Finally! And CC for MVP?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

With today's 5-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees clinched a berth for the playoffs. While we still don't know if it's wild card or division leader, the Yankees made things interesting down the stretch and finally put the final nail in the coffin of the regular season. Things have been ugly lately and it's good to get it out of the way and finally begin to look at the playoffs without glancing in the rearview mirror.

By the way, the general consensus is Felix Hernandez is the AL CY Young award winner. I think it's safe to say there's an argument for CC Sabathia for that award, but an even better argument as CC for MVP. There hasn't been one player more important to his team this year than CC Sabathia. With an erratic season of A.J. Burnett, the inconsistencies of Javier Vazquez, the learning curve of Phil Hughes, and the injury to Andy Pettitte, and all the spot starters in between, Sabathia has been the rock of the rotation, but also the team. He has 21 wins this season and has given the Yankees the opportunity to win everytime out. Anytime the Yankees have had a "must-win" or a game where the pitcher needs to save the bullpen, Sabathia has been dependable upon.

And today was another one of those days. The Yankees wanted to wrap up the division today, they didn't want things to linger around any longer, and he came through with 8 innings of two hit ball. CC Sabathia is the MVP of the American League, no question in my mind (which is extremely biased).


One is the loneliest number...

Monday, September 27, 2010

After last night's Yankee-Red Sox game last night that surely took a few years off my life, the Yankees magic number to make the playoffs is 1. More importantly the Yankees pull within a half game of the Rays for 1st in AL East. A couple of points from last night:

  • Joe Girardi desperately wanted to win this game. After initially saying Dustin Mosely would start so they could skip Phil Hughes in the rotation. Then yesterday afternoon it was announced that Hughes would take the ball to star the game. Then he brought Mariano Rivera in to pitch for more than one inning for only the fifth time this season.
  • Speaking of Mariano, he's struggling. In September he's thrown 10.2 innings, giving up 12 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 blown saves and a loss. Hopefully this is just one of those phases that Mariano goes through from time to time, but it's disconcerting that its happening in September.
  • I don't usually like to curse on here, but the only thing Jonathan Papelbon does better than blowing saves in big games is whining like a bitch.
    "It was tough considering the fact that I was not only pitching against their lineup, I was also pitching against the ump. When you do that against this lineup, you are never going to be successful."
    He's talking about the 1-2 pitch to Tex, who eventually singled. But you know what Papelboner? Bad calls happen. You still had one out, and the chance to get A-Rod and Cano out, but you didn't. I hope the Red Sox don't re-sign him just so I don't have to listen to him anymore.

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CC on mound with series, Cy Young on the line

Thursday, September 23, 2010

So after the Rays won last night, the Yankees are 1.5 games ahead of the Rays for the AL East divisional lead. So if you're a baseball fan, tonight's game is a piece de resistance. We've got CC Sabathia vs. David Price in a Cy Young pitcher's duel. The Rays came out on top the last time these two lefties faced each other, but hopefully the Yanks can pull out this one, and get CC win #21.


YANKEES (92-60)
Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames DH
Jorge Posada C
Curtis Granderson CF
Greg Golson LF

LHP CC Sabathia (20-6, 3.05)

RAYS (90-61)
B.J. Upton CF
Jason Bartlett SS
Carl Crawford LF
Evan Longoria 3B
Ben Zobrist 1B
Rocco Baldelli RF
Willy Aybar DH
Kelly Shoppach C
Sean Rodriguez 2B

LHP David Price (17-6, 2.79)
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Breathing Room

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Yankees have risen to the challenge the past two nights, giving them a 2.5 game lead over the Rays in the AL East, and lowering the magic number for a playoff birth to 3 after the Red Sox loss tonight.

Hughes came out and pitched a strong 6.1 and then Javy and Joba worked well out of the bullpen. They also gave Mariano a night off, so that's a plus.

Needless to say (but I'll say it anyway) I feel much better about the State of the Yankees today than I did on Sunday night. But, this is a four-game series, so the Yanks need another win to take the series, and I for one am not going to say "No" to a sweep.

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New Poll Question: How'd AJ get the black eye?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

If you saw the game last night, you probably saw that big bruise around AJ Burnett's right eye.( I apologize if you didn't, I couldn't find a decent picture of it online) After the game, he and Joe Girardi had no comment on how it happened. So that's just going to let me speculate on how it happened. Here's what I've come up with:

1) AJ pulled a David Wells, went out bar hopping the night before a start and got into a fight.
2) After doing something wrong, he got frustrated and somehow hit himself in the face.
3) Joe Girardi pulled him aside and told him that he needs to start pitching better...or else. And to drive the point home, he punched him in the face.

Let us know what you think in the poll in the top right hand corner of the page. The poll closes at 7:05 next Wednesday, the day of AJ's next start, assuming he doesn't receive any more mysterious injuries.

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One Swing changes everything...

It's 3-1 Orioles in the top of the ninth, 2 strikes on Alex Rodriguez. If he strikes out, I'm sitting here yelling about how the Yankees season is collapsing around them. The sky is falling, our pitchers can't shut down opposing lineups, our hitters can't score more than one fun of Kevin freaking Millwood, and the Rays are gonna run away and hide in the AL East.

Luckily, however, A-Rod turns on one and sends an A-Bomb into the left field stands. Everyone can breathe a sigh of relief. The Yankees win, the Rays lose, and the Bombers are back in first where they belong. The Yanks, as we all know, have an extremely tough schedule down the stretch, and they need to take advantage of these 3 games against the Orioles.

Enjoy your college football everybody! I'll be at the 'Cuse vs. Maine game at the Carrier Dome tonight. Let's Go Orange!

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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

While the Yankees blew a 6-run lead and shouldn't have even been in extra innings, that's not what I'm taking away from this. What I'll remember from this game is my boy Kerry Wood pitching a solid 8th inning. That awesome catch that Curtis Granderson made is gonna be remembered for a long time. Jorge absolutely crushed that ball to center in the top of the 10th, and to top it all off Greg Golson.

I'm sitting here watching Golson make that catch, and I'm screaming at the TV as usual, "Just throw it to the cutoff man. Just hit the cutoff." I didn't think there was a snowball's chance in hell that Golson would throw out Crawford and was imagining him throwing it over everyone and Crawford tying the game. Then Golson just throws this absolute lazer to A-Rod to get Crawford to end the game. Not one person on the field (except maybe Golson) thought he was gonna throw Crawford out. After it happened, Jeter, A-Rod, Gardner, and Mo were all completely shocked.

But the important thing is that the Yanks are back in first. They've snapped their longest losing streak of the year, and they have a chance to win the series tomorrow and extend the lead to 1.5 games.


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Monday, September 13, 2010

I don't even want to talk about this loss. I'm sure Jim doesn't either. Disgusting. I'm speechless right now. Three walk-off losses in the last four games. Yeah, they better get home-field avantage because they desperately need it.


State of the Yankees (It's Not Good)

Last week the Yankees went on an eight-game winning streak which saw them extend their AL East lead on the Tampa Bay Rays to 2.5 games. Then, the Orioles came to town and took two of three. Then the Yankees traveled to face the Texas Rangers. The bullpen blew the game the first night. Mariano Rivera had one of his three meltdowns he has all year and blow the second game. And Cliff Lee was Cliff Lee and the next thing you know the Yankees are dealing with their first three-game sweep of the season, lost six of their last seven, and enter a three game series with the Tampa Bay Rays who are just 1/2 a game back. The Yanks would be on a seven game losing streak if not for Nick Swisher's walk-off home run on Wednesday.

The rest of the Yankees schedule is against all AL East teams. They have just three games against the Orioles, who are the only team under .500 (and have been playing good baseball since Buck Showalter took over). Over the last seven days the Yankees as a team are batting .236/.337/.303 with one home run and 16 RBI. On the pitching side the last seven days, they have a 4.66 ERA have allowed 44 hits in 46.1 innings, while allowing 25 runs and striking out 36.

Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher are battling through injuries. A-Rod still needs to sit out about once a week. The only consistent pitcher the Yankees have in their rotation is CC Sabathia. If Andy Pettitte returns at the end of the week he is probably only good for about 80 pitches.

The Yankees are staring at a very possible scenario where they back into the playoffs in the wild card spot. The seven games they have left with the Rays are going to be playoff games because knowing the Yankees, they'd rather have the division crown than the wild card. But if they cannpt capitalize on these games against the Rays, you have to wonder, just how far can this team go into the postseason?


Who do the Yankees want to face in ALDS?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Right now the Yankees are 2.5 games ahead of the Rays for first place in the AL East. The Rays are 6.5 games ahead of the Red Sox in the Wild Card. So barring a Mets-like collapse that would end in me taking a long walk off a short bridge, the Yankees should make the playoffs. The only question now is whether they go in as the AL East Champ or the Wild Card.

I'm working under the assumption that the Twins will win the Central, and the Rangers win the West. Let's take a look at the scenarios:

If the Yankees win the AL East, and the Rays win the Wild Card:

  • Yankees play the playoff team with the worst record, the Texas Rangers.
  • Rays play Minnesota, with Minnesota having home field advantage.
  • If Yankees advance to ALCS, they will have home field advantage, regardless of who they are playing.
If the Rays in the AL East and the Yankees win the Wild Card:
  • Rays play the playoff team with the worst record, the Texas Rangers.
  • Yankees play Minnesota, with Minnesota having home field advantage.
  • If Yankees advance to ALCS, they will NOT have home field advantage, regardless of who they are playing.
So which is a better situation for the Yankees?

  • The Yankees won the season series 4-2
  • Yankees outscored Twins 24-21.
  • Likely playoff rotation: Baker, Liriano, Duensing, Slowey.
  • Record since Aug 1: 25-11
  • The Yankees lead season series 4-1 (with a 3-games to play, starting tonight)
  • Yankees have outscored 27-16.
  • Likely playoff rotation: Lee, Lewis, Wilson, Hunter.
  • Record since Aug 1: 16-20
So this question might be easier to answer on Sunday after the 3 game set against the Rangers, but I'm asking now; who would you rather play?

Case for wanting to play the Twins:
  1. You don't have to face Cliff Lee in a short series
  2. Sweeping the Twins in the ALDS is an annual right of passage for the Yankees
  3. Starting rotation is kind of weak.
  4. Not a powerful lineup, especially if Justin Morneau doesn't return the season.
Case for wanting to play the Rangers:
  1. They've struggled down the stretch.
  2. Pitching staff behind Lee isn't anything special.
  3. The away games are in Texas, where average early October temps are between 60-80, instead of Minnesota, where average early October temps are between 40-60.
  4. Playing the Rangers means the Yankees finished strong, and have good momentum going into the playoffs, and will have home field advantage in both ALDS and ALCS.
So as the next three weeks of the baseball season wind down, these situations are going to be talked about a lot. Only time will tell which one comes to fruition.

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Swish Stops Sweep

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

With one swing of the bat, Nick Swisher put a halt to the Yankees 3 game losing streak and prevented the lowly Baltimore Orioles from sweeping a series in the Bronx for the first time since 1986.

If the Yanks had gotten swept by the Orioles this late in the season, that would have been horrible. Losing 2 out of 3 to the O's this late in the season is still pretty pathetic, but obviously not as bad as getting swept.

As of 4:15 PM, the Yankees are 2 games in front of the Rays in the AL East. The Yankees have an off day tomorrow before heading to Texas to take on the Rangers. Just so you know Cliff Lee will start in Sunday's game against Dustin Moseley, as the Yankees are skipping over Phil Hughes in order to keep his innings under the limit.


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O's deny CC chance at 20th win; have chance for sweep tomorrow

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

So CC Sabathia still hasn't won 20 games in a season, because the Orioles offense came out and scored 3 runs before CC even got an out. So after winning 8 straight games, the Yanks have come out pretty flat against the O's these past couple days, and have now lost 3 in a row.

The Red Sox actually did the Yanks a favor last night by beating the Rays, but common decency can only last so long in Boston and they got crushed tonight. So Tampa Bay is now only 1 game behind the Bombers in the loss column with 23 games remaining.

This is how the Yankees schedule breaks down the rest of the way:

  • 7 games vs. Tampa Bay
  • 6 games vs. Boston
  • 4 games vs. Baltimore
  • 3 games vs. Texas
  • 3 games vs. Toronto
The Yanks last series of the year is a 3-game set at Fenway Park, while the Rays play 4 in Kansas City against the Royals.

If the Yankees want to win the East, they obviously need to play well against the Rays, but if they keep playing like crap against bad teams, it's not going to help at all.
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Labor Day Matinee: Yankees vs Orioles

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Yankees seven-game winning streak was snapped Sunday and they look to start a new one today. It's the fifth day game in a row which is very unusual. Also, Andy Pettitte is scheduled ot make a rehab start in Trenton. He is expected to throw 65 pitches, or four innings.

Derek Jeter SS
Nick Swisher RF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Marcus Thames LF
Jorge Posada DH
Francisco Cervelli C
Brett Gardner CF



7th Heaven

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Yanks won again today to extend their winning streak to 7 games. More importantly, they take a 2 game lead on the Rays, pending the outcome of their game against Baltimore.

The most amazing thing is that Yankees are playing good baseball despite all the maneuvering that's been going on with the team. A-Rod and Pettitte are still on the DL and Swisher's day-to-day. And don't forget the starting rotation is pretty much week-to-week.

Now it doesn't hurt that Mark Teixeira's been hitting .529 with 2 homers and 7 RBI's and Jorge Posada has a .412 average over the past week, but I'm still not completely sold on this team right now. I'll see how things go over the next 10 days leading up to the 4 game set in the Bronx between the Yanks and Rays before I set my confidence level.

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Game 135: Yankees vs Blue Jays

For some reason today's game is at 1:05. I have no idea why. Anyway the Yankees take a six-game winning streak into today's game as they face Brandon Morrow and the surprsingly above .500 Blue Jays. The Yankees will send Ivan Nova out to the mound who pitched well his last time out and well in his season debut when he faced the Blue Jays.

Brett Gardner LF
Curtis Granderson CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Robinson Cano 2B
Jorge Posada C
Lance Berkman DH
Austin Kearns RF
Ramiro Pena 3B
Eduardo Nunez SS

Blue Jays
Mike McCoy SS
Travis Snider LF
Jose Bautista RF
Vernon Wells CF
Lyle Overbay 1B
Aaron Hill 2B
Adam Lind DH
John McDonald 3B
Jose Molina C


September 1

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

It's been a while. Cross country preseason, moving into my house at school, and school itself, has consumed my life the last 10 days or so, causing me not to have time to blog. Anyway, today is September 1 and the Yankees sit atop the AL East at 82-50. However, they are just one game up on the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Yankees have the best home record in the AL so winning the division would be a priority instead of falling back into the wild card. The Rays have 15 games left against teams under .500 records, while the Yankees have just six. The Yankees and Rays have seven more games against each other head-to-head. The Rays finish the season against the Royals while the Yanks finish against the Red Sox at Fenway. The Yankees expect Andy Pettitte and A-R0d to return shortly.

With all that being said, do you think the Yankees will win the division or the wild card? How do you feel about the team at this point? Check out the new poll and feel free to comment.


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The owners, operators, and writers of the Michael Kay's Successors blog are in no way sponsored, endorsed or affiliated with the New York Yankees or the aforementioned Michael Kay. Because if they were, we'd be on World Series championship #39 by now.

Also, anything written about broadcaster/on-air personalities is all in good fun and meant to be taken as a joke.

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