Wednesday, June 5, 2013

AB4AR "Best Of The Month" Awards: May 2013

May was a tale of 2 months for the Yankees.  They started off hot, winning 9 of their first 13, before falling into the worst offensive slump we've seen to date from the replacement group and finishing off the month by losing 7 of 10.  The poor finish didn't hurt them too bad, as they are still right in the thick of the AL East hunt just 2 games behind Boston in the loss column, but it did make picking out the award winners for May more difficult than it usually is.  Find out who they are after the jump.

Pineda's Rotation Chances Improving With Every Rotation Problem

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

It's been almost a year and a half since the Yankees acquired Michael Pineda.  Sometimes it feels like it's been even longer than that.  The reports about his early spring performance in sim games and bullpen sessions has been more than encouraging, but yesterday he took the next real step in his comeback when the team announced that he would begin his 30-day MiL rehab assignment this Saturday with High-A Tampa.  He was reportedly sitting mid-90s again in his latest ExST start on Monday and hasn't had any physical issues outside of a cracked fingernail to hold him back.  At long last, the Yanks and us Yankee fans, will get a look at their haul from that now infamous January, 2012 trade.

I'm Done With This Steroid Stuff

So ESPN created another big wave in the still ongoing steroid saga yesterday with OTL's report that Major League Baseball is going to seek suspensions for Ryan Braun, Alex Rodriguez, and up to 20 other players linked to the Biogenesis clinic.  It's already being treated as proof of guilt by many and is understandably getting a large amount of coverage this morning from all sorts of sports, baseball, and Yankee media outlets.  Well count this guy out of that mess.  Because I'm fucking done with steroids.

Game 58 Wrap-Up: NYY 4 CLE 3

(That'll do, kid.  That'll do.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

The lineup fiddling that started with Lyle Overbay in right field on Monday night continued last night, although I doubt you'd find many who thought last night's lineup looked even close to as good as Monday's.  Ichiro was in the leadoff spot and in center field while Brett Gardner got the night off, Jayson Nix was batting second and playing shortstop while Kevin Youkilis was down at 6, and David Adams was playing second base while Robinson Cano got a night at DH.  I questioned if all of this was necessary against Scott Kazmir, the guy who basically disappeared from existence before finally getting back to the show this year, but it's what Joe did and it was just enough to get a win.

Game Notes:

- Real strong start for Phelps, a complete 180 from his previous one.  He was throwing all 5 of his pitches and throwing them all for strikes right from the first inning, and gave up just a lonely infield single while striking out 5 through 4.

- The new lineup gave Phelps all the support he would need in the bottom of the 3rd.  4 straight hits from the 8-2 spots in the lineup put 2 on and 1 run in with 1 out, and for the second straight game Mark Teixeira cleared the bases, this time by yanking a 3-run HR down the left field line.

- Really impressive work by Phelps to get out of the 5th inning unscathed after walking the first 2 batters.  Even more impressive that he bounced back and finished with a 1-2-3 6th.  He wasn't overly efficient, but he was very good last night.

- Joe went wholesale defensive changes and to the bullpen in the 7th and it almost blew up in his face.  Joba Chamberlain was terrible, giving up a walk, single, and 3-run HR with 2 outs, and needed Boone Logan to bail him out.

- Yanks left 2 on in the 7th and a runner at 2nd in the 8th, but still held down the 1-run lead thanks to a vintage D-Rob Houdini act and a 1-2-3 9th from the G.O.A.T. to make it 2 in a row.