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-- See Pinstripe Alley for more discussion and analysis
The New York Yankees' 2011 season hit a low point Sunday night. The Yankees lost to the Boston Red Sox, 7-5, getting swept by their arch-rivals in a three-game series at Yankee Stadium. The loss was New York's fifth straight and ninth in 12 games.
The Yankees are 20-18, two games behind division leading Tampa Bay in the American League East. The Yankees begin a two-game series in Tampa Bay Monday night. To make matters worse, the sweep allowed Boston (20-20) to reach the .500 mark for the first time this season.
The Yankees held a 4-1 lead after two innings, but Kevin Youkilis' three-run homer off Freddy Garcia tied the game in the third inning. David Ortiz hit a broken-bat home run off Garcia in the fifth inning to give Boston a 5-4 lead.
Alex Rodriguez's error in the top of the seventh inning allowed the eventual game-winning run to score. A-Rod had a slow roller go right through his legs.
Jon Lester (5-1) gave up four runs on five hits in a six-inning start for Boston, which is .500 (20-20) for the first time this season. Lester struck out seven and walked four.
Freddy Garcia (2-3) allowed five runs -- four earned -- on six hits over 5 1/3 frames to take the loss.
Jorge Posada apologized to Yankees manager Joe Girardi for asking out of the lineup prior to Saturday's game against the Red Sox.
After being dropped to ninth in the order, Posada was a late scratch for the game, touching off a bizarre string of events before, during and after the game that included his wife defending him on the social networking site Twitter.
Posada was not in the lineup for Sunday night's game, but was cheered when he came on as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning. He walked.
-- Sports Network contributed to this report
From USA Today:
“I just talked to Girardi, I kind of apologized to him. I had a bad day yesterday. … Everybody has a bad day. … One of those days you wish you could take back. … Everything happens for a reason. You live with your mistakes. You move on. … What’s done is done. You have to acknowledge that. You have to take care of your actions … I let some people down.”
Yes, Jorge, you did let some people down. Including the fan base that has watched and admired you during a 17-year career in which you have been a tough, hard-nosed player and a leader on some great Yankee teams.
Now the question for the Yankees is whether or not Posada can hit well enough to help this team win. The Yankees have now lost eight of their last 11 and fallen out of first place in the American League East.
If Posada can’t do better than his .165 batting average he will find himself benched, or worse.
Jorge Posada will not be in the most eagerly anticipated lineup of the season Sunday night when the New York Yankees face the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of their weekend series at Yankee Stadium. Reporters got access to the lineup around 4:30 p.m., and Posada's name is not in it. Andruw Jones is the designated hitter, batting seventh.
Posada, the Yankees' designated hitter, caused a huge stir Saturday night when he removed himself from the lineup about an hour before the game. Batting just .165, the 17-year veteran had been dropped to ninth in the order by Manager Joe Girardi. Did he just need to 'clear his head?' Was he insulted by the move? Did his back really hurt, as his wife claimed on Twitter and he later claimed during a post-game interview. No one knows for sure.
Here is the complete lineup:
The Posada saga is likely far from over. It will be interesting to hear Manager Joe Girardi's reason for leaving Posada on the bench, though he is likely to reference Posada's 0-for-24 thus far in 2011 against left-hander pitchers. Boston is pitching lefty ace Jon Lester Sunday night.
Bringing a graceful end to the career of proud, fading veterans is never easy. In Posada's case, it now seems impossible.
Jorge Posada said he asked out of the New York Yankees lineup Saturday night because his back stiffened up, not because he was insulted by being moved to ninth in the batting order. General Manager Brian Cashman disagreed, saying "there is no injury."
Ortiz said he thought almost every aspect of Posada's difficult season - from his struggle adapting to the DH role to Saturday night's confusing situation - could have been avoided if the Yankees had taken better care of the veteran catcher.
"They are doing that guy wrong. They're doing him wrong," Ortiz said after the Red Sox's 6-0 win. "You know why? He's legendary right there... and from what I heard they told him at the beginning he's not even going to catch in the bullpen. That's straight up. That mixes up your head.
"You're going to tell me Posada can't catch a game out there? Come on, man. And I guarantee you if they throw him out there once in a while, mentally it's going to help him out because then he's not just thinking about hitting."
Ortiz did add that he thought Posada was wrong for refusing to play, saying "you don't do that."
Maybe Ortiz has a point -- the Yankees could have handled Posada's transition away from catching with a little more grace. There is, however, no easy way to tell a proud veteran he really isn't getting the job done anymore.
A clearly testy New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said several times during his post-game press conference Saturday night that slumping designated hitter Jorge Posada did not play because he “needed a day” to clear his head.
Posada also told reporters he needed a day, but added that his back stiffened after taking too many pre-game ground balls at first base and he felt he could not play.
Posada said he has no intention of retiring, and denied that he asked out of the lineup because he was angry about being placed last in the Yankees’ revised batting order. Posada told reporters several times that he had made his feelings clear about that prior to the game, and that he blamed himself for not hitting well.
There appears, however, to be a huge divide between Posada and Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman. After the game, Posada appeared clearly annoyed that Cashman had spoken to FOX Sports reporter Ken Rosenthal on-air during the game, and told him that Posada’s absence from the lineup was not injury related.
Cashman was critical of Posada after the game.
“It’s disappointing. Jorgie knew what I was going to say, as did his agents.”
Whatever the truth is here, I have to agree with the thought process expressed by some media members that the only thing that will keep Posada in pinstripes is if he starts to hit — and soon. This episode could well hasten his exit.
Most of the action for the Yankees happened off the field, and involved designated hitter Jorge Posada. Dropped to ninth in the lineup due to his .165 batting average Posada removed himself from the lineup approximately an hour before game time.
That, of course, led to great speculation. Would Posada retire? Was he insulted and refusing to play? Was his back bothering him? Posada was scheduled to hold a post-game press conference to explain the situation.
Manager Joe Girardi was ejected in the seventh inning, another sign of the problems the Yankees had Saturday.
The big story, though, will be what Posada has to say during his post-game meeting with the media.
|Final - 5.14.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||0||2||0||4||0||0||6||11||0|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||7||0|
|WP: Josh Beckett (3 - 1)
LP: CC Sabathia (3 - 3)
The Yankees, once again, are showing no signs of life with the bat, and have played sloppily in the field.
The mess with Jorge Posada, who removed himself from the lineup after being dropped to ninth in the batting order, set a bad tone for an evening that is turning ugly for the Yankees. They are en route to a fourth straight loss, and eighth defeat in 11 games.
Posada is scheduled to hold a post-game press conference, and that also promises to provide some fireworks.
Word is circulating that New York Yankees’ designated hitter Jorge Posada was “insulted” by being dropped to ninth in the batting order for Saturday night’s game against the Boston Red Sox and refused to play. Jack Curry of YESNetwork tweeted that Posada “threw a hissy fit.”
The Yankees have reportedly already been in contact with Major League Baseball about their recourse for Posada’s refusal.
ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand tweeted that Posada, a proud 17-year veteran, felt “disrespected” by being dropped to last in the batting order.
Posada is hitting just .165 this season and has only three RBI in the month of May.
Bob Klapisch tweeted that Posada is “definitely not retiring.” It sounds, however, like the Yankees are expecting an apology from their designated hitter. The question becomes what happens if they don’t get one, or one that is satisfactory.
Klapisch also tweeted that this is a “total no-win situation” for Posada. He’s right. You have no leverage when you are hitting .165, no matter what your past accomplishments are.
Is Jorge Posada about to announce his retirement? The veteran New York Yankee was in the original lineup tonight, batting ninth as the designated hitter. He was a late scratch, however.
Yankee General Manager Brian Cashman told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that Posada removed himself from the lineup and has requested the opportunity to speak to the media following the conclusion of tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox. Cashman refused to divulge what Posada would discuss. Posada is on the Yankee bench.
Posada, 39, is in his 17th big-league season. He is hitting just .165 this season with six home runs and 15 RBI. This is Posada’s first season as the Yankees’ designated hitter, having been replaced as catcher by Russell Martin, signed in the offseason as a free agent.
Posada has a .273 career batting average with 267 home runs and 1036 RBI. He has been an All-Star five times and a key member of four Yankee World Series winning teams.
This is a donnybrook between the low Single-A Greenville Drive and Charleston River Dogs Friday night, brawling after the second pitch of the game. It happened when when Red Sox prospect Miguel Celestino hit former Yankees first-round pick Slade Heathcott in the top of the first. Apparently, there was bad blood from a previous encounter between the teams.
I have to say I am sort of loving Heathcott's taking the shortest route to hitting somebody, just blasting Greenville catcher Christian Vazquez to the turf rather than trying to get to Celestino, the pitcher.
Hardball Talk reports that ejections were given to Heathcott and Vazquez, as well as one reliever for each team: Garett Rau for the Drive and Kelvin Perez for the River Dogs.
Heathcott, one of the Yankees’ top prospects, is hitting .312/.396/.504 with three homers in 125 at-bats this season.
yankees redsox minor league brawl (via rdogsfan11)
As we discussed earlier today, New York Yankees Manager Joe Girardi has shuffled his lineup for Saturday night’s game against Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox. The changes, though, aren’t as dramatic as the ones I advocated earlier.
The top five hitters in the Yankee lineup remain the same, but Girardi did move the chess pieces at the bottom of the lineup. As we speculated, Girardi pushed designated hitter Jorge Posada and his .165 batting average to the nine spot in the batting order. Struggling Nick Swisher, hitting just .221, was dropped to eighth.
The complete batting order is shown below:
Could there be some lineup changes for the New York Yankees Saturday night when they face Josh Beckett and the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium? Manager Joe Girardi hinted there might be as he tries to find a way to wake his slumbering offense.
In their last 14 games the Yankees have scored more than five runs just once, and have scored three runs or less six times. A number of Yankees are performing below expectations. Among them are Alex Rodriguez (.261 average, just six home runs), Nick Swisher (.221, two home runs), Jorge Posada (.165), Mark Teixeira (.252) and Derek Jeter (.268).
So, what can Girardi do? Here is my $.02, the lineup I would trot out against Beckett this evening.
Gardner is hitting .400 this month with an on-base percentage of .500. Get his speed to the top of the lineup and see if he can jump start the offense. Cano is the Yankees' best hitter. He should have been in the three-hole since Day 1 this season. It's time other guys in the lineup started protecting him, rather than the other way around. Granderson leads the majors in home runs with 12, so this gets him into a middle of the lineup RBI spot. Once Teixeira starts to hit again, perhaps he and Granderson could flip-flop. I really hate to disrespect Posada by sticking him in the nine-hole, but he is hitting .165 and he has no home runs and three RBI this month. If he is in the lineup, where else should he hit?
Posada's presence in the lineup is probably the key issue, and the most tenuous right now. How long can the Yankees keep playing him virtually every day? At some point, Andruw Jones has to get some DH at-bats against left-handers, leaving in the lineup every day. Gardner, a lefty hitter, at least offers the Yankees speed and defense if he doesn't hit against the left-handers. Against right-handers the Yankees don't have a good option currently with Eric Chavez on the disabled list. If Posada still isn't hitting when Chavez is healthy, he needs to get some of Jorge's lefty at-bats.
There are already calls for the Yankees to promote Jesus Montero, the highly-regarded young prospect, from AAA. He is hitting .325 with two home runs, 11 RBI and a .771 OPS currently. It is probably too early for that. It isn't, however, too early for some changes. The Yankees have lost seven of 10, now sit two games out in the American League East and are nearly a quarter of the way through their season.
They can't wait forever.
The New York Yankees' 5-4 loss to the Boston Red Sox Friday night at Yankee Stadium was like a microcosm of the Yankees' recent struggles. Most of the issues experienced by the Yankees as they have lost seven of their last 10 games were on display.
Boston took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but Yankee catcher Russell Martin tied the game in the fifth inning with a two-run home run, his seventh of the season. In the seventh inning Boston scored on a sacrifice fly by Adrian Gonzalez, who had homered for Boston's first run, and Youkilis' two-run homer.
The Yankees got a run in the eighth inning when Granderson scored on a wild pitch by Boston reliever Daniel Bard, but left the tying runs in scoring position as Swisher struck out and Posada grounded out. Consecutive two-out hits in the ninth inning by Derek Jeter and Granderson pulled the Yankees within 5-4, but Teixeira popped out to end the game.
Boston has now won three of the four meetings between the two teams thus far in 2011.
|Final - 5.13.2011||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||R||H||E|
|Boston Red Sox||0||0||0||2||0||0||3||0||0||5||9||1|
|New York Yankees||0||0||0||0||2||0||0||1||1||4||8||0|
|WP: Clay Buchholz (4 - 3)
SV: Jonathan Papelbon (6)
LP: Bartolo Colon (2 - 2)
Jorge Posada led off the fifth inning with a single off Clay Buchholz. Russell Martin then drilled the first pitch for a two-run home run, tying the score. Martin’s seventh home run of the season was to center field and landed just beyond the reach of Boston center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury.
Bartolo Colon, who started the game for the Yankees, is still on the mound.
This is the first game of the three-game series this weekend at Yankee Stadium between the Yankees and Red Sox. Boston took two of three earlier this eason at Fenway Park.
Adrian Gonzalez led off with the eighth home run of the season for Boston. The Red Sox loaded the bases on two walks and a strikeout/passed ball. Carl Crawford drove in the second run with a ground-out. Yankee pitcher Bartolo Colon limited the damage by strking out Jarrod Saltalamacchia with the bases loaded to end the inning.
The Yankees did not get a hit against Boston starter Clay Buchholz in the first three innings. Alex Rodriguez got the Yankees first hit with one out in the fourth inning, singling to left field. Buchholz has already struck out four Yankees.
The Yankees have lost six of their last nine. The Red Sox are still trying to get back to .500 after starting the season 0-6. They are 17-20.
— Phil Hughes threw for the first time today since receiving a cortisone shot to relieve inflammation in his shoulder and receiving word he does not have thoracic outlet syndrome.
— The Yankees optioned reliever Buddy Carlyle to AAA Scranton Wilkes-Barre and recalled Hector Noesi to give them some bullpen depth. Amaury Sanit, who threw 81 pitches in 4 2/3 innings of relief, was rewarded by being kept with the big-league club. That might be a bit surprising since Sanit will not be available for a few days.
— Sad news today that Hall of Famer Harmon Killebrew will stop treatment for esophogial cancer and will enter hospice care.
The New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox often seem joined at the hip in many ways. You can't think of one without the other, and American League baseball is infinitely better when the two are battling for a playoff spot as the season winds down.
Could it be that the rival actually ... need each? Especially now, with both teams scuffling.
Here is Yankee Manager Joe Girardi on that topic, speaking after his team lost a second straight game to the Kansas City Royals and fell out of first place in the AL East:
"Maybe it’s what we need," Girardi said. "Maybe we need the Red Sox to come in. Everything seems to get turned up, the coverage, the intensity. The games seem to take on a new flavor. Each at-bat seems to take on a new game of its own. Maybe it is the right time. I don’t know. But I know we’re capable of playing much better. And we need to start doing that."
Red Sox beat writer Sean McAdam addressed the same topic today. The situation is more urgent for Boston, which is five games back in the standings and still has not reached .500 this season.
Perhaps the Red Sox need some urgency, some cold slap in the face that the season is slipping. When they return home to Fenway late Sunday night, the schedule will be almost exactly one-quarter complete.
If that fact of life doesn't get the Red Sox' attention, the presence of the Yankees might.
In past years, the Red Sox have suffered letdowns after showdown series with their rivals. Maybe this season, the process has been reversed and the Sox need the presence of the Yanks to be fully motivated and engaged.
The Yankees and Red Sox have had a bizarre, symbiotic relationship since at least 2003, each measuring against the other. This weekend could be the perfect time for the Sox to take notice of the standings and do something about it.
Could make for an interesting weekend. Somehow, meetings between these two teams always are.
It is time once again for another installment of 'The Rivalry.' Yep, that means New York Yankees vs. Boston Red Sox, a three-game series beginning Friday night at Yankee Stadium between -- some people will tell you -- the only two Major League Baseball teams who really matter.
Yankees vs. Red Sox is always entertaining. There is always drama. There are blowout games, but there are also high-wire acts, exciting late-inning comebacks or unexpected turns. That will, of course, be the case this weekend.
There is only one bummer about the whole weekend, and that is not the fact that we are talking about a mid-May series rather than an end of September one with a playoff spot hanging in the balance. Fact is, right now neither one of these teams is playing very well.
The Yankees just suffered back-to-back ugly losses to Kansas City and fell out of first place in the American league East for the first time since April 13. The Yankees played atrocious defense on Thursday, and their offense has been AWOL for most of the past two weeks.
Boston is 17-20, five games behind division-leading Tampa Bay in the AL East. The Red Sox have pitching and offensive woes of their own, and have not yet completely recovered from a shocking 0-6 start to the season.
'Bionic' Bartolo Colon takes his stem-cell repaired pitching arm to the mound for the Yankees in Friday night's series opener. Clay Buchholz pitches for Boston. The Red Sox won two-of-three earlier this season at Fenway Park.
Friday -- (YES, 7:05 p.m.)
Saturday -- (YES, 7 p.m.)
Sunday -- (ESPN, 8 p.m.)
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