Results tagged ‘ Hideki Matsui ’
Hideki Matsui’s first year with the Yankees was 2003, and though the Bombers lost in that World Series to the Marlins, the thought was that they’d be back time and time again as the seasons went on. Not so, as it turned out. It has taken until 2009, perhaps Matsui’s final year in pinstripes, to get back to this point.
“Certainly, the frustration was there,” Matsui said Sunday through an interpreter. “Any time you lose, it
leaves a bitter feeling in your mouth. So not having been able to get
back here to the World Series, and in addition to that, being that it’s
the goal that I strive for every year, certainly it was frustrating.”
Matsui has been relegated to a pinch-hitter and emergency outfielder for these games in Philadelphia, though there was some thought to playing him out there. In the end, the Yankees looked at Matsui’s balky knees and his rustiness playing the outfield before Game 3 and decided that Matsui would be on the bench.
“As far as how my knees feel, overall I feel pretty good,” Matsui said. “As far as playing the outfield, there are certain factors that, I guess, are still unknown or untested. I haven’t been in the outfield obviously, and the weather and so forth. But as far as how I feel, the knees feel good right now.”
Everyone seems well aware of the idea that this could be Matsui’s last turn in a Yankees uniform. Nobody knows for sure what the future holds, but the Yankees have internally considered the idea of a revolving-door DH position for next year, allowing players like Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira to take turns.
What that means for Matsui remains to be seen. But if this is his final go-around, as he said in the first days of Spring Training, he would like to cap it with a World Series title.
With Jorge Posada’s 20th home run of the season in the ninth inning tonight off Toronto’s Jason Frasor, the Yankees now have seven players with 20 or more home runs.
That sets a new franchise record and ties a Major League record also shared by the 1996 Orioles, 2000 Blue Jays and 2005 Rangers (credit: Elias Sports Bureau).
The Yankees with 20 or more: Mark Teixeira-32, Johnny Damon-24, Alex Rodriguez-24, Hideki Matsui-23, Nick Swisher-23 and Robinson Cano-22. The old Yankees franchise record of six players with 20 or more home runs was set in 1961 and tied in 2004.
10 games in 11 days, to Seattle, Oakland and Boston. If the Yankees knew coming into that excursion that they would be flying home with seven victories in their back pocket – and especially two out of three in the Red Sox series – they would have signed right up for that.
Things are flying high right now for the Yankees, who open a three-game series with the Rangers tonight with Joba Chamberlain on the mound. They’re a Major League-best 27-9 since the All-Star break and own the best record in the Majors, heading into tonight tied with their season high of 32 games over .500.
All of that makes the things you actually can fret about, like the possible rift between A.J. Burnett and Jorge Posada, just background noise for the moment.
Mark Teixeira was on the Late Show with David Letterman last night and took a little batting practice outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre, sending a few bombs flying deep down 53rd Street. Here’s a video.
And now, a few other of the off-day discussion stories floating around out there:
Anthony McCarron has a great look in the New York Daily News at June 24, the night the Yankees saved their season with a pregame meeting at Atlanta’s Turner Field.
Andy Pettitte checks in with Pete Caldera of the Bergen Record, addressing the idea that this could really be the lefty’s final year.
Derek Jeter’s “favorite player right now,” Hideki Matsui, tells Jack Curry of The New York Times that he would love to stay put in Yankees pinstripes.
Pitching: A.J. Burnett (10-5, 3.71)
Pitching: Brett Tomko (1-2, 5.23)
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE: Isn’t it funny that Brett Tomko can resurface as a starting pitcher exactly as the Yankees open a three-game series against the A’s, having departed saying how he was happy to be leaving because it never seemed like he got a chance in New York? Well, now he gets his opportunity here to pull off an upset. Said Joe Girardi: “We know Brett and Brett knows us.” …
With Hideki Matsui out until at least tomorrow after having his left knee drained, Derek Jeter got to jump in the lineup as the designated hitter. Good timing, considering his nearly unpublicized pursuit of Luis Aparicio’s record for hits as a shortstop concluded Sunday. …
The Yankees are anxious to see how Matsui responds to treatment and Girardi said he will not use him at all on Monday. …
A couple of other small items — the name Russ Ortiz did come up briefly in discussions about helping the big league team, but never seriously. Ortiz elected free agency from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in hopes of latching on with a playoff contender that would call him up. Brett Gardner is set to see a doctor on Wednesday about his left thumb and wouldn’t rejoin the big league team until September.
Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that Matsui is experiencing some fluid in the knee and that having it drained could be a possibility. Girardi had planned to rest Matsui anyway for the series finale against the Mariners because of stiffness and was told by head trainer Gene Monahan that Matsui needed another day.
“He has a little bit of fluid on it today,” Girardi said. “What that means, I can’t tell you yet. The right leg is fine, the left leg has a little bit of fluid. It’s the first time in a long time. Is it a concern of mine? A little bit. Hopefully we get it out.”
With Matsui on the bench, Mark Teixeira started as the Yankees’ designated hitter and Nick Swisher manned first base. Matsui homered twice in a four-hit, five-RBI game for New York on Thursday and has 12 hits in his last 36 at-bats.