A split against Doc Halladay and Jamie Moyer is not so bad until you realize that the loss was against the latter…
The Yankees pummeled Philadelphia starter Roy Halladay on Tuesday night with three home runs in defeating the Phillies 8-3. The victory was somewhat of a surprise given that Halladay held an 18-6 mark against the Yankees going into the game. Time and again, Halladay has frustrated Yankee bats, but last night was not one of those times. If memory serves correctly, Halladay has also lost to the Boston Red Sox this season so his reunion with the AL East has not been very enjoyable for him.
Tonight, ancient starter Jamie Moyer got revenge in helping the Phillies defeat the Yanks, 6-3. The seats at Yankee Stadium were barely warm by the time the Phillies had surged ahead 6-1 after three innings. The relief contingent of Boone Logan (freshly called up from AAA Scranton/Wilkes Barre to replace DL-bound Marcus Thames) and Chad (is he still around?) Gaudin pitched superbly and gave the Yankees a chance to climb back into it. The Yankees weren’t really able to get anything going although they did bring the potential tying run to the plate before Jorge Posada struck out to end the game. Where are those grand slams (or at least a 3-run dinger in this case) when you need them? Oh well, tomorrow is a new day. Fortunately, the Tampa Bay Rays also lost (6-2 to the Atlanta Braves) so the Yankees remain tied for the AL East lead despite the loss.
Moyer became the oldest pitcher to beat the Yankees at 47 years, 155 days. The previous oldest pitcher was former Yankee Phil Niekro who was 47 years, 122 days when he last beat the Yanks according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Julia will be quick to point out that the Boston Red Sox are only three games back after their 6-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. The city needs something to cheer about given that they will lose the NBA Finals to the soon-to-be World Champion Los Angeles Lakers on Thursday night! J
There has been much speculation that the Yankees should pursue a trade for a frontline pitcher like Cliff Lee or Roy Oswalt. That’s a tough one. As much as I would like Cliff Lee, I have a tough time finding a spot in the rotation for him. CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes are locks and not going anywhere. A.J. Burnett, as frustrating as he can be at times, isn’t going anywhere. So, the only spot would be Javier Vazquez but he’s been arguably the Yankees best pitcher for the past month. I guess the question would then become whether you can trust Vazquez for the remainder of the season. If the Yankees can trade for Lee contingent upon signing him to a new contract, perhaps it makes sense given Javy’s impending free agency. But, of course, at what cost? If you are talking about Jesus Montero or Austin Romine and other top talent, it is probably not worth it (and that is what it would take). It would be better to take your chances during free agency in the off-season. The downside is that you wouldn’t have Lee in the play-off rotation should the team get that far. Okay, I know they’ll get that far, but it is a little early yet. It’s probably better to build a stronger bench for the stretch run…
Apparently, the Yankees have tentatively reached an agreement with top 2010 draft pick shortstop Christopher “Cito” Culver. Culver, who had signed a letter of intent with the University of Maryland, withdrew from his commitment to the school. The Yankees cannot formally sign Culver until he officially graduates from high school.
A Pac-10 match-up between Colorado and Utah? It could happen if the Utes accept the conference’s invitation to join. Wow, this has been a crazy off-season. Colorado to the Pac-10, Nebraska to the Big 10, Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and others staying put in the Big 12. Growing up in the Midwest, there was always something special about those Nebraska-OU games so it will be sad to see the rivalry, as we know it, come to an end. Granted, Nebraska hasn’t done much in recent years, but the Cornhuskers are still a premier school. As a fan of the University of Iowa, it will be fun to see Nebraska-Iowa on a consistent basis, but it won’t be the same.
A reunion victory for Andy…
In probably what will be Andy Pettitte’s only appearance against his former team, the Houston Astros, he emerged the victor tonight as interleague play got underway in the Bronx.
It was a tight game throughout thanks to a pitching duel between Andy and Astros starter (and former Philadelphia Phillie) Brett Myers. The Yanks scored first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning. A bases loaded walk by Nick Swisher and a two-run single by Francisco Cervelli gave Andy and the Yankees an early cushion.
The Astros quickly answered with two runs of their own in the top of the 2nd inning. With two outs, Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella doubled to deep left to score two runs.
In the bottom of the 5th inning, with the score still 3-2, Mark Teixeira hit a single to score Kevin Russo.
After settling down in the 2nd inning, Andy was breezing through the Astros lineup, allowing only one baserunner, until he got into trouble in the 8th. A hit and an error put two men on base. After a sacrifice moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Andy’s night was done. Enter Joba Chamberlain. Unfortunately, a sac fly by the next batter, second baseman Jeff Keppinger, scored Manzella, before Joba was able to end the inning by striking out first baseman Lance Berkman.
Enter the Sandman in the 9th, and it was game over. Mariano Rivera struck out the final two batters to pick up his 15th save, which gave Andy Pettitte the win and his 8th victory (8-1) of the season to match Phil Hughes for the team high.
The rumor mill has spun that Berkman is a potential trade target for the Yankees. He’d make a great DH at this stage of his career, and would be an excellent replacement for former DH Hideki Matsui. I know that Nick Johnson will be back later this year, but given his injury history, there’s no way that he can be counted on. At some point, Jorge Posada will be ready to start catching again so the DH will spot will return to a rotation. It would be tremendous, so long as the price tag is not too high and does not involve any blue-chippers, to have Berkman’s bat in the lineup every day.
I am sure that the win, Andy’s 200th as a Yankee, was bittersweet for him. I know that he missed the Yankees during his days in Houston, but on the same token, I am sure that he’ll always hold a soft spot for his hometown Astros. The game would have been harder on Andy if it would have been played in Houston. By the way, congratulations to Andy for the 200th Yankees win! How ironic that it would come against the only other team for which he has played.
The Yankees have a chance to close within a game of the AL East Leading Tampa Bay Rays. The “team that never loses” is trailing by 8 runs late in a game against the Florida Marlins. For any other team, I’d consider a deficit of 8 runs to be a loss. But with the Rays, if you told me that they just scored 9 runs in the 9th, I wouldn’t be surprised.
Wow, what a week for college football! I had not been following the USC story very closely, so I was stunned when the two year probation was announced. I also heard that their juniors and seniors can transfer to other schools without the standard one-year waiting period (unless it involves another Pac-10 school). Aside from the fact that this will remove USC from significance for the short term, I couldn’t help but think what goes around comes around for new head coach Lane Kiffin. I am sure that Raiders owner Al Davis and the great fans of the University of Tennessee are shedding no tears for Lane’s predicament. Yeah Lane, good luck with that…
Speaking of the Pac-10, I was equally shocked when the University of Colorado announced they were leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10. All week the talk had been about whether the University of Nebraska would leave to join the Big 10, a move which happened today, however, the Buffaloes drew first blood. There is no speculation that the University of Texas, and the other Texas schools, like Texas A&M and Texas Tech, may be joining the Pac-10 to become a ‘super-conference’. All the rivalries we have grown to love over the years, like Texas-OU and Nebraska-OU, will soon become memories. The expectation is that the Big 12 will collapse so it will be interesting to see what happens with the other schools. Plus, of course, there is always the speculation about what Notre Dame may do. Interesting times in the NCAA…