Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Trade Deadline News: Yanks Get McGehee And Add Another Bullpen Arm...

The Dempster rumors turned out to be smoke, but the Yankees did make a small deal, acquiring infielder Casey McGehee from Pittsburgh for Chad Qualls.  McGehee, a former Brewer, hasn't come close to matching his career season of 2010 these last 2 years, but he can play third and has some pop from the right side.  With Teix missing at least the next couple of games, this was the Yankees' biggest need and McGehee is an upgrade over Ramiro Pena.

The bigger part of this deal is that by moving Qualls, the Yankees clear up a roster spot for Joba Chamberlain, who is going to be activated tonight.  I haven't seen any official reports of it yet, but it sounds like a done deal.  For the first time since June 5th of last year, Joba will be in a New York Yankee uniform and available to pitch out of the New York Yankee bullpen.  That's great news for him and the bullpen, who need another non-matchup arm in the worst way.

Welcome back, Joba.  Now somebody do me a favor and HIT THE FUCKING MUSIC!!!

Inside An Ugly Stretch Of Yankee Baseball

(Game-ending strikeouts are the worst kind of strikeouts.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

As the final few hours before today's trade deadline tick down, the Yankees find themselves in a strange position.  The high of their fantastic 34-13 run that stretched into the middle of this month has been replaced by the low of their current 3-8 streak that started, interestingly enough, in Oakland, the same city where the previously-mentioned hot streak started at the end of May.  The overall quality of play has been lacking, the W-L results have been less than satisfactory, and the injury problems that have plagued major contributors since Spring Training have stayed ever-present, now shifting their torture to the middle of the order.  The Yankees still have a relatively healthy 6.5-game lead in the division, 7 in the loss column, but the outlook is far less comforting as it was just a few weeks ago.

What, exactly, has been happening over these past 2 weeks to change the mood in Yankeeland?  How could the Yankees go from flying high to stuck in the mud so quickly?  The answer, as usual, is in the numbers.

BREAKING NEWS: Update On Teixiera's Wrist

Well at least we can all breathe a sigh on relief on this injury scare.

Via Chad Jennings of LoHud, the results are in on Teix's MRI and they're as positive as they could be.  The MRI showed no structural damage in his wrist and he was given a cortisone injection.  The official diagnosis is inflammation of the left wrist, and the plan right now is to see how he responds to the cortisone and evaluate the wrist again in 3 days.

This is certainly better than any kind of worst-case scenario we could have imagined after hearing about Joe's "big concern" last night.  There's no word on whether or not Teix will have to go on the DL for the injury, and I wouldn't expect one until the re-evaluation of his wrist is done in 3 days, but for now this is good news.

Game 102 Wrap-Up: BAL 5 NYY 4

(At least Ichiro had something to smile about.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

It's been slowly bubbling beneath the surface for the last 2 weeks, started to rise on Sunday night after the second straight not-quite-comeback loss to Bahhston, and can completely surface after another loss in similar fashion last night.  That "it" is the fact that the Yankees aren't playing good baseball right now.  They aren't getting great start pitching, they aren't getting timely hits, and their bullpen work has been uneven at best.  They're 3-8 in their last 11 games and things have become more of a struggle since A-Rod went on the DL.  They're doing just enough to stay in games, but not enough to win them, and it's frustrating.  More potential injury problems to key members of the lineup only adds to the frustration.

Game Notes:

- Eric Chavez put the Yankees on the board first with an RBI single in the bottom of the 2nd.  Gonzalez helped the cause by balking Raul Ibanez to second with 2 outs, but give Ibanez credit for scoring from second; seems like the Yanks haven't been doing enough of that lately.

- Garcia worked easily through the 1st, but after that he started to get hit hard and hit often.  He gave up a double to Adam Jones to lead off the top of the 2nd, a HR to Wilson Betemit to lead off the 3rd, 2 more hits in that inning and in the 4th, and only a trio of double plays prevented the damage from being worse.

- Ironically enough, it was a pair of sac flies that gave the Orioles a 3-1 lead in the 5th.  But they came after Garcia gave up 2 hits to start the inning.  He just wasn't hitting his spots and wasn't fooling anybody with his stuff.

- Ibanez scored the Yankees' first run in the 2nd inning, and he scored their 2nd in the 5th.  Didn't have to hustle too hard for that one, though, as he smacked another HR to right to make it 3-2.

- Boone Logan hadn't pitched since last Tuesday, and had only faced 4 batters in the last 10 days, and it showed after he struck out the first 2 batters relieving Garcia in the 7th.  Logan completely fell apart, walking Omar Quintanilla, giving up an RBI double to Nick Markakis, and having another run charged to him when David Phelps came in and gave up a single to J.J. Hardy.

- The real news on that play was Mark Teixiera leaving after making a diving attempt at Hardy's single. He was shaking his left hand after the play and although X-rays were negative after the game, Joe didn't sound optimistic in his postgame comments.

- Chavez answered right back in the bottom half with a solo HR and his 2nd RBI of the night to make it 5-3.  And then Ichiro followed that up with his first career Yankee homer to make it 5-4.  At least the bottom of the order was nice enough to show up last night.

- After Joe almost overmanaged his bullpen into more late-game innings allowed, the Yankees had a great chance for a 9th-inning comeback after Nick Swisher led off with a ground rule double.  But the bottom of the order, who had been the only source of offense all night, couldn't get it done and the streak of mediocrity continues.