Game 84: Yankees @ Twins, 7/8/09–Yankees Win 4-3

As per Pete Abraham, below are tonight’s starting lineups.  I like Cano batting seventh.  Maybe it helps take a little pressure off him; plus, in this lineup, seventh is no disgrace.  The Yanks face a new spot starter, with Swarzak in for Perkins.  The Yanks have won eleven of their last thirteen, and six straight on the road.

While the big news out of Toronto is the team’s willingness to shop Roy Halliday, worth noting is that the Jays released B.J. Ryan, who has struggled this year, going 1-1 with a 6.53 ERA. Thanks to Tim the Wizard for the tip.  Ryan was terrific with Baltimore before signing with Toronto for 2006, having a great first season with Toronto before Tommy John surgery ended his 2007.  It will be interesting to see what team takes a chance on a 33-year-old big lefty who can still strike out batters, but doesn’t throw as hard as he used to, and has experienced control problems this year. He might make an interesting match-up lefty acquisition for a second-half contender.  He’s typically been tough on lefties, and might be worth a team taking a flier on him.

Francisco Cervelli will be optioned to SWB tonight.  Vaya con Dios, Cisco.  You were excellent, surprising many of us including myself, while steadying the team during an early injury-riddled phase that, combined with a slow start, had fans worried.  Excellent work, and Cervelli will get a serious look as Jorge’s backup next season.

A hearty congratulations to Jesus Montero for going to the Eastern League All-Star game for his excellent work in Trenton (5 HR, 15 RBI, .299/.364).  Great news, all the more impressive from a kid who is 19 years old.  Quite a bright prospect, one of the very best in the Yankees organization.

Enjoy the game, everyone.

YANKEES (49-34)
Jeter SS
Damon LF
Teixeira 1B
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Swisher RF
Gardner CF

Pitching: RHP A.J. Burnett (7-4, 3.83).

TWINS (43-41)
Span LF
Harris SS
Mauer C
Morneau 1B
Cuddyer RF
Kubel DH
Crede 3B
Gomez CF
Punto 2B

Pitching: RHP Anthony Swarzak (2-2, 3.90).

TIME/TV: 8:10, YES.

Top 1: Jeter led off with a single but, after being ahead 3-0, JD grounded into a 3-6-3 DP off sinker baller Swarzak, two down.  Teixeira out on an F8 shallow, three down, Burnett out to face the Twins.

Bottom 1: Cheap chop off the plate for the speedy Span results in an infield base hit.  Wild pitch sends Span to second, but Burnett picked Span off second a pitch later with a bullet just off the base, making it easy for Cano to tag Span; tremendous. Then Harris flew out, keeping the bases empty for the dangerous Mauer (.384), who got ahead 3-0, the weakly grounded out to first on 3-1.  13-pitch first for Burnett.

Top 3: I feel runs this frame.  A-Rod out on a 5-3, Matsui on with an infield single on a ball up the middle, Jorge singled to left center, first and second for Cano who must warm up with RISP.  He does but, given his hard-hit single right to Span in left, Matsui must hold at third with Swish up.  Drive the ball, Swish.  He doesn’t, but his weak 1U up the first-base line acted as an unintentional squeeze play, scoring Matsui 1-0 Yanks, two down.  A base hit from Brett the Jet could score two, 0-1 Swarzak and he’s about to throw his 20th pitch, 1-1, 2-2 base hit to right center! 3-0 Yankees, as Brett the Jet makes his case for more playing time as Melky struggles a bit.  Gardner has 17 RBI now, batting .291.  I have to give Girardi some credit for playing the hot hand with his center fielders, although Girardi used the injury situation to give each semi-regular playing time as well.  Yet, when decisions about who would play center have come, Girardi has done the right thing by playing the hotter hand for stretches and just for single games.  Swarzak is 0-2 to Jeter but is about to throw his 43rd pitch, 0-2 to Jeter, and the pitchout didn’t get Brett the Jet on a high throw.  The Jet has stolen 18 of 20, what a difference maker when he’s on base.  2-2 now to Jeter, his tapper to third ending the productive second, 3-0 Yanks.

Bottom 2: Morneau out F7, one down.  Cuddyer ahead 1-0, popped out to Cano out in shallow center, two down; Burnett is at 19 pitches.  Kubel hit a high chopper for a single to third, stupid infield turf, and so much for “natural” bounces off turf when the ball went a mile high off the plate, then meekly dribbled twice.  F9 shallow ends the second, 3-0 Yankees, Burnett at 25 pitches.

Bottom 3: After an easy 1-2-3, Gomez swung at the first pitch, out on a 6-3, one down.  3U, two down.  Waldman brought up a good point, speculating whether or not Burnett, who is making his last start before the All-Star break, will be made available for a couple on Sunday against the Angels. For a win, I certainly would make him available for an inning or two, and consider it a good throw day if the Yanks need to notch a victory.  Span singled to center then stole second, 2-1 fastball whizzed by Harris 2-2, but two more wild pitches brought Span all the way home as Harris walked, 3-1 Yanks.  Mauer then came up in the two-out rally and doubled home Harris, 3-2.  Burnett is at 44 pitches.

Top 4: Matsui with a loud out, F8 one down.  Jorge worked the count to 3-2 before hitting a double down the line in right, nicely done, Jorge is 2-2 batting .290. Jorge tied Tony Lazzeri for 10th place on the all-time Yankees list with his 327th double. Cano needs to keep hitting with RISP.  Cano got hit on the leg, first and second for Swish, whose deep fly to the track in left sent Jorge to third with two outs, Brett the Jet up–can he deliver with two outs again?  0-1 and Swarzak is at 72 pitches through 3 2/3.

Bottom 4: Crede with a two-out single, Gomez forces Crede at second 6-4, three down, 3-2 Yankees; top of the order.

Top 5: Jeter ripped one off the “wall” in left center to start the fifth.  JD must come through, but doesn’t with a medium F9 in right center, one out.  Teixeira walks, A-Rod ahead 2-0, then back to 2-2, and A-Rod delivers! He hammered a high fastball through the hole into left, scoring Jeter 4-2 Yanks, first and second. Swarzak’s night is over.  Matsui lined out to second, two outs.  Posada walked for Cano, bases loaded two outs.  1-2 to Cano, F7 to end the fifth, 4-2 Yankees.

Bottom 5: Burnett worked out of big trouble in the 5th, striking out Cuddyer to end the inning with the bases loaded.  Burnett is at 79 pitches through five, on the slate to go seven strong at this pace.

Top 6: Swish reached on an E6, was forced at second, and Brett the Jet was thrown out on a pitchout but just barely at second, nice throw by Mauer for the second out.

Bottom 6: Burnett works out of trouble again, getting his second K to end the sixth for the second straight inning.  This might be a time when Girardi learns from the other day with Pettite–Burnett is nearing that time.  At best, I’d go batter to batter to start the seventh.

Bottom 7: Burnett got Harris, then Coke entered and got behind Mauer before Mauer homered to left, 4-3 Yanks. Coke K’d Morneau, two down, Hughes is in to face Cuddyer.  Hughes got Kubel on one pitch, and he should go the 8th.

Top 8: Posada and Cano down fast, two down.  Swish singled off the baggie, but was thrown out at second trying to stretch it out.

Bottom 8: Hughes got Kubel on a 4-3, then Crede to pop out to Jorge behind the plate.  Hughes fell a little in love with the curve that at-bat against Buscher pinch-hitting for Gomez, and Buscher singled.  Mariano is in for a four-out save, started with an easy bloop out to end the eighth.

Mariano saves his 22nd this year, 504th of his glorious career, 4-3 Yankees, 16 above .500–playing excellent baseball, getting very good pitching and some clutch hitting.

Published in: on July 8, 2009 at 7:01 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Montero will also take part in the Futures Game again (he was there last year in the Old Stadium). This year in Busch Stadium. Joining him in the Futures Game will be Manuel Banuelos.

  2. Oh yeah, if I remember correctly, guess who was there with Montero last year in the Futures game? … Ramiro Pena.

    A few years back, we saw Joba. One year it was Hughes. I remember Hughes pitching to Tabata that year.

  3. Great news about Montero in the Futures Game, Mike. It’s well deserved. What a who’s who list of prospects for the Yanks, all well deserved. Hughes’s work out of the bullpen this year has been crucial to the season thus far, just tremendous.

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