Middlebrooks delivers in the 9th for Red Sox:
Where was Felix Doubront throwing that:
Jimmy Kimmel working on "The Baby Bachelor:"
He'll endorse anything:
Another series and more injuries continue to pile up. New York not only lost 2-of-3 to Seattle but also lost Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart for a period of time as well. I guess once one injured Yankee returns (Curtis Granderson) it only makes sense for two more to go down. The Yankees look to bounce back from the Mariners series and get back into their winning ways as their “red hot” AL East rival Toronto Blue Jays come back to the Bronx for a 3-game set starting tonight.
This is definitely a much different Blue Jays team then the Yankees have previously faced so far this season. The Blue Jays are winners of 4 straight and 7-of-their-last-10, so it appears the tension of the “panic button” may be on hold in Toronto right now. New York currently leads this season series 6-1 and winners of 4 straight against the Jays.
With that said here are my three keys to the Yankees/Blue Jays series:
1. Hiroki Kuroda and CC Sabathia have to pitch better in the 1st couple of innings:
Baseball is a game consistently filled with inconsistencies. Player’s will typically go into streaks or slumps depending on the outcome of said “trend.” A trend that has plagued some of the Yankee starters this season is one that needs to end in this series before it becomes a regular outcome/expectancy for these pitchers.
Two-of-the-three Yankee starters in this upcoming Blue Jays series, Hiroki Kuroda (Friday) and CC Sabathia (Sunday), have struggled in the beginnings innings so far this season.
Here is Hiroki Kuroda’s innings breakdown so far this season by ERA:
1st – 7.88 ERA (8 IP, 7 ER)
2nd – 2.45 ERA
3rd – 0.00 ERA
4th – 0.00 ERA
5th – 0.00 ERA
6th – 2.84 ERA
7th – 0.00 ERA
8th – 9.00 ERA
9th – 0.00 ERA
Here is CC Sabathia’s innings breakdown so far this season by ERA:
1st – 8.00 ERA (9 IP, 8 ER)
2nd – 4.00 ERA (9 IP, 4 ER)
3rd – 3.00 ERA
4th – 1.00 ERA
5th – 1.12 ERA
6th – 5.14 ERA (7 IP, 4 ER)
7th – 0.00 ERA
8th – 0.00 ERA
So far this season CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda, the #1 & #2 starters for the New York Yankees have given up a combined 15 earned runs in the 1st inning alone! You can’t do that to a team who is scrapping for runs anyway they can.
Putting a lineup like the ones New York has had to send out far this season and placing them “behind the 8-ball” on a consistent basis when your best pitchers are on the mound is eventually going to catch up to them. The top starters on this team need to start shutting down the opposing team’s offense in those early innings and give their offense a “fighting chance” rather then placing them against the wall immediately to start the game.
2. Ladies and gentleman welcome to the “Austin Romine era:”
Thursday night’s game saw the 2nd game this season where New York’s “battery mates” (starting pitcher and catcher) had to leave the game due to injuries.
A couple weeks ago it was Ivan Nova & Francisco Cervelli, last night it was Andy Pettitte and Chris Stewart. The Andy Pettitte injury doesn’t surprise me because I felt like something was wrong with him these last couple of weeks but the Chris Stewart one could be more of a “game-changer” then you’d think.
All things considered Chris Stewart is your prototypical catcher and actually reminds me a lot of Joe Girardi when he was with the Yanks in the late-90s. They both weren’t catchers that had great batting averages, but they would show up when you needed them the most and both were/are fantastic defensive catchers that call a great game for the pitchers. With Chris Stewart hurt the Yankees and their fans will now get a look at a catching prospect that has been making a buzz these last couple of years, Austin Romine.
If you remember correctly the Yankees traded Jesus Montero for Michael Pineda a couple years ago because they knew there was great depth at the catching position, most notably Austin Romine. Most in the Yankees organization believe and still believe to this day that Romine will end up being a better “big leaguer” then Jesus Montero will be with Seattle now.
Now is Romine’s time to prove he has been worth everything ever written about him in a scouting report.
According to ScoutingBook.com here are some notes about the Yankees 24-year old “soon-to-be” starting catcher:
- One of the best “cannons” in the Minors
- Has doubles power and an easy swing (had an RBI double Monday against Cleveland)
- Is a promising defender
I’m excited to see what Austin Romine’s got now that I expect Chris Stewart to be out for a while (I wrote this before the official diagnosis) because there has been so much of a “buzz” about him for quite some time.
Romine (24 years old) was a career .280 BA/4 HR/44 RBIs hitter in the Yankees minor league system with a career .246/4 HR/14 RBI in their Triple-A program. The future could be now and could be starting tonight against the Toronto Blue Jays. It should be exciting to see what this “kid” has got behind the plate.
3. Yankees offense need to take advantage of Toronto’s poor starting pitching…again:
While Toronto has been playing much better then they were last time they entered Yankee Stadium (winners of 4 straight and 7-of-their-last-10, they still aren’t living up to that offseason potential nearly everyone had for them. One key reason has been their starting pitching hasn’t been able to keep this team in games.
Toronto’s starting pitchers this season have a combined ERA of 5.26 with an ERA of 4.85 away from the Rogers Centre. The lowest individual starting Blue Jays pitcher ERA the Yanks will face the next 3 games will be Brandon Morrow who has an ERA of 4.69. It will be his first start back after having back and neck pain leading up to his last scheduled start.
It’s the same thing I discussed in the 1st key to this series regarding CC Sabathia and Hiroki Kuroda; you cannot always put your offense “up against the wall.” You can’t always expect them to fight their way back and help you (the starting pitcher) out every single start. Eventually that wears down your offense mentally or physically and I think it has showed so far this season in Toronto.
While the Blue Jays have been streaking lately I don’t believe it has everything to do with their pitching as they have had an ERA of 4.02 the last 7 games. This has been a team streaking thanks to their offense showing up lately and that’s obviously something New York pitchers will need to control in this 3-game series.
Key stat of the series: New York and Toronto have already played 7 games so far this season, 6 of them won by the Yankees. In 5 of those 6 wins the Yankees scored 5 or more runs to defeat the Blue Jays. It’s crucial for this offense to “tee off” on the Blue Jays pitchers once again to get back on track following the Seattle series.
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Listen to their thoughts here:
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Read the full article HERE
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Johnson received a year of probation last September after pleading no contest to a domestic violence charge involving his former wife, reality TV star Evelyn Lozada.
Read the full article HERE
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Listen to Part 1 here:
Listen to Part 2 here: