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Posts Tagged ‘New York Yankees’

Headline(s) of the Day: AL East, Tiger Woods and Rogers Cup

Posted by Daniel Aldarondo on August 15, 2009

Victor Martinez is putting on some show in Boston.  Last night with two outs and runners on second and third, Martinez lined a 2-2 pitch down the right field line off of closer Frank Francisco to give the Red Sox a 4-3 lead.  They would tack on an additional four runs and increase their lead over the Texas Rangers in the AL Wild Card standings to 1.5 games.

– Not to be outdone by their rivals, Mark Teixeira broke a 2-2 tie with the Mariners, crushing a home run deep into right field to lead off the ninth inning.  The home run was Teixeira’s 30th, and the win put the Yankees at 30 games over .500 for the first time this season.  Mariano Rivera, amidst talks of  shoulder soreness, pitched a one-two-three bottom half of the ninth.

– More AL East News?!?! Felix Pie (pee-Ay, not Pie) hit for the cycle yesterday for the Baltimore Orioles.  This may be the last time the Orioles make an appearance on this blog.

Tiger Woods is leading at the PGA Tour Championships.  Surprise, surprise.  Shooting at 7-under-par for the first two days, the rest of the field will have to try and put a blemish on Woods’ 8-0 record when leading after 36-holes in a major championship.  Coming in second includes his partner for the first two days Padraig Harrington and US Open Lucas Glover.

Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal both saw their tournament end early yesterday at the Rogers Cup in Montreal. 
The top eight players in the world competed yesterday, with Jo-Wilfred Tsonga and Juan Martin Del Potro upsetting the number one and two ranked players in the world, respectively.  Federer had the win in his grasps, but sloppy play became his undoing as he went from being up 5-1 in the third set to losing in the final tie breaker.  In his first tournament since the French Open, Nadal couldn’t keep up with Del Potro’s hot play.  In the semifinals, it will be Tsonga against Andy Murray in the matinee, and Del Potro will take on Andy Roddick, who knocked off the only other grand slam winner in the last four years in Novak Djokovic, in the evening.

(Note: With Rafa’s loss, Andy Murray has a chance to take the number two rank in the world if he reaches the finals of the Rogers Cup.  It’s been a tough couple months for the Spaniard, who has already seen his French and Wimbledon titles taken away by Federer along with his number one ranking.)


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MLB Trade Deadline Heats Up, Phillies Get Cliff Lee, Halladay stays put

Posted by Gene Morris on July 29, 2009

2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will be pitching in Philadelphia for the rest of 2009

2008 AL Cy Young winner Cliff Lee will be pitching in Philadelphia for the rest of 2009

After a long flirtation with Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay, the Philadelphia Phillies acquired reigning American League Cy Young Cliff Lee and outfielder Ben Francisco from the Cleveland Indians this afternoon in exchange for pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp, as well as shortstop Jason Donald and catcher Lou Marson.

This is a huge deal for the Phillies, as they were able to grab another front of the rotation starter without giving up either J.A. Happ or top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek.

The move definitely cements the Phillies as the run away favorite in the NL East, and probably the favorite in the entire National League. But where does this move leave Roy Halladay and the Toronto Blue Jays?

Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Sox acquire LaRoche, Duncan, Fall Two Games Behind Yankees

Posted by Gene Morris on July 23, 2009

On the day the Red Sox lost their fifth straight game, dropping a 3-1 decision to the Texas Rangers, the Sox looked to add some depth to a lineup that hasn’t scored more than three runs in a game during the five game skid.

Getting rid of Julio Lugo, who along with being useless behind Jed Lowrie has a terrible contract, was a good move.  Adding Duncan’s bat to the bench will surely help as well.  Adam LaRoche will be a good insurance policy in case Boston needs to move Kevin Youkilis to third base if Mike Lowell can’t stay healthy.  But without a healthy Lowell and a revitalized David Ortiz the Sox lineup just doesn’t compare to the Yankees.

Jason Bay is a very good player, and the numbers he put up early this season made people forget about Manny.  After hitting .324 in April, he’s seen his average drop to .264, .230, and .180 in the months of May-July.

Youkilis, who is a damn fine ball player, hit .366 in April and May.  In June and July?  Just .248.

David Ortiz hit seven home runs in June, but has just five the rest of the season.

Daisuke has been horrible, John Smoltz has gotten off to a slow start, and Brad Penny was almost dumped from the rotation a few weeks ago.

Of course the bullpen has been stellar.  Papelbon has been one of the best.  The supporting cast of Hideki Okajima, Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, Takashi Saito, and Daniel Bard has been great as well.

But now that the Yankees have moved Phil Hughes into a full time role out of the pen, and Alfredo Aceves has settled into a relieving role, can you say the Sox pen is that much better than the Yankees?

In 15 games a reliever, Hughes has thrown 21.1 innings, striking out 27, allowing only 11 hits, while pitching to a 0.84 ERA.  That’s dominate stuff.

It’s obvious that neither of these teams need to make a pitch for Roy Halladay, it seems to me the flaws in the Red Sox are starting to show through, while the Yankees keep rolling.

The Sox visit the Bronx on August 6 for a four game set, and it will be very interesting to see how the teams stack up in the division at that point.  The fact that the Yankees are 0-8 against Boston but still lead the division by two games is incredible.  A few wins down the stretch may be enough to put the Yankees ahead for good.

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Yankees Win Again, Tie Red Sox for AL East Lead

Posted by Gene Morris on July 21, 2009

The American League’s eastern division is far and away the best in baseball.  Just look at the top five teams in terms of run differential through July 20.

  1. LA Dodgers  +99
  2. Red Sox  +79
  3. Rays  +79
  4. Phillies +67
  5. Yankees +65

The Yankees have won four games in a row coming out of the all-star break, pushing their overall record to 55-37, the same as the Sox.  Tampa Bay is just 4.5 games back with a record of 51-42.

The Yanks lead the American League with 504 runs, but tonight won by a score of 2-1 for the third straight game.  On a day when Chien-Min Wang suffered a slight injury setback it was important to get good starting pitching from both Joba Chamberlain and Andy Pettitte, and  both came through with strong performances.  (Chamberlain allowed only one run and three hits in 6.2 innings, Pettitte allowed only one run over 7.1 innings and had a season high eight strikeouts.)

Add in the fact that the Blue Jays are 9.5 games back but still have a +34 run differential, and the Orioles have an explosive offense led by young stars Adam Jones, Nick Markakis, and uber-prospect Matt Weiters, and it’s easy to see just how good the Yankees, Sox, and Rays are.

At this point it looks like one of them will be the wildcard, but that’s testament to those three teams more than a knock of the rest of the league.

And before long the Orioles may jump into the same league as the top three teams because of the pitching prospects coming through their system as this article by Kevin Goldstein of baseball prospectus points out.

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