Friday, May 31, 2013

CC Sabathia hasn't been happy with the way he's been pitching lately. His fastball command has been an issue over his last few starts and coming in, the big Yankee southpaw hadn't won a game in over a month (April 27th vs Toronto).

Friday night against the Red Sox, Sabathia delivered and ace like performance, allowing only one runs on six hits, while walking none and tying a season with 10 strikeouts on 109 pitches, in the Yankees 4-1 win over their arch rivals.

"I always feel like it's my responsibility when I'm out there to give this team a chance to win -- go out and pitch well enough to try to win," Sabathia said. "With us having a tough week, getting swept by the Mets, you want to go out and have a good game. I was lucky enough to do that tonight."

With Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis back in the lineup, the Yankee were able to score a couple runs early that would give Sabathia all the run support he would need.

"CC was really good. When you have two aces out there, you just want to give them a few runs," said Mark Teixeira. "Once we got that lead, you could just tell he wasn't going to give it up. He was upset at himself for giving up one run. That's how good he was tonight. He was pretty dominant."

Teixeira walked to start the home half of the 2nd inning followed by a Vernon Wells double, setting up a run scoring single for Jayson Nix. A couple batters later Ichiro softly dropped a ball into left field that would allow Nix to score.

Later in the game, Youkilis singled into left field to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. Brett Gardner added an insurance run in the 7th inning on a slicing liner into left-center, driving home Ichiro from 2nd.

All four Yankee runs were surrendered by Red Sox starter, Jon Lester. Lester gave up four runs on six hits, while walking four and striking out five. Lester wasn't at his best against the Yankees as he took his 2nd loss of the season.

"Jon wasn't commanding the ball as much as he probably would have liked tonight, so our hitters really kind of played into that and made him throw more pitches and made him work," Youkilis said. "I think if you have a team that really focuses on that stuff, I think that's really a good thing, and I think this team does a good job of that."

Boston was able to tag Sabathia for a run in the 7th, coming on a Mike Napoli double. Sabathia stayed in the game to pitch to Jackie Bradley Jr in the 8th, then handed the ball over the David Robertson and Mariano Rivera.

Robertson did his job, retiring Jose Iglesias and Daniel Nava on 12 pitches. It would be up to Mariano Rivera to get the job done. Making his first appearance since blowing a save against the Mets on Tuesday.

Rivera capped off the Yankees win, after allowing a couple hits, but then fielded a come backer from Stephen Drew to end the game and the Bombers five game losing streak.

Youkilis finished the game going 1-for-4 with an RBI and a pair of strikeouts. Teixeira went 0-for-3 with a walk and a run in his first game of the 2013 season.

The Yankees win brings them back to trailing Boston by only one game in the AL East. Game two of this three-game set will feature Phil Hughes (2-3, .97 ERA) facing off with Felix Doubront (3-2, 5.29 ERA). That game can be seen nationally on FOX at 7:10 ET.

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The top two teams in the AL East will square-off for a three game series starting tonight at Yankee Stadium. The Yankees have lost five straight games, including being swept by the Mets in the Subway Series. The Red Sox split their series with the Phillies during the week.

Tonight's lineup:

Gardner CF
Youkilis DH
Cano 2B
Teixeira 1B
Wells LF
Nix SS
Adams 3B
Ichiro RF
Stewart C
Sabathia P

Sabathia (4-4, 3.96 ERA) hasn't been on top of his game lately and has been struggling with some command issues. Tonight, he'll be the man in charge of ending the Yankee recent skid. They'll be opposed by Boston's Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34 ERA).

Teixeira and Youkilis are back in the lineup:

Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis are finally back in the Yankees lineup tonight. Youkilis has missed the last couple of weeks because of some back problems and Teixeira has been out since injuring his wrist tendon while training for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic.

“I’m happy with how things went,” said Teixeira. “It was a little slower than I would have liked. As I've told you guys a few times, I would have been back the day after I got hurt if they would have let me try.”

Nova and Nuno sent down:

Over the past week the biggest questions with the return of Youkilis and Teixeira, was who would be removed off the roster to make room for them. Well that question was finally answered today with Vidal Nuno and Ivan Nova both being optioned to AAA-Scranton prior to today's game. David Adams and Lyle Overbay were to two guys with the most speculation of being sent down, but are safe for now.

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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tonight's lineup:

Gardner CF
Cano 2B
Hafner DH
Overbay 1B
Boesch RF
Ichiro LF
Nix 3B
Brignac SS
Stewart C

The Yankees are in the midst of a three-game losing streak which is their longest of the season, and they'll try to break out against the Mets, Jermey Hefner (0-5, 4.76 ERA). David Phelps (3-2, 3.96 ERA) will be the man given the ball in hopes to break the losing skid.

Youk and Tex play in a rehab game:

Injured Yankees, Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixeira, began their rehab assignments in Double-A Trenton on Wednesday and both went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Youkilis was robbed of a base hit in his 1st at-bat when he popped a ball into right field that was ran down by a diving Tyler Collins. Teixeira popped out on a pitch high in the zone.

In their 2nd at-bats of the day, Youkilis popped out of the 1st pitch he saw, followed by a 5-pitch walk to Teixeira.

In his 3rd and final at-bat, Youkilis drew a four pitch walk. And then Teixeira struck out swinging on a 2-2 pitch low and in on Tex.

Youkilis batted third and played 3rd base, while Teixeira hit clean up for the Trenton Thunder and played at 1st base. Both players left the game after 7 innings.

After the game GM Brain Cashman told reporters that the plan is to have both Teixeira and Youkilis back in the Bronx for Fridays opener against the Boston Red Sox.

Other injury notes:

* Curtis Granderson underwent surgery in his land hand Wednesday morning, according to Cashman. Grandy has a procedure similar to Cervelli's, having a pin placed into his knuckles. Cashman said that today's surgery has no effect on he given timetable.

* Cashman also said that Andy Pettitte is expected to rejoin the team next week sometime during the Yankees series against the Cleveland Indians at Yankee Stadium, assuming there are no setbacks.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Yankees lineup:

Gardner 8
Cano 4
Wells 7
Overbay 3
Adams 5
Suzuki 9
Brignac 6
Stewart 2
Kuroda 1

The struggling Yankees lineup will be facing Mets young phenom, Matt Harvey (5-0, 1.93 ERA).

Other notes:

Francisco Cervelli will be reporting to Tampa this weekend to begin his rehabbing. He'll start throwing and hopes to return to the Yankees in about three weeks.

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Monday, May 27, 2013

The Yankees may have the upper hand when it comes to the all-time Subway Series rivalry. But it was the Mets that were able to edge out the Yankees, 2-1, in the series opener from Citi Field.

Pitching and defense were the keys to winning this game. Scoreless through the first five innings, the Yankees were able to break the tie in the 6th inning when Brett Gardner hit a bloop triple past a diving Lucas Duda in left field. He then scored on another soft liner by Jason Nix.

In the bottom half of the 6th inning, Gardner made basically the Yankees play of the year when he robbed Daniel Murphy of what would have been a go-ahead two-run homerun. Instead it kept the Mets off the board.

But Gardner wasn't able to help Yankees start Phil Hughes in the 7th innings when Mets captain David Wright launched a solo homerun to left field. It put the Mets on the board and made Girardi rethink letting Hughes return to pitch the 7th inning.

Hughes was pulled after seven innings, and even though he faced the Mets he still had a good night allowing only one run on four hits, while striking out six and not issuing a single walk on 101 pitches.

David Robertson was brought in to pitch the 8th inning and didn't look his best. Robertson left the game with the bases loaded after only 2/3 of an inning. The Mets tallied up the go-ahead run on two hits, one walk, and a hit by pitch from Robertson.

Ichiro was able to draw a one-out walk off Mets closer Bobby Parnell, but Lyle Overbay struck out followed by a Travis Hafner infield fly out to end the game.

The Yankees have lost two in a row and will now have to attempt to rebound against the young Mets phenom, Matt Harvey. Hiroki Kuroda will take the hill for the Bombers. That game can be seen on ESPN at 7:10 ET.

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Tonight's Yankee lineup:

Gardner CF
Nix SS
Cano 2B
Wells LF
Adams 3B
Ichiro RF
Overbay 1B
Stewart C
Hughes P

The Yankees will be opposed by the Mets, Jon Niese (3-5, 4.80 ERA).

Other notes:

*Joba Chamberlain says that he expects to be activated off the the DL tomorrow. He said that he threw two innings in a rehab appearance on Saturday and was hitting 95 to 96 mph.

*Vidal Nuno said that he expects to be starting on Thursday in the Mets finale against the Mets at Yankee Stadium.

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David Huff was claimed off a waivers by the Yankees on Saturday and he joined the team in Tampa Sunday morning prior to the Yankees series finale against the Rays.

Huff made his debut in the 8th inning to relieve a struggling CC Sabathia after he allowed seven runs in seven innings. Huff walked struck out the 1st batter he faced before walking the next two.

Sam Fuld grounded into a fielders choice leaving runners at the corners for Desmond Jennings to send a double into left field scoring Fuld from 3rd.

Huff was then able to retire Ryan Roberts to end the innings. The lefty
threw 17 strikes on 30 pitches in one full inning while walking two, striking out one, and allowing one run on one hit.

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Sunday, May 26, 2013

The Yankees weren't able to capture a rare sweep of the Rays Sunday in Tampa, so now they'll pack their bags an head back to the Empire State for an inter-league battle with the New York Mets.

With the new scheduling format this season the Subway Series will endure a new twist. The first two games of the series will take place in the Queens at Citi Field on Monday and Tuesday. Then the two team will move on to the Bronx for the final two games on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Yankees will send out Phil Hughes in the series opener on Monday as he hopes to continue to build off his last outing in Baltimore when he allowed only two runs over six innings.

Jon Niese will take the hill for the Mets, coming off a start on Tuesday in which he took the loss even after not allowing an earned run in the game. But that's just the way things have been going for the Mets starters this year.

"I'm looking forward to it," said Vernon Wells, as he prepares for his first Subway series. "Obviously, being in New York now, you're either a Yankees fan, a Mets fan or you just hate the Yankees, period. It'll be a fun atmosphere."

Mariano Rivera will be making his final appearance to Citi Field during this trip. Against the Mets Mariano has encountered many memorable moments from recording the final out of the 2000 world series, to notching his 500th save on June 28th, 2009.

"It's more for the fans," Rivera said of the Subway Series. "They've become like another team in our division because we play them every year. It becomes another division game for us. It's good, no traveling. Twenty minutes travel, and we have an escort. Fans love it. I think they get good joy out of it."

Even if the Mets claim a sweep this week they'll still have quite a ways to go before catching up to the Yankees, who lead the all-time series, 54-36.

Probable starters:

Mon: Hughes (2-3, 5.51 ERA) vs Niese (3-5, 4.80 ERA)
Tues: Kuroda (6-3, 2.67 ERA) vs Harvey (5-0, 1.93 ERA)
Wed: Phelps (3-2, 3.96 ERA) vs Hefner (0-5, 4.76 ERA)
Thur: TBD vs Gee (2-6, 6.34 ERA)

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CC Sabathia endured what was maybe his worst start of the season Sunday in Tampa as he surrendered a season-high seven runs on seven hits, including a pair of two-run homeruns in seven innings against the Rays at Tropicana Field.

Although it isn't a shock that Sabathia got rocked in the Trop. The Yankees have lost 9 of his 10 starts since he joined the team in 2009, and he's 1-6 with an ERA of 4.80 under the Tampa dome.

"I'm not helping the team out," Sabathia said. "I just need to get better." In 5 May starts Sabathia went 0-2 with 3 no-decisions and a 4.80 ERA.

"With this team that we have, we battle to the end," he said. "We did it tonight. I just didn't give us a chance. That's the worst part, just not keeping the game close and giving these guys a chance to feel like they can come back and win the game."

As CC's velocity continues to sit in the high 80's to low 90's, Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild believes that velocity isn't the issue with Sabathia's performance.

"He had the same velocity earlier in the season and pitched really well." Said Rothschild. "There's some inconsistency there," Rothschild said. "He’s missing some spots at times and he’s not getting away with any pitches. Every bad pitch he made got hit today."

For Yankee fans there should be reason to be concerned. As Sabathia ages he's seemed to regress this year. His velocity is down and I think we have to accept that it might not come back. There's a problem with CC's pitching and he feels like he knows the issue.

"It’s just everything." Sabathia said. "Not being able to make pitches with two strikes, fastball command, location. I just need to work and make certain I can get better and try to help the team." 

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Yanks add David Huff:

Yesterday the Yankees claimed RHP David Huff off of waivers from the Cleveland Indians and added him the active roster this morning.

Huff's best known work is being the guy that took a line drive off the head from Alex Rodriguez back in 2010 while pitching for the Indians in Yankee Stadium.

Huff appeared in 3 games for the Indians this season and has an ERA of 15.00 in 3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits, while striking out five and walking one. All of his appearances are from out of the bullpen.

It's isn't 100% as to what Huff's role will be with the Yankees, although it's likely to be out of the bullpen. Huff can start and relieve, can could provide some back-up is Kuroda or Phelps can't make their next start.

"I could use him in a lot of different ways," Joe Girardi said. "He gives us another lefty in our bullpen, and he's also someone who can give you distance in a time where we have some questions."

Francisco designated for assignment:

In a corresponding move that Yankees fans have been waiting for, Ben Francisco has been designated for assignment in order to make room for newly acquired David Huff on the 40-man roster.

Francisco played in 21 games for the Bombers this season, hitting a mere .111 in 44 at-bats with one homeruns and only one RBI.

His only homerun came on May 1st against the Houston Astros (it was also his only RBI) and he hasn't played since May 17th against the Blue Jays.

Injury updates:

--Joe Girardi is "99% sure" that Hiroki Kuroda will make his next start on Tuesday against the New York Mets at Citi Field. Kuroda was hit by a line drive in the leg in his left start in Baltimore and was forced to leave the game an inning later.

--Andy Pettitte threw bullpen session on Saturday and felt fine after he finished. He is expected to throw 75 pitches in a simulated game in Tampa on Tuesday. It all goes well, Pettitte could rejoin the team next week on Sunday or Monday.

--David Phelps still believes that he'll be good to go for his next scheduled start Wednesday against the Mets at Yankee Stadium. Phelps had to leave Fridays game after he took a line drive off his right forearm. 

-- Eduardo Nunez suffered a set back yesterday while taking BP. Girardi said he tried to "amp it up" while in BP and "felt a little something" again in his side. He'll be shut down completely for the next couple of days.

As the Yankees finish up their series with the Rays, keep on the lookout for a Yankees-Mets series preview later today. As the team heads back to New York you can expect the daily game recaps once again.

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Saturday, May 25, 2013

The Yankees tough injury riddled season became even worse on Friday and it happened to a player who had returned only 8 games ago from a fractured forearm.

Curtis Granderson is expected to missed at least 4 weeks while he recovers from a fractured fifth metacarpal on his left hand when he was hit by a Cesar Ramos pitch Saturday night in the Yankees 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

"It's heartbreaking," Yankees pitcher David Phelps said. "He puts in all the hard work to get back, and now he's got to do it all over again. But he's proven to himself that he can do it, so there's no doubt he'll be back and be a big part of our lineup for the rest of the season."

Granderson doesn't yet know if he'll require surgery to repair his left hand, but he said that they'll know more about that and a timetable when they see a hand specialist in New York on Monday.

"As of right now they said no, but we're going to see the specialist on Monday and get a better understanding," Granderson said. "I know they were waiting for one more X-ray to get another view that hadn't popped up yet."

The easiest way the judge a likely timetable at this moment is to look back to last season when Alex Rodriguez suffered the same injury on July 24 against the Mariners, keeping him out for about 6 weeks.

"Curtis isn't an easy guy to replace because of the power," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "You just don't get that from everyone. We missed him the first seven or eight weeks of the season; now we're going to miss him for a while again."

One things for sure this will open up the outfield competition that had began with Granderson's return. The Yankees had four outfielders playing for three spots. Now we'll likely see the combo of Wells-Gardner-Ichiro once again.

"It is what it is. It kind of happened," Granderson said. "I can't change it right now; just got to move forward, continue to get back to work again. Another bump in the road, but that's it, just a bump. We'll heal up and come back and be back ready."

Phelps has a right arm contusion:

As if the Yankees didn't have enough injury troubles to worry about. David Phelps was in the midst of his longest career outing (7 2/3) when he was strike in the right forearm by a liner off the bat of Ben Zobrist.

Phelps was taken after the game for precautionary x-rays that showed only a bruise and the Yankees don't expect the talented young righty will miss his next start against the Mets.

Phelps slammed his glove to the field after he was hit, and was escorted off the field by Yankees manager Joe Girardi and the trainers.

"I was just mad. It's the first time I've ever been hit in the upper body," Phelps said. "It's one of those things that is frustrating because of what's been going on with our team with everyone getting hurt. I was like, 'I don't want to be the next guy.'"

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

With Sundays finale against the Blue Jays rained out. The Yankees will use the off-day on Sunday to their advantage as they head into Baltimore to face an always tough Baltimore Orioles club.

Sundays postponement pushed CC Sabathia's start back to Monday, in which he'll be apposed by former Yankee, Freddy Garcia. Garcia is coming off a start in which he allowed 4 runs on seven hits, while walking two over only 3 2/3 innings
Sabathia in his career against the Orioles, is 17-4 with
an ERA of 3.03.

Sabathia didn't pitch particularly well against the Orioles last season, as he ran up an ERA of 6.38 in three starts last year. But he was able to throw 8 2/3 innings against Baltimore in game 1 of the ALDS.

The Yankees are coming into this series on a winning stretch having won nine of their last 12 games. While the Orioles come into the series on a five game losing skid,

One of those loses included a six-run ninth innings by the Rays that snapped an Orioles franchise-record of 109 straight victories when leading after seven innings.

The Yankees took two of three games that last time that these teams met earlier in the season, in a series that included the Yankees 1st triple play at home since June 3rd, 1968.

Vidal Nuno was suppose to pitch on Wednesday, but will instead be skipped in the rotation. Nuno will be available to pitch out of the bullpen over the next few days and is expected to start over the weekend in Tampa.

Probable starters:

Mon: Sabathia (4-3, 3.19 ERA) vs Freddy Garcia (0-2, 5.51 ERA)
Tue: Hughes (2-3, 5.88 ERA) vs Gonzalez (2-2 , 4.58 ERA)
Wed: Kuroda (6-2, 1.99) vs Hammel (5-2, 5.72 ERA)

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The Yankees attempt for a second straight sweep over the Toronto Blue Jays was put on hold Sunday. About 30 minutes prior to 1st pitch the game was postponed due to rain.

Too much rain, keeps the brooms away.
A make-up date has not been scheduled, but the Blue Jays next come to New York August 20-22. Both teams have an off-day on August 19th, making that a likely make-up date.

"We're not going to be able to start until 9 o'clock," said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "For us to sit around here waiting until 9 o'clock, I don't know how much sense that makes."

CC Sabathia was suppose to take the mound for the Yankees in Sunday. Instead he'll be pushed back to Monday, to start the series opener against the Orioles. Phil Hughes will start Tuesday. Hiroki Kuroda with start on Wednesday.

Vidal Nuno was scheduled to pitch on Tuesday in Baltimore, but the Yankees will instead skid his start. Girardi said that he'll be available out of the bullpen over the next few days and will likely start over the weekend in Tampa.

Reid Brignac was in the lineup today to make his Yankees debut, batting 8th and playing shortstop. Also, Curtis Granderson would have been playing center field for the 1st time this season and batting leadoff.

Keep on the lookout for an Orioles vs Yankees series preview, later in the day. Until then, you can follow @GavinEwbank2013 for more more Yankees talk.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Phelps tossed 7 innings, allowing only 1 run on 6 hits, while walking 3
and striking out 8, Saturday against the Blue Jays.
Today, David Phelps showed everyone that he really has a bright future as a starting pitcher for the New York Yankees. Throwing a career high 7 innings allowing only 1 and striking out 8 Blue Jays hitters.

Earlier is the season I preached to take Phelps out of the bullpen and give him a chance to start. He was finally given his chance when Ivan Nova went down with an injury. Since then, he hasn't disappointed me.

Phelps just seems to be getting better with every start and he's slowly bringing Yankees fans away from believing that Nova was the better option to begin with.

In his 1st start against the Houston Astros, Phelps gave up 4 runs in 5.2 innings. Second start against Colorado, only 2 runs in 6 innings. One run in 6.2 innings against the Indians. And today, 1 run in 7 innings against the Blue Jays.

Without Ivan Nova the Yankees rotation has still been stellar. Hiroki Kuroda is pitching like an ace. Sabathia has been acceptable. Phil Hughes put together a run that showed his true ability. And Andy Pettitte isn't pitching like he's the leagues oldest starter.

Nova on the other hand, wasn't very impressive before his injury. He showed inconsistency in his starts. One day he'll look a good as he did in 2011 and other days, he'll make wonder what happened.

He only started 4 games this season before being placed on the DL with right triceps inflammation on  April 27th. But in those 4 starts, he allowed 12 runs in 16.2 innings.

Now Phelps on the other hand, started his 4th game of the season today against the Jays. Phelps' ERA as a starter this season is 2.84. That's about 4 runs less than Nova's 6.48 ERA.

Any way you look at it, Phelps has out pitched Nova through the same amount of starts and there's no way that the Yankees can take him out of the rotation.

For Nova, he's likely to return sometime while Andy Pettitte is still on the DL.Vidal Nuno is currently holding Pettitte's spot in the rotation while he's out.

Though Nuno has pitched well and even threw five scoreless innings in a start for the Yankees on Monday. I'd have to assume Nova would get a chance over Nuno.

But when Pettitte comes back, what happens to whom ever is occupying his spot? If Nuno is pitching well and Nova isn't, do they send him down? What if Phelps regresses as a pitcher and falls into rough slump? Do they go with Nova then or would they let Phelps ride it out?

They've let Nova ride out his struggles as a starting pitcher. Either way, I find it very difficult to see how the Yankees could ever move Phelps back to the bullpen. That's not where he belongs.

Maybe throwing Nova into the bullpen will be a good thing for him. The Yankees have done it before with Phil Hughes and he had success. Phelps pitched well out of the pen. And Adam Warren has also been impressive working as the long relief man this season.

Although it would be easy to slot Nova back into the rotation and push Nuno to the bullpen for the time being. But I think that the best idea would to send Nova straight the bullpen and let him find himself as a pitcher.

Let Nuno start as many games as he can before Pettitte returns. Let him prove he's capable of starting games for a big league team. He showed us on Monday in Cleveland that he can pitch, so let him show it again.

One things for sure, the Yankees will certainly have a problem on their hands when all of these pitchers return. But it's a problem that many teams would love to have.

It seems like everyday the Yankees are brought a new problem to deal with. Yet, if you look at the AL East standing. You'd have no idea that the Yankees had any problems in the first place.

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It seems like David Phelps is just getting better with each start he makes. After allowing only 1 run to the Indians on Monday, Phelps was at it again tossing a career high, 7 innings in a 7-2 win over the Blue Jays.

Phelps struck out 8 Jays hitter, while surrendering only 1 run on 6 hits, while walking 3 on 113 pitches over 7 innings. Before today, Phelps' career high in innings was 6 2/3, which he hit four times in his career.

"It was really good today where I'm able to throw backdoor to lefties and down and away to righties." Phelps said. "I didn't have a great curveball and there weren't a lot of counts where you could throw a changeup today. We had to battle with what we had, and the slider ended up being really good."

Cano's two, two-run homers helped set the Yankees in
a position to sweep the Jays on Sunday.
The Yankees offense gave Phelps a nice cushion to work with. Jumping on Jays starter Brandon Marrow for three runs in the 3rd inning, including a two-run homerun from Robinson Cano.

Cano came up for the 3rd time in the 5th, and launched his 2nd homerun of the game. At the time, it was his league leading 12th homerun of the year. Edwin Encarnacion later tied that total with a solo shot in the 8th.

Travis Hafner was in the Yankees lineup for the 1st time all week, since missing a few games with right shoulder tendinitis. He had launched couple balls deep to right field, but went foul. Yet in the 8th, he hit a ball that was able to wrap around the foul pole for his 6th homerun of the season.

"I thought he looked really good," said Girardi. "The first ball, he hit a bullet up the middle. He hit a homer foul. You can see there's a difference. The last couple weeks, he's been playing with a soreness in there. It just didn't seem to be the same lift. But it's back."

Before hitting that homerun, the Yankees were leading 5-2 making it a save situation for Mariano Rivera. But after Hafner's two-run blast, Mariano sat down, giving the 43-year old another day off.

David Robertson pitched the 9th, giving up the solo homerun to Encarnacion. Before the homerun, Robertson had retired 18 straight batter s he faced.

Boone Logan pitched the 9th instead of Rivera and shut down the Blue Jays in order, to seal the Yankees 9th straight home victory against the Blue Jays.

"The numbers speak for themselves," Gibbons said. "No doubt, nine in a row, six while I've been here. Yankee Stadium is always a tough place to play, regardless. They've taken it to us pretty good here."

The Yankees now lead the Jays by 10 games in the AL East, and have ran up their American League record of being 18-0 when scoring 1st in a game.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hiroki Kuroda continued his run as the Yankee best pitchers this season, when he was able to go 8 innings, allowing only 2 runs and no runs, while walking 1 and striking out 5 over 108 pitches, against a Toronto Blue Jays club that he's seen so much of this season.

It was the 3rd time that Kuroda has faced the Blue Jays this season and in those three starts, he's only allowed just four runs in 21 1/3 innings, with a current streak of 12 consecutive scoreless innings. Picking up wins in those three starts.

"Tip your hat to Kuroda, he pitched a good game, again, against us." Said Jays pitcher Mark Buerhle. "When you run into hot pitching like that, you try to shut them down for as long as you can."

Kuroda had his pitches working for him all night, as he only permitted three Jays hitters to reach base against him. It was Kuroda's 2nd straight start reaching at least the 8th inning.

"He's very good, he's definitely one of the better ones in the league and he's had our number," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We haven't been able to do anything with him. I think the last time we were here, the first couple of innings we were swinging off of him, but other than that, he has been lights out."

The Yankees offense was kept silent against the Mariners, but it woke up against Mark Buerhle and the Blue Jays. Buerhle coming into Friday, had lost his last 7 starts against the Bombers and that streak wasn't going to end.

Jayson Nix drove in a pair of runs in the ballgame. Nix went 0-for-0 at the plate with two walks and two sac-flies. Robinson Cano went 0-for-4 at the plate and left 5 runners in scoring position. He did, however, drive in a run on an RBI ground out in the 2nd.

David Adams playing in only his 3rd career big league game, went 2-for-4 at the plate, with a ground rule double in the 7th. Adams has four hits in three games in pinstripes.

Preston Claiborne put a couple runners on base in the 9th, prompting Mariano Rivera to start throwing in the bullpen. But Claiborne got J.P. Arencibia to pop out to Romine behind the plate to end the game and clinch a 5-0 Yankees victory.

With the 8th shutout innings, Kuroda lowered his season ERA to 1.99 and improved his record to 6-2. He's 5-1 since starting the season 1-1 after two poor outings.

"Tonight was not a whole lot different from what we've seen all year," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "He expects to do well.....He's been so good for us."

The Yankees are now 7-1 against the Jays this season and will look to continue that pace on Saturday when David Phelps (1-2, 4.33 ERA) squares off with Brandon Marrow (1-2, 4.69 ERA) at 1:05 ET from the Bronx.

FOLLOW @GavinEwbank2013 ON TWITTER.
Pettitte hopes for nothing serious:

Andy Pettitte left in the 5th inning of Thursday's 3-2 lose to the Mariners, with tightness in his left trap muscle. Yankees manager Joe Girardi said after the game that he believes it's nothing serious.

"I don't think Andy's [injury] is too bad," Girardi said. "His trap just kind of got a knot in it, and to me it was affecting his velocity. That's why I took him out. It's muscular, but I don't know what that means going forward.

After striking out Kyle Seager for the 2nd out of the 5th inning, Girardi and trainers ran out to check on Pettitte. Trying to state his case of staying in the game, Pettitte was forced out after 79 pitches.

"Obviously, I'm realistic," Pettitte said. "I know how these guys are. I asked them if I could stay out there and try to get through it out there. I'm hoping it's a spasm and it settles down."

Girardi said that the tightness was effecting Pettitte's velocity, so thats why they wanted to remove him from the game.

"It was just really tight," Pettitte said. "I couldn't get extended at all. I really just felt like I was kind of cutting everything off and just really trying to throw it in there almost slower than slow, to tell you the truth."

It Pettitte isn't able to make his next scheduled start, then the Yankees will consider placing him on the DL.

"He feels OK today," Girardi said. "We don't necessarily need to make a decision right now, what we're gonna do. His start wouldn't be for a few days. So we'll just continue talking about it."

Stewart may possibly meet the DL:

Pettitte wasn't the only Yankee to leave last nights game because of injury. Chris Stewart was also forced to leave after the 7th inning when he had some trouble coming into 3rd base. Stewart finished the inning but was replaced to Austin Romine to start the 8th.

Stewart was sent to undergo an MRI after the game on his left groin, according to Joe Girardi.

"When he went around the base and stopped, he said he felt something," Girardi said. "He said it didn't pop. He said he was OK, but when we saw him run, he said it continued to hurt."

The good news is that the MRI came back clean and Stewart believes he should only be out for a few games. 

"Walking's fine. It's just running, when I push off, it's still there a little bit," Stewart said. "So, give it a couple of days, and then hopefully (I'll) be back out there."

"If [Stewart] wasn't a player at all, that would be an issue. But he could catch if we needed him to," Girardi said, adding that infielder Alberto Gonzalez also could play behind the plate if necessary."

Other injury notes:

* Joba Chamberlain was eligible to come off the DL yesterday, but according to Girardi he wasn't ready yet. 

"We're going to have him throw again," Girardi said. "Our concern is that he's just not quite ready yet. I think he's going to play catch again [Thursday], and then I'm not sure what the next step will be, whether it will be another bullpen or he will go on another rehab assignment."

Travis Hafner took BP at Yankee Stadium on Thursday and feels encouraged he'll be back in action soon.

"Everything went really well," Hafner said. "I didn't have any of the issues I had before. I'm really happy with how it went."

"I'm really encouraged by today," Hafner said. "Hopefully I'll be back out there soon."

For more Yankees injuries updates, check back here and follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

If there's one thing that the Yankees didn't want, it's for one of their top three pitchers to get hurt. Well, in the 5th inning of Thursday's loss to the Mariners, the Yankees now have something to fear.

Andy Pettitte was forced to leave the game with whats tightness in his left trap muscle. As of now, Yankees manager Joe Girardi says that he injury isn't serious. It was effecting his velocity, so they removed him.

"It was just really tight," Pettitte said. "I couldn't get extended at all. I really just felt like I was kind of cutting everything off and just really trying to throw it in there almost slower than slow, to tell you the truth."

Pettitte had thrown 79 pitches and was hoping to go more. "Obviously, I'm realistic," Pettitte said. "I know how these guys are. I asked them if I could stay out there and try to get through it out there. I'm hoping it's a spasm and it settles down."

As for the game, the Mariners were able to strike first off of Pettitte in the 2nd inning. Pettitte worked 4 2/3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 4 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 5 before being removed.

David Adams tied the game in the bottom half of the inning when he lined a double into right-center field to drive home Curtis Granderson, picking up his 1st career RBI.

After striking out Kyle Seager for the 2nd out of the 5th inning, Girardi and the Yankees trainers rushed to the field to check on Pettitte, eventually he walked off the field after a few moments of discussing.

The Yankees bullpen was able to pick up the slack once again for the 2nd straight night, with the only blemish coming in the 6th inning when Michael Morse hit a solo homerun to lead off the inning. It was a lead the Mariners wouldn't give back.

Even better than the Yankees bullpen might have been the M's pen. Five pitchers combining for 4 2/3 innings, surrendering only one run to a rather quiet Yankees lineup in this series.

The Yanks weren't able to pull off a 9th inning comeback against Tom Wilhelmsen and fell to the Mariners 3-2, losing the series finale.

Chris Stewart also left in the 7th inning of Thursday's game and he will undergo an MRI on his left groin. I'll have updates on that situation on Twitter, @GavinEwbank2013.
It's the guys like Preston Claiborne, David Adams, and Vidal Nuno
that give hope to a bright Yankees future.
I'll be honest. Coming into the season, I wasn't exactly confident in where the Yankees would stand as a ball club. I knew it wouldn't be easy to watch, given all the injuries and the lack of spending. I knew that we would have to meet some new, young faces.

But as I write this, the Yankees are in first place and we've already seen a handful of players make their major league debuts this season. And ya know what. I'm very happy with how the young players have performed.

Preston Claiborne was called up on May 3rd to replace an injured Joba Chamberlain. Claiborne made his major league debut on May 5th against the Oakland Athletics, in which he pitched two perfect innings out of the bullpen.

After Wednesday night, he's appeared in 5 big league games and has yet to allow a single run. Only 5 hits, 4 strikeouts, and no walks over 7 innings this season.

"He's been in some tough situations," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It's not like we put him in when we're down six runs to just go out and get some work. He's done a really good job. I've been really impressed with what he's doing."

It may be a small sample size, but that doesn't take away the fact that he's pitched well when needed. Mariano Rivera won't be here next season and Claiborne could make a case to become to closer of the future, if not a huge piece of the bullpen puzzle.

Another impressive pitching piece is Vidal Nuno. Nuno made his debut back on April 29th against the Houston Astros.

He threw 3 shutout innings that night and just like Claiborne, he's been perfect since then. Nuno made his 1st big league start on Monday for the Yankees in the 2nd game of a double header with the Indians. Tossing 5 shutout innings, Nuno continued to impress the Yankees.

Unfortunately, Nuno was sent down by the Yankees on Tuesday. When he'll be back, we don't know. But when he he does return, the 25-year old lefty will be ready to go.

"It was good, just knowing that I can pitch up here; I showed everybody that I belong here," Nuno said. "It's just day by day and start by start. That's what I can handle, and that's what I'm thinking. I don't think anybody is thinking anything else."

I heard so many good things about Nuno when he was called up. His ability to throw strikes and attack the zone. His teammates would compare his control, to that of a video game. Just setup a spot and he'll hit the glove.

Speaking of gloves, 26-year old infielder David Adams made his major league debut for the Yankees Wednesday night. A man that was nearly sent to Seattle in a Cliff Lee deal, he's finally getting his chance to play in pinstripes.

"We like his bat," Girardi said of Adams. "We've always liked his bat, so he's going to get a shot. He knows how to play the game, we like the way he swings the bat and he's had success in his career offensively. We think he can help."

He showed off his bat on last night, as he collected his 1st major league hit. A hard lined single into center field off of the Mariners Hisashi Iwakuma in the 6th inning, making his 26th birthday even that much more special.

Adams started and played 3rd base in his major league debut. In my opinion he did a great job at 1st base. He showed a good arm from deep in the corner and made all the plays he attempted.

Now, these are just a few of the guys that have began their big league career with the Yankees this year. But these are the guys that have stood out the most in my mind.

People always say that the Yankees farm system isn't in a great shape. But I disagree. I don't care if the Yankees won't ever spend millions of dollars again. I'm excited for the future, and the future is now.

Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Overbay left in the dust?

Overbay the Great! That's what I was chanting last night as I watched him help lead a Yankees comeback Tuesday night in the Bronx.

Trailing only Robinson Cano for the team lead in RBI's, Overbay has come a long way. From a 3-day tryout to a New York standout. He's making a name for himself in the sports worlds biggest market.

But with Mark Teixeira saying today that he expects to be playing in big league games by June 1st, Overbay knows that his days in pinstripes might be numbered.

"I know," Overbay said. "It will work itself out, but I understand those are things that they have to worry about it. Stranger things happen. It is hard because you don't want to think about it. Obviously, you have thought about it. I just want to enjoy this time.

"I just look at it as nothing personal. It is just kind of the way it is."

It's been known from the start the Overbay was only here to fill in at 1st base while Teixeira was out. But I don't think anyone expected Overbay to fill in for Teixeira at the plate as well.

It's not like Overbay won't stick around, because he may. But when you have him and Travis Hafner, two guys who both only play one position. Regardless of who's playing better, it might come down to who's more valuable to the team.

Right now, Lyle Overbay is very valuable. Yet, so is Travis Hafner.

Hafner day to day.

With the return of Curtis Granderson to the Yankees lineup on Tuesday, were still left with the fear the they might be losing Travis Hafner, now.

Dealing with a little bit of pain in his right shoulder, Hafner was taken to have an MRI on his shoulder Tuesday afternoon.

Luckily for the Yankees, Hafner is only expected to miss a couple games due the tendinitis in his right shoulder. Yet, given his history dealing with injuries, he isn't out of the water just yet.

"It came out as good as we could have hoped for," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said Tuesday night. "He's going to be OK."

Hafner said he thinks it may be related to when he was hit by a pitch against the Houston Astros on April 29th. He said it bothered him for a couple day, then just seemed to hang a round.

"(The MRI) showed some inflammation in the shoulder, got an (cortisone) injection in it," Hafner said. "Hopefully that clears it up and should be good to go in a couple of days."

Granderson happy to be back.

Playing against big league competition for the first time since his 1st at-bat in spring training, Curtis Granderson was happy to be back and felt like he was debuting in April.

"It was just like another Opening Day," Granderson said. "Nerves coming into it, since it's the first game of the 2013 season, to be here in Yankee Stadium for the first time since last season, all those different things ran through in terms of emotions and excitement. Get the first ball, the first at-bat, get the first game out of the way, definitely a bit of a relief. Now we move forward and get back to just playing baseball."

Although he went 0-for-3 in his season debut, playing in left field for the first time in career with the Yankees, manager Joe Girardi was still very pleased.

He looked fine to me; I thought he got deep into counts," Girardi said. "Looked good in left field to me. I was happy with what I saw."

Granderson did get a few chances in left field and he said that he's still getting use to his new surroundings in left field.

"It was interesting," Granderson said. "As the game kept going on, kept getting more and more comfortable out there and continued to talk to Gardner out there, obviously he's played left field, now he's in center field. It made things a little bit easier to go but there's going to be some new challenges each day out there but we made it through."

Happy Birthday!

Can you think of anything better than getting called up to the big leagues? How about getting called up to play 3rd base for the New York Yankees on your 26th birthday?

Well that's the case with Yankees farmhand, David Adams. The Yankees confirmed the rumors around 3:30pm Wednesday afternoon. Adams became eligible today, to be called up the the majors.

Adams will be starting at 3rd base and will bat 6th for the Yankees Wednesday night against the Seattle Mariners. A team he was suppose to be traded to in exchange for Cliff Lee. Obviously the trade fell through.

Adams called it ironic that he would be making his major league debut against the Mariners, after the failed trade. But he did say that he's not thinking about the trade.

"Not for me," Adams said. "I think the media, yeah. I think there are still people who come up to me and question me about it. Trades fall through all the time. Who knows what was going on behind the scenes? That's the way I look at it. I had an ankle injury, but I'm here today and that's all I worry about it."

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said that he really hasn't seen much up Adams in person, but did say he like that he was a "baseball player."

"We say that a lot about Nixey [Jason Nix]." Girardi said. "He knows how to play the game. We like the way he swings the bat and he has had success in his career offensively."

David Adams was released by the Yankees back in late March, to make room for newly acquired Vernon Wells on the 40-man roster. He was dealing with back problems throughout spring training and got the ax on March 26th.

Though he didn't see it coming, he still understood the situation and re-signed with the Yankees not long after. "I knew where they were coming from," Adams said.  

Chris Nelson has been designated for assignment in order to make room for Adams on the 25-man roster. Nelson hit .222, with 2 RBI's and didn't hit any homeruns in 10 games with the Yankees.

For more Yankees coverage follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Grandy man returns.

It was finally announced shortly after 3pm eastern time that the Yankees have call at Curtis Granderson from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. In a related roster move, Vidal Nuno has been sent down to Triple-A Scranton in order to make for for Granderson on the 25-man roster.

Granderson played in five games for the RailRiders since he had joined the team for his rehab stint on last Thursday. Nuno is being sent down after tossing 5 shutout innings on Monday against the Indians.

Grandy will be making his season debut Tuesday, as he'll be playing left field for the 1st time since 2007, and batting cleanup for the Yankees for only the 3rd time.

Tonight's lineup:

Gardner CF
Cano 2B
Wells DH
Granderson LF
Overbay 1B
Nix SS
Ichiro RF
Nelson 3B
Romine C
Sabathia P

Series Preview:

After finishing up a successful 6-2 road trip with a 7-0 shutout of the Indians in game two of Monday's double header, the Yankees return the Bronx where they will greet King Felix and the rest of the Seattle Mariners.

The Yankees have been playing very well of late and currently hold 1st place in the AL East. Not only did the Bombers win while on the road, but they beat some good competition in doing so.

Losing the first game in Colorado, the came back to win the next two games against a good Rockies club. Then the Yankees took to Kansas City and swept a much improved Royals team.

And then on Monday, the Bombers came into Cleveland, were shutout by an Indians team that been very good lately, then shutout their high production offense, 7-0.

Seattle will send their ace Felix Hernandez in the series opener on Tuesday. Hernandez had always had a lot of success in the new Yankee Stadium. In his career, he's 4-1 with a 2.13 ERA and two shutouts in his five starts at the new ballpark.

Hernandez will be squaring off against the big lefty, CC Sabathia. CC hasn't pitched since Thursday in Colorado when he only threw 54 pitches and was forced to leave the game after a two hour rain delay. Sabathia should be well rested for the M's on Tuesday.

Sabathia has also pitched well in the past against the club he'll be facing. In 20 career starts, CC has posted a record of 12-4 with an ERA of 2.64.

"That's a big matchup right there," Said Hernandez, of meeting with Sabathia. "I just have to go out there and match him and do whatever we have to do to win the game."

Probable starters:

Tue: Sabathia (4-3, 3.23) vs Hernandez (5-2, 1.53)
Wed: Hughes (2-2, 4.43) vs Iwakuma (4-1, 1.74)
Thur: Pettitte (4-2, 3.83) vs Harang (1-4, 7.30)

For complete series coverage follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Game 1: Yankees 0, Indians 1.

Not much happened in game one of the Yankees double header in Cleveland on Monday and when I mean not a lot happened, I mean not a lot happened.

Justin Masterson was masterful and the Yankees couldn't manage anything more than four hits and a couple walks off the Cleveland righty over nine innings in the shutout performance.

David Phelps didn't have the best of days on the mound, but he was still able to battle through 6 2/3 innings. After he walked Michael Bourn for his 1st of 5 issued walks, Bourn was caught stealing at 2nd, followed by a solo home run from Jason Kipnis.

As I mentioned Phelps went 6 2/3 innings, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits, while walking 5 and striking out 7. Boone Logan (0.1) and Preston Claiborne (1) combined for 1 1/3 shutout innings out of the bullpen.

Corbin Joseph made his major league debut playing 1st base, a position in which he has played very much in his career, and went 0-for-2 with a walk at the plate. Joseph will play game two at 2nd base, with Cano being the DH.

Game 2: Yankees 7, Indians 0.

With Vidal Nuno making his 1st career major league start, the Yankees were able to not only get an offensive outburst after being shutout in game one, but backed that offense with a nine inning shutout of their own.

Cleveland jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 1st inning of game one, the Yankees did the same thing in game two and they never looked back.

The Yankees exploded out for six runs on the 7th inning. After Corbin Joseph double to leadoff the inning, Austin Romine doubled to bring him home. A couple for runs later, with the score at 4-0, Lyle Overbay double into right-center field to drive home two more runs.

One more run would come in to score in the inning, giving Adam Warren more than enough runs to finish off the Indians. Warren followed up a very impressive start from Nuno by throwing four shutout innings from the bullpen to pick up his 1st major league save.

Nuno tossed five scoreless innings, giving up only 3 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 3, on 89 pitches. The walks were unlike Nuno but his 5 shutout innings keep his ERA at a crisp 0.00 for the season.

Both Vernon Wells and Jayson Nix continued their hot hitting on the Yankees road trip by finishing it off with a 2-for-4 performance at the plate.

It was a day of firsts for the Yankees, with Nuno earning his 1st career win, Warren picked up his 1st career save, Corbin Joseph got his 1st career hit, and Austin Romine drove in his 1st career run.

Today's win helped cap off a very successful 6-2 road trip for the bombers. After losing the 1st game in Colorado, the Yanks rebounded to win the next two games of the series. Followed by a three game sweep of the Royals over the weekend.

The Yankees will now head back to the Bronx for a 6 game homestand beginning on Tuesday with three games against the Mariners, then three against Toronto over the weekend.

Prior to the game he Yankees went down OF Brennan Boesch to make room for pitcher Brett Marshall on the roster. Marshall will likely be sent down to possibly make room for Curtis Granderson to rejoin the team in New York on Tuesday.

Follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter for more Yankee updates.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

All it took was a couple of home runs from Vernon Wells and Robinson Cano to go along with an impressive pitching performance from Hiroki Kuroda, for the Yankees to finish off the Royals in the series finale.

Kuroda came out of the games firing strikes as he kept his pitch count low all afternoon. He only had one strikeout through 7 2/3 innings, but had the Kansas City hitters putting a lot of balls on the ground, inducing 12 ground ball outs.

The Royals were able to score an early run off Kuroda in the 1st inning. Jarrod Dyson doubled to lead off the bottom of the 1st and later came in to score on a say-fly from Alex Gordon. The Royals only other run came in the 8th on a RBI ground out by Alcides Escobar.

Trailing 1-0 in the 3rd, Robinson Cano and Vernon Wells hit back to back home runs to put the Yankees on top 3-1. Cano's 10th homer was a two-run shot and Wells' solo blast was hit 9th of the season.

Wells went 3-for-4 in the game and drove in another run in the 5th on a RBI single down the left filed line that brought home Brett Gardner from 2nd base. It was Wells' 2nd RBI of the game and 20th on the season.

All four Yankee runs were charged to Royals starter Ervin Santana, who exited in the 7th after 6 2/3 innings, allowing four runs on 8 hits, while striking out four and he didn't walk a batter.

Kuroda's day ended in the 8th inning, after an Alex Gordon double knocked him out of the game. Kuroda couldn't finish off the 8th inning as he allowed 2 runs on 6 hits, while walking only 1 on 98 pitches.

Mariano Rivera capped of a scoreless 9th inning to pick up his 2nd save in as many days, sealing a 4-2 Yankees victory. His 15th of the season also helped Kuroda earn his 3rd win in his last four starts.

Sunday's win finished off a three game sweep of the Royals and put the Yankees winning streak up to 5 games as the team now heads to Cleveland for a makeup double header with the Indians on Monday. David Phelps will start game 1 and Vidal Nuno will take the mound in game 2.

For more Yankees coverage, follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.
Joba and Rivera settle a dispute. 

Prior to Saturday's game in Kansas City, Mariano Rivera was conducting an interview in the Yankees dugout with reporters talking about a recent visit had with a local family. Joba Chamberlain was standing on the top step of the dugout shouting at some family members in the stands.

Rivera told Joba to be quiet. “Don’t ever shush me again.” barked Joba. Rivera chuckled, as he thought Chamberlain was joking. But Joba wasn't joking. “No, seriously. Don’t ever shush me again. I don’t get to see my family very often.” Said Joba.

Though he felt no need to apologize, Joba still offered his apologies to Rivera on Sunday. Mariano also wanted to offer his own apologies to the reporters and fans for having seen it.

“Sometimes you have little things that we say that we don’t mean,” Rivera said. “It’s good. We’re a family here. That’s what it is all about. It’s something that we take care of in house. It’s something that is in house. Unfortunately it happened in front of you guys, but again, it shouldn't happen. We apologize and we move on.”

Rivera said that he wasn't insulted in any way because of what Joba said to him, saying, "No, I'm better than that. When you're in the team or you're in the family for so long, you know the members of your family, you know what I mean? There's a lot of other things that I have to worry about. I'm better than that, guys, so thank you.''

Mariano also said the incident was something like a brotherhood. "He's a good kid, man. He's a good kid,'' Rivera said. "Sometimes we all say things that we don't mean to say. It's the way it is and I keep it like that. That doesn't make me angry because something like that happened. I'm the oldest here. I have to be the brother that has to keep the cool. It's good. We're all good. It's nothing. We'll move on."

Nunez to the DL.

A day after rumors swirled about the possibility of Eduardo Nunez joining the long list of Yankees on the DL, that rumor came true on Sunday. The Yankees have placed Nunez on the 15-Day DL, retroactive to Monday, May 6th.

"Instead of trying to test it every day to see where he's at, we're just going to give him about three days, get him swinging early next week or in the middle some time if he feels like he's ready, and then maybe get him out in some rehab games,'' manager Joe Girardi said. "It just wasn't where we wanted it, and we felt like we couldn't go any longer.'

Alberto Gonzalez has been called from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after being acquired from the Cubs last week. Mark Teixeira was moved to the 60-Day DL in order to make room for Gonzalez on the 40-man roster.

"It's nice, especially because he's a true shortstop," Girardi said of Gonzalez. "It gives you a lot of options of what you can do with the other people around him. He's also able to play second, he's able to play third, so it's really nice."

"I feel better, I'm just not ready to play,'' a disappointed Nunez said. "I understand the situation. We don't have infielders.''

Nova won't pitch Monday.

When the Yankees head to Cleveland on Monday for a make up double header they will not be joined on the field by Ivan Nova. According to Yankees manager Joe Girardi, Nova "felt something" in side while throwing on Sunday. Nova will no longer pitch in Monday double header.

As for who will pitch in Cleveland, we only know that David Phelps will start in game one and Vidal Nuno will get the ball in game two. Nuno made made his major league debut back on April 29th, throwing 3 scoreless innings against the Astros.

Nuno said that he's very excited to be pitching on Monday and will take it all in. He said that he hopes to pitch at least 4 or 5 innings. The Yankees told him to forget about a pitch count, just go out and pitch.

The Yankees are expected to call-up Corbin Joesph as the 26th man on the roster for Monday and will be sent back to AAA Scranton after the game. Brett Marshall is also expected to be in Cleveland just in case the Yankees need to replace a pitcher in between games. Both players are on the 40-man roster.

For more Yankees news follow @GavinEwbank2013 on Twitter.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

He lost some of his touch recently but Andy Pettitte rebounded Saturday in Kansas City by tossing 7 very effective innings of two run ball, backed by a Vernon Wells home run and some shut down pitching from the bullpen to take care of business against the Royals.

Facing a well known foe in James Shields, the Yankees jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 3rd inning when a throwing error on a ground ball from Robinson Cano, thrown by Mike Moustakas allowed Jayson Nix to score with two outs in the inning.

Shields didn't pitch to the best of his ability like we've seen lately but still only gave up 2 earned runs over 8 innings pitched, surrendering 6 hits, while walking 2 and striking out 5. The only big mistake of his was the Wells home run in the 4th.

"Typical James Shields, changing speeds," Wells said. "He had a good fastball, too, that made his off-speed stuff be even more effective. Luckily, he fell behind me and had to throw fastballs, but he's as good as they come. He's 'Big Game James' for a reason."

An RBI ground out in the 4th inning tied the game at 1-1. Then Billy Butler took Pettitte deep to center field in the 4th inning, to pull the Royals ahead of the Yankees, 2-1.

The Yankees weren't trailing for long after Vernon Well knocked a 3-1 pitch from Shields over the wall in left field. Wells' 8th home run of the year was a two-run blast the put to Yankees back on top, 3-2. That would be all the run support that Pettitte would need.

Keeping the Royals quiet over 7 innings, Pettitte struck out 7, while walking only 1, and surrendering 2 runs on 5 hits. The win snapped Pettitte's three start winless streak.

"I threw a lot of good cutters in the last few games, it's just that I made a lot of mistakes with it," Pettitte said. "I feel like I actually blew it way out of proportion, to tell you the truth. I had good angle on the ball today and I was glad I was able to give us a good start."

Pettitte's only walk of the night was to Lorenzo Cain in the 5th, when Cain walked on only three ball and seemed that only Pettitte and Cain knew what was going on.

"To tell you the truth, I'm just glad," Pettitte said. "Both instances while I was standing out there on the mound, I thought I was losing my mind because I didn't hear anyone else yelling for me."

David Robertson continued to ride the hot hand out of the Yankees bullpen, striking out he side in the 8th. Mariano Rivera followed up with a save in dramatic fashion. A two-out double by Salvador Perez, followed by a deep fly ball chased down by Wells in the ally to end the game.

"I had a feeling," Wells said. "Sometimes you're in the outfield and reading things that go on, and he took some good swings. I knew that the only place he'd most likely be hitting that ball was in the gap. I kind of shaded that way a little bit. I was in the right place."

The save was Rivera's 14th on the season, as well as the 70th time that he's saved a win for Andy Pettitte.

"We're letting Mo get into the game in each city that we go to. So far, so good," Wells said.

The Yankees and Royals will finish up the series on Sunday with Hiroki Kuroda facing Ervin Santana at 2:10 ET from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.

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Grandy could return Tuesday.

Though Granderson only began his rehab stint with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursady, it hasn't been ruled out that the power hitting lefty join the Yankees in the Bronx when the team returns Tuesday to begin a six game homestand against the Mariners.

"I don’t know. He’s getting at-bats under his belt." Said Yankees manager Joe Girardi. "I know he’s feeling better but I don’t want to put a date on it. I know everyone wants a date but the date is for me when he says he’s ready."

We don't exactly know how many at-bats Grandy had while playing in extended spring games, but he did pick up four hits in the first ten at-bats with the RailRiders and even hit a game-tying two-run home run on Friday night.

"He's a big bat for us," Girardi said. "He's a guy that has the opportunity to hit home runs and drive in runs as well. It would mean a lot."

Nunez could head to the DL.

Missing his 5th straight game due to soreness in his ribcage, it's looking more likely after each passing day that Eduardo Nunez could wind up in the DL. Nunez took some swings yesterday and was hoping he could play Saturday but said he felt "a little something" today and was told not to do anything today.

"I thought he’d be ready, but he’s not ready, so we’ll have to make an evaluation," Joe Girardi said before tonight's game against the Royals. "We’re going into a doubleheader on Monday and we’re going to need some extra infielders. We’re going to beed another player if he can’t go, so we’ll see.

I was under the impression that he felt better yesterday, and when they said better, I thought that meant he didn’t feel it," Girardi said. "But he still feels it a little bit. So I was under the wrong impression."

Girardi and GM Brian Cashman discussed the possibility Saturday morning of placing Nunez on the DL and said that they would readdress the issue after Saturday night's game.

Other injury notes.

*Mark Teixeira has been hitting on the field in Tampa and "feels good", according to Joe Girardi.

*Kevin Youkilis has continued "rotational exercises." He also, "feels good," according to Girardi.

*Ivan Nova started a extended spring game in Tampa on Wednesday but did not look sharp. He threw a bullpen session yesterday and came out OK.

*Girardi said A-Rod has been doing some tee hitting and light jogging in Tampa as part of his rehab from hip surgery.

*Derek Jeter has been in New York riding an exercise bike, but according to Girardi the Yankees still don't have any timetable on his return.

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Friday, May 10, 2013

The Yankees recent trip to Colorado didn't exactly firing on all cylinders like many would have expected. But the the Yankees are in Kansas City to battle a much improved Royals ballclub.

As I mentioned, the Yankees only managed six runs over three games against the Rockies and where shutout in the first game of the series on Tuesday.

Pitching was the key to the Yankees winning in Colorado. Hiroki Kuroda allowed only two runs in his start on Tuesday. David Phelps gave up two on Wednesday. Sabathia gave up one yesterday in only four innings after had to leave the game because of a two hour rain delay.

The Yankees bullpen was even better as it only allowed one run over the three games and Mariano Rivera picked up a save in the last two games.

Probable Starters:

Fri: Hughes vs Davis
Sat: TBD vs Shields
Sun: TBD vs Santana

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

CC Sabathia had his stuff working through the first four inning before a two hour rain delay force the big lefty out of the game, only to be backed by a strong performance from the Yankees bullpen in a 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

Sabathia threw only 54 pitches over four innings, allowing only 1 run on one hit, while walking one and striking out two. Not being able to make it to the 5th inning, Sabathia didn't qualify for the win.

The Yankees jumped on Rockies starter Jeff Francis early in the 1st inning when Vernon Wells continued his hothitting in the series by singling home Jayson Nix to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

It was a lead that wasn't held for long as Colorado was able to strike back in the bottom 1st on a sac-fly by Carlos Gonzalez. Thats's when Sabathia turned on his game by retiring the next 10 batters before the rains crept in.

With Adam Ottavino pitching for the Rockies after the rain delay, Robinson Cano belted a solo homerun into the bullpen's in right field to put the Yankees up over the Rockies, 3-1. That lead would be large enough for the Yanks bullpen to hold.

Adam Warren, Preston Claiborne, Boone Logan, David Robertson, and Marino Rivera were able to combine for 5 shutout innings, allowing only a total of three hit (all off of Claiborne), to close out the game and seal a Yankees victory in the rubber game of a low scoring series.

Robinson Cano singled in the 3rd, collecting career number 1,500. Mariano's save gave him 13 on the year and is now at his 2nd longest streak to start a season after he saved 28 straight in 2008.

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Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Nova planning a return next week.

Ivan Nova pitched four plus innings in an extended spring game on Wednesday in which he allowed four runs against the Blue Jays in his first outing since being placed on the 15-Day DL. Nova said that he hopes his next step will be to pitch for the Yankees Monday in their double header against Cleveland.

"It's going to be in five days, so I can keep doing my work here, do my bullpen here, do everything I've got to do here and then be ready to go," Nova said, even though he doesn't really know what the next plan of action is. "If they call me up for Monday, then [on] Sunday, see ya."

Nova said he was a little cautious for the first two innings as he allowed five hits, while walking three and striking out five. He wasn't sure how his arm would react from the inflammination he suffered on April 26th.

"The first two innings, I was scared," Nova said. "It was more than what I expected. Every time you get hurt, you expect it to last and feel it a little bit."

He said that he didn't feel anything afterwards and was working in the curveball nicely as at one point he struke out five batters over a seven batter stretch.

Grandy heading to Scranton.

As he gets ever so closer to returning to the Bronx, Curtis Granderson will be taking a stop in Scranton, for some rehab games will the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Since his injury during his first game of spring training, this will be the first in game action that Grandy will see on his road to return. He had been in Tampa for the past few week and was recently taking part in some extended spring at-bats.

Cervelli gets stitches removed.

With the expected timetable being around six weeks, Francisco Cervelli had the stitches removed from his surgically repaired right game. But according to Cervelli, it could be another five weeks before he begins baseball activites.

"The first two innings, I was scared," Nova said. "It was more than what I expected. Every time you get hurt, you expect it to last and feel it a little bit."

As of now, the only types of rehabing that Cervelli can do is stationary bike riding and some leg and core workouts.

"It's sad in some part, because we've been part of the team and everybody knows what we can do. But everyone's ready to go," Cervelli said. "And I could be the catcher on this team -- because we've got a team here.

"The guys who are playing right now are doing a great job. When we have the chance to go back, we'll be better."

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

After finishing up a successful 7-3 homestand on Sunday, the Yankees took their Monday off-day to travel to the mile high city of Denver, Colorado for a three game series with the Rockies.

Both of these teams can hit the ball out of the park and the thin Coors Fields air will certainly play to be a factor in this series. The Yankees starters have been pitching well this season but you can also expect them to have a tough time facing a Rockies lineup that leads the league in batting average.

Given the coldness of the temperatures that the Yankees are likely going to see for the 1st time this year, manager Joe Girardi says that he doesn't have a plan for the Yankees pitchers when they get called on the pitch in such frigid climate.

We currently don't know whether or not Eduardo Nunez will return to the Yankees lineup Tuesday night. Nunie left in the middle of Sunday's loss to the A's. he was taken to undergo and MRI which later showed only some tightness in his right ribs and he was listed as day to day.

David Roberstson was also listed as day to day after suffering a slight hamstring pull last Wednesday against the Astros. The Yankees were hoping that he could return today in Colorado. He was playing catch Saturday and Sunday at Yankee Stadium.

"I don't see why I wouldn't be ready," said Robertson. He's still on the active roster, so a move will not need to be made to bring him back.

Probable starters:

Tue: Kuroda (4-1, 2.25) vs De La Rosa (2-3, 4.18)
Wed: Phelps (1-1, 5.56) vs Nicaslo (3-0, 4.91)
Thur: Sabathia (4-3, 3.31) vs Francis (1-2, 7.27)

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Sunday, May 5, 2013

Nunez day to day:

Eduardo Nunez had to leave Sunday's with some tightness in his left ribs, causing the Yankees shortstop to undergo an MRI in hopes of it being nothing serious. Luckily the MRI came back negative and is only listed as day to day.

"Started in the third inning," Nunez said. "I thought it might be some food, something like that. I kept playing. After I swing [in the third], it hurt a lot. I went out to play defense, I couldn't move."

Nunez has already missed a few games this years after two seperate incidents of him getting hit by pitches and today was had to leave in the middle of the Yankees 5-4 loss to Oakland. Jayson Nix moved over to short and Chris Nelson entered to game as Nunez's replacement.

"[Nunez] just came to me in the fourth inning and said he had a little irritation," said Girardi. "He wanted to try to go, so I sent him to the on-deck circle and told him to take a couple swings.

"The last out was made, and I said, 'What did you feel?' He said it was irritated and I said, 'So you're done.'

"You don't want to make that a six-week injury if it can just be a couple days. We'll see how he feels Tuesday, although I don't think we'll have a player then."

Granderson might return to play left:

As Curtis Granderson continues his rehab and is slowly coming closer to returning, it's come to the mind of Joe Girardi as to where Granderson will play upon his return. Brett Gardner is playing well in center and Vernon Wells has been a large source of production for the Yankees.

"We might toy around with some other things," said Girardi on Sunday. "Left, right, [DH] things. [Granderson] is getting reps everywhere right now (in extended spring action in Tampa, Fla.). My concern is how he reacts to all the different spots.

"We'll decide that as time goes on. We just want to get him healthy. Grandy is going to play, he is a big part of our offense. But as we see around here, a lot can happen in a couple weeks."

After four workouts in Tampa he's the closest injured Yankee to returning as A-Rod and Teixeira will be heading down to the Yankees spring complex on Monday.

"I get little updates, but the update I don't want to hear is that we had a setback. If we don't have a setback, I don't get too worried about it. I know there are a lot of big people there, I understand that, but that is not going to be the focus of my day. The focus is the people in this room right now."

Claiborne tosses perfect debut:

Even though tah Yankees lost to the Athletics on Sunday, they were given a bright sign when Preston Claiborne started off his big league career with two perfect innings againg the challenging A's lineup.

"He threw strikes, used all his pitches, used his slider, used his changeup effectively," said manager Joe Girardi. "I thought he had pretty good command of his fastball. He gave us two important innings that allowed us to come back and tie the score."

The Yankees called up Claiborne prior to Friday's game, after they had placed Joba Chamberlin on the disabled list Thursday due to a right oblique strain. He said that he tried to pretend he was on any old mound, and not at Yankee Stadium.

"This was big game for me obviously, the biggest one I have pitched in my life," he said. "I was trying to keep in mind I was just playing baseball. It's a huge step for me, and obviously a big confidence booster. "

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In dramatic fasion the Yankees failed to pull off a comeback against the Athletics in the series finale on perfect day for baseball at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

Andy Pettitte made his first start since allowing 7 runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Astros last Monday and he couldn't seem to regain his form against the A's. Oakland made Pettitte work just as they did to Sabathia and Hughes, with Pettitte throwing 100 pitches in 5 innings, surrendering 4 runs on 4 hits, while walking 4 and striking out only 2.

"I think two starts is way too little a number of starts to make a big deal out of it," said the Yankees' manager. "If it goes on for a month, then obviously there is some concern."

"Everything has been great in my [bullpen sessions]. But something is going on in the games." Said Pettitte. "I can feel my release point floating around. You just know from the feel of your fingers, the ball is just not coming off right. It has been a long line time since I haven't had a feel for my pitches."

A throwing error by Robinson Cano is what put Oakland on the board first in the 3rd inning, but Cano was able to give the Yankees that run back in the bottom half of the 3rd when he singled to center field, scoring Brett Gardner to tie the game.

Oakland answered in the 4th when Luke Montz took Pettitte deep to start the inning and give the A's at 2-1 lead. Yoenis Cespedes added to the lead an innning later off Pettitte with a 2-run homerun into the visitors bullpen in left-center field. Pettitte would finish out the inning, as well as his day.

The Yankees were able to make a comeback in the 6th, when the Yanks worked a couple runners on base they had forced A's starter Dan Straily out of the game. Straily went 5 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs on 4 hits, while walking 3 and striking out 4.

With runners on 1st and 2nd facing Jerry Blevins, Ichiro was able to line a double down the right field line to plate Cano and land Well on 3rd. After a Jayson Nix strikeout, Lyle Overbay came throught with a 2 run single to center field that scored both Wells and Ichiro to tie the game at 4-4.

But with Boone Logan pitching in the 8th, Josh Donaldson was able to take Logan deep to left field, bearly keeping the ball fair to give Oakland a 5-4 lead. That would prove to be the winning run, but not before the Yankees attempted another comeback in the 9th.

Brett Gardner batting with two-outs was able to keep the Yankees alive by singling to center, bringing up Cano. After a wild pitch allowed Gardner to advance to 2nd, the A's decided to intentionally walk Cano to bring up Wells with runners on 1st and 2nd with two away.

"I hated having to do it," said Balfour of issuing the walk. "I get two outs and a guy gets a single on a broken bat and, all of a sudden, there's a ball in the dirt and a base open.

"You got a guy that swings the bat pretty good and you got to put him on. You want to face everyone. You want to get everyone out."

But Wells couldn't put the ball in play as he struck out swinging to end the game and the series.

"Those are the moments you love to be in," said Wells. "Everything was set up for another memorable Yankee Stadium moment, and I didn't come through that time. He won that battle. I'm sure there will be plenty more."

Preston Claiborne made his major league debut in the 6th inning in relief of Pettitte. He was called up before Fridays game and he was tossed 2 perfect innings in his Bronx debut. Chris Nelson also made his Yankees debut on Saturday as he went 0-for-4 and remained hitless as a Yankee going 0-for-3 in Sunday's game as well.

Over his last three starts, Pettitte's ERA has climbed from 2.02 to 4.06.

"I had no command of my fastball and I wasn't able to hit with my offspeed stuff when I wanted to," Pettitte said. "The other stuff is kind of floating around, and my cutter is non-existent right now.

"When I do throw a good one and then try again, and it's a bad pitch, it's hard to trust it again. I have to figure this out, hopefully pretty quick."

After an off day on Monday the Yankees will travel to Colorado for a 3 game set with the Rockies that starts on Tuesday with Hiroki Kuroda facing Jorge De La Rosa at 8:40pm ET from Coors Field.

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