Thursday, September 12, 2013

Joe Goes Back To The Hughes Well For Tonight's Start

(Hope Joe's ready to make this walk again.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

Guess that bullpen demotion was just a temporary thing.  After only 1 missed start in the rotation - against the Red Sox this past Saturday - and a pair of meaningless relief appearances, Phil Hughes will re-replace David Huff in the rotation and make the start in tonight's series finale against the O's.

Joe' motivation for making the swap again is questionable at best.  This is the same Phil Hughes who was deemed no longer worthy of his rotation spot after a crappy appearance against the slap-hitting Toronto lineup and the same Phil Hughes who has given up 7 ER on 14 hits (5 of them home runs) in 9 total IP over 2 starts against Baltimore this season.  His weaknesses as a pitcher are what the Baltimore lineup thrives against and if he wasn't getting the job done against inferior competition why would be worthy of essentially getting a promotion against better competition?

What About Andy?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

(Originally published at IIATMS/TYA)

We know Mariano Rivera is retiring after this season.  We assume Derek Jeter is not after the announcement yesterday that his season is over, even if it might be the best idea.  But what about the third remaining active member of the Core Four?  What about Andy Pettitte?  What's his deal?  The 41-year-old lefty pitched another solid game last night, good enough to win against a stout opposing lineup.  It was the latest in what's been an underappreciated good month of starts from Andy, something this rotation desperately needed with its struggles at the top.  This late season rebound from Pettitte makes the question of whether he will retire for good after this season a little more difficult to answer than it may have been a few months ago.

Yankees Moving To WFAN In 2014

The first news of a potential deal came out on Tuesday and yesterday it was made official.  Starting next year, the Yankees radio broadcasts will move from 880 AM to the Fan, WFAN-AM 660 and WFAN-FM 101.9.  The Yankees and CBS Radio announced a 10-year deal worth anywhere from $15-20 million.

The deal makes sense for both sides.  The Yankees get the benefit of using the greater signal strength of WFAN to broadcast games to a wider audience at a higher quality.  WFAN gets the benefit of having the top baseball team in town on their station, the top sports talk radio station in town.  The Yankees were already affiliated with CBS radio and have been for some time.  It's only right that the 2 number 1s in their field team up.

As for what it means for everybody's favorite broadcast duo, that's not quite so clear.  While early indications are that John Sterling will absolutely be back as the play-by-play guy, Suzyn Waldman isn't a slam dunk to join him.  She's the obvious leader in the clubhouse based on her history with the team and current position, but C.J. Nitkowski got good reviews subbing for her last week and there are a couple guys in the YES stable who would be great as radio color commentators.  All those details will be worked out as things transition from 2013 to 2014.

Heel A-Rod Strikes Again

He didn't hit the loudest or most important home run last night, but Alex Rodriguez did club another one to the opposite field off righty pitcher Scott Feldman in the top of the 6th.  And as he's done before since returning, he celebrated it in style.

Goddamn do I love Heel A-Rod.  Such a great character.  If his hips hold up, he should definitely consider a run in pro wrestling after he retires/gets suspended/whatever.  And while he's still playing he should seriously consider changing to this for his AB music.

Game 146 Wrap-Up: NYY 5 BAL 4

(Ka-ching!  Courtesy of the AP)

Even though it wasn't the least surprising, the announcement that Derek Jeter was out for the rest of the season was a bummer.  His up-and-down season with injuries was really a microcosm for how the team's season has played out- fighting so hard to reach an unattainable goal and suffering heartbreaking setbacks just when it seems like things are getting back to normal.  I know I didn't have the pep in my step for the rest of the night after I heard the news, so another win with the still-gettin'-it-done Andy Pettitte on the mound would have been a good way to get it back.

Game Notes:

- The Yankees had the fun advantage of leading after 2 innings despite not having a hit.  Brett Gardner walked to lead off the game, stole second, and scored on 2 sacrifice hits to make it 1-0, and Scott Feldman held the lineup at bay through the 4th.

- Andy was up to the task of matching him through almost 3 innings, albeit while allowing a few hits.  He got in trouble with 2 outs after giving up 2 straight singles, and a Chris Davis double to right made it 2-1 Baltimore.  A few more doubles the next inning stretched the lead.

- The Yankees didn't hit much early but when they started to, watch out.  Curtis Granderson led off the top of the 5th with a HR to make it 3-2.  Alex Rodriguez hit one with 2 outs in the 6th to tie things up.

- Pettitte settled down to work through the next few innings cleanly, and left with 1 out and a runner on in the 7th.  Shawn Kelley handled that, a returning Dave Robertson worked around 2 hits in the 8th, and we went to the 9th still tied.

- That didn't last long.  Robinson Cano hit the second pitch he saw from Tommy Hunter, a hanging change, for a solo shot to lead off the top of the 9th and the Yankees had the lead.  Lyle Overbay's insurance single later in the inning proved to be big.

- And that's because once again Mo was shaky in the 9th.  Joe's ridden him hard lately, so it's forgivable, but a pair of 2 out hits to plate a run and pull Baltimore within 1 made things a little uncomfortable.