Sunday, September 15, 2013

Yanks-Sawx Game 150 "Season On The Line" Live Blog

(Courtesy of the AP)

The Yankees enter play tonight 2.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays for the second Wild Card spot.  They're 3 games back in the loss column, so even though they wouldn't mathematically be eliminated with a series-sweeping loss at the hands of the Red Sox tonight, to be 4 down in the loss column with 12 to play would be a Herculean task for this team to undertake.  The Yankees need a win tonight to keep their postseason hopes alive and they needed something good to happen to get some positive vibes going.  Guys are hurt left and right, pitchers are tired, the offense is sputtering, so how about we get a good old fashioned live blog going tonight to start the vibing?  Here's the Yankee starting lineup:

1) Curtis Granderson- CF
2) Alex Rodriguez- DH
3) Robinson Cano- 2B
4) Alfonso Soriano- LF
5) Lyle Overbay- 1B
6) Mark Reynolds- 3B
7) Ichiro Suzuki- RF
8) Brendan Ryan- SS
9) Chris Stewart- C

And taking the ball for this critically important game is Ivan Nova.  How will his triceps hold up?  Will he be able to put Boston's hitters away and give Joe some length?  We'll see.  ESPN will be showing the pregame ceremony for Mo prior to first pitch, so check back around that time for the start of the live blog.

Marc Hulet's End-Of-Season Yankee MiL Recap

Marc Hulet of FanGraphs is on my favorite prospect evaluators in the baseball blogosphere.  He sees a lot of games, gives really detailed scouting reports from his firsthand game accounts, and has a strong statistical knowledge to tie tools and mechanics to future Major League projections.  He released his 2013 "Minor Review" report on the Yankee farm system and it's definitely worth checking out if you're a big time prospect hugger.

Highlights include Hulet naming High-A C/3B Peter O'Brien the "riser" of 2013 and Double-A OF Tyler Austin the "tumbler."  He praised 2013 2nd round pick 2B Gosuke Katoh for his plate discipline and "advanced bat," and pegged Low-A Charleston 1B Greg Bird the organization's sleeper.  That's a label being put on Bird by many despite his outstanding season at the plate, and it's one I agree with.  I was a little surprised to see Hulet so down on Austin though.  I was willing to give him more of a pass on his down year because of the injury problems and the negative park factor effects of hitting in Trenton's stadium.  Check out the whole article and more of Hulet's evaluations here.

Soriano's Thumb Leaves Lineup Status In Doubt

An already undermanned lineup took another hit just minutes before yesterday's game when Alfonso Soriano was scratched with a sprained thumb.  Apparently he hurt it making a defensive play on Thursday night and it didn't swell up on him until he woke up yesterday morning.  Soriano himself didn't seem all that concerned about it, and was hopeful he could play tonight if and when the swelling went down.  With no word yet on his status for tonight, all we can do for now is wait and hope.

If tonight's game isn't a must win, I don't know what is.  The Yankees have dropped 2 games to the Rays already this weekend and really can't afford to go down 5 in the loss column with 12 to play.  They need a W to salvage this series and keep their playoff hopes alive and they could use Soriano's bat back in the middle of the lineup to help make that happen.

The problem is where to play him.  If the thumb makes it too tough to play the field, Joe can't use Soriano at DH because of A-Rod's hamstring.  He's got too many walking wounded and not enough lineup spots to hide them.  You know, the usual.  Hopefully the swelling goes down enough that Soriano can play tonight.  If it doesn't, the Yankee lineup could be in trouble again.