Thursday, April 18, 2013

BREAKING NEWS: Jeter's Ankle Re-Injured

This has all happened very quickly in the last half hour or so, but it was reported earlier by multiple Yankee beat writers that Derek Jeter returned to Charlotte today for an "unscheduled visit" with the surgeon who performed his ankle surgery last year.  A quick press conference was set up by Cash to update everyone ont he results of that visit, and via Bryan Hoch, a CT scan on the ankle revealed a "small crack" in the part of the ankle that was originally injured.

This is obviously not good news for Jeter, who has been more or less spinning his tires trying to work his way back after suffering a setback late in spring camp.  No word yet on how much longer this sets Jeter's return schedule back.. More on this story as it becomes available.

** UPDATE 3:37 PM- Via Mark Feinsand, Jeter's doctor told Cash that 95% of people who suffer this injury come back "just fine."  I guess that's a little bit of good news. **

** UPDATE 3:39 PM- Via Andrew Marchand, Cash said Jeter is expected to be out until "at least after the All-Star break.  Bummer. **

Anatomy Of An Unexpected Comeback

Things weren't looking good for the boys last night.  They were down 3-0 heading into the bottom of the 7th inning and hadn't shown many signs of offensive life against Arizona starter Wade Miley.  He had cruised through 6 innings of work on just 77 pitches, the kind of efficiency that few Yankee starters have had this season, mainly on the strength of his 2-seamer.  The Yankee lineup played into Miley's game plan by swinging early in a lot of at-bats, and the fact that Miley hadn't had to go to his curveball and changeup much didn't bode well for the Bombers as they opened the bottom of the 7th with the weakest part of their lineup.  But as the old saying goes, that's why they play the game and the game the Yankees played in that half inning was the kind of smart, clutch, winning baseball that they were unable to play in so many close games last season.

Brett Gardner Still Doesn't Have A Stolen Base This Year

Really, he doesn't.  And I'm not trying to imply that it's a bad thing.  Gardner has come up with some big hits early on, he's popped 2 HR, and he's starting to boost that tripleslash up to a respectable leadoff man level.  I just find it incredible that the fastest guy on the team and one of the top base stealing threats in all of baseball doesn't have a single one in 13 games.  For all the talk about how the Yankees were going to have to play small ball and run more this season to manufacture runs, they have just 3 SB as a team right now, one of them by Chris Stewart.  That's right, THE Chris Stewart is currently the team leader in SB and Brett Gardner is not.  Inconceivable!

Run, Brett.  Run!

Game 13 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 ARI 3

(PROOOOOOOONK!!!!  Courtesy of the AP)

It was back to the lefties for the Yankees last night, yay!!(not yay)!  NL ROY runner-up Wade Miley was on the mound for the D-backs and Joe countered with an only slightly modified version of his last "vs. LHP" lineup.  He had Vernon Wells in the 2-spot again, Ben Francisco 5th at DH, and Brennan Boesch in right field.  He also had the hot-out-of-the-gate Francisco Cervelli hitting 6th ahead of Boesch.  The Yankees also had their own lefty on the mound to counter Miley, the same lefty who'd allowed just 1 ER over 15 IP in his last two starts.

Game Notes:

- Unfortunately for the Yanks, CC Sabathia was not nearly as sharp to start as he was in those two outings.  He struggled to throw his fastball for strikes in the top of the 1st, and left a couple of changeups up, one of which Paul Goldschmidt hit for a 2-run HR.

- CC settled down after that rough 1st, retiring 9 of the next 10 batters he faced to get through the 4th inning.  He was getting a few more outs in the air than usual, but his slider and changeup were working.

- Miley was absolutely brilliant through 6 innings, giving up just 2 hits and a walk and keeping the Yankee hitters on their toes.  He was at just 77 pitches after 6, and looked ready to go the distance.

- CC gave up another run on a leadoff triple and a sac fly in the 5th and that was all Arizona would get as he went 8 strong for the second straight start.  His last 2 innings might have been his best of the game.

- The stage was set for a comeback, and a comeback the Yankees got in the bottom of the 7th, once again with 2 outs.  Boesch doubled to put runners on 2nd and 3rd, Eduardo Nunez drew a walk to load the bases, Jayson Nix drew one to force in a run and chase Miley from the game, and Brett Gardner came through with  a HUGE 2-run single off lefty Tony Sipp to complete the comeback and tie the game at 3.

- After the bottom of the order did the heavy lifting in the 7th, Travis Hafner gave New York the lead with a 2-out, pinch hit solo HR.  Brilliant use of the bench by Joe pays off in a big spot and Mo shuts it down for the save.