Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 7/5/13

Got the company tickets for tonight's Brewers-Mets game.  Requested 'em planning to catch a Matt Harvey start.  Missed him by 2 days.  Instead I got Zack Wheeler.  So pissed.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, el duque of It Is High... suggested another lefty DH option.  That short bench could probably use him too.

- A pair of good ones from the IIATMS/TYA team.  On Monday, Domenic Lanza visually represented the Yankees' offensive downturn which, if you're interested in that kind of thing, makes the numbers look even worse than they already did.  Holy balls, this team cannot hit!

- On Tuesday, Mike Eder constructed the worst team possible from the Brian Cashman Era.  That team would have been so bad that they almost would have been fun to watch.

- Martin Riggs of NoMaas pointed out a drastic change in trends for Robinson Cano's 2013 Home/Road batting splits.  Different approach with the short porch?

- Dave Dechenaux of Yanks Go Yard compared the careers of Andy Pettitte and Whitey Ford as Pettite passed The Chairman for the franchise K record this week.

- Daniel Burch of The Greedy Pinstripes had an interview with 2013 11th round pick Kendall Coleman.  Kid's toolsy, that's for sure.

- On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB prioritized the Yankees' trade deadline needs.  If you were thinking "pitching depth," you would be wrong.

- Derek Albin of Pinstriped Bible examined the negative impact CC's diminished fastball might be having on his other pitches.

- SG of RLYW commented on how valuable Brett Gardner has been this season and on the different path he's taking to generate that value.

- On Thursday, Chad Jennings of LoHud had the latest on the A-Rod Rehab Tour and got A-Rod's thoughts on his first 2 games.

- On Friday, Craig Calcaterra of Hardball Talk took down Wally Matthews for his latest idiotic anti-A-Rod post.  Double kudos to Craig for doing it a lot more succinctly than I usually do it.  That's why he gets the big bucks.

For today's jam, we're going with a little more America music.  Since none of the major networks were smart enough to play this classic last night - and why would they with such great American artists like Swedish House Mafia and Rihanna who needed to be played? - we'll ride out on it today.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Cervelli Suffers Setback In His Rehab

Francisco Cervelli really can't catch a break, can he?  The broken hand from April continues to haunt him after the Yankees announced yesterday that he had suffered a stress reaction in his right elbow that will cause him to be shut down for at least 2 weeks.  The team believes he re-aggravated an old elbow problem trying to change his throwing motion to compensate for the hand.  He had been doing throwing and hitting drills in Tampa for a few weeks and was part of the mob expected back sometime after the All Star break but that's off the table.

The question now becomes what will the Yankees do in response?  They have been letting catching upgrade options go by on the waiver wire for the last few weeks despite an obvious need for an offensive upgrade over the Stewart-Romine tandem.  If Cervelli is now out until mid-August or later, will they take a more active approach in looking for that upgrade or will they go with with they've got?

Hey Thanks For Coming Out, Minnesota. We'll See You Again Soon

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

You gotta love the Twins.  You really do.  Every time the Yankees need a good series they always seem to be available to get stomped on.  Year after year after year after year; postseason series after postseason series after postseason series.  They're the most reliable opponent in recent Yankee history and this week's rendition of that reliability came at the absolute perfect time.  The Yanks were nosediving into the bottom of the AL East, with their starting pitching showing cracks to match the already shattered offense.  After 4 days in the Twin Cities, the Yanks have found their bats, found their bearings, got Robinson Cano completely locked in after a few good games to end June, and swept the Twins out of their own park as they head back home for an important 10-game stretch before the All Star break.  Heck, Minnesota was even nice enough yesterday to confirm once and for all that Joba Chamberlain should not be used in any situation other than an absolute blowout.  And they did it without affecting the outcome of the game.

Game 85 Wrap-Up: NYY 9 MIN 5

(Bump it.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

"Good job, Twins!  Good effort!  Thanks for playing.  We'll see you again next week when we need to dish out another season-saving ass whooping."

Seriously, that was a huge series for the Yanks.  They were down on the mat being counted out after the sweep in Baltimore and they answered the bell by responding with a 4-game road sweep of the lowly Twins.  The offense has woken up in a big way, and they put this game away early yesterday.  David Phelps had a nice start, something he really needed, and the Yanks head back home for 10 feeling good about themselves.  How's that for a nice 4th of July present?

Game Notes:

- The Yanks came out swinging against rookie Kyle Gibson, putting 3 runs on the board in the first 5 batters.  2 doubles from Ichiro and Travis Hafner and 2 singles from Zoilo and Vernon Wells (off a righty) around a Robinson Cano sac fly sandwich and the Yanks were off and running.

- They tacked 2 more on in the 3rd when Wells doubled home a run (off a righty again) and new SS Luis Cruz singled him in to make it 5-0.  Much better game for Cruz than his first one on Thursday.

- Minnesota got 1 back on a now rare Justin Morneau HR in the 5th, but Phelps was pretty good through 5. He gave up a few hits here and there, nothing new for him.  He also made pitches when he needed to and worked out of trouble well.

- The lineup put the game away in 6th, with more unusual suspects contributing.  Cruz doubled to put runners on second and third with no outs and Alberto Gonzalez singled home a run.  Ichiro came up with a big 2-run triple and scored on Zoilo Almonte's groundout and it was a 9-1 game.

- Phelps ran out of gas in the 7th and watched as Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan combined to sully his final line.  Those 2 faced 6 batters and let 4 reach base.

- Shawn Kelley and David Robertson had to clean up the 8th and 9th innings and they did it properly, retiring all 6 men they faced in a row and striking out 3.