Wednesday, August 7, 2013

What About Cervelli?

(Courtesy of the AP)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

While Alex Rodriguez has dominated the Biogenesis headlines, for reasons both valid and ludicrous, he was not the sole Yankee representative on that suspension list.  Francisco Cervelli was also connected and tagged with a 50-game suspension, one that he, like every other non-A-Rod player, did not contest and will begin serving immediately.  Cervelli has flown largely undetected and unmentioned under the cloud of A-Rod, for obvious reasons.  He's injured, he just got the standard first time suspension, and he's Francisco Cervelli.  In the grand scheme of things his 50-game ban means very little.  For Frankie, it marks the nail in the coffin on another strange and frustrating season in pinstripes and possibly the final season in his Yankee career.

This Offense Is Offensive: Part II

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

April- 4.62
May- 3.64
June- 3.26
July- 3.92
August- 2.20

Those are the Yankee runs/game splits for each month of the season to date.  Things are what they are with respect to the injuries and the offseason and the bad contracts and the suspensions, but the bottom line is this team has sucked offensively since the calendar turned to May.  It's right there in the numbers - not even up for debate like people have made it out to be the past few seasons - and each passing day it looks more and more like they're going to miss the postseason because of it.

The Yankees have scored 16 runs in their last 7 games, never scoring more than 3 in any of those 7 games.  They haven't scored more than 3 in 10 of their last 12 games overall and 12 of the 17 games since the All Star break.  This is a lineup that was supposed to be getting better with the returns of C-Grand and A-Rod and the addition of Soriano.  Instead it's barely putting 2 runs a game on the board this month.  That's unfathomably bad.  I don't know what else to say about that.  It's wild.

Good News On The Bad News About Pineda & Phelps

The dual diagnoses are in for the double dose of injury setbacks that have left the Yankee rotation paper thin and I guess you'd say they're both positive considering the alternatives, even if they put both players' returns this season in jeopardy.

David Phelps has another strain in his already strained right forearm.  He was scratched from his MiL start on Saturday with elbow pain and there was concern that problems had spread to the elbow.  He'll be completely shut down for 2 weeks and then start throwing again.  My guess is the team will take it slow with him when he restarts a throwing program and we won't see him until late September if at all.

The tests and MRI on Michael Pineda's shoulder all came back clean.  You'll remember that he made his start on Saturday but left after 2 innings due to shoulder stiffness.  The plan for him is to rest him 7-10 days, re-evaluate, and then see how he feels.  With the team already limiting his innings/pitch count in the final months of the season, I wouldn't expect much from him the rest of the way.

Sucks that each player will be unavailable during a time when they could help the team, but at least they aren't going to have to miss any serious time because of major elbow or shoulder problems.  That's a fair trade.

P.S.- Cash confirmed that Vidal Nuno is out for the rest of the year too.  Balls.

Game 112 Wrap-Up: CHW 3 NYY 2

(Safe.  Courtesy of the AP)

It took a while, but the talk for Hiroki Kuroda's Cy Young candidacy has really started to pick up in the last few weeks.  That'll happen when you toss up a 0.55 ERA for an entire month.  Not only that, Kuroda's recent work has been even more impressive when you look at the opponents he's dominated.  He's shut down some very good lineups and outpitched some very, very good starting pitchers to get wins.  He was facing another one of those very good pitchers last night in the form of Chris Sale, although the lineup he was facing was one equally as weak as Hirok's supporting crew.  It should have been a favorable matchup for him.  It ended up being a struggle and another disappointing loss.

Game Notes:

- The Yankees were lucky enough to catch Sale on an off night, but did not take advantage of the situation.  It took a bad throw, a stolen base, and a wild pitch to score a run in the top of the 1st, and they left runners in scoring position in consecutive innings in the 3rd and 4th.

- The 3rd inning could have gone differently had some things changed.  For one, the ump could have got the call right when Brett Gardner was called out at the plate to end the inning.  He was safe.  Gardner could have done the smart thing and slid.  He didn't, he was called out, and the run didn't count.

- Kuroda wasn't as sharp as he has been in his last few starts.  He had to work to strand 2 runners in the second and gave up the game-tying run in the 4th on a 2-out hit.  Very un-Hirok.

- Another great scoring chance went wasted in the top of the 5th.  With 2 on and 1 out, Alex Rodriguez lined out to center and failed to advance the runners.  After a Robinson Cano walk, Vernon Wells grounded out to leave the bases loaded.  The Yanks had 9 baserunners against Sale in 5 innings and only came away with a single run.

- A bunch of bad luck killed Kuroda in the bottom of the 6th.  2 straight groundballs found holes for singles, another well-placed one moved the runners up, and a failure to turn a double play with Paul Konerko running cost him a crucial run instead of getting him out of the inning.

- Insult to injury in the 7th.  Kuroda gave up a leadoff double, struck the next 2 hitters out, then gave up another double for the third run.  He just couldn't make a pitch with his sinker or splitter when he needed to.