeira isn’t hitting for average since he’s batting .241 in the month of June. Instead Tex is hitting for power and RBI’s. Although he’s only hit 3 HR’s, he’s driven in 13 runs and walked 13 times. He also doesn’t struck out a lot since he’s only done it 14 times. Teixeira also has been hitting with RISP lately which was why I bumped his average from a B- (which was his original grade) to a B.

Alex Rodriguez (B): Alex Rodriguez hit only .225 in the month of June, but he hit 6 HR’s, drove in 15 runs and walked 11 times. Although A-Rod is looking a little hotter at the plate, June wasn’t his best month. May was. If he keeps hitting home runs that help win games then he’ll continue to pass on his report card.

Robinson Cano (A): Robinson Cano’s bat in the month of June is “muy caliente”. After a slow start to the season, Cano is batting .325 in the month of June while also hitting 9 HR’s, driving in 16 RBI’s and walking 12 times. It seems to me with the 9 HR’s that Cano is hitting, he’s practicing for the Home Run Derby. Well then by all means, you don’t need the practice, but keep hitting them anyway Robbie. Chicks dig the long ball.

Nick Swisher (A): June has been Nick Swisher’s best month by far with a .338 average. Swisher hit 4 HR’s, drove in 14 RBI’s and walked 10 times. Not only that, but Swisher has been making great plays in the outfield. Swisher makes watching him play in right field fun, and not only that but you can’t help but get a smile on your face just by watching Swisher play with a smile on his face.

Raul Ibanez (C-): In the month of June, Raul Ibanez has seemed to have faltered a bit after having a good April and May. In June, Ibanez is hitting .169 with 2 HR’s & 7 RBI’s. He also has only walked once. The good we can take away from this is that he only struck out 8 times. That’s something, right?

Russell Martin (D+): Well, June has been Martin’s best month so far–but the numbers are still pretty bad. Martin’s batting .217 in June with 4 HR’s & 9 RBI’s. The only reason he doesn’t get lower than a D+ is because he knows how to call games, but hitting the baseball is just as important as calling a game Russell. Maybe July will be your month?

Andruw Jones (D+): Andruw Jones hasn’t played a lot in June–but that’s no excuse for doing almost absolutely nothing at the plate. Jones only hit 2 HR’s & drove in 4 runs in 34 at-bats. His average is also at .206. He doesn’t get an F however because he does do well in the outfield when he’s in there but seriously Andruw, where’s the power?

Chris Stewart (B): Chris Stewart has 8 at-bats less than Andruw Jones and he has been able to do more with his at-bats. Stewart is batting .306 in June and has driven in 4 RBI’s but don’t expect the ball to go out of the park with him. He also is known for calling great games and his defense is good (I know he made a mistake in the Mets series finale game but come on, everyone makes mistakes). Stewart always does something when he plays which is probably why Cashman and Girardi thought it made most sense to go to him as a backup catcher. Well, wherever you got him from, don’t return him. He’s awesome.

Jayson Nix (B-): Nix hasn’t gotten a lot of at-bats in the month of June, but he has been able to get on base with a .263 average in June. Nix has no homers or RBI’s but he’s a bench player so it’s understandable. Whatever you’re doing to get on base Nix, don’t stop.

Eric Chavez (B): Eric Chavez is another one of those bench guys that is always doing something amazing (when he’s not injured). Chavez has a .294 average in June with 2 HR’s & 4 RBI’s but what really makes him deserve a B is that he’s a great defender at third base when Alex Rodriguez is out of the lineup. Of course did you expect anything less from Chavez? Chavez is a 6 time Gold Glover after all.

Dewayne Wise (B-): June has been Dewayne Wise’s best month so far with a .286 average. It also helps that he got his first home run of the season in the month of June–and how it was a 3 run homer.

CC Sabathia (B+): CC Sabathia is the Yankees ace but he has looked like he doesn’t have great command of his pitches. In 5 starts he’s 3-1 with a 3.03 ERA with 36 strikeouts. It however amazes me when CC doesn’t have his best stuff and then he ends up going into the 7th inning or so which gives the bullpen a break.

Hiroki Kuroda (A-): Hiroki Kuroda in the month of June has been flat out terrific. He’s 3-1 with a 2.38 ERA with 32 strikeouts. It’s also Kuroda’s first winning month of the season. Kuroda was 2-3 in both April and in May. Impressive, huh?

Ivan Nova (A+): Ivan Nova in the month of June has been flat-out dominant. He’s 3-0 with a 1.27 ERA  with 22 strikeouts. He’s also 9-2 on the season which is very impressive. Who said that Nova was going to have a Sophmore slump?

Andy Pettitte (B+): Andy has sure been good in the month of June, which is why his record is 1-1 with a 3.08 ERA. Both of Pettitte’s starts were good, even the loss (if you take out the 5 run 1st inning from the Mets). Andy, are you sure you’re 40, because you’re pitching like an All-Star.

Phil Hughes (B+): Phil Hughes has been great for the Yankees in June going 4-1 with a 2.67 ERA. The only thing that stopped him from getting an A-? He’s given up 7 HR’s in the month of June. Other than that, he looks like the Phil Hughes of 2010!

Cody Eppley (B+): Cody Eppley has been one of the biggest surprises in the Yankees bullpen only giving up 5 earned runs in 18 innings which results in a 2.50 ERA. He’s also held opponents to a .234 average against him. It helps to have a right handed side armer, doesn’t it?

Clay Rapada (A+): Clay Rapada has emerged from the Yankees bullpen and has became one of my favorite pitchers to watch. He is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA and holds batters to a .071 average against him! I had been rooting for Rapada to make the team since Spring Training so it makes me glad that he has a chance to show Joe (Girardi) what he can do.

Freddy Garcia (A): Ever since being placed in the Yankees bullpen, Freddy Garcia has been dominant. He’s 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA and holds batters to a .190 average. I’m still a little iffy about Garcia though since I don’t fully trust him, but he’s been doing well so I tip my cap to him.

Boone Logan (A):  Boone Logan is in Clay Rapada territory meaning that he has one of the lowest numbers in the bullpen. He’s 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA while holding batters to a .107 ERA. This bullpen just gets better and better, doesn’t it?

David Robertson (A-): David Robertson was on the DL for a bit but when he came back he was a little rusty in his first outing which explains the 2.45 ERA in June, but since then he’s been Houdini. Stranding batters and striking them is all apart of Robertson’s description. Girardi has been cautious of Robertson since he is just coming back from an oblique injury, but he’s having another great year.

Rafael Soriano (A+): Can anyone say ‘lights out’? Soriano is having a ridiculous month with a 0.96 ERA in the closer role. It makes the Mariano Rivera season ending injury a little less painful when you have someone who is already a closer in the bullpen. Soriano, keep it up.

Cory Wade (F): Cory Wade in June is very baffling. The guy has an 11.05 ERA and seems to be having trouble straightening himself out. Well, Wade better get it together soon or he might be wearing a new uniform in the Yankees organization. Maybe a Scranton Wilkes-Barre uniform?

Morning Bits: Pettitte, DiMuro, Wise, Jeter, Prosepct Rob Refsnyder

Strong outing by Hughes last night as he went 8 innings without giving up a run and more importantly without giving up a home run. Today is a day game.  Game time is 1:05.   On the mound for Cleveland is Jimenez and for the Yankees is Andy Pettitte.

Let’s get right to the links…..

Wallace Matthews of ESPN NY has a write-up about how umpire DiMuro missed the call on the Wise missed catch.

Matthews of ESPN NY has another story about nothing to worry about with the Yankees.

Bryan Hoch of mlb.com has a piece of Jeter reflecting on his 38th birthday.

– Umpire Mike DiMuro admits his error in the call writes Steven Miller of MLB.com

– Yankees draft pick Rob Refsnyder who was in the college world series had some interesting tweets that stirred some controversy.  Check out this article from Mark Feinsand of The Daily News.

Morning Bits: Girardi, Joba, Wise, SWB, Martin, No-Hitter

Good morning everyone. Here are your morning links…

— Joe Girardi believes that despite his horrible injury, Joba Chamberlain will return and pitch for the Yankees this year.

— Dewayne Wise reflects on the catch that saved Mark Buehrle’s perfect game in 2009.

— The Scranton-Wilkes Barre Yankees have lost three straight games on the road in Norfolk.

— Russell Martin talked to the league regarding his comments about the umpire Laz Diaz.

— Joe Girardi discussed Johan Santana’s no-hitter, and knows what catcher Josh Thole and manager Terry Collins went through during the game.

Have a nice day!

Spring Training Notes: 2/19/12

The Yankees have reported for Spring Training this morning and with the start of the season comes news.

– According to Mark Carig of The Star-Ledger some of the Yankees have been assigned numbers. New numbers are as follows:

#18 – Hiroki Kuroda
#22 – Andruw Jones
#35 – Michael Pineda
#38 – Dewayne Wise
#40 – Bill Hall
#43 – Manny Delcarmen
#45 – Russell Branyan 

Andruw Jones originally wore #18 in 2011. We were told the split was amicable. Pedro Feliciano is still slated to wear #31 but we doubt we will see Feliciano this season, thus eating all the money of his 2 year contract doing nothing. #20 (which was previously worn by Jorge Posada) has not been assigned and in my opinion should not be assigned.

– Joe Girardi was scheduled to have  a press conference this morning but unfortunately the press will have to wait until Girardi actually gets to Florida. Girardi’s 6am flight at Newark Airport was delayed.

– Only one pitcher didn’t show up for Pitchers and Catchers; Mariano Rivera. But don’t worry Yankee fans, Mo isn’t in trouble. He spoke with Cashman and Cashman gave him the thumbs up. “He said ‘Cash I wanted to give you a heads up, I might be a little late.’ Just tell me when you are coming. What am I going to do? It’s Mariano Rivera.”

– Yankees pitcher Joba Chamberlain had made progress and he can soon throw off the mound, but Brian Cashman said that they aren’t going to rush Chamberlain back. Cashman isn’t going to listen if Chamberlain says he can come back in April, May or possibly next week. At the earliest the Yankees can have Chamberlain back in June.

– Even though everyone is anticipating Michael Pineda to be #2 in the rotation, Brian Cashman said that Michael Pineda will not be the No #2 pitcher behind CC Sabathia. The reason? Pineda only knows 2 pitches & his change-up is under developed. With that, it means that most likely either Ivan Nova or Hiroki Kuroda will pitch before Pineda in the rotation.

– Brian Cashman addressed the issue about the vacant DH spot. Yankees fans know that Johnny Damon won’t be in the DH mix which leaves Raul Ibanez, Hideki Matsui, Vladmir Gurerro and possibly Eric Chavez.

Freddy Garcia told the press that he had no regrets signing with the Yankees last season and he claims how much he loves to play in New York. Well Freddy, we like having you here as well.

– via Jon Heyman, the A.J Burnett deal is DONE. A.J passed his physical and the MLB approved the trade which means that Burnett is a Pirate.

Open Thread

Good evening everyone. I’ll briefly recap today’s news and signings…

Today, the Yankees signed three players to minor league contracts: OF Cole Garner, RHP and former top prospect Adam Miller, and OF Dewayne Wise (pictured above – a.k.a. the savior of Mark Buehrle’s perfect game). Ken Rosenthal reported today that the Yankees are very unlikely to sign Hiroyuki Nakajima before Friday’s 5pm deadline. Not signing Nakajima will only increase the likelihood of a Eric Chavez-Yankees reunion.

Anyway, there’s college football on at 8:30 EST on ESPN (West Virgina vs. Clemson), along with some college men’s basketball (Duke vs. Temple) on ESPN2 at 7. Additionally, the Knicks, Devils, and Nets are all playing. Have a good night – here’s the open thread.

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