Yankees @ Twins
@ The Metrodome
Yesterday was frustrating, but besides some terrible umpiring Yankees fans don't have much to be upset about right now. They're 48-34, they've won 10 of 12, and they're just a game behind Boston for first in the division.
Losing Chien-Ming Wang for a month could hurt, but he hasn't been himself all year and maybe the Yanks can get a few good starts from Mitre or Aceves. And with the all-star break a week away, he may only end up missing three or four starts.
This is a very important week for the Yanks. It's always good to go into the break on a high note. With these three games with the Twins, and then three more out west against the Angels it would be great to go 5-1, but that might be pushing it. So how about 4-2?
The Twins come into this series on a little bit of a roll. They've won 7 of their last 10 and their last three in a row. They do what they've always done, they hit a little, they pitch a little, and they play fundamentally sound baseball. And in this year's AL Central that could be good enough to win it. At 43-40 they're just 1.5 games behind the first place Tigers, and 5.5 behind the Yankees in the Wild Card.
Offensively they're led by their 1-2 punch of Joe Mauer of Justin Morneau. They're both having MVP-type seasons, with Mauer is hitting .389/.465/.648 with 14 HR and 45 RBI, and Morneau at .323/.399/.601 with a team-leading 21 homers and 69 RBI. They do other quality bats in the lineup too, Jason Kubel (.302/.360/.531), Denard Span (.291/.379/.384), and Michael Cuddyer (.278/.359/.516) have all had solid first halves of their seasons.
The Yanks they will miss the Twins' top two starters this week; Nick Blackburn, who leads the team with a 2.94 ERA, pitched a complete game on Sunday, and Kevin Slowey, who leads the team with 10 wins, just went on the DL with a strained wrist. Although Thursday's starter Anthony Swarzak has had a solid debut, going 2-2 with a 3.90 ERA in his first five starts. They have a good bullpen, ranking fourth in the AL with a 3.76 ERA. Jon Nathan is having another all-star season, with 22 saves in 24 chances and an ERA of 1.35.
Game 1: Tonight @ 8:10 p.m. |TV/Radio: MY9, WCBS
LHP CC Sabathia (7-5, 3.85) vs. RHP Scott Baker (6-6, 4.99)
Game 2: Tomorrow @ 8:10 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS
RHP A.J. Burnett (7-4, 3.83) vs. LHP Glen Perkins (4-4, 4.38)
Game 3: Thursday @ 1:10 p.m. | TV/Radio: YES, WCBS
TBA vs. RHP Anthony Swarzak (2-2, 3.90)
Players to Watch
YANKEES: Hideki Matsui - Now that the Yanks are back in AL parks Matsui has begun to heat up. Matsui hit .500/.545/1.167 with 3 HR and 10 RBI on the recent six-game homestand.
He has hit well against the Twins in his career, hitting .328/.404/.588 with 6 HR and 25 RBI in overall and .302/.384/.413 with 9 RBI in Minnesota. This season he's just 2-for-9 against Twins' pitching.
Matsui vs. Baker: 0-for-3
Matsui vs. Perkins: 1-for-2, RBI
Matsui vs. Swarzak: He's never faced Swarzak.
TWINS: Mauer and Morneau - The Yankees can't let these guys hit with men on base. If they hit with men on base they'll drive them in, it's as simple as that. If the Yankees some how get these guys out it will be a miracle.
Morneau vs. Sabathia: .167/.279/.306 (6-for-36) with a HR, 3 RBI, and 7 K
Morneau vs. Burnett: .333/.500/.583 (4-for-12) HR, 3 RBI
Mauer vs. Sabathia: .250/.318/.300 (5-for-20) 2 RBI, 8 K
Mauer vs. Burnett: .300/.417/.300 (3-for-10) 3 K
And here are their numbers in four games against the Yankees:
Morneau: .563/.650/1.250, 2 doubles, 3 HR, 4 RBI
Mauer: .313/.450/.688 2 HR, 3 RBI
- Chien-Ming Wang, SP: 15-day DL with a strained right shoulder. The Yanks are hoping for an early August return.
- Xavier Nady, RF: Done for year, will have season-ending Tommy John surgery this week. It will take 10-12 month to recover.
- Jose Molina, C: On the 15-day DL with a strained left quad. He playing rehab games with the Double-A Trenton Thunder. The Yanks want him to play two more games before being added to the roster.
- Damaso Marte, RP: 15-day DL with a sore shoulder. He's still playing catch. Will we ever see him again?
- Kevin Slowey, SP: 15-day DL with a strained right wrist.
- Boof Bonser, SP/RP: 15-day DL after having right shoulder surgery. He's out for the year.
- Pat Neshek, RP: 60-day DL as he recovers from right elbow surgery.
More photos » by H. RUMPH JR - AP
Paul Janish: Why so sad?
Last night was a disaster, but they're still going to play the game today, so we'll have to carry on with the Reposter:
The Reds have the difficult task of putting the last 2 games behind them. I think Jonny Gomes has some good perspective on the situation though:
"We’re not going to go undefeated," he said. "We already determined that. You don’t want to lose like that. But it’s the same as a 1-0 loss.
"Today really sucked. But tomorrow will determine what kind of team we are."
We've heard a lot about this team's bounceback ability. Well, they are now one-game under .500 and tied for 4th place with the Astros in the NL Central. Granted, they are still only 3.5 games out of first, but I think we are finding out right now what this team is made of, and it's not good.
Paul Daugherty thinks the Reds should emulate the Cardinals. Honestly, I don't quite get what he's arguing except to say that the Reds aren't really a small market team. Otherwise, if he's saying the Reds should draft Albert Pujols and put a winning team on the field, then, yeah, he's right. Great insight, Paul!
Two Reds players were named Defensive All Stars by FanGraphs. I'm guessing the same wouldn't happen on the offensive side.
Minor League managers should get tossed more often. They always seem to make it memorable.
Baseball's classic stirrups all but gone from the game.
The Cubs are finally sold for $900 million. Well, sort of.
In case you missed it, Ryan Freel is with his 4th organization in a year. This time Farney takes his act to Kansas City.
More photos » by David Zalubowski - AP
Starting for the National League in right field, #11 for the Colorado Rockies: BRAD HAWPE!
I really don't know how no one caught this Sunday night, but according to an mlb.com article from Sunday night, the Rockies will represent the NL West with the only divisional starter in the All-Star Game:
Since Beltran is now injured, the Rockies' Brad Hawpe will make his first All-Star start in the outfield by virtue of being the top pick on the players' ballot.
I like the fact that Hawpe has earned respect throughout the league. Hat tip to Wolf for picking up on this news. Justin Upton could replace Raul Ibanez if the Phillie can't return from rehab in time. Drew Litton celebrates the Rockies having an All-Star outfielder for consecutive years by pointing out what we all thought was possible all along.
ESPN's Buster Olney constructs his best NL All-Star team if he needed it to win a competitive game, one against LHP and one against RHP. Rockies fill in two roster spots in each, though Marquis, Jimenez and Street are absent.
Or at least that seems to be All-Star Jason Marquis' thoughts. 8-9 innings and Street can finish it right? Jack Etkin touches on some very interesting stats regarding Marquis' performance of late in his Quick Hits post at insidetherockies. What he doesn't note is that, if I've done math correctly, Marquis is 2.1 scoreless innings away from breaking Franklin Morales' record of consecutive scoreless innings pitched. He's pitching like an all-star.
Dave Krieger notes that Dan O'Dowd's trade for Marquis is one of the best in franchise history. I'm still partial to that Dante Bichette/Kevin Reimer swap myself.
Big news on the bullpen front: Flores out, Morales called up from Colorado Springs. Frankie will get that rumored spot in the bullpen. Josh Fogg did fine in long relief when he was with the team (wait he's still on the roster?), though he's had trouble getting any appearances lately. Morales may ease into late inning work if he can handle it. I worry about his composure in high leverage situations, but I'm willing to throw his talent out there in place of other options.
Manny Corpas will begin rehab assignment Wednesday. If all goes well, he could be back in a Rockies uni the first game after the All-Star Break next Thursday. Patrick Saunders points to Corpas' recovery as a key - "perhaps the key" - to the second half. This is very true, but it is also sobering. I'm no doctor, but pitching with bone chips sounds painful and unsustainable. A healthy Corpas would be great, but that's leaning on a lame horse. Corpas is optimistic and feels unaffected...for now.
So could we get someone in a trade to shore up the pen? It would involve elevating the payroll, so turn to the Monforts for that answer:
"It depends on who it is. So many teams want our young players, and if that's what it takes, it's not going to happen." - Dick Monfort, Renck
Scratch off Heath Bell from your wish lists. Keeping all of the Hynicks, Rogers', Chacins etc means that if this team wants legitimate bullpen help, it will have to come via Ryan Spilborghs and/or Garrett Atkins. Roy Halladay is available, and he's probably one of those depends-who-it-is characters, though he would take multiple top prospects, and the rotation doesn't need help - it has in fact been clearly the strength of this team.
Brandon Hynick was the PCL Pitcher of the Week for June 29-July 5. His only appearance that week was his perfect game.
The Rocky Mountain Independent launched yesterday, a new Colorado region newspaper with Inside The Rockies' Steve Foster as a driving force. Paid membership is required. Foster's first Rockies related article there outlines the six prospects he wants to see at the MLB level now: Brandon Hynick, Jhoulys Chacin, Esmil Rogers, Eric Young Jr, Franklin Morales, and Jason Hirsh. Sign up and pay if you'd like to support area media, but Foster's article doesn't offer anything mind-blowing.
Paul Phillips did indeed pass through waivers and accepted his assignment at AAA.
Carlos Gonzalez' glove is made of pure gold, magic and rainbows. That glove is earning him plenty of playing time despite a lackluster showing with the bat, as well as undue credit:
Gonzalez still has not gotten on track offensively, mired in an 0-for-12 slump. But the Rockies are 16-3 when he starts. -Renck
Rockies believe best is yet to come | ColoradoRockies.com: News
General feature fluff.
Another key to the Rockies' second half is Troy Tulowitzki. RMN posted a Counting Rocks on Tulo yesterday, which got buried by other material, so I'm linking it here too.
The fan will also be paid $12,000 for legal fees.
Yankee fans are now at liberty to go to the bathroom during the playing of "God Bless America" during the seventh-inning stretch, thanks to a settlement reached yesterday in Manhattan federal court.
Signing off on the deal were the Yankees, the New York Civil Liberties Union and Queens resident Bradford Campeau-Laurion, who was thrown out of Yankee Stadium last year after trying to hit the head midtune.
Campeau-Laurion, a Red Sox fan, will also get $10,001 in a separate deal reached with the city because he got the boot from two uniformed cops -- one of whom allegedly told him, "Get out of my country."
Sports Illustrated has recently released their midseason award winners for the MLB. Albert Pujols was the clear winner in the National League as the MVP, but the other 3 main races (AL MVP, AL Cy Young, NL Cy Young) weren’t particularly as clear.[...]
Read The Full Article:
Man's search for meaning continues, with the latest point of investigation the curious acquisition of Ryan Freel. Not surprisingly, it seems the best answer is the one which proffers the least: we'll just have to wait and see, but probably the best explanation lies in a future event we can't currently foresee.
Ken Belson writes a piece about the New York Mets and the idea that they might need to become[...]
Read The Full Article:
The St. Louis Cardinals are placing newly acquired utilityman Mark DeRosa on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to July 1, because of a strained left wrist. The Cardinals also announced before Tuesday night's game at Milwaukee that infielder Brian Barden and outfielder Nick Stavinoha are being recalled from Triple-A Memphis.
Read The Full Article:
On Sunday, in what seems like an ongoing effort to completely dismantle the team and rebuild it from scratch, the San Diego Padres traded outfielder Scott Hairston to the Oakland Athletics in return for three players.Hairston will assumingly take over[...]
Read The Full Article:
Over the weekend, the Tribune Company reached a written agreement to sell the Cubs, Wrigley Field, and other assets to the family of TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts for roughly $900 million. The deal would also give the Ricketts family a 25 percent[...]
Read The Full Article: