Results tagged ‘ Red Sox ’

Quick hits: Yanks try their luck with Huff

Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-66) and Red Sox (85-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium for the third game of a four-game series that has been just heartbreaking thus far for the home team. The Yanks turn the ball over to lefty David Huff (2-0, 3.32) as he moves from the bullpen to the rotation, while the Red Sox aren’t making things much easier by presenting a tough customer in right-hander John Lackey (8-12, 3.22).

David HuffSending Huff to the mound is Joe Girardi‘s way of going with the hot hand. He has earned the start with his recent stellar work out of the bullpen, and even Phil Hughes could see the writing on the wall that the Yankees were beginning to lean toward seeing if they can catch lightning in a bottle with Huff.

“I haven’t seen anything that would tell me he can’t give you some distance and throw the ball well,” Girardi said of Huff. “That’s all he’s done since he’s been here, so I think 90 to 100 pitches, I expect that from him, but you have to see the quality of pitches once you’re up around that mark.”

Alex Rodriguez is not in the Yankees lineup this afternoon. Girardi said that he has Rodriguez available to pinch-hit, and that, “He’s fine, it’s just six days in a row, day game after a night game.” Eduardo Nunez is at third base in place of A-Rod.

Who’s in the bullpen behind Huff? Brett Marshall would be the long man, and Girardi said that he could “piece it together” with Dellin Betances and right-hander Jim Miller, who was added to the roster on Saturday after spending this season at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. You won’t see Joba Chamberlain or Preston Claiborne today. Mariano Rivera should be available.

“You pretty much know the pieces that you have going in, so you look at that,” Girardi said. “Huff’s thrown the ball well, so I have confidence in him. It’s no different than any other day when you don’t have a couple of guys that you can use in your bullpen.”

No word yet on Boone Logan, who had a date with an MRI tube this morning.

My Beat The Streak pick today: Curtis Granderson, who is starting today as the DH and is 8-for-21 lifetime vs. Lackey. The streak is currently at seven games after Eduardo Nunez went 2-for-3 last night.

Quick hits: Girardi trying to navigate without Mo, Robertson

Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-65) and Red Sox (84-58) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium, in what after last night’s events is a must-win game for the Yanks (well, they’re all kind of must-win at this point, aren’t they?). The Yankees need a deep outing out of left-hander Andy Pettitte (10-9, 4.01) and will try to put up some runs against left-hander Felix Doubront (10-6, 3.89).

Maraino RiveraIt sounds like the Yankees will try to push a win to the finish line, thus preserving a chance of taking three out of four from the Red Sox, without the services of both David Robertson and Mariano Rivera tonight.

“I don’t know if we have Mo, I don’t know if we have Robbie,” manager Joe Girardi said. I’m just going to have to wait and see. I’ll let them go through BP and tell me what they’re thinking and how they feel, talk to Larry [Rothschild] and make a decision. We may not have either one of them tonight.”

Girardi said that his thinking is that the Yankees cannot afford an injury to Rivera or Robertson at this late stage.

“That would really hurt us. That’s the first thing you have to think about,” Girardi said. “I think you have to trust the communication that’s between them, Larry and me is honest communication on how they’re feeling. You try to look at how many pitches they’ve had. It’s tough.

“And it becomes tougher when you have a stretch like this of 17 days in a row, because if you get in a lot of close games, you can’t use them every day. My thought going into tonight is we may not have either one of them. That’s kind of my thought going into the day and you go from there.”

Girardi said that he had to address his thinking with Rivera in particular.

“I think Mo’s probably saying, in his mind, I’m not really saving it for anything in the future, so I think that’s what you have to judge,” Girardi said. “With Robbie, obviously he’s been important to us and you don’t want to get him hurt. A lot of our guys are always going to say, ‘Yeah, I think I can go,’ but we have to weigh the type of stuff that they would take out that day, number one. And number two, are you going to hurt them?”

How can the Yankees navigate the late innings? Cesar Cabral seems like he has impressed Girardi, and another answer might be using Phil Hughes, who can help in either a long relief or short relief role. (Some writers who shall go nameless first-guessed the move last night to bring in Joba Chamberlain instead of Hughes in the 10th inning.)

“He is both,” Girardi said. “My hope was I could get [Hughes] out of the bullpen one day before it was a high-leverage situation, but that may not happen now.”

There’s also a roster move to report: the Yankees signed right-hander Matt Daley to a Major League contract and selected him to the active roster.  To make room on the 40-man roster, infielder Corban Joseph was reinstated from the minor league 7-day disabled list, recalled from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and placed on the 60-day Major League disabled list. Joseph is recovering from right shoulder labral repair surgery performed on June 7.

In injury updates, it sounds like Shawn Kelley is moving closer to throwing a bullpen. Girardi said that he doesn’t expect him to be available until next week due to triceps irritation. David Phelps threw a bullpen today and is scheduled for a simulated game of about an inning on Monday. Kevin Youkilis has been doing tee and toss and will fly to Tampa on Monday. I suppose it’s possible he could return for that Astros series at the end of the month.

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Eduardo Nunez, who is starting tonight at shortstop and is 4-for-8 lifetime vs. Doubront. The streak is currently at six games after Robinson Cano went 1-for-5 last night.

Yanks trust Nova to kick off pivotal Sox series

Ivan NovaIt’s the beginning of an 11-game obstacle course that could very well determine if the Yankees have a chance at the postseason or not. Is this the most important stretch of the season? Sure feels like it.

Here are the early notes as the Yankees (75-64) and Red Sox (84-57) prepare to meet here at Yankee Stadium, with right-handers Ivan Nova and Jake Peavy matching up for the 7:05 p.m. ET start:

Who would the Yankees rather have on the mound than Nova, the reigning American League Pitcher of the Month? Nova went undefeated in six August starts, going 4-0 with a 2.08 ERA, and now he’ll look to continue that success into September.

“When you’re throwing the baseball like he is, you probably should feel some confidence out there,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s getting his strikeouts when he needs them, he’s getting a lot of ground ball outs, and that’s important in a park like this when you’re playing a team like this.”

Asked to expand on what Nova is doing differently than he was last season, Girardi responded:

“He learned to command his fastball down in the zone. Not worrying so much about hitting corners, but just having it down in the zone with movement. I think that has been really, really important to him. I also think the consistency of his curveball came back when he started throwing it a lot more, and he’s thrown his changeup a little bit as well. Maybe not 20 percent of the time or 30 percent of the time, but he has thrown it and gotten strikes, and it’s just another look when you’re going through a lineup the second, third or fourth time.”

The Yankees have been saying for days that they do not expect there to be any carryover from the last time these two clubs met, when right-hander Ryan Dempster earned a five-game suspension by intentionally throwing at Alex Rodriguez.

Those Sunday night events fired up the Yankees, who have gone 12-5 since the drilling. Yet for those expecting Nova to throw at David Ortiz or something along those lines, there might be disappointment. These games are so important to the Yankees that winning will likely be the main priority.

“No. We’re not looking to [retaliate],” Robinson Cano said. “We’re just going to go out there [tonight], play the game the right way that we have always been, and what’s in the past we’re going to keep in the past.”

OK. OK. What else would you have expected him to say? Stay tuned, but it doesn’t sound like Major League Baseball or the umpires plan on getting involved pre-game.

A few injury updates to pass along: Zoilo Almonte (ankle) is playing seven innings tonight for Double-A Trenton in their playoff game and is the most likely player to rejoin the big league club this month. Travis Hafner has done one simulated game, while Kevin Youkilis is only taking dry swings and is “the least probable” of the aforementioned three players to return in 2013.

Also, David Phelps and Michael Pineda are up to the bullpen stage, but it doesn’t sound like either one is coming back this year. Phelps might be back as a reliever in late September but that’s sounding more like a long shot, and the Yankees have been pretty mum on Pineda’s progress.

One last thought from Girardi:

“The big thing is you have to continue to play well. And as you look at it, we have a chance to control our own destiny, because we’re really three behind them in the loss column, and we have three games with. We have to play well. That’s the bottom line. So I don’t think you can get too caught up in what they’re doing, because there are other teams that are around us as well.”

My Beat The Streak pick tonight: Robinson Cano, who gets the honors for a second straight night after he went 3-for-4 against the White Sox last night. Cano is 3-for-7 vs. Peavy. My streak is at five, halfway to my season-high of 10.

Opening Day 2013: “I don’t think we expected to go 162-0″

Yankees Opening DayThere really is something cool about Opening Day. Even after seven weeks in Tampa, I felt it coming up the subway steps at 161st Street yesterday afternoon — that little jolt of excitement that tells you this is for real, this one is going to count.

By the end of what became an opener that the Yankees would prefer to forget, there was a stiff wind battering the tri-colored bunting hanging from the rafters, cold rain falling from the sky and hot dog wrappers littering the outfield.

It wasn’t exactly the way the Yankees were hoping to begin 2013, but as they — and, I’m sure, someone in every losing clubhouse on Opening Day — said, it is just one game.

“I don’t think we expected to go 162-0,” said outfielder Vernon Wells, one of six Yankees to make his team debut on Monday. “We unfortunately lost the first one, but it’s one game. That’s why you play a lot of them. You learn from the good things, and you learn from the bad things, and move on.”

The Stadium was looking pretty empty when Brett Gardner fouled out at 4:47 p.m., securing an 8-2 victory for the Red Sox, but Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli said he couldn’t blame the paying crowd for heading for the streets.

“If I was a fan and it started to rain, I would run too,” Cervelli said. “It was cold, man. The weather changed in like one inning. but it’s not disappointing. It’s a long season, they always been really good with us and they support us through the whole season, playoffs, anytime. [They’re] the greatest fans ever.”

The Yankees had their Welcome Home Dinner last night, where Lou Piniella was honored. They’ll enjoy an off-day today and get back to work tomorrow against Boston at 7:05 p.m. ET. Here’s all the Opening Day coverage you need to catch up on yesterday’s action:

  • Game story: CC Sabathia had another rough Opening Day outing and sparked some concerns with his velocity, which mostly sat around 89 mph. He doesn’t sound worried, and neither do the Yankees. The new-look offense went 2-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
  • Alex Rodriguez appeared briefly outside the Yankees clubhouse – the first time I’ve seen him in person since Game 4 of the ALCS – but decided not to take part in the pregame ceremonies. Rodriguez said that he didn’t need to be introduced to feel like he was part of the team. A-Rod said his rehab is going well and is trying to draw inspiration from those counting the Yankees out this year.
  • Mike Bauman writes that the Yankees still believe they can get the job done without their bold-faced names. Bauman also writes that A-Rod didn’t seem to have much to say.
  • One piece of good news: Mark Teixeira was in New York for a doctor’s visit and received clearance to remove the brace from his right wrist. He’s encouraged this means a mid-May return is in play.
  • Kevin Youkilis is a little bit tired of talking about wearing the pinstripes. The transition period is over for him; he’s a Yankee, not a Red Sox, and he wants everyone to accept it.
  • Where was Derek Jeter yesterday? Playing catch on a back field in Tampa, Adam Berry writes. Jeter is essentially starting over after his recent setback, and it’s anyone’s guess when he’ll be able to re-join the big league club. The Yankees won’t activate Jeter until he proves that he can play in back-to-back games at shortstop, so this could take a while.
  • Mariano Rivera shagged fly balls in the outfield yesterday, his first time since you-know-when. Everything went fine, but the Yankees didn’t have a reason to use Rivera on his final Opening Day.
  • Best laugh-out-loud thing I saw all day: Ichiro Suzuki’s Robert DeNiro impression on the centerfield video board. I wish I had a clip to share, but I don’t. Just watch for it this season.
  • Joe Girardi had a little trouble figuring out how his lineup should look against left-hander Jon Lester. Fun note from the Elias Sports Bureau — this was the first Opening Day Yankees lineup without a switch-hitter since 1992.
  • The Yankees and Red Sox paid tribute to the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy and those affected in Newtown, Conn. Also, Constantine Maroulis’ rendition of the National Anthem garnered mixed reviews, from what I could see on Twitter (and in the press box). I really didn’t mind it, but then again, I thought he was pretty good when I saw him in ‘Rock of Ages.’

Spring Game 26: Yankees vs. Twins

Robinson Cano returns to the Yankees lineup tonight after his service with the victorious Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic squad, slotting back into his second base position as he resumes preparing for the regular season.

“Hopefully I’ll continue doing the same things I’ve been doing every year,” Cano said. “Just go out there, play hard and help the team to win games. Hopefully the guys that we have help us to just stay in the race until [Curtis] Granderson and [Mark] Teixeira are back.”

Here are the lineups and game information:

7:05 p.m. – George M. Steinbrenner Field, Tampa, Fla. –
TV: YES, Radio: None
RHP David Phelps (2-2, 2.37) vs. Liam Hendriks (1-1, 6.00)

Aaron Hicks CF
Brian Dozier 2B
Jeff Clement DH
Chris Parmelee 1B
Miguel Sano 3B
Darin Mastroianni RF
Joe Benson LF
Drew Butera C
Pedro Florimon SS

Liam Hendriks RHP

Brett Gardner CF
Ichiro Suzuki LF
Robinson Cano 2B
Kevin Youkilis 1B
Travis Hafner DH
Brennan Boesch RF
Eduardo Nunez SS
Jayson Nix 3B
Francisco Cervelli C

RHP David Phelps


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