Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Michael Pineda Resurfaces

("GET TO DA CHOPPAH!!!!"  Used courtesy of NY Daily News)

There was a surprise guest in the Yankee clubhouse before last night's game.  You might remember him as the top-flight young starter for whom the Yankees traded their top prospect, a Mr. Michael Pineda.

Chad Jennings of LoHud had the details on Pineda's return, and they included positive reports on his rehab from his labrum surgery, his apparently improved physical condition, and suggestions that he could be ready to start throwing again by September.  All of this is about as good as any news could be on Pineda, who will undoubtedly enter Spring Training 2013 as an even bigger wild card than he was this year.  I hope the plan is to give him as long as he needs to make a full recovery and be able to return to full pitching form, even if that means him missing part or all of ST or the beginning of the regular season next year.

And because we're keeping this Pineda talk positive, I'm not even going to mention how the team's winning streak was broken on the day that he showed back up in the clubhouse.

Game 67 Wrap-Up: ATL 4 NYY 3

(You're out, dude.  By a fucking mile.  Courtesy of

We all knew that the Yankees weren't going to win every game for the rest of the season.  And the fact that they had this 10-game winning streak against a bunch of above-.500 teams was an impressive feat and a sign of what this team is capable of.  But that doesn't make losing and having that streak broken any easier, especially in a game where the Yankees had multiple chances to get the runs they would have needed to win.

Game Notes:

- Hiroki Kuroda worked briskly through the first 2 innings on 2 strikeouts, 2 groundouts, and 2 flyouts, and it looked like he was lined up to keep the streak of standout starting pitching going.

- The offense followed up with a Teix single, Raul Ibanez double, and Nick Swisher 2-RBI double off of Tim Hudson to take a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the 2nd, and it looked like the winning streak was going to be in good shape to continue as well.

- But it all came to a halt after that half-inning.  Kuroda gave back 1 run in the 3rd after a leadoff triple from Jason Heyward, and then imploded with 2 outs in the 4th, going walk, double, walk, single to allow 2 more runs to score and the Braves to take a 3-2 lead.

- The offense bounced back in the bottom half, scratching an unearned runs across on a pair of errors by Freddie Freeman and Chipper Jones to tie the game, but that was really the last time we would hear from the lineup all night.

- The Braves took the lead in the 6th on a leadoff ground-rule double and a hotshot RBI single by Heyward that went off of Teix.  Kuroda wasn't awful last night, but in situations where he needed to make a pitch, situations that he consistently came through in last time against Atlanta, he couldn't do it.  Sometimes it goes that way.

- Ugly finish to the game by the offense.  Teix got thrown out at home in the 5th by about 100 feet, and Curtis Granderson also got thrown out at home in the 7th, the 2-55 spots in the lineup went a combined 2-16 with 0 RBI, and they only recorded 1 hit as a team in the final 4 innings.

- When you draw 5 walks against somebody like Hudson and get him out of the game after 5 innings, you should win.  The Yankees' inability to capitalize and get those timely hits that they've been getting (2-11 w/ RISP as a team) were why they didn't last night.