Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013: Indians @ Yankees

New York Yankees (home)

1. Brett Gardner - CF
2. Robinson Cano - 2B
3. Mark Teixeira - 1B
4. Travis Hafner - DH
5. Lyle Overbay - RF
-> Vernon Wells - LF
6. Ichiro Suzuki - LF-RF
7. David Adams - 3B
-> Jayson Nix - 3B
8. Reid Brignac - SS
9. Austin Romine - C

LHP Andy Pettitte - SP

Cleveland Indians (away)

1. Michael Bourn - CF
2. Mike Aviles - 2B-SS
3. Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
-> Jason Kipnis - 2B
4. Nick Swisher - 1B
5. Mark Reynolds - 3B
6. Carlos Santana - DH
7. Ryan Raburn - LF
-> Michael Brantley - PH-LF
8. Yan Gomes - C
9. Drew Stubbs - RF

RHP Justin Masterson - SP

7:05 pm ET / ESPN and YES Network

How I'm watching: Because I'm not often in New York these days, I rely on these national telecasts. And after this weekend where we drop 2 of 3 to the Sox, it's great to hear Aaron Boone, national television's reminder to us all that the Yankees can pull a rabbit out of their hat at any time.

There's a first time for everything!
This is my first attempt at covering a game in progress. For the few of you who have looked back far enough to find this post or have magically stumbled upon this blog in its infant stages, this is indeed more of a disclaimer than a factoid.

If my aunt were manager...
Ichiro Suzuki would be batting leadoff. No doubt he's been extremely streaky, and his slash line* of .260/.295/.345 is not entirely promising. But Brett Gardner's .256/.325/.408 is not stunning, either. Statistically, Ichiro has been on a general downturn, but there is something to be said about intangibles, and the vast majority of his work has been from the leadoff position. This would be complete and total speculation had he not thrived in the 1 and 2 spots down the stretch for NYY last year, including being one of the few hitters to show up for the 2012 postseason. Ichiro would never admit to there being a difference, but you never know. (Now it's just mostly speculation.)

* For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a triple slash line or slash line refers to a player's batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage, typically written: "BA / OBP / SLG."

Happy Homecoming!
This is Nick Swisher's first game in Yankee Stadium since the 2012 postseason, though it might be argued that he never showed up there. Oh wait, I remember, he said something nasty to the Bleacher Creatures, right? Yikes. I hope I'm not the only one who remembers him that way...

Anyway, Swish is batting a .264/.362/.467, which is certainly solid, but maybe not as the centerpiece they signed him to be. But, for the half-million more he's making this year, his numbers are better than the .255/.316/.476 he sported in pinstripes to this point last year. His 30 runs and 20 RBI are also good, but we're not talking superstar caliber.

Not an outright, but playing right out..?
That's not a typo up there, folks. Lyle Overbay, veteran MLB first baseman, whose name had been rumored as a DFA candidate due to roster inflation, is now on the depth chart as right fielder. What's more, he's making his first career start in front of the short porch! As someone who played RF in 7th grade with mixed success, I wish him the best of luck.

7:22 pm
 - It's unfortunate that it took me so much longer to set up this post than it did the Yankees to get 2 outs in the 1st.

7:35 pm - Neat to see Lyle Overbay run down that foul ball. Fun fact from the ESPN guys: he's using Boone Logan's glove. Yes, the relief pitcher Boone Logan. His glove is "on the way."

7:36 pm - See, I wasn't worried. I can update earlier posts about Swisher and talk about our new converted RF, because Andy was never really in trouble. End of Indians' second.

7:42 pm - We had how many hits in last night's shortened game? Two? What I would give for this team to get two hits. You can score a run with two hits.

7:47 pm - Nice throw from Overbay to nearly get Bourn, a little careless on the turn, at second! Makes no difference in the game.

A nice sac bunt by Cabrera makes 2nd and 3rd with 1 out for Swisher... is it just me, or is this game moving at a video game pace?

7:49 pm - Good play by David Adams to get the runner moving to third, albeit scoring a run... But I ask the TV viewer's favorite question: could he have gotten the runner going home? 1-0 Indians.

7:54 pm - Where's Nelson from The Simpsons when you need him on that Aviles attempt at Brignac's hit? Ha ha! .. says the guy on the couch. Anyway, leadoff hit!

7:55 pm - After the Austin Romine hit and Gardner shows bunt, the ESPN guys start speculating about the Yankees adding Giancarlo Stanton. Cue thousands of fans putting together their nonsensical packages to Miami.

7:59 pm - Did you miss the days that Cano could hit into an easy out but there's someone else on this roster that could give an opponent trouble? Me too - first Tex message of the season, and it's a big one! 4-1 Yankees on the Teixeira grand slam.

8:02 pm - And into three innings of play, Overbay is fielding more effectively than Masterson and Bourn. Beginner's luck..? Quick hits from Overbay and Ichiro, and it's first and second with 2 outs for Adams.

8:17 pm - Quick and quiet 4th inning, with the exception of Brignac, who seemed disgruntled about the strike three call. He may have had a point, but when has that mattered? Not important or close enough to get Girardi talking.

8:24 pm - Speculation city on this sac fly - should Cano have caught the shallow fly ball instead of Gardner? Did Gardner have an issue seeing it? My own question - could Romine have handled Cano's throw better and put on a quicker tag? In any case, 4-2 Yankees.

8:27 pm - Just two minutes later, another infield play made so well by Cano, but the focus is on Asdrubal Cabrera with a hitch in his step running to first, then on the ground, now being helped off the field. Yikes.

8:38 pm - Andy Pettitte's trouble shows that even veterans can momentarily lose the strike zone. I really thought he would put Santana away after the close strike two call, but he lines one down the left field line and into the stands. Tie game and Andy's out. Wow.

8:45 pm - Dave O'Brien tells us that the Indians were up for 25 minutes. Fitting for this game, new RF Lyle Overbay is the last put-out in this scary 5th. Shawn Kelley is out of trouble, and here come the Yanks.

8:49 pm - Asdrubal Cabrera with a quad injury, as reported by ESPN's Tim Kurkjian. And I just decided that I'll update the lineup as the game goes on, as seen above. Could get dicey in interleague games.

8:52 pm - And the Yankees go fairly quietly. Good to see that 5th inning wasn't a big momentum shift or anything like that.

8:59 pm - Kelley continues to be a strikeout machine, adding two more here in a 1-2-3 sixth.

9:08 pm - Austin Romine improves on his .140 BA with an infield single off Masterson.. I could only imagine the kind of desperation for hits those guys get under the Mendoza line. 1st and 3rd, two outs for Brett M. Gardner.

9:10 pm - And just like that, Justin Masterson cuts off a solid throw from the outfield to ensure a 6-4 Yankee lead, and before I can finish this post, tosses the ball back into the outfield so Gardner can take third. (Mr. Burns: "Excellent...")

9:25 pm - Joba sits down Carlos Santana, and the top of the 7th is in the books. Unfortunately, the only Aaron Boone story I want to hear is from 2003, so I checked out a bit there.

9:32 pm - Remember me? A no-doubter from Pronk, 7-4 Yankees, and Masterson is (finally) out of the game.

9:37 pm - Masterson didn't throw his last pitch, after all - ESPN's coverage shows him launching his glove on his way to the shower.

9:43 pm - As David Robertson gets ready for the first time since Friday, ESPN takes a few minutes to remove us from the game and pique our interest about A-Rod and Biogenesis. It's either women or drugs with that guy these days, because you most certainly wouldn't be talking about his game.

Defensive replacements are in to keep this one in order - Nix at third, Ichiro over to RF, and Wells in at LF. Solid debut for Overbay.

9:51 pm - How about those replacements? The put-outs are made by Wells and Nix. One more shot for the Yankee offense to pad the lead, or put the great one to work in the 9th.

9:55 pm - Excellent double in the right outfield gap from Brignac, showing why he was an improvement over the Nix/Alberto Gonzales platoon, and why we shouldn't worry about a third (fourth, depending on who's counting) string SS. Romine bunts him over, Gardner grounds out, and we're at 2 outs with Reid on third.

9:58 pm - Cano makes it interesting, with one long ball just foul, and another shot to the warning track. Brignac stranded at third, and while commercials play for me, 40,000 or so fans hear "Enter Sandman."

10:04 pm - Mo lets up a leadoff dunk of a hit and Cano, again, is something to watch. Great attempt to double up Aviles, but a solid call by the first base umpire. Then Kipnis is put away on four pitches. Final out for the Tribe.

10:07 pm - Somewhere, John Sterling is warbling. Yankees win, 7-4! One small save for Mariano Rivera, one more significant save for the Long Island Ducks fantasy team.

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