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In the wake of the New York Yankees' record-setting three grand slams in a 22-9 victory over Oakland on Thursday, here are some Yankees-related news and notes for you this morning.
It had been two decades since Jorge Posada fielded a ball at second base. Not since the 40-year-old former All-Star catcher was a raw, first-year minor leaguer. But such was the Yankees' 22-9 laugher against the A's yesterday that he provided not only the game's coupe de grace, but its comic relief as well.
After talking his way into playing the ninth inning at second base -- a request manager Joe Girardi couldn't refuse, after the tough year Posada has been through -- Posada fielded Anthony Recker's ground ball, and fired a one-hop throw to Nick Swisher at first base.
Posada got the out with a seed of a throw that actually knocked Swisher over and left him chuckling as he made the play, falling over.
"Now you guys know why they moved me behind the plate. I told Joe [Girardi] I wanted to go in there. Good glove, no throw," said Posada. "It'd been a while. It's been a long time since I took a ground ball on the infield."
It seems the time has arrived at last to pull the plug on the six-man rotation. This debate is the only baseball talk we really have in New York right now, what with the Yanks sailing along and the Mets sinking so steadily. Sabathia's mental and physical well-being are the driving forces in the discussion and the chief concerns of Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman.
And for the first time Wednesday, Cashman said the team would at least discuss the possibility of skipping Bartolo Colon's next turn.
Colon is a candidate for expulsion, along with A.J. Burnett, because Colon has been tiring early in his starts and could benefit from bullpen duty. Asked if he were uneasy about the pitcher's decline over the last three months, the Yank GM called such concern "a legitimate question."
"Nothing we can do about it," Cashman said. "He's in an area that he's been certainly before in his career many times, but he's in an area that he hasn't been in in five years. So what it means, I don't know. I just don't know. It's more of a guessing game, and we might as well not bother guessing."
[A.J.] Burnett deserves not one, but a few more starts to prove he belongs on the mound in the playoffs, not because of his $82.5 million contract, or because he’s got some great track record of Yankee postseason success — though he did go 3-2 with a huge World Series win in 2009 — but because he may still prove he’s the team’s best option.
The scary part is the 'he may still prove he's the team's best option' line. That tells you that no matter how many starting pitchers the Yankees 'think' they have, beyond CC Sabathia they have no idea what will happen. That's a tough way to enter the postseason.
With September right around the corner, Jesus Montero's tenure with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees could be coming to a close. If he does get called up to "The Show," Montero is making a lasting impression in the International League, or at least on Rochester.
The Yankees' No. 1 prospect homered twice and drove in all Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's runs as the Triple-A club beat the Rochester Red Wings, 4-1, on Thursday.
The Venezuelan native hit two-run homers in the bottom of the first and seventh innings. He also walked in the fifth.
Over his last four games, the 21-year-old is 7-for-18 with four home runs and 11 RBIs.
Thursday afternoon at Yankee Stadium the New York Yankees truly were the Bronx Bombers. The Yankees became the first team in major league history to hit three grand slams in one game en route to scoring 20 runs over four innings in a 22-9 victory over the Oakland Athletics.
Robinson Cano, Russell Martin and Curtis Granderson all hit grand slams. Martin also hit a solo home run and went 5-for-5 with six RBI as the Yankees overcame a 7-1 deficit for an overwhelming victory.
Cano hit his grand slam in the fifth inning, Martin got his in the sixth and Granderson knocked a 94 mph fastball from Bruce Billings into the bullpen in the eighth inning to set the mark.
The game was delayed 89 minutes at the start because of rain and took 4 hours and 31 minutes to play. Things got so out of hand that Jorge Posada played second base for the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth and recorded the last out on a ground ball.
Phil Hughes was shaky as the starter for the Yankees, lasting only 2.2 innings and being charged with six runs on seven hits. In the end, though, the Yankees made Hughes’ struggles a distant memory.
Crisp homered from both sides of the plate during a four-hit, five-RBI effort for the A’s, who have won four of five, including the first two meetings in this three-game set.
Scott Sizemore also went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored in Oakland’s win, which was credited to Fautino De Los Santos (2-0) for tossing a perfect ninth.
Nick Swisher homered twice, and Mark Teixeira added a game-tying solo blast in the eighth, but it wasn’t enough as New York lost for the third time in four games to fall one game behind AL East-leading Boston.
Soriano (2-2) gave up a pair of one-out singles in the 10th before fanning Jemile Weeks. The set-up man went with a breaking ball on his first pitch to the left-handed-hitting Crisp, and the hanger was crushed into the second deck in right.
“[Soriano] threw [a slider], I reacted and I caught the barrel,” recalled Crisp, whose homer snapped Oakland’s string of 10 straight series losses to the Yankees.
Andrew Bailey surrendered a solo homer to Swisher in the bottom half before finishing off his second straight save and 18th of the season.
Crisp hit CC Sabathia’s third pitch of the game over the left-field wall for the early lead, but the Yankees tied things in the third when Brett Gardner singled, stole second and scored on Derek Jeter’s base hit to center.
The Yankees went ahead on Swisher’s solo shot in the sixth, and appeared ready to even the series before Sabathia hit a rough patch in the eighth.
Kurt Suzuki led off the frame with a single and Yankees manager Joe Girardi made a brief visit to the mound after a sacrifice bunt advanced the runner into scoring position for Sizemore, who had doubled and singled off Sabathia in their first two encounters.
The pep talk didn’t work, as Sizemore doubled to the left-field wall on an 0-2 pitch, bringing in Suzuki with the tying run.
“Tonight was totally my fault. It was a 2-1 game in the eighth with the lead, and it was time for me to shut it down,” Sabathia said. “It just didn’t work out.”
David Robertson relieved Sabathia and walked Weeks on five pitches before Crisp dribbled one up the middle to knock in Sizemore. Robertson limited the damage by getting Hideki Matsui on a line drive to short for an unassisted double play.
Teixeira made it 3-3 just five pitches into the bottom half, taking a Grant Balfour offering over the wall in right-center for his 35th home run of the year.
Bronx, NY (Sports Network) – Brandon Allen hit two mammoth solo home runs, Brandon McCarthy hurled 7 2/3 solid innings and Andrew Bailey left the bases loaded in a shaky ninth to send the Oakland Athletics over the New York Yankees, 6-5, in the opener of a three-game series.
McCarthy (7-6) held New York scoreless until Nick Swisher’s three-run homer in the eighth and was charged with eight hits and three walks.
He had to wait out the win, however, as Bailey surrendered a solo shot to Jorge Posada in the ninth, then loaded the bases with one out. After Mark Teixeira fouled out meekly to third, Robinson Cano took a payoff pitch at the knees for ball four, forcing in Russell Martin.
With the potential winning run on second, Swisher took the first two pitches off the plate, then drove one to center that Coco Crisp tracked down near the wall to seal Bailey’s precarious save, his 17th of the season.
“All I needed to do was get a base hit. I got my pitch and took my chance. I just didn’t get it done,” Swisher said.
Eric Sogard added a solo homer for the A’s, whose previous three-homer game came on May 2 against Texas. The 98-game stretch with two homers or less was an Oakland record.
Bartolo Colon (8-8) dropped back to .500 after yielding five runs on eight hits in 6 1/3 innings for New York, which fell into a tie with Boston atop the AL East standings with its second loss in three games.
Allen unloaded on Colon’s 3-1 fastball in the second inning and sent it into the upper deck in right field, just the second player to do so in the three- year existence of the new Yankee Stadium — the other being Russell Branyan.
While Sogard’s first career homer wasn’t as impressive, it was just as effective as he found the first row of seats down the right-field line in the third inning.
The A’s padded their lead later on when Crisp doubled and scored on a Josh Willingham sacrifice fly in the sixth, and Scott Sizemore knocked in a pair in the seventh. Colon was pulled with two on and one out in the latter frame, and Boone Logan surrendered Sizemore’s double down the first-base line to bring in Cliff Pennington and Kurt Suzuki.
In the eighth, Allen pounded a Hector Noesi offering into the second deck in right field to post his first career multi-home run game. The blast proved to be the game-winner.
“Everything wound up being big for us,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “They didn’t look like big hits at the time, but they ended up big.”
McCarthy’s sixth inning was his only perfect frame, but he held the Yankees hitless in seven at-bats with runners in scoring position through seven. After the first two hitters reached in the eighth, McCarthy retired two straight before Swisher sent one over the wall in right-center to halve the deficit.
After Posada’s homer in the ninth, Martin doubled and Brett Gardner reached on Sizemore’s error on a chopper to third. Derek Jeter put down a sacrifice bunt before Curtis Granderson walked to fill the bags for Teixeira.